It’s not the first time we’ve seen the Wrangler JL pickup, but it’s the first time we’ve seen it running around on public roads. Although well cladded with yards of vinyl wrapping, there’s no hiding the distinctive and iconic shape. There’s no question what we’re looking at here. This is a configuration Wrangler enthusiasts have been pleading for and anticipating for decades, and by the looks of things, it’s not far away. The pickup variant of the JL Wrangler is expected to follow the core two and four-door SUV models by approximately a year, making the odds are that this will be a 2019 model.
The photos don’t show any major changes or surprises of the expected configuration of a four-door crew cab and a relatively short bed. As cool and desirable as a Wrangler pickup will be to many, there are some inevitable tradeoffs for the pickup configuration. The longer wheelbase will mean a less-favorable breakover angle, and the bed overhang over the rear wheels will result in a less-optimal departure angle. However, it appears the rear bumper and bed height are still good enough to offer plenty of off-road agility and capability. The JL pickup comes at an interesting time, just as Chevrolet has introduced the surprisingly capable Colorado ZR2 and an all-new Ford Ranger is being readied for the U.S. market. We would love nothing more than a three or four-truck shootout between the JL pickup, the ZR2, the Tacoma TRD Pro, and the new Ranger, possibly with a Raptor-like off-road package. Are you as excited about the JL pickup as we are?