First Drive: Jeep Concept J-12 Pickup

J-12-1 II
Story and Photos by Dan Sanchez

Throughout the company’s long history, Jeep has brought pickup trucks to market and later shelved them. More recently, the introduction of the Mopar JK8 conversion kit for the Wrangler became so popular that Jeep engineers have again toyed with the truck idea. This time they created the J-12 Concept truck that debuted at the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. This new Jeep captures the vintage look of the Jeep Gladiator, with the performance and capabilities of a 2012 Wrangler. 

So, what’s cool about the J-12? Imagine taking your grandfather’s old 1960s Jeep Gladiator pickup truck and handing it over to automotive designer Chip Foose for a few weeks. While Foose may have added a flashier paint job and billet wheels to the J-12, Jeep engineers should be proud that they created a flawless truck with classic styling and combined it with the modern drivetrain and chassis of a 2012 Wrangler. 

If the idea was to bring back the vintage appeal of a reliable pickup that can be used for both work and play, the J-12 is on target. With its bright red paint, 6-foot bed and chromed Gladiator-style front bumper, fenders and grille, the J-12 looks the part. On the inside, there’s a bench seat with plaid interior trim, a fishing rod hung across the rear window and a large floor-mounted shift lever with a compass shift knob that adds to the truck’s vintage style. The bench seat was adjustable, but it took a while to get used to sitting up straight because non-extended-cab trucks with two seats are almost extinct. You end up hitting your elbow when you rest your right arm across the top of the seat. 

That’s where the J-12’s vintage look and feel stops. It’s when you get behind the wheel that the truck’s modern attributes come into play. The first thing you notice is the dash, controls, steering wheel and doors are all Wrangler pieces that remind you this isn’t a restored truck, but a serious, yet familiar, off-road vehicle that’s worthy of the Jeep name. 

On the trail, we released the vehicle’s TeraFlex anti-sway bars to allow the large 36-inch- diameter Super Lug off-road tires to grip the rock and articulate over extreme terrain. Mounted on 16-inch steel rims with chromed hubcaps, the extra tire sidewall makes the J-12 crawl better than what you would expect it to. The addition of a front Dynatrac D44 front axle and D-60 rear axle -- both equipped with ARB air-lockers -- allows the J-12 to power and gain traction over some of the toughest terrain we could put it through. 

J-12-2 II

Despite the rocky path to an abandoned cabin and mine shafts, the ride was smooth and predictable. The rock crawling is precise and easy, especially with the longer wheelbase that’s been stretched 18 additional inches. The longer wheelbase also allows a full-size spare to fit under the bed, which the Jeep engineers wanted to include on this particular concept. 

A Mopar 3-inch suspension lift gives the truck extra ground clearance. But during our drive, the J-12 never scraped the frame or any other portion of the chassis. On the highway, the J-12 drives better than any old pickup. That’s partly due to the well-tuned suspension that also included a set of Fox reservoir shocks. Shift the transfer case into two-wheel drive and the ride on the pavement is the same as any four-door Wrangler -- quiet and ready for a long-distance trip. 

While the truck only has the front portion of the Jeep’s original hardtop, it isn’t removable. Despite this, the J-12 to seem less top-heavy and felt lighter and more nimble, especially when taking corners at higher speeds. Because it uses a stiff Wrangler frame, road oscillations and noises were not an issue with this concept truck. 

The only negative point we discovered while driving the J-12 is it won’t be in production anytime soon. Nevertheless, we’re aware that these design experiments are meant to develop components and ideas for future vehicles that will make it into the showroom floor.

We can only speculate that a Wrangler pickup truck may be in the works, and the extended wheelbase and 6-foot bed on the J-12 is an indication of what may be included. If the J-12 does provide any hints at what a modern Jeep pickup would be like, you can expect there will be many off-road enthusiasts signed up to buy one. 


J-12-3 II

Under the custom hood is a factory 3.6-liter V-6 that is outfitted with a “home-engineered” air intake system. 


J-12-4 II

Engineers used a Mopar JK8 bed kit and extended it to fit the 18-inch stretched chassis. Note the factory spare located under the bed. 


J-12-5 II

Although it looks like a truck, the J-12 rides like a Wrangler and has very similar off-road capabilities. A set of 36-inch diameter Super Lug off-road tires are mounted on 16-inch steel rims with chromed hubcaps.

J-12-6 II

No vintage dash here. The steering wheel and instruments are all from the Wrangler, which allow the use of full electronics accessories. The center console houses the transfer case shifter, as well as the floor-mounted automatic shift lever, complete with vintage-styled shift knob with compass.

 

J-12-8 II

The bench seat also offers a vintage look with a Katzkin leather upholstery and plaid trim

Comments

Yeah, that bench seat looks really uncomfortable.

Like the 90s regular cab f150 trucks... love the way they look, but damn unconforable for big dudes.

Wow. This is cool. Stand alone pickup. Not just a modified Cherokee like the last attempt. I like the Retro look.Very unassuming. I think there is a market for smaller pickups and Jeep is pulling up the slack left by Ford. I hope there is something other than the plaid accents available.
A new classic is born. Good job Jeep!

here's your daily dose of Fiat.

A basic regular cab shortbed with excellent offroad abilities but poor on-road performance, comfort and reliability, would appeal to who, exactly?

This concept is reviving something that should be left in the dark ages as it has no practical purpose on modern day Earth.

And since you're only posting news on Fiats now, howsabout at least some update on the new dakota replacement.

make it please i will buy it

@ Maxx
actually man...i am plesased to hear and read that FIAT/RAM/JEEP are doing pretty well. just to think that they were bankrupt 4 years ago and now they are on top of the game....even with these trucks and jeeps they will never built...

its not Fiats fault GM and FORD have nothing like this...


i too wanna know i bout the Dakota replacement...it would be cool if they used the jeep gladiator....

@ Cyberpine At least the reg cab F150 had headrests @ 92.

If they make it I would buy it.

You'll see an old Ford Bronco like this shortly. Mark my words. Ford =Trucks. That said, Ford and Dodge just rule trucks anymore. Their Baja trucks, their 1500's, their dedicated HD's with tucked up straight frames and SFA's, their cool King Ranch and Laramie Longhorn interiors, their awesome looks and then off the wall extra stuff like this..

WHAT HAPPENED TO CHEVY???

WHAT HAPPENED TO CHEVY???

@Brian, a company called GM and their GM"c" namesake truck. That's what happened. Heck, those other GM car brands were screwing up up Chevrolet cars for the last 30 years. Chevrolet should have just split off from those screwballs and went their own way during the bankruptcy. They'd be giving you stuff like this, SFA's, cool interiors and the whole works. I've always backed Chevy but screw the rest of that whole organization. They should have gone under.


This concept is reviving something that should be left in the dark ages as it has no practical purpose on modern day Earth.

@Maxx, At least they offer up stuff like this even if it's just for fun. It's extra things like this that lend credibility to your entire truck line and That's the point of these exercises. To show off what you're capable of. The last two Chevy concepts I saw at shows were stock trucks with lift kits and fender flares that every idiot with money to waste on their pavement pounder does. Nothing offroad worthy whatsoever. No beam axles like above. No tucked away frames. No nothing. Very lame attempts to look 'cool'. The real truck guys see right through it. I looked at the RealTree truck and thought it was an attempt at humor.

WHAT HAPPENED TO CHEVY???

Um, concerning their offroad prowess, 1988 happened. Sorry dude, Chevy is the punchline of jokes now for anything outside of baby butt smooth concrete. Why do you think everyone drive's Super Duty's? For Chevy to pull off a concept like this that was a Legitimate offroad contender, they'd have to back to their last 1987 Silverado. A simple Google search will show you the last Real Chevy truck ever built for 4x4 work.

http://4wheeldrive.about.com/od/silveradorides/ig/Chevy-Silverado-Rides/Rado-s-1987-Chevy-Silverado.htm

http://4wheeldrive.about.com/od/silveradorides/ig/Chevy-Silverado-Rides/Rado-s-1987-Chevy-Silverado.htm

YES! No Low slung frame! Look at that you modern GM engineers! The Old Guys knew how to do it! It's all clear under there just like the Super Duty and Ram! Anything after that you've got this eyesore of a frame drooping out from underneath the truck. It ruins the entire appearance of the trucks and wreck's your ground clearance. All for those stupid Cheap torsion bars that suck. GM got Cheap and that's all there is to it. Cheap penny pinchers... I wish they would have offered this on those 88-98 Chevy Silverado's. Then Chevy could have had a Perfect truck run. Those trucks were still awesome looking and built like tanks. From 1999 and up, Chevy trucks blow. Pure junk they are. I can't even believe the same company that built that 1987 in that picture builds the cheaply constructed garbage they toss together these days.

Build it,Build it !!!

This thing looks great, I would be tempted to buy one,love the classic look !! By the way I have 2 buddies that would buy one I am 100% sure !! Since this thing came out they cant stop talking about it !!! It looks real good to me !!!

Man, Dodge is back to kick everyone's ass in a big way. Even if it's not production, it's awesome to see what they can do. You Chevy guys need to quit whining. It's OVER for you. It's Been Over for you. Get it through your thick skulls. Chevy already said they will Not be going back to tucked away frames and SFA's. Your torsion bars and low hanging frames are there to stay. Deal with it! Heck, they just 'redesigned' it for 2011 (even though after thoroughly studying it I saw no real redesign, just beefed up parts on the old inferior design). You want a real truck now? Buy a Dodge. Everyone else is.

A Maxx,

What are you talking about this is a Jeep !! Part of the Chrysler Group,yes it is partially owned by Fiat,Fiat also owns Ferarri,Maseratti,Lancia..what is your point ?

Since 1999 you never said a Jeep or Dodge model was a Mercedes !!! Nor prior to that did you say a Jeep was a Chrysler.

Fiat actually has good products in Europe these days,remember back in the 70's/80's Toyota/Honda/Mazda/VW/BMW were rolling garbage,things have changed,obviously your ignorance didnt change.

Grow up,educate yourself you sound like a uneducated soiled underwear ,ignorant, degenerate waste of a person...thats putting it nicely,I would say have a good day..but I would be lying and I dont lie !!!!

BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!
BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!
BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!
BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!
BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!
BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!
BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!
BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!
BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!
BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!
BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!
BUILD THIS NOW !!!!!!


You'll see an old Ford Bronco like this shortly. Mark my words. Ford =Trucks.

It's coming.


You want a real truck now? Buy a Dodge. Everyone else is.

@MoparMadness, Don't get too carried away. Ford has taken over the serious truck crowd since the Super Duty came out. We took over all of those disenfranchised Chevrolet customers who lost their SFA and we have no intention of giving them up. Even getting out of the offroad realm with our 1500's, (No SFA etc) we have taken those disenfranchised Chevy owners for 1500 conquests as well with our superior looks and world class interior packages. Nor do we have any intention of giving them up. So welcome to the Chevrolet conquest club. You guys are admittedly doing a damn good job now and I commend you for it. Don't think you don't have a fight on your hands with Ford though. We play to win. Ford will always be #1 now and frankly, it's because when Chevrolet went into the toilet, we got our foot in the door first and took their customers. Call it dumb luck, call it brilliance, call it an act of God. We built our modern company on it though selling them our cars and suv's right along with our #1 trucks. We will Not give those sales up. If that means taking our trucks to a whole new level, we will. I will raise my glass to this quote from you though...
"You Chevy guys need to quit whining. It's OVER for you"

To borrow a line from their CEO Mr.Ackerson with what he so foolishly claimed about Lincoln, "You might as well sprinkle Holy Water.. Chevrolet is done for".

@Mr.Ford, ok.

I shall borrow this quote then... "That said, Ford and Dodge just rule trucks anymore"

There. I'll concede we haven't won Yet. We take down Chevy trucks though, we will have taken down the Chevrolet empire for good. How about we just work together for now to drive the final stake through the heart of Chevrolet so it doesn't "beat" as they used to say at all anymore. When Chevrolet is over, so is GM. It benefits us both. Then will our battle for supremecy with you begin. Ford can be #1 for now. Dodge Will be #2. Mark my words on that. Chevrolet will be a dead memory shortly.

@ZR1Nate Agree these are only concepts with the sole purpose of getting the public to know the Jeep brand.
Under Marchionne, Jeep and Chrysler , more correctly Jeep has grown globally. It helps that they are more "user friendly" and better finished than before.

http://4wheeldrive.about.com/od/silveradorides/ig/Chevy-Silverado-Rides/Rado-s-1987-Chevy-Silverado.htm

Ah Yes! Beautiful and REAL Chevrolet right there! Tucked away frame, SFA and gorgeous lines!

Here's a shot of another Real Chevy truck that was one of mine. Tucked away frame, SFA, gorgeous lines And Round wheelwells! http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/classifieds/showproduct.php?product=3943

More Real Chevy trucks! http://vehiclesofvictory.com/chevy-g506/chevy-background/


I wish they would have offered this on those 88-98 Chevy Silverado's. Then Chevy could have had a Perfect truck run. Those trucks were still awesome looking and built like tanks. From 1999 and up, Chevy trucks blow. Pure junk they are. I can't even believe the same company that built that 1987 in that picture builds the cheaply constructed garbage they toss together these days.

@RandyK., Spot on assessment! Your analysis is 100% correct and faily mainstream in thought concerning Chevrolet trucks sir. That was the beginning of the end. GMC doesn't help matters either. They ruin Chevrolet one truck at a time. If I were to buy a new truck, it would be a Ford or Dodge. Old Chevrolet will Always be the best but anymore, they just aren't cutting it.

You guys can keep your trucks that ride like ass I'll keep my Silverado.

@ Stevadore. There is indeed a market for the small and cheap pickup, this will be small but it will be nothing remotely resembling cheap.

which brings me to

@Maxx, couldn't agree more, where the hell is the information on the new Dakota? This Jeep is cute, but its the new Dakota that is going to truly sell like gangbusters. A modern, mid sized, relatively fuel efficient truck will pull in a solid 30K sales per year, maybe even quite a bit more.

@

I wish they would have offered this on those 88-98 Chevy Silverado's. Then Chevy could have had a Perfect truck run. Those trucks were still awesome looking and built like tanks. From 1999 and up, Chevy trucks blow. Pure junk they are. I can't even believe the same company that built that 1987 in that picture builds the cheaply constructed garbage they toss together these days.

I agree with you. Here's one of my old one's With a SFA.http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1023670 Not much you can do with the low slung frame but hide it with step bars. It was the last 'Great' Chevy truck though. The new ones suck.

I really like that! The whiners need to shut up, nobody is trying to force you to buy it or even like it. Jeep needs to bring on the diesel engines for the US market and replace the old 5 speed auto.

I know this is a Dodge thread but since a few folks have brought up Old Chevy's (The ones that kicked ass), I feel obligated to show my Favorites! Here's my page. :)
http://www.chevytrucks.org/marvinsgarage/truckrecognition.html

Here's the 4 door Decades befor the 4 door trucks became cool. http://bringatrailer.com/2011/11/17/orevill-crew-cab-1957-chevrolet-napco-4x4/

Here's dad's old truck in an old photo I have from ions ago. We're just getting ready to restore it. The big dog Chevy Task Force!! "When the work Needs to be done".. :)

Support Task Force artwork! http://transpressnz.blogspot.com/2012/02/1956-chevrolet-task-force-trucks.html
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1956-Chevrolet-Task-Force-Trucks-Vintage-Ad-/150414471157
http://www.flickr.com/photos/autohistorian/6117593645/

I really like that! The whiners need to shut up, nobody is trying to force you to buy it or even like it.

@Alex, Exactly! Man, Dodge is just rocking it anymore...

@Marv, AWESOME stuff! In a perfect world the Task Force would be brought back to take on the Super Duty. Sadly, the Chevrolet of old is no longer with us. Keep the old stuff alive though my friend!

First off, Kudo's to Dodge. And yes, I said Dodge. Though this is labled Jeep, in general, it's all Dodge no matter who owns it. And Sergio, the Ram IS a Dodge Ram. This is America and this is our heritage. Quit screwing up the names.

To the Chevrolet posters, you remind me of why I was once a 'Chevy Guy'. Look at all of those beautiful properly built trucks in those links... Wow. There's a reason Chevrolet was once upon a time number one. Each and every one of those pictures in those links remind me of why.. And yes, the Task Force should be a Super Duty competitor. The suspension has to be fixed though. I'm sorry to Chevrolet but the IFS is not ever going to fly with the HD crowd. Stop trying to force something upon people who simply (on a mass scale which is what makes you money) will not have it. Spend some of that 30+ Billion you have on hand and just do the darn thing right. I've already stated how to do the interior packages numerous times. Cheyenne, Scottsdale, Silverado Outlaw and Outlaw XL.. This stuff is so easy to figure out it's nearly criminal that you don't do it. GMC should really go but whatever. You're the most stubborn organization I've ever known.

@Mr.Ford, I commend you. We are indeed number one now. I expect it to stay that way.

I find jeeps are ugly and this one looks pretty aweful!! Fx4 with a twin turbo v6 is a awesome 4x4 machine! Whoever thinks this jeep is sweet must be smokeing to much J!!!!!

Yeah that FX4 will be awesome at Moab!

Like almost every other thread this one turns into a GM thread. Their current truck is outdated and uninteresting, we get it! They have a new truck on the way. It's a moot point predicting any type of future based on the current platform. We won't know how GM's truck future will look until the new model rolls out.

I say this as a guy who doesn't like the current GM but it's not hard to think about it objectively. They sell a pile of them and unless the new truck is a bust I doubt they'll lose market share and can even gain some back with a good design.

The competition is good right now and Dodge just pushed it a bit more. I like having the choices and unlike a lot of posters on here I don't want less makes to choose from.

@Magnum, I agree. Life must be pretty boring for those who can like only one vehicle. I'd be like Jay Leno if I could, and have a bit of everything.

@FordTrucks1 - another poster made the comment that the reason Chrysler/Fiat has been playing with names is to exploit the loopholes associated with upcoming CAFE numbers. You remove Dodge from Dodge Ram = separate fuel economy ratings for Dodge cars and Ram trucks. You remove Dodge from Viper and any other performance products and lump them all under SRT = separate CAFE ratings. SRT will be the limited edition performance brand and they won't care if they get an EPA penalty. That leaves anything else under Dodge with a better chance at beating CAFE.
Ram will be the exclusive truck brand, I bet Iveco finds their way into the Ram fold and voila - Ram = truck brand (light,medium, and heavy duty trucks and vans)..
Jeep should be allowed to make a pickup. Built on the Wrangler platform, it would be classified as a "compact" truck. Maybe Ram/Fiat is worried that the Dakota unibody would get slaughtered by a truck with a Jeep badge. I don't blame them. I would suspect that outcome as well.

I would buy

Single cab short bed 4wd works for me. This is very similar to my 04 Dakota reg cab short bed V8 5sp 4wd. But I've got 4.7 V8 and get 21 mpg in town, 24 on hwy. A 4 cyl floored all the time would probably get worse mpg?

@Lou, I know the theory. I'm not buying it though. First and formost let me state that I respect Fiat and thank them for helping to save a Huge part of American history. I'd rather it was owned by the Italian's than the Chinese which I fear will own GM if they don't get their act together. I'm an American first and formost. My Ford loyalty is a far distant second when discussing auto's.. I also think they're doing a marvelous job turning the company around! However, we are helping them get into the American market with this sale and I simply want to see them respect our heritage.

I don't buy the theory because the biggest truck company in the world doesn't need to create a seperate truck brand. Ford is Ford is Ford. If it made That much of a difference Ford would simply call their lawyer and split off their truckline from Ford into simply "F-Series Trucks" and sell them right there with Ford as always. My neighbor also sells Ram's. He told me their invoices and truck slips (whatever those are) all say Dodge right on them. Surely there would be a legal problem there. I flat out think Fiat wants to erase Dodge plain and simple and replace it with Fiat. I'm sorry, I don't like that one bit and I'm not even a 'Dodge Guy'. If they want to just call the truck RAM, I feel they owe it to the American's who built that truck's heritage to at least keep the Dodge name somewhere on the truck. Even if it were on an interior plaque somewhere. That part about this merger just doesn't sit right with me. As for the Dakota unibody, The Jeep GC has been unibody as long as I remember and is hailed as a premier offroad suv even by serious offroad diehard's. Unibody would Kill a fullsize nameplate within an hour. A little truck though, the jury is still out for me.

If the Chinese bought GM and wanted to replace Chevrolet with some Chinese name brand car and just called Chevrolet's truck Silverado and attempted to erase the rest of it's history and namesake, I'd be just as upset. I'd boycott their product forever just for killing Chevrolet. That's just me personally though. It 'was' the Heartbeat of America man.. (now sadly rolling on Chinese made wheels). Not that American's would stand for a Chinese car right now anyway. In 20 years though, you never know.. This is one thing a Ford guy never has to worry about. The American Ford family will always be the controlling shareholder. There will be no Chinese Ford... Unless it's that POS knockoff.

I bet if Fiatsler revived the old Dodge Dakota and sold it under the Jeep name, with Jeep Grand Cherokee capabilities and options, it would sell real well.

The key is for the Jeep truck to be able to use all the Grand Cherokee engines, transmissions, 4X4 drive trains, wheels, tires, and options.

Many Jeep trucks of yesteryear are still in use today because they were rugged, go anywhere trucklets and built like brick outhouses.

@FordTrucks1 It appears FIAT is in the process of getting rid of the Dodge brand. Notice the VIPER concept , was called a Viper not a Dodge Viper? .Globally all vehicles from Chrysler will be either Chryslers or Jeeps. Dodge cannot really exist as it overlaps Chrysler and RAM.

@Robert Ryan-I think you could be right about Fiat getting rid of the Dodge brand. The real value in Chrysler is the Jeep and RAM brand. Not to say that Chrysler has bad cars or that their minivan has no value its that the real value is in Jeep and RAM. GM though has improved their cars a lot particularily the new Impala that they showed in the New York auto show. I am sure that their new Silverado and Sierra will be much better but I agree with some of the other comments that GM will eventually be a Chinese company-if not bought out by the Chinese it will eventually move most of its operations to China since China and Asia is becoming the largest market. Eventually North America will be flooded with Chinese made autos and trucks with GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, VW, Nissan, and etc names. It will start with the lower end vehicles and progress up to more expensive products. I don't see this happening right away but in 10 or 20 years possibly. I am not looking forward to this but I see this happening as the world markets are flooded with Chinese made textiles, tires, electronics, and small appliances now. I hope that I am wrong but I fear that I am right.

I do like this Jeep truck and I think that their is a market for it. I am encouraged by what I have seen and read of the new RAM truck, the Jeep and RAM prototypes, and driving a 2012 Jeep Cherokee Laredo and Chrysler 200. Chrysler appears to be headed in the right direction and I hope under Fiat that they keep moving forward.

You can only have one or the other: Mighty FC or J-12?

Needs a diesel

@ FordTrucks1,

@Lou,

Ford,I tend to agree with what you are saying..BUT...Dodge does have the new Dart coming out,maybe Lou is right about the mpg thing...BUT...

Lou,Dodge still has the Durango,5300 pound suv with a HEMI,also Charger/Challenger 392 hemi cars...so if they wanted to keep Dodge cars mpg inline with the new requirments,I just dont know what they are doing...BUT...

This tends to make sense what Chrysler was saying,Viper's are reconized all over the world,and even the 300,Charger,Challenger,Grand Cherokee SRT vehicles are even bought by people who never owner a Chrysler product,Porsche,BMW ect...owners buy them so if they are stuck up and the Dodge name is making them not buy a Viper or other SRT car..who knows...maybe calling and having a SRT brand will work,at least they haul A$$ and look great..As for the RAM in a way makes sense (I dont like it though)they said when people thought of Dodge it was just trucks,and people who wanted a car didnt go to Dodge because they thought they only had trucks,makes sense as most people are brain dead and thought Dodge didnt have any cars !!

That being said (I am confused still,hope it somewhat made sense) my GM/Ford/Import buddies always called my Chrysler,Dodge,Plymouth,Jeep a MOPAR anyways ! So if it is a RAM I will call it a MOPAR,a SRT its a MOPAR !! By the way a few always called anything by Chrysler a Dodge,so maybe they should just call all their products a Dodge Mopar !! With the way things are going I cant wait until Ford calls their F-150 an Edsel E-150 !! Who knows !!

@FT1, CDRO, Lou- You ALL make good points! The Durango is still Dodge. There are Cafe requirements But it would be as simple as the Ram truck being under a Dodge Industrial Division. It would still all be Dodge. Ford or Chevy could do the same thing IE: Ford Industrial or Chevy Industrial.. I'm inclined to agree that Fiat is trying to downplay the Dodge name and slowly phase it out to bring Fiat over. I suppose I understand but in a way, it's kind of not cool. The Ram I bought last year still has the Dodge name over the Ram emblem on the tailgate. When I get a new one that emblem is coming off and going on the new truck. And it will Always be a Dodge Viper to me Sergio! SRT is a performance Package. Not a name brand.

Old with new...doesn't work here. YUCK!

Jeep dash...but waste seat. Either go retro...or don't. But half and half...is just wrong.

Sorry...but this is a miss.

"A Mopar 3-inch suspension lift gives the truck extra ground clearance"

Uhhh it's the tires that give the ground clearance!

By the way that front axle is vulnerable to damage, no protection whatsoever!

@FordTrucks1 - Your comments about Fiat killing Dodge got me thinking. I did some surfing and there seems to be considerable conjecture on that fact. Fiat hasn't confirmed anything but it does look like they are heading towards the ellimination of the Dodge brand/name plate. They feel Jeep and Alfa Romeo will be their "global" nameplates. Chrysler will be like Chevrolet (well, in name only) existing as strictly a North American entity. A lot of the news speculation is that there currently exists too much overlap between Fiat's European/Global stuff and North American stuff. That does not look good for Dodge. They will be killing a large number of Dodge vehicles like the Grand Caravan. The GrandCaravan will be substituted by the Chrysler Town and Country. The rationale was that the Grand Caravan is a "deep discount" low profit unit whereas the Chrysler variant makes more money for them. As Canadian DODGE RAM Owner pointed out, what about some of the "new" Dodge cars? I suspect the Dart will be rebadged as an Alpha. All of the Chrysler stuff will wear a Lancia badge for Europe. Jeep will cover all of the SUV stuff. SRT looks like they will get all of the performance stuff. I suspect that is where the Challenger may go, some say Dodge will remain only to cover the North America specific muscle cars, more as a salute to their performance roots.

I'll gladly trade my 1990 Ford XLT Lariat F-150 for one of these. Bring it on!

@oxi,

The tires are what is going to give you your ground clearance no matter what kind of lift you do your rear axle is going to sit at the same height until you put bigger tires on it, correct?

What do you think that front axle need for protection?

@oxi - Did you get lou banned?

@Lou. Correct, the Dodge Dart uses the Alfa Romeo Giulietta "architecture".
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/16/4417235/dodge-announces-pricing-for-the.html.
"The all-new 2013 Dodge Dart leverages the world-class architecture and DNA of Alfa Romeo and then infuses it with Dodge passion and design, creating an agile, fun-to-drive compact car with mid-size levels of interior roominess and unmatched style, technology, safety and customization"

Now a new FIAT will use the same thing.
http://www.caradvice.com.au/168094/fiat-viaggio-leaked-ahead-of-beijing-motor-show/

@biz4two : Contradiction allert!
You say it should be all retro but hate the bench seat? You don't get any more retro than that.

Let's be rational. We're not talking restoration here. As great as the Willis chassis/drivetrain was in the day, I don't want to go without power steering, a real sound system, computer engine mgmt, etc. I'm old enough to remember what it's like to drive bias tires w/o PS. Nobody would buy what you are suggesting they build.

This truck would be awesome with a turbo diesel. I might even trade in my XJ for it.



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