Thanks to a quick shutter speed, creativity and some fast running through a public gas station, our spy shooters got images that allow us to start thinking about how the new JT-generation Jeep pickup truck compares to both the Ram 1500 and all-new Wrangler SUV. We've got a few side-by-side shots below to show you the distinctions, as well as a few other undercarriage details.
It bodes well if the production versions of the upcoming mid-size, which some are calling the Scrambler, follow the Ram 1500 template, like our photographers think. The nice thing about Ram is it has bigger, stronger pickups if you need to do heavier work. We're guessing the new Jeep pickup is likely to appeal to a whole new group of buyers looking for a unique mid-size pickup, especially with the possibility for it to offer open-air motoring. Here's what our spy shooters just sent us.
"We got our most detailed look yet underneath the bed of Jeep's upcoming pickup truck, showing what changes have taken place in the transition from Wrangler SUV to the Wrangler-based Scrambler. These shots were grabbed, in haste, as a pickup prototype was leaving a Detroit-area gas station.
"It's immediately clear that the rear suspension setup revealed on this Jeep Scrambler prototype has nothing to do with the JL Wrangler, with a completely different setup designed to handle proper pickup truck duty. These photos show that the Jeep JT Scrambler pickup has a rear suspension design heavily influenced by the Ram 1500. The design and component placement looks to be nearly identical between the Ram 1500 and the Jeep Scrambler, which should calm any fears that Jeep's new truck won't be able to handle true pickup duty.
"The Scrambler prototype's rear design shows healthy control arms, along with a Panhard rod, and a rear stabilizer bar that leads into sway-bar end links, just as we see on the Ram 1500. We also see coil springs (as on the Ram). The Scrambler's shock absorber placement also appears to mimic the Ram's design.
"It's interesting to see the path Jeep engineers have taken in transitioning the Wrangler-flavored offering for pickup truck duty. While there's still plenty of Wrangler DNA to be found in the Scrambler, it's now abundantly clear that the Jeep pickup will have a healthy dose of Ram DNA throughout its undercarriage. It likely provides cost benefits in sharing similar components and engineering solutions that have already been worked out on the coil-sprung Ram trucks.
"The proven foundation of the Ram pickup combines with the spirit of the Wrangler (and the promise of open-air truck motoring), sound like a compelling mix of attributes that's sure to appeal to young buyers."
KGP Photography images
New Wrangler rear axle (spare on the cargo door) vs. New Scrambler rear axle (spare underneath bed).
Current Ram 1500 rear axle with coil springs and panhard rod vs spied Scrambler rear axle with coil springs and panhard rod.