2019 Jeep Scrambler JT Pickup: Here's What We Know

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Jeep has officially been coming to Moab, Utah, for the Easter Jeep Safari — a 4x4 love fest sponsored by the local Red Rock 4-Wheelers Jeep club that sets up various trail rides in the area over the course of a week — for the last 10 years, bringing a number of concept vehicles put together by its internal Skunk Works squad on the team's own time (meaning a lot of late-night, after-hours wrenching sessions).

We've been to just about every one of these relatively low-key safari drive events, and it seems like every year there is at least one "pickup truck"-like concept vehicle — maybe it's a heavily modified Ram 1500, maybe a stretched Renegade unibody, maybe an imposing FC concept or maybe something completely custom with a utilitarian flare. No matter what type of custom, resto-rod wonder-truck it might be, there's usually one — except this year.

Less than a year after the official announcement of the debut of Jeep's return to the truck segment (can you believe it's been almost 30 years since we've had a Jeep pickup — and longer, if you want a ladder frame?), Jeep decided not to offer any hints about what's coming.

Or did they?

The only concept vehicle that vaguely resembles a pickup truck this year was the Sandstorm, which was really a Wrangler Unlimited with an open bed and a custom dual-shock (at each corner) desert racing personality, monster tires, manual transmission and Hemi power under the hood. But it also had a powerful underbody-mounted air compressor with an external hose fitting near the rear of the bed area. (Hmm.) Additionally, it also had a Mopar-made, bed-mounted spare tire carrier to make it look just like those Raptor-ish desert racing pickups you might see in the Southwest.

As we said, nobody at Jeep would talk much at all about why no pickup concepts made the cut this year, but we did have interesting conversations with some Mopar folks, who obviously have quite a bit to gain with the addition of a Jeep pickup truck — whether it's more Jeep than pickup or more pickup than Jeep. Either way, Mopar wins.

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On the subject of Mopar, it's been very busy lately, with the introductions of arguably the two most modifiable vehicles in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles portfolio-the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL and the 2019 Ram 1500. Both, although quite new, have more than 200 Mopar parts available for each as they ramp up to full production capacity at their respective plants. Likewise, both are offering overlapping old (previous-generation) and new (current-gen) versions at the same time, giving customers a choice between upgrades and significant price differences — not coincidently, both Wranglers and Ram 1500s have two separate production facilities. To the best of our knowledge, no one else has ever done that before, at least not to this extent.

You should also know that FCA has been quite deliberate over the last several years about moving many of the important Ram and Jeep personnel back and forth between the two brands, very likely to help spread the personalization aspects of each brand's core values. Just as the Mopar folks weren't shy about talking about Ram and Jeep parts, Jeep's people weren't shy about discussing the aspects of overlap between the average Jeep buyer's attitude about his or her vehicle and the attitude of the average Ram half-ton buyer. This, no doubt, is where Mopar is probably drooling over the possibilities.

Not only has the Wrangler, Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 had huge successes with limited-edition packages, but they're also some of the most customized vehicles around, and you can bet a Jeep Scrambler pickup could potentially allow for twice the customization and personality-focused add-on features covering both the off-road and pickup sides. Whether that starts with a hidden air compressor and hose in a small storage pocket of the bed or a bed-mounted spare tire rack in a Mopar Baja Blaster special-edition Scrambler, we'll have to wait and see, but you get the idea.

Put another way, the debut of a Jeep pickup (finally) allows FCA to create a single vehicle that could potentially deliver two hugely strong personalities: one more Jeep than pickup, the other more pickup than Jeep, serving two incredibly important constituencies. Of course, the potential of doing neither side of that equation very well also exists (and the automotive landscape is littered with examples). The important thing to watch is to see if the new Scrambler will be credible to Jeep faithful first; then we'll be watching to see how many pickup enthusiasts are lured over.

Additionally, beyond the fact that Jeep is getting back into the pickup game (which many thought long overdue), we assume there have been quite a few internal arguments about whether Jeep should be allowed to make a pickup at all. For all practical purposes, Ram is the pickup brand for FCA and Jeep is supposed to be the SUV brand; will Ram be making an SUV anytime soon? It's crossed our minds — quite a few times recently — whether or not representatives of the Ram team are invited to any Jeep Scrambler meetings or how many design discussions included a possible Ram mid-size pickup. Similarly, if Mopar is involved, is it pushing to make more off-roading parts or extra towing kits? This could get muddied quickly unless both teams have a clear definition of the Wrangler pickup and the right people in the right places to protect those boundaries. We'll find out once we see the new truck perform.

On our most recent trip to Moab, we had the chance to meet the lead Jeep person on the Jeep JT, Brandon Girmus — a guy we're predicting you'll be hearing about for a long time to come. He was raised on a farm in Nebraska, where he grew up watching his dad drive Super Dutys and John Deeres, but for now, Brandon's in charge of making sure FCA gets this new Jeep pickup right. The priority, of course, is to make sure his team is making sure this is first and foremost a Jeep, meaning it will be exceptionally good off-road like the Wrangler Unlimited, have a strong and adaptable ladder frame, and deliver strong, traditional Wrangler core values. In short, from what we gather, there will be no doubt this new vehicle will be more Jeep than pickup when it debuts.

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But that doesn't mean it won't fit in nicely with the other mid-size players in many of the same important categories. Even though the Wrangler's max towing capacity is 3,500 pounds, each Jeep engineer we spoke with understood the standard for the class — the price of entry, basically — is closer to double that number.

(As a side note, we can tell you it was encouraging to hear the Jeep engineers talk a lot about important issues like payload capacities, gearing, gross vehicle weight ratings, peak torque and hitch strength — maybe not surprisingly, they seem to get it.)

As you may have gathered, it's no accident that Jeep was quiet about why it didn't have any pickup concepts for us to drive in Moab, and that was probably the loudest message of all about how important this vehicle is to them. Getting this wrong could mean damage not only to Jeep, but also to anyone else who makes an FCA pickup truck — and that means Ram.

Maybe that's why Jeep brought what seemed like more FCA employees than ever to Moab to get out with other Jeep owners on the exact trails and terrain its products were designed to challenge and conquer. If you've ever been on a Jeep trail ride or attended a Jeep Jamboree or Camp Jeep and happen across one of the many off-road clubs out there, you know they're not shy about offering opinions and suggestions or talking about their own Jeep. In that way, they can be similar to some of our own regular commenters here on PickupTrucks.com — both your harshest critic and most loyal advocate, delivering some of the most brutally honest insight around. Getting that kind of quality feedback is priceless, so we applaud Jeep for taking its employees to this year's Easter Jeep Safari to learn more about how to use its own Jeeps and talk to the ground troops. And we can only hope that education and exposure to the real owners and users of its next important vehicle launch will result in as few compromises as possible — because if there are any, we'll find them.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), the new Scrambler should be in dealerships by April 2019, which we hope means we'll get a chance to drive it before the end of 2018. We'll no doubt be seeing more spy photos of the pickup as it gets closer to finalizing engine software and multiple package suspension details, and you can bet we'll pass them along to you as fast as possible. In the meantime, we'll keep pushing Jeep on how many changes to the Wrangler frame and chassis it's making (we're guessing they're adding about 16 inches to the center section of the frame and maybe a cross-member or two), then keeping you up to date. More to come.

SpiedBilde images; Manufacturer images

 

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Comments

Is this going to be a real truck or a weekend warriors toy?
A lot of people complain that they make these trucks very capable and people don't really use em for work just play, I guess its their money so whatever. It looks pretty good though.

Great idea!

Since RAM does not offer a midsize pickup this potentially addresses truck buyers who don't want a full size RAM. I hope I live long enough to see one.

I think a Jeep pickup truck is long overdue and will be a big seller.

One question: Will there be different cab configurations? Regular and extended? Or just a crew cab?

@TruckKing- That depends entirely on your definition of "real truck". It will carry 1400lb and pull 6500lb, regardless of powertrain. It will have a crew-cab/5ft bed configuration ONLY. It will have 2 solid, coil sprung axles, an available manual trans and a real transfer case.
Production is supposed to start before the end of the year- April deliveries seems slow.

a MOPAR parts Kaiser M715 look-alike grill/fascia would be a nice accessory.

it has been 25 years, not 30 years since Jeep made a pickup. This will be way heavier and less capable then a Wrangler if it is going to tow 7,000 lbs like the twins and Taco. Most who will use it will use it as an overlander not pulling a big trailer

This truck has real potential in the midsize market. It could be really successful if it maintains compatibility with the Jeep Wrangler's aftermarket parts. This truck and the ZR2 are the only off-road midsizers that look interesting to me so far.

@Dave- based on leaked docs, it will be about 400lb heavier. Thats around 10%. Premium spec, which shares the Rubicon 4.10 gears is 100lb heavier, The diesel add 600 to the standard, 500 to the premium

Colorado ZR2
Tacoma TRD Pro
Ranger Raptor
Frontier PRO-4X

Jeep will face very competent off road capable midsize pickups when it finally arrives. It better be great.

It's rumored that Bronco will be a Wrangler competitor, Jeep can't rest on it's laurels.

Roll Tide!!!

I'm a Jeep fan. Owned 2 Jk's. I am not sure this Jeep pickup has a market. It might take a few sales from the GM offerings, but they barely sell anyhow.

I'm a Jeep fan. Owned 2 Jk's. I am not sure this Jeep pickup has a market. It might take a few sales from the GM offerings, but they barely sell anyhow.
Posted by: 2.7EcoBoostRoost | Apr 11, 2018 9:54:35 PM

HA! Right that's why GM's offerings are only 5,000 or 6,000 units behind the taco. Either way GM still sold more midsize trucks then Furd! Jeep will be rocking it in sales like GM, Ford will be fighting with the Honda ridge car for sales when it finally comes out! LMBO!

You almost 18,000 behind right? not 5k or 6k behind the taco.

I think it will hit and fade fast when people realize it's uncomfortable less capable doesn't ride as well and doesn't get the fuel economy of the other mid size trucks.

People that want a Wrangler will buy a Wrangler and those who want a small pickup will look elsewhere IMO.

To the nay sayers...
The new JL Wrangler has demonstrated really impressive fuel economy vs the JK. Much of that will translate to the JT.
Toyota and GM are building all the midsize trucks they can. Even the low volume Ridgeline is selling quickly, based on time-on-lot. Jeep could have sold much more Wrangler product, if they had the capacity. Now they will.
The trail performance of the JT will beat the competition. The ZR2, TRD Pro and Ranger Raptor will beat it in high speed operation, but that is only part of the usage.
Big question will be price. A JLU sport with nothing but a trailer package and hard top (and manual locks and windows)costs as much as a TRD OffRoad Tacoma (with a roster of features). While pickup versions of the same vehicle have historically been a little cheaper, theres nothing that makes them cheaper.

Looks like a Jeep with a bed, boring...

Urban yuppie vehicle it will become like the Honda Ridgeline...

@ Mr Knowitall,

I would rather have a standard Tacoma 4x4 truck than a Jeep with a bed like the Ridgeline.

@oxi- no one was confused as to what you would prefer over this. I will really have to compare the two when this becomes available. How do you figure this has a bed like a Ridgeline? There's no reason to expect it to be integrated into the cab.

@ Mr Knowitall,

It is a regular Jeep with a bed, that be it.

It is not an original concept.

In what world does this JT belong in the same sentence as the Ridgeline?

Sounds like someone is nervous about and maybe even threatened by the JT

@Oxi that Ridgeline rides & handles so much nicer on the road than a Tacoma. The road is where most trucks spend 99% of the time. Whenever I see Tacoma drivers they just look so uncomfortable. As Honda said why treat your passengers like cargo.

@oxi--I doubt if Jeep is interested in anything you have to say since you would never own anything except a Toyota. There are enough Jeep loyalist out there that this will sell enough to be profitable. Jeep doesn't have to be among the top sellers to be profitable. I would never buy a Jeep truck but I understand why this will sell and be profitable. The problem with being too much of a fan boy is that others on this site will not take you serious and discount what ever you say due to you being a fan boy.

Looks like massive censorship on here again!

1984 has arrived!

Pretty cool......I hope they make a 2 door version !!!!

A HEMI in it would be wicked !!! But the new Turbo engine they have and the V6 will be good !

@oxi Honda Ridgeline is not targeted to yuppies totally wrong on this. While anybody can buy what they want the Ridgeline is targeted for more grey headed person the 1st Generation owners probably more people in their 40s- 50s-60s.
I think Honda thinks 2nd Generation would still fall into this range. Tacoma is clearly targeted for 30s age range however 20s-40s 50s age do buy it. When I see Ridgeline the driver is most times clearly 40s to 60yrs of age.

Honda Ridgeline is targeted to yuppies totally

@papajim you are wrong read the article from Bloomberg Ridgeline is The Pickup Truck For Grownups. There are other articles also that say about the same and Ridgeline Owners Club Owners I have met just being a tiny small sample still points this out. Everybody I have seen still fits the age group 40s-60swith some 70s and sure some 30s.

Not sure why we're even talking about the Ridgeline here, but Ridgeline Owner 2007 is right- there's nothing about the ridgeline that makes it "cool" or even aspirational to young buyers. It is, however, extremely competent at what most private use truck buyers ask of their trucks- drive down the road, in any weather, while carrying 1-5 people, and when needed, haul something stinky (gas cans, trash) or dirty. It does these things exceedingly comfortably, efficiently and reliably. The same people who would pick a Ford Flex (simply superior in almost every measurable way) over an Explorer are the ones who might choose a Ridgeline.

Not sure why we're even talking about the Ridgeline here, but Ridgeline Owner 2007 is right- there's nothing about the ridgeline that makes it "cool" or even aspirational to young buyers. It is, however, extremely competent at what most private use truck buyers ask of their trucks- drive down the road, in any weather, while carrying 1-5 people, and when needed, haul something stinky (gas cans, trash) or dirty. It does these things exceedingly comfortably, efficiently and reliably. The same people who would pick a Ford Flex (simply superior in almost every measurable way) over an Explorer are the ones who might choose a Ridgeline.

would pick a Ford Flex...Posted by: Mr Knowitall | Apr 16, 2018

@Mr K

The sales figures for the Flex are crap! Ditto the Ridgeline. What's your point?

Papajim, the Flex is an awesome vehicle. I've owned two and with the 3.5 ecoboost it can really scoot.

Not many people buy them for various reasons, one Ford didn't spend any advertising $$ on them, but more importantly two - They don't look like every other SUV/CUV on the road and they don't appeal visually to most people. They are incredibly practical and perform very well at everything they are designed for, but people can't get past the exterior. They would rather buy the far less usable Explorer if they are shopping Ford.

The Ridgeline is a very practical and capable less-than-fullsize truck. It just doesn't have the appearance or image that attract buyers. And they don't have any loyalty in the truck market yet, at least not compared to the others who have been making trucks for decades, practically a century if you want to count the Model TT

I chose the Flex because I like the unusual styling. The Ridgline doesn't appeal to me no matter how good it performs. And that is why the market has variety

The failure of the Ford Flex is an interesting story.

Its an EXCELLENT vehicle.

A Volvo/Ford 500 based platform (excellent bones), AWD, mated with the 3.5 EB for insane power with TONS of space and an excellent interior.

The complaint about it is always "its boxy"... But honestly if you step back and look and think its no more so than most full size truck based SUVs. The issue is it doesn't ride HIGH and that's what so many people want for no real good reason as its largely detrimental to ones pocketbook. The Flex is effectively a lowered full size SUV that cannot tow but can RUN.

As far as marketing. The first big miss step was the name. In keeping with some stupid F prefix naming thing Ford selected "Flex" instead of reviving "Galaxy" which was used for the vehicle when it was in concept. The 2nd is marketing. There was very little overall and fizzled quickly when the public disapproved of a lowered, non towing, full size Crossover.

Its sad as its a GREAT family vehicle but it wasn't meant to be.

HA! Right that's why GM's offerings are only 5,000 or 6,000 units behind the taco. Either way GM still sold more midsize trucks then Furd! Jeep will be rocking it in sales like GM, Ford will be fighting with the Honda ridge car for sales when it finally comes out! LMBO!

Posted by: johnny doe | Apr 12, 2018 12:50:11 AM

You are dumb, no doubt. But you seriously have to know that the Ranger will sell more than the GM twins combined. Probably nipping at Toyota for #1 in sales. I don't see this Jeep truck selling well. We'll see.

It will all come down to economy, and I don't just mean gas mileage. If anyone at FCA reads this, don't focus on hyping it up as the ultimate off road machine. Don't cater to the $50k club. Jeeps gained popularity because they were simple, rugged, and affordable. Forget rock crawling for a minute, and go back to your roots. Show a hunter splashing down a muddy access road to get to his tree stand. Show 4 guys pulling up to a jobsite with a bed full of tools. Show it driving through a pasture with hay bales stacked above the cab. A Jeep should be like a good pair of work boots, a tool, not a fashion statement.
And above all, KEEP THE PRICE DOWN!! I see TONS of new Colorados on the road. If you can match that performance at 3/4 the price, you won't be able to build them fast enough.

@Luke- sadly, I can't see any scenario where these would be priced any less than the 4Door Wrangler JLU. ONe of those with nothing more than the basic stuff the Colorado has (auto trans, power windows/locks and a roof) will set you back $38.5k (with destination charges). That'll buy a Z71 Crew Cab 4x4 Colorado at your friendly Chevy store.

I don't think a four door witn an little box on back is truck! A 6 foot bed is truck a pickup please.



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