Jeep hasn’t offered a pickup in the United States since the Cherokee-based Comanche went out of production in 1992 but that product drought is finally coming to an end.
Set arrive at dealerships early next year, the 2019 Jeep Scrambler will become the spiritual successor the CJ-8 Scrambler which went out of production in 1986. While sales of that particular model were relatively limited, Jeep has high hopes for the new truck as Wranglers are currently flying off dealer lots.
Recently spotted by Carscoops reader Brett Borgard (again!), this latest batch of Scrambler photos reveals two heavily camouflaged prototypes while their drivers were making a pit stop at a gas station in Colorado. Despite the disguise, there’s no hiding the fact that the Scrambler will be heavily based on (and influenced by) the new Wrangler.
While the two models are similar, the truck features a shortened cab and a unique hardtop. Of course, the biggest differences occur out back as the Scrambler has been equipped with a relatively short rear bed and a model-specific rear bumper. We can also see the spare tire is mounted underneath the bed instead of its usual location on the tailgate.
Recent reports suggest that the upcoming Jeep Scrambler will borrow the rear suspension from the RAM 1500, so it’s more than likely that the differences between Jeep’s pickup truck and the Wrangler JL will expand to more areas other than the bed.
Having a proper pickup-derived rear suspension means that the Scrambler will offer a bigger towing capacity and payload than the Wrangler. It’s what pickup trucks are made for in the first place. The chassis will also feature beefier axles. Other sources say that the Scrambler will be offered only with a four-door bodystyle at launch, so those waiting for a two-door version (and a longer bed) will have to wait more.
Engine options will carryover from the Wrangler and this means the base model should be powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine developing 285 hp (212 kW / 289 PS) and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque. Buyers looking for something more eco-friendly should be able to order an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 270 hp (201 kW / 273 PS) and 295 lb-ft (399 Nm) of torque. The latter engine enables the five-door Wrangler to return an extra 2 mpg combined and the Scrambler should also post similar numbers.
Finally, we can expect a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 with 260 hp (193 kW / 263 PS) and 442 lb-ft (598 Nm) of torque. This particular engine will allow the Scrambler to compete with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon which both offer an optional 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine producing 186 hp (135 kW / 188 PS) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque.
Production is expected to begin in early 2019, with sales to start a few months later. Given Jeep’s timetable, that means we’re going to see the new Scrambler getting revealed either by the end of this year or early next year.
The article was updated with additional photos and reporting, the latter by Michael Karkafiris