The good people at unearthed some very interesting information about the oft-rumoured resurrection of a small pickup bearing the Jeep name. We had reported as recently as August that a Jeep pickup based on the Gladiator Concept shown at the 2005 Detroit auto show had been axed because of the cost to develop the vehicle on its own unique platform. It turns out that all this while Jeep had been working on another pickup that actually is based on the Wrangler platform, and would therefore be less expensive and easier to produce. Rumored to be called the Scrambler, the truck will be unveiled at the SEMA show next week in Las Vegas with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 underhood, winches front and back, an oversized wheel/tire combo and additional styling tweaks like safari slits on the raised roof. The SEMA show is an apt venue to present the Scrambler, since it's expected that Jeep will also announce that the pickup bed will be made available as a kit for those interested in retrofitting their 1997-2006 Wranglers. The kit would likely cost between $8,000 and $10,000, not including installation, and also require lengthening the Wrangler's frame using parts supplied with the kit. Doesn't sound like a DIY affair for a lazy autumn afternoon, but the prospect of a new compact pickup entering the market is exciting. Through sheer apathy, Ford finds itself offering the only compact pickup with its age-old Ranger, as the competition has all grown in size and power over the years. A new compact pickup from Jeep that's priced right, trail-rated and practically useful could be a big score. Such a vehicle powered by a torquey four-cylinder or light-duty diesel engine could also be extremely popular in these fuel conscious times, as well.
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