2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Adding fuel to the rumormill fire that Jeep is keen to introduce a small pickup based on its ever-popular Wrangler platform is a new report from our reliable friends from PickupTrucks.com that the project has been given the green light. The news comes just after we heard that just such a machine was shown to dealers with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge-style display.

According to PickupTruck.com's sources, the light-duty hauler would debut in 2012 with a design heavily based on the Jeep Gladiator concept from 2005. To get the necessary length, Jeep is said to be utilizing the four-door Wrangler Unlimited chassis with the deletion of the two aft doors and the addition of a short truck bed.

Here's hoping the final design, if it indeed reaches production, retains the external spare wheel and tire. While we're wishing, we'll cast a vote towards a removable hardtop as well. Regardless, this is one of those cases where we feel pretty confident in saying, If you build it, they will come buy.

[Source: PickupTrucks.com]

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