Vital Stats

3.6L V6
285 HP / 260 LB-FT
5-Speed Auto
Four-Wheel Drive
These are the guys who bring an M777 howitzer to a knife fight. In terms of overall rugged utility, the all-new 2013 Brute Double Cab from American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) is about as overkill as they come, and we can't seem to get enough of the beasts that this company produces. Unlike most aftermarket firms, always striving to lower cost and increase volume (but at the expense of quality), Michigan-based AEV takes pride in its OEM-quality design, engineering, manufacturing and testing. Everything is as good, or better, than the stuff from the factory, and they have been doing it this way for more than 15 years.

Launched at the recent 2012 SEMA show was the 2013 AEV Brute Double Cab. Its debut marked the company's expansion to a four-door Brute on the newer JK platform (drawing inspiration from the Land Rover Defender 130). I recently spent a few hours with the new truck in sunny Southern California, though unfortunately, due to time constraints, I was limited to pavement-only driving impressions.

Driving Notes
  • The vehicles are assembled in a facility in Wixom, Michigan. To build the Brute Double Cab, AEV stretches the chassis of a four-door JK Wrangler by 23 inches and extends the rear frame to accommodate its custom composite honeycomb pickup bed. Overall vehicle length grows by 30 inches, to bring it to 216 inches overall.
  • Unlike AEV's first vehicles, designed to appeal to off-road enthusiasts seeking something different, the Double Cab targets those seeking the same capability but with added interior room and more room for cargo, all with the improved capabilities of the JK platform. It is not meant to replace a traditional pickup, but rather serve the overland market with more utility than a Jeep.
  • My red test vehicle was a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4x4 ($35,090) fitted with AEV's DC350 package – basically the same as the JK350 package, but on the Brute chassis ($39,999). In addition, it was equipped with a snorkel ($534), splash guards ($114), Warn winch ($250), 37-inch tire upgrade ($400), 4.5-inch suspension upgrade ($100), beadlock wheel upgrade ($850) and a rear slider ($311). Figure about $77,650 for its as-tested price.
  • Upon close scrutiny, it appeared that AEV's craftsmanship and materials were top-notch and the fit and finish of the company's assembly work was impeccable. Note the little details like the fresh water storage tank in the rear bumper and the beautifully integrated engine intake snorkel.
  • As expected from a vehicle raised considerably higher than stock, the step-in is a stretch and the driving position is commanding. Despite its high center of gravity, the Double Cab didn't feel tipsy or nervous during maneuvers. Handling is secure, but a wheelbase stretched to 139 inches all but destroys the stock Jeep's turning radius.
  • The 3.6-liter V6, making about 285 horsepower, was mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The added weight from the conversion and oversized tires do slow acceleration. While still perfectly adequate for on-road performance, those wanting more power for deep sand, snow drifts or more challenging conditions should consider AEV's 6.4-liter Hemi conversion.
  • Our spectacular pictures don't do the Double Cab justice – it looks impressive brightly polished, but even better caked in mud. Next time.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      one of the most beautiful Jeeps ever made.
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a great idea but Jeep needs to mass-produce something like this to keep the cost down. $77,000 for a Wrangler-based truck makes zero sense.
      • 1 Year Ago
      This thing is sick! Hopefully Jeep can see the demand for something like this, and considering how they are breaking their own sales records right now, maybe they'd have the budget to develop something low volume like this. Bring the cost down and add a diesel and I'd be a customer!
      • 1 Year Ago
      This thing is awesome.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Evan Green
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of the guys who does the fab work for AEV lives close to me. I see these cars parked on the street in front of his house all the time. They look great in person
      Ron McCord
      • 1 Year Ago
      I still like the older 2 door version of the brute looks more sinister, military and mean.. That is my dream machine
      404 not found
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like it.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Jeep needs to launch a Wrangler Pick up. Maybe a production version of the Gladiator concept.
      EXP Jawa
      • 1 Year Ago
      This thing is all kinds of cool, but I'd still be happy with a Brute-converted fact, I'd prefer it.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Damn, where can I get a $250 Warn winch?
      THE 507
      • 1 Year Ago
      For anyone who'd throw down 77 large on this thing all I can say is that I've got a bridge for you in NYC that's for sale . . . at a reasonable price . . .
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