A Jeep Wrangler pickup just makes sense given that the Wrangler is a true off-road model. If you're out tackling trails and rock crawls in the middle of the desert, you're going to need supplies - big supplies, like gas cans, water jugs, tools, etc ... and a pickup bed is the perfect place to store those supplies. The Brute Double Cab bolts a pickup bed onto a modified four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, becoming the Jeep pickup for the 21st century.
Jeep itself had several pickup models in the past. In recent years, Chrysler has been toying with the idea of a pickup revival. It continues to be noncommittal in terms of a production model, but last year it did release an aftermarket Mopar Wrangler pickup kit. We suspect that if the Mopar JK Independence kit sells well, Chrysler will finally bring a production pickup model back to the Jeep line.
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Of course, Chrysler isn't the only one in town that can transform a Jeep into a pickup. The Brute Double Cab is the work of Jeep Wrangler accessories and conversion specialist American Expedition Vehicles. Unlike Mopar's kit, in which the pickup bed displaces the rear seats, the Brute Double Cab keeps the four-door, five-seat configuration of the JK Wrangler Unlimited, strapping the 61-inch (1.5 m) bed behind the cab. To accommodate the bed, AEV lengthens the chassis by 23 inches (584 cm). That's obviously a big advantage for groups of 3 +, but it also gives you more hauling room when you fold the rear seats flat for more capacity.
While the Brute Double Cab should perform well for any type of off-roading, it was built with an eye toward overlanding trips. It promises more off-road ability than the average truck thanks to its Wrangler base vehicle and more cargo/people-hauling capability than any Wrangler, including the Mopar JK Independence.
AEV will offer the Brute Double Cab as both a complete vehicle and add-on kit. So, if you don't have a donor Wrangler Unlimited, you can just order the whole enchilada in one shot. Of course, that "you" will be limited to current AEV owners and certified AEV dealers when production first begins. AEV plans to open ordering to the public once things get rolling. Currently, there's a growing waiting list.
The conversion specialist hasn't released a price on the kit, but says that production should begin by the end of the year. It is currently fine-tuning the chassis and suspension, and plans to develop a new rear spring to handle the modified weight and wheelbase.
The Brute Double Cab is AEV's second Brute pickup. The original Brute was developed in 2002 and transforms the last-generation TJ-platform Wrangler into a burly, two-door pickup. The original Brute is available as an aftermarket kit for just under US$9,000, which provides a little perspective as to how much the new Brute Double Cab might run.
Source: AEV ConversionsView gallery - 6 images