Neither of those are safe bets to hit the market anytime soon, but the vehicle that got us thinking about such possibilities is the ubiquitous Jeep Wrangler.
The Wrangler just might be the most famous 4×4 of all time, and the next few years could turn out to be some of the best it has ever seen.
Here’s what’s coming down the road for Wrangler fans.
The Wrangler has spent the vast majority of its life as a 2-door soft top 4×4. That includes the many decades before 1986 when the Willys-Overland/AMC/Jeep CJ roamed the trails and established itself as the king of all off-roaders.
The Wrangler only recently became available with four doors, but now its corporate overlord, FCA, is ready to unleash a full platter of Wrangler derivatives.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) confirmed that the Wrangler will be offered with a diesel engine, a hybrid powertrain and as a pickup truck.
FCA made the announcement during its 2014-2018 business plan update, which revised some of the initial plans laid out back in 2014.
The brand has confirmed that the next-generation Jeep Wrangler, which is set to debut in 2017, will feature both next-gen powertrains, mild hybrid technology and a diesel engine option. In around 2022, the Wrangler will adopt a full hybrid system rather than the mild hybrid setup it will get for the 2018 model year.
A hybrid Wrangler is certainly the mark of modern times. I’d wager that FCA is not building one because of consumer demand, but because it needs to come up with ways to meet the government’s average fuel economy requirements.
A diesel Wrangler, on the other hand, is the result of many years of wishing for a high-torque Wrangler oil-burner.
The real excitement, though, is the confirmation that a pickup is on the way.
All we know so far is that the pickup will be built at Jeep’s factory in Toledo, right alongside the new Wrangler. The still-unnamed truck should appear for the 2019 model year. That timing will make the compact pickup market even more competitive because, as we already know, Ford could unleash a Ranger Raptor at about the same time.
That’s a competition that will be worth the wait.
Would you wait until the Wrangler-based truck debuts before buying a compact pickup?