Some of you may remember a fun little vehicle built from 1985 to 1992, known as the Jeep Comanche. Essentially it was a pickup version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a few were actually available with a small diesel engine.
A couple years back, Jeep introduced a new SUV known as the Jeep Renegade. In the same fashion as they did before, Jeep has created a pickup truck version of the Renegade – well at least a concept version for now. This video just hit the web as the 2016 Easter Jeep Safari is currently taking place in Moab, Utah. Many complaints we hear about the trucks which house diesel engines, from those who don’t currently own one, is that they are too big. Obviously they are comparing said truck to whatever vehicle they currently drive, but nonetheless perception is powerful.
With trucks like the Toyota Tacoma continuing to grow in size, we think there is definitely a desire for a true small pickup, or “mini truck” in the market. Moreover, should this vehicle be offered with the diesel engine shown in the video, we think it could help in bringing more of the public into the diesel world. Additionally, a vehicle that is small enough to be used recreationally like a Jeep, which can also function as a pickup for any utility purposes is a pretty neat idea.
This concept truck is featuring a five-foot bed, and in order to achieve that, the Jeep Renegade’s wheelbase was stretched six inches. The Comanche is also sitting about two inches higher than the Renegade, and is running 16-inch blacked out wheels wrapped in 32-inch BFGoodrich All Terrain tires. Compared against the the Renegade, changes to the Comanche also include: new front fascia, a winch, rock rails, steel rear bumper, a bed-mounted spare tire, doorsill guards, a soft top, and other custom interior appointments such as the custom seat and pedal covers.
We happen to love this color, named “Beige Against the Machine”, a clever spin off of the rock band “Rage Against The Machine” – rather cleaver. That being said, we would be quite torn between this sweet looking beige and an army green version. The truck is powered by a 2.0-liter diesel engine, and mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, both of which are Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) products. The current FCA 2.0-liter diesel is a dual overhead cam design with four valves per cylinder. It features a common-rail fuel injection system, solenoid fuel injectors, and a variable geometry turbocharger. It can produce 170 hp at 3,750 rpm and 258 lb-ft at 1,500 rpm, a 140 hp version is also currently available in FCA vehicles which is solely mated to manual gearboxes.
It is hard to know for sure if these vehicles will ever be produced, more often than not concept vehicles are completely abandoned, or the street going version is a much less cool, watered down version of the original concept. This vehicle on the other hand does not seem outlandish, and we think it would be a cool addition to the line of diesel vehicles available in the U.S.