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Jeep Wrangler ute set to wear Scrambler badge

The Jeep Gladiator concept from 2005 provided the first hint of the upcoming Wrangler-based pick-up.

Jeep has reportedly chosen a model name of its forthcoming Wrangler ute, with the Scrambler moniker to be resurrected after it was first associated with the Overlander pick-up sold in Australia during the 1980s.

According to JeepScramblerForum, sister site to JLWranglerForums, sources have confirmed the returning Scrambler nameplate for the four-door ute that will be based on the next-generation Wrangler.

This claim follows Jeep’s renewal of the Scrambler trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in March 2015, which was originally filed on May 20, 1981.

Similarly, Jeep parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) registered the Scrambler trademark with Intellectual Property (IP) Australia on November 1, 1983, but its renewal is not due until November 1, 2024. The pick-up has already been locked in for an Aussie debut.

The two-door, long-wheelbase Jeep Overlander – a steel-roof version of CJ-8 built in America from 1981 to 1986 – was sold Down Under, while an optional cosmetic package dubbed ‘Scrambler’ was offered in the its home market. 

At the Detroit motor show in January 2016, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed the then-unnamed pick-up – codenamed JT – would be built “shortly after the launch of the new Wrangler,” which will go on sale by the end of 2017 in North America.

Ute production is allegedly set to kick off in October next year, while overseas markets, like Australia, will have to wait until 2019 for availability.

Powertrain details remain under wraps, but 2.0-litre 'Hurricane' turbocharged four-cylinder and 3.6-litre ‘Pentastar’ atmo V6 petrols, as well as a third-gen 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel unit, are rumoured in different states of tune.

JeepScramblerForum reports that internal leaks show the pick-up will have at least three removable roof options, including black- and body-coloured three-piece hard-tops and a black soft-top.

Furthermore, the Jeep fan forum claims purported CAD files reveal the ute’s 5207mm ladder-frame chassis, which would be about 18 per cent longer than the current-gen Wrangler Unlimited in four-door guise.

Additionally, it appears a heavy-duty Dana 12-bolt rear axle and differential will supersede the JK-series Wrangler’s Dana 44 set-up, likely increasing the pick-up’s payload capacity and tow rating.

Developed for left- and right-hand-drive markets from the outset, the pick-up will go toe-to-toe with Australia’s two best-selling models, the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, as well as other utes.

Expect to see the ute testing Down Under during the latter stages of its development, as Jeep’s local arm continues to ensure its newest model meets local specifications.

FCA Australia head of PR and communications Lucy McLellan said more details about the Wrangler range are expected to be publicly revealed within the next six months.

The local arm is yet to be advised of the pick-up’s model name or when it will roll into Aussie showrooms.

FCA head of Jeep and Ram Mike Manley previously confirmed the new JL-series Wrangler will break cover at the Los Angeles motor show in November, likely providing a preview of the upcoming ute.

The first hint that a Wrangler-based ute was incoming came in 2005 when Jeep uncovered a two-door pick-up concept dubbed Gladiator.

Is Scrambler a good choice of name for the Jeep Wrangler-based ute? Tell us what you think in the comments below.