2012 Jeep J12: Retro Wrangler Pickup (concept)
The Jeep J-12 concept is essentially an extended version of Mopar’s recently introduced JK-8 pickup conversion kit for the Jeep Wrangler. The rear of the Wrangler Unlimited’s frame was extended 18 inches, allowing the spare tire to be relocated under the bed floor and making the cargo box a full six feet in length. A custom hood and front fender set was created as a nod to aficionados of the beloved Jeep Gladiator series trucks.
Off-road muscle has been improved with the addition of the new Mopar three-inch suspension lift kit, as well as Teraflex sway bars controlling ARB air-locker equipped Dynatrac D-44 and D-60 axle assemblies. Traction is handled through classic 36-inch tires mounted on 16-inch steel wheels.
The cabin of the J-12 concept has been “dressed down” in support of a basic truck theme, with the carpet being replaced by rugged truck bed liner, and the bucket seats re-crafted into a modern version of a bench seat, trimmed in white with a whimsical plaid pattern.
Further highlights include a Mopar fuel-filler door, Mopar slush mats, Tom Woods custom driveshafts and Katzkin seat trim.
As a side note, engineer Bob Sheaves noted two issues that would have to be resolved for street-legal production: the absence of front side marker lamps and suitable head restraints. This is not, by any means, the first vehicle of this type developed by Jeep’s skunkworks, and it may presage some of these elements making it into production either as part of a new car or as an aftermarket kit.
The compass used as a shifter ball was Mark Allen’s idea — he noted that every old Jeep had a compass, so they cut the plastic shift ball and installed it there.
Concept cars are often made so a car’s feel can be evaluated, problems can be foreseen, and reactions of the public can be judged. Some concepts test specific ideas, colors, controls, or materials — either subtle or out of proportion, to hide what’s being tested. Some are created to help designers think “out of the box.” The Challenger, Prowler, PT Cruiser, and Viper were all tested as production-based concepts dressed up to hide the production intent.