WITH the imminent release of the JL Jeep Wrangler, and its double-cab pick-up variant in 2018, American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) is calling last drinks on its bespoke JK Brute pick-ups.
AEV’s JK Brute double-cab was first seen back in 2011 following on from single-cab Brutes from the previous TJ Series Wrangler. These special vehicles had all manner of series off-road hardware including V8 Hemi engine conversions, high quality suspension components and AEV’s own bars and protection parts. As such they have commanded high prices yet remain much sought-after vehicles.
These matched components work in harmony with each other, as we found when we drove the 20th Anniversary AEV JK350 recently.
AEV said it expects a high demand of orders for new Brute double-cabs in the coming weeks leading up to March 31, when it will stop taking orders for them. In other words, if you want one, get in now. A right-hand drive JK Brute built by AEV would be a first, as the company has yet to do one.
An AEV Brute double-cab build starts at around US$42,000 over the price of your donor Jeep Wrangler, but accessories such as Hemi engine conversions and specific suspension components soon see the price skyrocket towards the US$100,000 mark and above. Used, low-mileage, ready-to-go Brutes command very high prices, signifying their exclusivity.
Jeep’s own JL pick-up will be a very different vehicle to the AEV Brute, with none of the bespoke vehicle’s unique values. Claimed to be very similar in size and style to the Brute, the as yet unseen Jeep won’t benefit from the same package of quality components and hardware that has made the AEVs so capable and sought after. One thing’s for sure, the Jeep pick-up won’t get a V8 engine and instead will be powered by a choice of V6 petrol and diesel engines, and possibly a turbocharged petrol four-cylinder mill.
The JL Wrangler wagon goes in to production at the end of 2017 with the pick-up to follow in 2018, along with Australian deliveries. We expect AEV will continue to offer its quality parts and packages for the new variants as well as JK models, but will not need to custom-build its own truck.