Meet the scrambler
Jeep’s first pickup in over 30 years The upcoming Jeep Scrambler pickup could soon be on sale in the UK, according to Jeep UK boss Damien Dally. The Jeep Scrambler is a pickup truck variant of the nextgeneration Wrangler, which is due to go on sale in America in 2018. Jeep Scrambler – sounds familiar? Does the name ring any bells? Jeep enthusiasts will of course know that the ‘Scrambler’ name harks back to the CJ-8 Scrambler (a long wheelbase, pickup version of the CJ7) that was produced between 1981 and 1986. Why is Jeep launching a pickup? Jeep’s parent company, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), has quite a number of issues globally. Sales of Fiat aren’t flattering, while Chrysler’s are falling considerably and the brand could dip below 1% market share in its home market for the first time. However, Jeep itself is performing extremely well. Sales have more than doubled in the past five years and is on track to reach two million sales by 2018. FCA is keen to capitalise on the popularity of the Jeep brand, and is keen to explore new markets – including pickup trucks with the launch of the new Wrangler next year.
Will it be coming to the UK? In the UK, the Wrangler made up just 300 of the Jeep’s 14,090 sales during 2016. It’s mainly sold to lucrative lifestyle and leisure customers, and Jeep’s UK boss has confirmed that he’s giving the Scrambler serious consideration given the high prices that this market is willing to pay. What do we know about the Jeep Scrambler? There is still very little information known about the Scrambler, or the Wrangler on which it is based. Early reports that it would be based on an aluminium chassis to reduce weight have since been dismissed.
In terms of size, we do know that the Jeep Scrambler will be 5,125mm long; around 800mm longer than the four-door Wrangler but about the same length as a standard onetonne pickup. The only engine confirmed so far is VM Motori’s 3litre V6 diesel engine, which already powers fellow FCA Group pickup, the Ram 1500 (producing 240hp/570Nm). When will it arrive? The Jeep Wrangler is still on track to go into production later this year, but the bosses at Jeep have stated that pickup production will be delayed at least two years (until 2019) to get the volume sellers out of the way.
Volkswagen raises the power barrier…again!
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles exhibited two new Amarok models at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in September. The Volkswagen Amarok Aventura Exclusive was one of the two, and will be available from around spring 2018 - boasting greater comfort, more attractive styling and more power than standard models. Increased performance The Amarok Aventura Exclusive has been developed for those with a need for speed. The Amarok’s V6 currently produces up to 224PS/550Nm, which makes it by far the most powerful pickup on general sale, but the engineers at Volkswagen have turned up the heat even more with this model. Generating up to 258PS and around 600Nm, the Aventura Exclusive will reach 62mph in approximately 7.0 seconds from standstill and ensures ample torque for the most strenuous of towing operations. The ‘Turmeric Yellow Metallic’ concept car, with its generous double cab and clear design, boasts several highlights, starting with the highgloss polished 19-inch ‘Milford’ wheels. Interior and exterior style The side sills, styling bar on the cargo box, front protection grille,
exterior mirrors and rear bumper also feature extensive chrome, while bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights add to the car’s sporty appearance. Also on display is the roll cover system – a lockable, waterproof cargo bed cover which will be available for the first time in an aluminium design. The underbody guard also features an aluminium look. On the inside, the concept vehicle boasts sporty accents with black leather, offset with Turmeric Yellow contrast stitching. More widely available features, such as the 14way adjustable ergoComfort seats,
3-spoke multifunction leather steering wheel with shift paddles and the Discover Media navigation system are also standard. Volkswagen Amarok Aventura Exclusive price Volkswagen has yet to disclose the price of the Aventura Exclusive, but expect a significant premium on top of the current Aventura model (listed at £33,317 plus VAT). The Aventura is expected to arrive into Volkswagen’s 72-strong Van Centre network by late spring 2018.
Fiat launches the Fullback cross
Fiat is cranking up the volume with a new flagship trim level for its Fullback pickup. The Fiat Fullback Cross combines the practicality and efficiency of the standard Fullback with greater kerb appeal thanks to its unique styling details. Stand out from the crowd Focusing firmly of the lifestyle sector, the Cross has been developed for those who want to stand out from the crowd. The Italian manufacturer has added quite a lot of extra kit to create this impressive look, including an aerodynamic black sport bar, which gives elegance to its silhouette and underlines its profile. The model's eye-catchingly sporty look is further enhanced by aggressive features such as front grille with black ingots, a satin silver skid plate, rear view mirrors, handles, wheel arches and 17-inch wheels with matte black finish, while the new, innovatively styled side steps are finished in black – which are all unique to the Cross. Generously specced The Cross also inherits a lot of kit from the LX, including Bi-Xenon headlights, LED DRLs, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, rear parking sensors, soft tailgate opening, and leather seats and steering wheel. The front seats are also heated, with electric adjustment on the driver's side. 6
Infotainment is provided by a DAB radio with Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary inputs, which comes with a seven-inch touchscreen display and satellite navigation. Engine and driveline Under the bonnet is the newlydeveloped 2.4-litre engine, which produces up to 180PS and 430Nm. Averaging 40.9mpg, the engine is not only economical but, thanks to a lean NOx trap, achieves the Euro-6 emission standard without the need of AdBlue. There are rear and central locking differentials. The central diff can be locked for a 50/50 front-rear axle split for off-road use. The system also offers the option of low-range gears
and, for the most extreme terrains, mechanical locking of the rear differential. Fiat Fullback Cross price & availability The Fullback Cross has been on sale since September 2017, and is available from both Fiat passenger car and commercial dealerships. Prices start from £26,495 plus VAT for the sixspeed manual, and increase to £27,895 for the five-speed automatic. Business contract hire rates start from £289 plus VAT per month.