Jeep Wrangler double cab Ute in dealerships.

Jeep Wrangler double cab Ute in dealerships.

Fiat Chrysler New Zealand is partnering with American Expeditionary Vehicles (AEV), to import a right-hand-drive version of the Wrangler-based Brute pickup to New Zealand.

The first shipment of both Sport and Rubicon versions of the Jeep Wrangler Brute Ute are available in New Zealand Jeep dealerships now.

Montana-based American Expedition Vehicles designed and developed the Brute Ute, but the vehicle’s manufacturing takes place in Detroit to OEM standards.

Based on the four-door Jeep Wrangler, the Brute Ute uses the Wrangler’s chassis and extends it by 59 cms ahead of the rear axle to extend the wheelbase, and another 41 cms in the rails behind the rear axle to reach the rear overhang, providing additional length for the Ute box.

The entire passenger space is retained, providing space for five people sealed with solid steel stamped body panels identical in construction to the original body. The design even keeps the original freedom panels, which are removable for an open-air driving experience.

The Brute’s 153 cms by 155 cms injection moulded, cored composite load compartment is not only stronger than steel but also considerably lighter and non-corrosive.

A skid resistant coating protects the bed’s interior and four integrated tie-down anchors keep cargo securely in place.

There are 25 litres of integrated water storage, built in recovery points, and heavy-duty mandrel bent steel tubing. The rear bumper offers load bed protection for the Brute both on and off the road.

Tucked below the Brute’s load bed is a hidden under mount tyre carrier to securely hold the spare wheel. A hand operated winch allows for easy lowering and removal of the spare wheel when required.

The Jeep Wrangler Brute Ute uses a 209 kW Pentastar V6 engine matched to a five-speed automatic gearbox for both the Sport and Rubicon variants.

The Sport has the Command-Trac four-wheel drive system with a shift on the fly low range part-time four-wheel drive with a 2.72:1 low range ratio.

The Rubicon has the Rock-Trac four-wheel drive system with a 4.0:1 low range ratio.

The Rubicon also has a Dana 44 heavy duty front axle, the extra low range gearbox ratio, Tru-Lok front and rear electric locking differentials, body protecting Rock Rails, an electronically disconnectable front anti-roll bar for extra axle articulation and automatic headlights.

The Jeep Wrangler Brute Ute Sport has an RRP of $114,990 excluding dealer delivery and on-road costs while the Rubicon version has an RRP of $124,990 excluding dealer costs and delivery. Both have a three year/100,000 km warranty.

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