As part of a larger group of automotive publications, TTAC has access to a variety of content from a handful of other sites, and we wanted to bring you some of the unique content that we think lives up to TTAC’s standards and offers legitimate insight or a properly critical viewpoint to car evaluation. This story, by Off-Road.com’s managing editor, Stephen Elmer, showcases the upcoming 2018 Jeep Wrangler and its pickup sibling.
A new set of spy photos, exclusive to Off-Road.com, shows us that Jeep is getting the Wrangler JL’s towing dialed in.
In the photos, we can see the two-door JL along with the new Wrangler-based pickup truck, reportedly called the Scrambler, hooked up to different sized enclosed trailers.
Some rear-end squat is visible from the two-door Wrangler, a typical trait of a vehicle with a soft, off-road-ready suspension, much like today’s Wrangler. The Scrambler appears to be sitting flat with the larger twin-axle trailer, though it is using a weight distributing hitch to help it out.
Obviously, there is no way to know what’s inside the trailers, though we can make an educated guess as to their weight. The small Uhaul trailer appears to be a 5×8 Cargo Trailer, which according to Uhaul’s website can only handle a maximum load of 1,800 pounds. As for the big twin axle, it really depends on what the axle ratings are, but it’s probably rated around 7,000 pounds based on comparable trailers.
The current short wheelbase Wrangler tops out at 2,000 pounds of maximum towing while the Wrangler Unlimited can handle up to 3,500 pounds. Thanks to weight savings and more power, the new Wrangler JL should be able to boost those numbers at least a little bit.
As for the Scrambler pickup, it makes sense that Jeep would be targeting a tow rating around 7,000 pounds to make it competitive with the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado, which can tow a maximum of 6,800 pounds and 7,700 pounds respectively when properly equipped.
Other notable traits from the photos include Falken Wildpeak tires on the truck, though the tires on the two-door appear to be different and less aggressive.
The photos were taken on Arizona State Route 68 near Kingman, Arizona, a piece of asphalt that comprises a 3,500-foot rise in just 11.4 miles. The Davis Dam test, as it’s known, is a part of the SAE J2807 tow rating standard. All trucks and vehicles that intend to use the standard have to test on this stretch of road, so it looks like Jeep is going to make sure all of its numbers are J2807 tested.
We also can’t be sure which engines are powering these testers. Right now, it is believed that three engines will be offered in the Wrangler JL, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a new version of the 3.6-liter V6 and a 3.0-liter diesel.
The all-new Wrangler JL will be debuting at the LA Auto Show at the end of November.
A version of this story originally appeared on Off-Road.com.