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The Tailgate

New Jeep Comanche is a small hauler

renegade-comanche.jpg

 (Jeep)

In the movie business, they call this fan service.

Jeep has created a small, diesel, convertible pickup that looks tailor made to send brand loyalists into a frenzy.

Unlike the original Cherokee-based truck, the new Jeep Comanche is a Renegade subcompact SUV that’s had its top chopped and its wheelbase extended by six inches to accommodate a very military-industrial looking five-foot-long pickup bed.

Its soft top design hearkens back to the ones use by the WWII-era Willys MB, but its all-wheel-drivetrain features a very modern 9-speed automatic transmission and 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine that’s currently available in the Italian-made Renegade in foreign markets.

A bed-mounted spare tire, rock rails, steel bumpers, winch and two-inch lift help add toughness to the little truck.

Unfortunately, even though Jeep is planning to add a Wrangler-based pickup to the lineup in a couple of years, the Comanche is merely one of the dream machines it built for this year’s annual Easter Jeep Safari festival in Moab, Utah.

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