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Car and Driver: Comanche Lives Again: Jeep Turns the Renegade Into a Diesel-Powered Trucklet for Easter Safari


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Comanche

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The Jeep Renegade is no Cherokee XJ, but Jeep is nonetheless leveraging its newest cute-ute to re-create the Cherokee-based Comanche pickup you might remember from the 1980s and ’90s. Although not as wild as some of this year’s other Easter Jeep Safari conceptual creations like the Hellcat-powered Wrangler Trailcat, the new Comanche concept is a nifty little diesel-powered trucklet that still piques our interest.

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Grafting the Comanche’s five-foot bed onto the crossover is a bit more involved than your typical hack job, as Jeep engineers stretched the wheelbase six inches compared with the standard Renegade. A Wrangler-style softtop also replaces the hardtop, giving us visions of the bizarre Dodge Dakota pickup convertible made between 1989 and 1991.

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The Comanche concept is outfitted for off-road duty with a two-inch lift kit, a winch, rock rails, and 32-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tires. Visual tweaks include a different front fascia, a black hood, a steel rear bumper, and a military-inspired exterior paint color cheekily named “Beige Against the Machine,” while Mopar accessories like seat covers and all-weather floor mats adorn the interior.

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Sadly, you won’t find a 4.0-liter inline-six under the hood. Instead, Jeep slotted in the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder that’s offered in European-spec versions of the Renegade. It mates with a nine-speed automatic transmission, and the four-wheel-drive system offers both a low range and a locking rear differential—you won’t find the latter on the production-spec Renegade Trailhawk.

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Speaking of production, don’t expect anything like this Comanche concept to ever reach Jeep showrooms. To get your Jeep pickup-truck fix, you’ll have to wait until the next-generation Wrangler, which will spawn a pickup variant starting in 2017.

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