Custom Search

New Cab

The AEV Brute Double Cab looks like it could have rolled out of the Wrangler factory in Toledo. There’s attention to detail here that’s not present on many of the custom Jeeps we’ve seen at SEMA. Company founder Dave Harriton insists on doing things right; he’s hired Jeep engineers who worked on the JK Wrangler and makes sure that materials and coatings match OEM spec wherever possible. Chrysler seems to trust AEV, too, because it uses the Missoula, Montana–based company as a supplier for some Jeep parts, including certain pieces of the JK8 conversion kit, Jeep’s own Wrangler pickup solution.
But there are a few things AEV can offer that Jeep won’t from the factory, namely a V-8 swap. Using a 2012 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon as the new Brute’s basis, AEV is happy to leave the stock 3.6-liter V-6 in place. Or you can trade up to a Hemi V-8, either the 5.7-liter or SRT’s new 6.4. (Our own John Phillips recently tested an AEV Wrangler Rubicon fitted with the 5.7. He did not find it wanting for power.) This particular show truck was outfitted with just about everything AEV will offer on the Double Cab, including the 6.4-liter Hemi and the W5A580 five-speed automatic that normally backs it up in a Grand Cherokee SRT8.
About the bed: It’s a composite piece—as opposed to the steel box used on AEV’s TJ-based Brute pickup—which Harriton tells us saves about 140 pounds. The stock Wrangler Unlimited chassis needs a couple of modifications before the 61-inch bed (that’s 11 inches longer than the two-door JK8′s) can be installed. There’s a 16-inch extension in the rear, as well as a 23-inch stretch between the wheels. To accommodate the two-door and four-door Wranglers in the factory, Jeep builds separate front and rear frame sections and uses two different midsections. AEV just replaces that middle part with a longer piece, made of the same high-strength steel. The company fabricates a steel bulkhead to go behind the rear seats, as well as a new rear section for the hardtop, which uses the stock front Freedom Top roof panels. The resulting Wrangler measures 216 inches in length. Which is, like, really long.
AEV plans to sell a couple hundred of the Double Cabs per year at a yet-to-be-announced price—AEV’s current conversions range in price from $45K to about $100K, so figure on nearing or cresting triple digits for the new Brute. The Jeep trucks will be assembled in the company’s Wixom, Michigan, facility, and will be available with all of the options currently offered on its other Jeeps, including Dynatrac Dana axles, snorkels, its own stamped-steel front bumper, and full suspension kits.


Post a Comment