Is there a market for a Jeep off-road van? Would you buy one? We’ve seen off-road vans made from their pickup siblings for years. But now a Jeep Wrangler van called the “Vangler” is popping up on social media designed by Samir Sadikhov. It’s intriguing, and raises the question: is a Jeep Wrangler van the next Big thing? Would you buy a Vangler?
Would a van version of the Wrangler be the next Big Thing?
Just today the head of Stellantis, the newly-formed merger of Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA, expressed his desire to expand Jeep’s range. Obviously, Stellantis is looking to expand in Europe. Would a van version of the Wrangler be a viable niche there?
Jeep did make a van back in the late-1950s based on its Forward Control platform. But this was back when creating the tooling and added complexity of another model didn’t cost billions of dollars. Production ended in 1964.
The Vangler would be made mostly from existing Wrangler pieces
Something like the Vangler would be made mostly from existing Wrangler pieces. Looking almost modular-like, it would use the complete back-half of a four-door Wrangler and entire floor stamping. With the front door being symmetrical only one stamping would be required. Then, a secondary process would punch in hinge mounts and door handle holes to make them either left or right.
Even the front quarters could use standard Wrangler front door stampings with a secondary stamping to eliminate the bottom half. Obviously, the stamped grille is straight off of the existing Wrangler. Tooling would need to be created for the cowl and windshield area.
Would there be a business case for it? We know that Overlanding is huge at the moment. Just imagine the accessories Jeep could market to modify a Vangler into a cool camper? And for those concerned about front end collisions, a variety of overriders for the front bumper that extends protection above the bumper could be offered.
The Vangler would be configured just like vans from the 1970s and 1980s
Inside the van would be configured just like vans from the 1970s and 1980s. Those from Ford, Dodge, and Chevy, all used standard pickup chassis. The engine was housed in a box between the front seats. If it was deemed necessary for the engine to be set back, tooling would need to be modified to the existing Wrangler frame.
Being a body-on-frame configuration, the Vangler would be an easier proposition than if it were like the unibody Grand Cherokee. How about it Jeep? Would an entirely new model made from mostly existing components should be tempting to at least investigate. Would Jeep do something like this?
Probably not. But we’ve seen stranger offshoots over the years like the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet convertible and Chevy HHR delivery vans. The likelihood of a Jeep Vangler seems remote at best. Still, we can revel in the Sadikhov renderings and consider the possibilities if Jeep actually did pop for making this curious van.