The new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer were finally revealed in production form this week, but there’s still testing to be done. With deliveries of the new body-on-frame SUVs coming in the second half of 2021, it looks like parent company Stellantis is wrapping up high-altitude runs in Colorado with some familiar test mules.
Said prototypes look nothing like the Wagoneer models we now know, and that’s undoubtedly on purpose. Reports from early last year point out these pickup-bodied testers as potential Ram Dakota mules, but there’s Jeep DNA under the skin. Mainly, these camo-clad vehicles are testing out the Wagoneer’s independent rear suspension.
The photos here were snapped by Facebook user Wil Derby, who posted the images to a local enthusiast group. He’s apparently not alone in seeing such a prototype as other members reported spying similar trucks across the greater Denver area. However, as reported by GM Authority last month, the Dakota project has allegedly been canceled.
It’s unclear if we’ll see Ram enter the midsize pickup segment to compete with Ford’s Ranger and the Chevrolet Colorado, but as of right now, it looks like that’s off the table.
Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET on 03/12/2021: This story previously stated that these prototypes were potential Dakota test mules. However, various sources have confirmed that they are indeed Wagoneer prototypes with pickup bodies. The copy has been edited to reflect, and The Drive regrets the error.