Michigan Auto Supplier to Reveal Long-Wheelbase Stretch Jeep Wrangler at 2012 SEMA Show

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Tier 1 Automotive supplier Quality Metalcraft, Inc. will reveal a 6-seat, 23-inch stretch concept vehicle at the 2012 trade show for the Specialty Equipment Manufacturing Association (SEMA).

A Jeep Wrangler JK with a third row of seating?

Yes! Livonia, Michigan-based Tier 1 automotive supplier Quality Metalcraft, Inc. (QMC) is producing a first-ever long-wheelbase Jeep Wrangler. QMC will reveal the truck at the 2012 SEMA show in Las Vegas this November.

The JK 6-Pack Concept vehicle adds a 23-inch stretch to the current Jeep Wrangler JK wheelbase, leaving room for a third row. “Besides creating a cool-looking Jeep that seats six people comfortably, we’re doing this to highlight the capability and expertise of QMC in body-in-white manufacturing and integration,” said Michael Chetcuti, CEO of QMC.

To build the JK 6-Pack, QMC’s body-in-white engineering staff has married the front-half of a 4-door JK with the rear half of a 2-door JK on a lengthened chassis. The chassis, designed and developed by legendary Jeep aftermarket supplier American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) for their Brute Double Cab overland pickup, is completely feasible and is now in production.

“We’ve created a long-wheelbase JK with three rows of seating, two captains chairs in each of the first two rows and a third-row bench. Hence, we’re calling it the JK 6-Pack,” Chetcuti said.

The vehicle is from standard Jeep components and features an AEV 4.5-inch lift with Savegre 17-inch wheels. Other accessories, all from AEV, include front and rear bumpers, heat-extractor hood, fuel-cell integrated gas can, roof rack, and front and rear corner guards.

In addition, the waxed cotton and canvas interior fabric is from Filson, maker of high-end outdoor apparel and luggage. Since 1897, Filson has established itself among outdoor sportsmen as an iconic brand known for solid quality and rugged durability—much like Jeep.

While QMC has no plans to build the long-wheelbase JK as a limited-production vehicle, Chetcuti is not ruling it out. “This is a further exploration into our emphasis on flexible manufacturing,” he said.

“We are combining existing body-in-white components, augmenting some others, and adding a few new pieces to show that we can create a derivative vehicle with extremely low investment in tooling.”

The JK 6-Pack Concept will appear at the outdoor Feature Vehicle Space during SEMA, Oct 30 to Nov 2, 2012. The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world.

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DAVE COLLINS
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