American Expedition Vehicles

For North America, we are already hamstrung by limited options; solid axle Defenders, Land Cruisers and Patrols all painfully absent. This opinion is not “which is the best overland vehicle in the world” (or even to drive around the world), but the ultimate new 4WD available in the USA, one that provides the best overall performance and attributes for backcountry adventure travel. After considerable research and years of extensive testing, we believe the ultimate new overland 4WD available in the USA is the AEV Brute Double Cab. I am not a “Jeep guy”, but this truck is without question the most exceptional travel/adventure 4WD I have tested in North America.

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Always looking to put its latest wares to the test, the crew from AEV invited a few of its associates from Canada, Germany, Japan, and South Africa, to join them on the R&D adventure.

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FoxNews: While it may be a few more years before Jeep gets around to building a pickup truck, the folks at Montana's American Expedition Vehicles are happy to oblige today. Their Brute Double Cab is a Wrangler that's been modified with a full-size bed and all of the off-road equipment you need to haul your friends and their stuff to the ends of the earth. Available with a Hemi V8, it may cost about double the price of a stock Wrangler, but it delivers the goods...literally.

The AEV Brute is the product of American Expedition Vehicles, a Michigan-based Wrangler customiser, which swaps out the basic vehicle’s 3.6-litre V6 engine for a 6.4-litre V8 Hemi – virtually doubling the engine displacement. A 61in (1.5 metre) covered pickup flatbed is added, as is a Warn winch, skid plates, a water pump and a number of architectural upgrades.

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We’re not accustomed to seeing all that many Jeep Wrangler Unlimited coachbuilds, but this one from the folks at Filson is downright manly… In short, there’s pretty much everything you’d need to enjoy the ultimate off-the-beaten-path fishing trip. The interior, however, is pure posh manliness.

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Along with the new body style, the Brute gets a laundry list of off-road upgrades from AEV, including a suspension lift kit, skid plate, auxiliary lighting, winch, heat reduction hood and 35-inch tires.

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People want this thing. When I drove it, I saw why… What sets the Brute Cab apart is its suspension.

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It didn't take long to be thankful that AEV created huge approach and departure angles in this vehicle, especially when crawling over and around the boulders and rock shelves.

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The Brute Double Cab is a completely different animal. With a long, 139-inch wheelbase, the Brute Double Cab adds 23-inches to the Wrangler Unlimited’s frame (in front of the rear axle). This creates, not only enough space for a double cab and bed, but enough space to mount a spare tire under the 61-inch bed.

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