This Wrangler, upgraded by respected off-road brand American Expedition Vehicles and sold here through equally experienced UK 4x4 specialists Nene Overland, looks like just the ticket. Wranglers are vaguely sensibly sized for UK roads, this one is right-hand drive, it’s considerably cheaper than a Raptor (all things relative – it’s still £60K plus VAT) and most of all it looks absolutely amazing.
The machismo rating is off the scale too – it’s called a Brute for crying out loud. And the colour? Not just green. Anvil Green. Saying all that it’s actually rather classy, all things relative. It’s relatively easy to lift a 4x4 and put fat tyres on it to get the look. But just from the pictures you can see the AEV modifications are fit for purpose, not just aesthetics. Running a 3.5-inch lift and 35-inch tyres it’s got some serious off-road swagger, underpinned by AEV bumpers and side protection bars. It looks serious but not over the top, Nene Overland head man Andrew Harrison-Smith explaining AEV is among few in the conversion business understanding how to make cars like this handle as well on the road as they do off it.
So it’s a bit silly. But I don’t think it’s too silly, and that’s an important distinction. Were you so inclined, you could drive this around Knightsbridge and probably win the hearts and minds of the kerbside phone camera brigade. But, unlike others of its type, equally, you could turn up to an off-road centre and not be laughed off the premises before dipping a tyre in the mud. Serious fun, I’d like to think. With seating for all the family, a tailgate to sling the bikes over and a restrained sense of menace I think this would be the absolute business. My kind of lifestyle vehicle!
Photography courtesy of Pistonheads and Neneoverland