Best of the Best 2013: Speciality Vehicles: Contemporary Off-Road Vehicle: AEV Brute Double Cab

For its latest overland vehicle, the Wixon, Mich.–based American Expedition Vehicles takes the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, a very capable four-door, four-wheel-drive transport, and transforms it into the AEV Brute Double Cab, a go-anywhere pickup truck that seats five passengers comfortably. The Brute evokes the Land Rover 130 of the 1980s—not the more genteel Gladiator pickup concept that Jeep recently unveiled. The 130 was a rough-and-tumble vehicle that was half station wagon and half pickup. It was designed to carry utility-company work crews and their equipment wherever they needed to go.

Similarly, the Brute Double Cab is designed for journeys into the wilderness. It is equipped with AEV’s DualSport suspension system, which enables the Brute to traverse most terrains. Seven gallons of water storage are built into the rear bumper, and a spare tire is located beneath the truck bed, which measures 61 inches long by 60 inches wide. AEV offers engine upgrades that add $21,500 or $29,500 to the base $30,000 conversion cost; that price does not include the $26,000 cost of the stock 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The optional engines are a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that produces 360 hp and 390 ft lbs of torque and a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 that produces 470 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque.

American Expedition Vehicles, 248.926.0256, www.aev-conversions.com