Do you lament the ever-increasing size and complexity of so-called off-roaders? Do you mourn the passing of the flat-fender Jeeps and the old FJ Cruiser? The upcoming ICON CJ3B might be for you. They call it "The Dog."
We got a heads-up on the new model, currently undergoing development at ICON and we gotta say, it looks like a pretty appealing concept. Take all the simplicity and capability of classic Jeeps and Toyotas and combine them with modern engineering and parts into a rugged, simple, knockdown kit you can build with hand tools alone. It will launch set up for power from GM's excellent Ecotec four cylinder and the ICON guys are working on an all-electric version with in-wheel motors for ultra-green wheeling. Ambitious, yes, but at the same time, very cool.
Although its official name is the ICON CJ3B, Icon affectionately calls it "The Dog." Here's what ICON had to say in a quick e-mail to us along with these shots:
So we did not make it to Frankfurt (joke), but we are hard at work on a new ICON model we will release in the fall. We affectionately call it "The Dog" yet it's official name is the ICON CJ3B. As our production ICON FJ's are inspired by the original Toyota Land Cruiser, the new model is inspired by the old Willys flat fendered CJ3B. We designed this one in Solid Works form scratch, with a dedicated coil suspension chassis, production Rubicon axle assemblies, Jeep application AX15 five speed and New Process 231 transfer case. Target weight of 2400 lbs, 260 HP. We will build a dozen or so as full turn key vehicles, thus refining the process to allow for clients to purchase it in "kit form", ala the old Popular Mechanics back page ads of the 1960's. A modern take on the classic, CAD designed, simple fun father and son project, using simple hand tools (no welding). We intend to launch with an Ecotec 4, yet are developing a pure EV variant with four in wheel hub motors and a driver controlled variable crawl ratio for off road versatility.