One-tonne trucks dominate one end of the market, and UTVs are great at the other, but a Shropshire firm feels there’s room in the middle for a Suzuki Jimny based pickup.
Having converted many second-hand Jimnys, Shropshire Quads has moved to working on versions of the popular current-generation model.
Suzuki Jimny Pickup: The Real Deal?
Don’t let the diminutive dimensions of the latest Jimny fool you into thinking it’s not capable; there’s a traditional ladder chassis under that squared-off body, along with rigid axles linked to coil springs, and a proper four-wheel-drive system. There’s even a mud-plugging low-range option and assistive technology such as hill descent control, automatic brake support, and hill hold.
Whilst technically a four-seater, the rear seats are little more than a token gesture, with many commercial buyers simply folding them down and using the capable mini-SUV as a 4×4 van. However, Dave Johnson and his team at Shropshire Quads take that capable base vehicle, get the angle grinders out, and turn it into an adorable pickup.
Suzuki Jimny Pickup: Technical Changes
“We use a proper kit to convert the Suzuki Jimny into a pickup,” explains Johnson. “The kit uses the same principle as we used for the outgoing model Jimny. The conversion begins by cutting the body shell in half using a template, and a metal bulkhead panel is then fixed into place to close off what is now a truck cab. The rear pickup tub fits directly to the chassis. It has a stainless steel mounting frame and base with aluminium sides.”
Side and roof mouldings are bonded to the Jimny to cover any sharp edges and smooth the body so it flows to the rear pickup tub. It’s functional, but the fact that it tidies the vehicle up visually is a happy side effect.
While the pickup tub doesn’t tip, there is a tailgate that folds down, and can even be removed. Underneath you’ll find the original rear bumper, ensuring safety isn’t compromised, and also allowing the rear lights to be used. With a nod to our inclement weather, a heated rear window is also installed.
Suzuki Jimny Pickup: Suspension Upgrade
To ensure the Jimny Pickup can cope with the extra demands placed on it, the suspension is raised by 2.5cm, using progressive springs and Trailmaster shock absorbers. Finally, the chassis is steam cleaned and Waxoyled, and the original wheels refitted with new tyres, either all-terrain or mud-terrain to suit customer requirements.
Some customer’s requirements are more demanding, so Shropshire Quads also offers a heavy-duty conversion. Yes, ‘Suzuki Jimny’ and ‘heavy-duty’ in the same sentence. That’s built with a 7.6cm suspension lift using heavy-duty progressive springs and extended Trailmaster shock absorbers. Of course, such a lift means other parts need dealing with, so there are castor-corrected radius arms with new bushes, extended stainless brake hoses, heavy-duty adjustable Panhard rods, extended bump stops, prop shaft spacer and wider and increased offset wheels.
Suzuki Jimny Pickup: Load and Towing
Whether normal or heavy-duty, the Jimny is left with a surprisingly practical modification. The pickup tub measures 1,175mm long and 1,630mm wide, with a sidewall height of 300mm, and the Jimny’s towing capabilities aren’t affected – it remains capable of towing up to 1,300kg thanks in part to its 1.5-lite, 101hp engine.
If this sounds like the perfect vehicle, then get in touch with Shropshire Quads quickly; the Jimny will be taken off sale in 2021 thanks to its CO2 emissions being high enough to raise Suzuki’s fleet average. Second-hand models are already commanding a premium price over new cars, and that is likely to be exacerbated as the much-loved model disappears.