This 4×4 Isn’t a Jeep, So What Is It?

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The South Korean-made Rocsta 4×4 may look like a Jeep, but the similarities stop there.

Copies of American-designed cars have happened for decades, most of which look like the original if the original was described to someone over the phone. The Asia Motors Corporation’s Rocsta off-roader appears to be a very high-resolution copy of the Jeep Wrangler. But despite the similarities, these two are seemingly unrelated.

The Asia Rocsta was, like the Jeep, an adaptation of the South Korean Army’s 4×4 off-road vehicle. Production lasted from the mid-80s into the 90s. Power came from either a 1.8-liter gasoline or diesel 2.2-liter 4 cylinder engine, both of which were sourced from Mazda. There were two models, the standard model seen above, and the boxier R2.

Standard and R2 models differed in appearance significantly, with the R2 not looking as Jeep-like. Sales of the Asia Rocsta expanded beyond its home country and were offered in both the UK and Australia.

After some extensive searching, we’ve come up empty-handed regarding any relation between the Rocsta and Jeep, which raises more questions than it answers. Did the Rocsta design and engineering team take the best parts of the Wrangler and use them for their own? Is there some obscure licensing agreement allowing Asia Motors to produce it? We need your help to turn over any remaining un-turned stones.

Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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