Jeep has a really cruel habit of building concepts that look amazing, are adept at tackling the trail, yet not available for purchase. Jeep showed us four-door Wranglers and Wrangler-based pickups for years before finally bringing them to market, remember?
That’s why we have a love/hate relationship with Easter Jeep Safari, held every year in Moab, Utah. To celebrate the event, Jeep lets its designers loose on at least half a dozen trucks and SUVs to produce off-road concepts. This year’s event is still almost two weeks away, yet Jeep has teased two images to get our imaginations going. Let’s dig in.
One teaser shows a topless white Gladiator lifted on mud-terrain tires and splashed with black and chartreuse graphics. The bed has a light bar (perhaps a future Mopar accessory) and, based on the ghosted image of a front fork and knobby tire, it’s been filled with a dirt bike. The bed also appears to contain a loading ramp. This one seems pretty straight forward, which probably means there’s a Hellcat V-8 under the hood.
The other teaser photo shows just enough of a blue Jeep with a J6 emblem to hint at a regular cab version of the Gladiator. The J8 is heavy-duty military version of the Wrangler with rear leaf spring suspension available in both two and four-door variants, so the J6 designation could mean that it maintains the Gladiator’s coil-spring rear suspension and brings a longer, more utilitarian bed, or it could be completely bonkers and have a tandem rear axle for 6x6 hauling on the trail. You never know with Jeep.
It’s a safe bet that Jeep has something planned for fans of high-speed desert-running, something for overlanders, and at least one Hemi-powered Gladiator ready to show off at Easter Jeep Safari 2019, even if it’s not the one they’ve just teased. The only real question is whether or not any of the concepts are already bound for production.