Not a single Wrangler badge in sight.
American marque Jeep are clearly very, very excited about the 2019 Easter Jeep Safari as well as their all-new Gladiator ute. While it’s been a tradition for some time now for Jeep to bring concept cars to Moab, never before have Jeep brought a lineup of just utes, without a single SUV of any kind in sight.
“The Moab Easter Jeep Safari provides the perfect venue to interact with and gather feedback from our most loyal and passionate customers, the diehard off-road enthusiasts who attend the event each year. This year’s safari will mark the debut of the highly-anticipated Jeep Gladiator on Moab’s scenic & demanding trails. To celebrate, we are showcasing six fun & ultra-capable new ute-based Jeep concept vehicles that are certain to turn heads and delight the crowd.” – Tim Kuniskis, Head of Jeep Brand (North America), Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles
The highlight of the six trucks is the Jeep Five Quarter which, as the name suggests, is a one-and-one-quarter tonne ute, or ‘five quarters.’ It began its life as a 1968 Jeep M-715, which was a military adaptation of the Gladiator. Jeep bought this particular example online, dropped a Hellcrate engine in it, bolted on a vintage 8-71 supercharger, and mated it to a 3-speed auto. This awesome machine then produces 527kW out of the box, which is highly impressive for something made in the late-60s.
The Five Quarter sits on a reinforced version of its original frame, with the leaf springs replaced by a heavy-duty coil suspension system, as well as new Dynatrac Pro-rock axles (60 on the front, and 80 on the rear). 40-inch tyres wrap around 20-inch beadlock alloys that look really bloody sharp. The bodywork in the front is a mix of either fibreglass or carbon-fibre (yes, carbon-fibre), while the bodywork gets a brushed-metal aesthetic. There’s a 6-foot bed in the back with wooden slats, while the cabin features a colourful array of trim and a ‘Hellcrated’ badge to remind you that it’s not to be screwed with.
Next up is the Jeep J6, which may look like a Gladiator missing half the cabin, but it’s actually based on a Wrangler Unlimited. No matter, this thing offers up a 6-foot bed which is notably an entire foot longer than the one on the Gladiator. Just saying.
There’s a stock 3.6-litre V6 behind the nose, but there’s a not-stock 2-inch lift kit, 37-inch tyres wrapped around 17-inch beadlock wheels, front stinger bar, steel-tubing in the rear flatbed, and 10-LED lights dotted around the place. Interestingly, those 17-inch alloys are reportedly much lighter than the standard alloys on the Wrangler Unlimited, so Jeep is looking into maybe offering them as an option for showroom cars.
Behind that is the Jeep Wayout which, like its name suggests, is meant for you to go way out and off the beaten path. As such, the most notable revisions come in the form of the 37-inch wheels with 17-inch painted-steel wheels, as well as the two-man tent sitting atop the roof. With a 2-inch lift-kit, the view up there must be stunning.
According to Jeep, all the addenda seen here is actually already available for purchase from their respective sources. So that’s the 2-inch lift kit, the snorkel, the auxiliary fuel tanks (which are made to integrate neatly into the bodywork of the Gladiator-based concept, as well as a bed-drawer system that allows for lockable, weatherproof storage.
Jeep recognises that some off-road enthusiasts prefer tackling terrain with two-wheels rather than four and so, to that end, they’ve formulated the Jeep Flatbill. The name is a play on, according to Jeep, the manner with which Flatbill fans usually wear their hats. Seriously.
As a Motorcross support ute, the Flatbill features two bikes in the back that might not actually be detachable (this is a joke). It’s definitely a ‘bro-mobile,’ replete with a door jam sticker that reads ‘Don’t bro me if you don’t know me.’ We wouldn’t want to have dinner with someone who has one of these, we think.
But this is still a usable off-road machine, so there are 20-inch off-road alloys (in bronze, which we like alot), wrapped in 40-inch rubbers. There are also upgraded Dynatrack Pro-Rock 60 axles front and rear, sitting together with upgraded shocks to ensure that the Flatbill can go very-nearly anywhere the bikes do.
For a period before the Gladiator’s launch, it was rumoured that Jeep was about to call its new ute the ‘Scrambler.’ Interestingly, Jeep has brought the Scrambler name back and affixed it to the JT Scrambler, a throwback-style model that features ‘Punk’N Metallic Orange and Nacho’ stripes and livery atop a white paint job. There’s a brown roof like a proper 1980s equivalent, and this too features 17-inch wheels and 37-inch tyres accommodated by a 2-inch lift-kit.
While these all seem quite fantastical, Jeep’s provided a concept car that’ll bring it all back down to earth. Dubbed the Gladiator Gravity, this thing is less a concept car and more a showcase project to display all of the Mopar aftermarket parts that Jeep offers for the Gladiator. So you’ll find 17-inch alloys wrapped in more reasonable 35-inch tyres, a cold-air intake, heavy-gauge steel rock rails, and a cat-back exhausts. There are LED lights on the nose and front fenders to ensure you bring illumination to your adventure, as well as tube-frame doors and a cargo-carrier to keep you and your stuff safe.
Once again, Jeep has displayed its love and appreciation for its ardent fans, who have finally been rewarded with an all-new generation of the Wrangler and the all-new Gladiator. We’ve little doubt that great fun will be had during the Easter-weekend Safari which, frankly, we wish we were at.