Mil-spec Jeep Gladiator places pickup versatility on active duty
It took all of about four seconds from seeing the Jeep Gladiator for the first time to gazing off into the distance as we imagined the many ways we could put that special combination of off-road capability and pickup utility to use. Bike shuttle, backcountry ski lift, dog pack transporter, Outback tiny home on wheels and plenty more sprung to mind. The light tactical vehicle experts at AM General had a similar experience, only their visions were of the Gladiator whisking troops from place to place, muling supplies and otherwise supporting military operations. Our daydreams haven't yet come to fruition (although we did enjoy the Gladiator thoroughly), but the Indiana company's ideas have spawned the new Gladiator XMT concept, a versatile tactical Jeep that's even more capable of rough, rowdy off-road missions than a stock Rubicon.
It's not really a surprise that the Gladiator would reunite Jeep and AM General, whose histories are forever intertwined. The latest four-wheeler to wear the seven-slat grille, the Gladiator offers that enticing, one-of-a-kind blend of Wrangler-level capability and pickup versatility.
AM General makes clear that it's added a bunch of custom and off-the-shelf military-grade parts to up the Gladiator's already impressive off-road handling and "provide its end users with the appropriate equipment for tactical communications and service." As to what that upgrade package includes beyond what the eye can plainly see, we can only guess – top secret, "clearance denied"-type stuff, we suppose.
What we can see: The XMT (for (E)Xtreme Military-Grade Truck!) stands on a big ol' set of toothy tires, is damn-near ready to smash through enemy structures with a stout grille guard and has plenty of communications capabilities with its towering antennae. It also enjoys a breezy topless design with tube doors and packs a winch embedded in its bumper. Those huge tires and the lack of street bumpers should also mean a healthy bump in approach, departure and break-over angles.
While the XMT concept truck being shown at this week's Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Association of the U.S. Army is straightforward enough to look like a SEMA show truck, AM General says it could easily outfit the XMT for mission-specific requirements, anything from carrying personnel to roaming the field as a mobile command center.
If the Gladiator XMT gets the type of reception from military brass that AM General and Jeep hope, production could start in the second half of 2020. It would be available with gas and diesel engines.
Source: Jeep/AM General