The biggest news to come from Jeep this year is easily the release of the long-awaited Gladiator pickup truck, so it makes sense it’s the star of the show at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. Each year Jeep brings a handful of working concepts to show off at the off-road gathering — some are too extreme to become a reality, others subtly hint at what Jeep has in the pipeline.
Five of the six 2019 concepts are based on the Gladiator, with one being a restomod military truck. Like in year’s past, peppered throughout the group are some fairly odd additions and options, like an external, flush-mounted fuel can storage and see-through truck bed walls, but the light bars, bed rack and tent are entirely feasible — some are already available. If even a fraction of the more extreme ideas Jeep plans to bring to this year’s Easter Jeep Safari makes it to production, the Gladiator’s desirability factor will skyrocket even more.
Considering how much camping gear Ford is making available for the Ranger, it’d be a smart move for Jeep to push the over-bed rack and tent. As the dedicated overlander, the Wayout seems to be one of the more plausible concepts of the group. Jeep already has a huge following in the adventure lifestyle community, and it’d be wise to lean into that following even more, before the Ranger and new Tacoma TRD get a good foothold in the next year or two.
The Flatbill is easily the loudest concept of the six, in more ways than one. Not only does the Flatbill sport bright neon motocross-inspired graphics, but the truck bed is designed to haul a pair of dirtbikes as well. The tailgate detaches and two wheel ramps slide out for loading and unloading the desert toys.
One of the two vintage-styled concepts, the J6 takes inspiration from ’70s-era Jeeps but is adorned with modern Mopar performance parts. The two-door concept gets a removable hard top, a two-and-a-quarter-inch steel roll bar, 10 five-inch 4,800-lumen LED lights and it all rides on a two-inch lift kit, 37-inch tires and 17-inch beadlock wheels. And, for extra off-road protection, the front bumber and rockrails are reincorced with two-inch steal tubing.
If it wasn’t already obvious, the JT Scrambler is the second heritage-inspired concept of the group. The Scrambler pulls its looks from the ’80s-era CJ8 with “Punk’N Metallic Orange and Nacho body-side stripes” on a white body and accented with a tan hard top. The JT scrambler also gets a two-inch lift kit, 17-inch wheels wrapped in 37-inch rubber and a Mopar cold air intake and cat-back exhaust to help move 3.6-liter V6 move everything along. And, if the 4,800-lumen LEDs weren’t enough, the JT Scrambler gets a pair of seven-inch 8,000-lumen LEDs on the front bumper to light the trail.
The Gladiator Gravity is a little more niche than the other concepts in its focus, but most of what you see on it is ready to order. Aimed at the rock climbing community, th Gravity concept sports Mopar cross rails over the bed, a cargo carrier basket for gear storage and a Mopar/Decked truck bed storage system for lockable cargo space underneath with dual sliding drawers.
Jeep started with a 1968 M-715, this Gladiator-based military vehicle and went to town upgrading everything from the chassis and drivetrain to the storage capability. Jeep reinforced the original frame, replaced the out-dated leaf springs with a modern link/coil setup and replaced the old axels with aDynatrac Pro-rock 60 in the front and a Dynatrac Pro-rock 80 axle in the rear. It all sits on 20-inch beadlock wheels and unapologetically massive 40-inch tires. Best of all, the Five-Quarter gets its power from 707 horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 from the Hellcat.