Jeep Builds Custom Two-Door Gladiator and More for 2019 Easter Jeep Safari

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Cars.com photos by Aaron Bragman

By Aaron Bragman

Every year, the off-road wizards at Jeep create a bevy of specialty concepts for the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, a multiday off-roading event for enthusiasts hosted by a Moab four-wheel-drive club. This year, the Jeep folks get to play with something totally new: a fully trail-rated factory Jeep pickup truck, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. And play with it they did, as every one of this year's six EJS concepts is based off of the new Gladiator — and they are every bit as fantastic as the concepts from previous years.

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Jeep J6: The Two-Door Gladiator Everyone Wants

 

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The most common question I've gotten since reviewing the 2020 Gladiator has been, "Is Jeep going to do a two-door?" The answer is no ... but then have a look at the J6 concept. Inspired by the 1978 Jeep Honcho, the J6 sits on a custom Wrangler four-door frame with a modified Gladiator cabin, unique Brilliant Blue Metallic paint and a bed that's been stretched 12 inches to a full 6 feet long. The overall length is 201 inches, while the wheelbase is 118.4 inches. It features accessories from Mopar's Jeep Performance Parts line, including LED lights, a 2-inch lift kit, a cold-air intake and some prototype parts like the 17-inch bead-lock wheels shod in 37-inch tires, classic Jeep badging and the bed's roll bar. Jeep designers would love to make a production version of this truck, but they're concerned that the volume just wouldn't be high enough to justify the cost of development and tooling. If you feel otherwise, let 'em know.

Related: 2020 Jeep Gladiator First Drive: Yes, Maximus, We Are Entertained

Jeep Flatbill: For the MotoX Crowd

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The Flatbill concept is made specifically for fans of desert motocross racing, designed to haul dirt bikes in a custom bed that replaces the tailgate with custom wheel ramps and bodywork designed to improve its desert-romping abilities. It features a 4-inch lift kit, Dynatrac ProRock 60-series front and rear axles, and large rear bypass shocks. Twenty-inch wheels are shod with massive 40-inch tires, which Jeep says are the first ever fitted to a Gladiator, while the interior has been painted in a bright bedliner spray. Under the hood is something fun — no, not the powertrain, but the "burrito warmer" that's been installed, along with some serious shade aimed toward a certain best-selling Toyota mid-size truck. So, why is it called Flatbill? Ask your favorite motocross fan how they wear their hat.

Jeep Wayout: Because You Don't Want to Be Eaten by Bears

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At the other end of the Gladiator customer spectrum, you'll find the overlanders — people who trick out their off-road rigs and disappear into the wilderness for days or weeks at a time. The Wayout is for them. Starting with a new Gladiator painted in Gator Green (a color soon to enter production), it's equipped with a custom bed rack with integrated ladder that carries a two-person rooftop tent and a massive 270-degree collapsible awning. Two custom-fit auxiliary fuel cans are integrated into the bedsides, while an ARB onboard air compressor and body-mounted quick-disconnect hose fitting allow airing up or down of tires. A JPP 2-inch lift kit is fitted, as are 17-inch steel wheels with 37-inch mud-terrain tires. Up front, a 12,000-pound Warn winch in the bumper and a JPP snorkel should help the Wayout find a way through. The bed has a Mopar/Decked bed drawer system for secure dry storage, while the interior has bedlined floors and brown leather seats with laser-etched topographical map patterns.

Jeep JT Scrambler: The Nostalgia Trip

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In 1982, the Jeep Scrambler was based on the CJ8 and featured distinctive colors and graphics. Jeep brought the look back by customizing a new white 2020 Gladiator Rubicon with Punk'N Metallic Orange and Nacho body stripes and hood graphics, a tan hardtop and painted wheels done in a gold-orange color that Joe Dehner, head of Ram and Mopar Design, called "gornge." Mopar and JPP parts were then added, including LED lights on the custom roll bar, the A-pillar brackets and the brush guard. The requisite 2-inch lift kit was installed, as were the 17-inch wheels on 37-inch tires. Katzkin Amaretto Brown leather covers the seats, dash panel and armrests, while a custom auxiliary switch bank, bright pedals and all-weather floormats complete the interior.

Jeep Gladiator Gravity: The Mopar Parts Showcase

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Mopar parts division loves to use the Moab trip to showcase the latest and greatest parts, and the Gladiator Gravity custom truck does just that. JPP is proud that it'll have more than 200 accessories for the Gladiator ready to go when the truck hits dealerships this year, and a bunch of them have been fitted here. The bed has been outfitted with cross-rails, a cargo carrier basket and a truck bed locking storage system with sliding drawers. The JPP 2-inch lift is underneath, as are the 17-inch wheels and 35-inch tires. Two-inch tube-steel doors replace the solid ones, a mesh sunbonnet tops the cab to keep the sun off passengers' heads, and tie-down straps keep the folded windshield secure. Under the hood, a cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust system open up the engine, while JPP rock rails grace the sides of the truck. LED lights on the A-pillars light the way, while the interior features Katzkin leather seats, Mopar grab handles, storage bags and floormats.

Jeep M-715 Five-Quarter

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Jeep also likes to resurrect an old trooper for the EJS, and this year's lucky recipient is an old military truck that's been "resto-modded." What started life as a 1968 M-715 Five-Quarter (it's rated to one-and-one-quarter tons), this J-Series Gladiator-based military truck has been thoroughly reworked with a 6.2-liter "Hellcrate" Hemi V-8 nestled in that pumps out more than 700 horsepower, mated to a three-speed transmission and 4x4 transfer case. The front sheet metal has been replaced by custom carbon fiber, while a bobbed 6-foot aluminum bed has been added, made from water-jet-cut panels and wood slats. The convertible top has been chopped by 3.5 inches, but the original frame has been kept — it's just now been fully boxed for stiffness. Gladiator Rubicon steel bumpers were installed up front, and functional rock rails have been added, too. The axles, meanwhile, are huge: Dynatrac ProRock 60-series up front and 80-series in back, featuring 20-inch bead-lock wheels and 40-inch tires.

All the Easter Jeep Safari concepts are drivable, and Jeep plans to take them to the weeklong festival from April 13-21, where they can be seen by the public for the first time.

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