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The original Jeep was designed and built as a military vehicle, specifically a ”Light Reconnaissance And Command Car.” It served admirably in World War II and was first offered to the public in a modestly modified version via Willys-Overland dealers in 1944. Its direct descendent is today’s Jeep Wrangler. And now, it seems the iconic brand could be returning to the military market via a partnership between parent company FCA and AM General, creator of the military HUMVEE, and later the civilian Hummer H1.
The two companies are collaborating on the above Jeep Gladiator Extreme Military-Grade Truck (XMT) by AM General, which is essentially a civilian version that’s been customized for global military markets. It debuted at the Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) in Washington, DC.
It’s inarguably the burliest Gladiator to date, looking like something straight out of the movie “Mad Max.” AM General began with the civilian Gladiator – already up to the task with 7,650 pounds of towing capacity and up to 1,600 pounds of payload capacity – and took it to the next level. The company uplifted it with both custom-built and commercially available military-grade parts to make it even more rugged and off-road capable, along with the necessary equipment for tactical communications and service. Both gasoline- and diesel-powered versions are planned.
What’s more, based on military customer requirements, AM General says it can further modify the Gladiator XMT to serve as a lightweight personnel transport carrier or a command and control truck.
“The Jeep brand has an important military heritage, so we couldn’t be happier that AM General expressed interest in creating the Gladiator XMT,” says Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – North America. “The all-new Jeep Gladiator boasts unmatched functionality, versatility and especially capability, including two advanced 4×4 systems, locking differentials, skid plates, tow hooks, and incredible approach, breakover and departure angles – the perfect foundation for this ultra-capable military concept vehicle.
If global military organizations – including we would like to assume our own armed forces – show interest in the XMT, production could begin as soon as the second half of 2020. We’d bet that a civilian version of the XMT that eschews the military-specific hardware, but shares its ultra-forceful appearance, could quickly carve out a niche for itself as the modern-day equivalent of the original Hummer.