New Jeep Concepts for 2019


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If you’re a numbers person, it’s 6 for 53. As in, Jeep and Mopar built 6 new concept Jeeps for the 53rd annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari. The duo has had a not-bad track record when it comes to developing new production models from their Moab-revealed concepts in the past—or at least lifting heavily from them to enhance existing models and create new parts and accessories. Knowing that, these photos are worth looking at closely for subtle design and engineering choices. We also had a chance to talk to the heavy hitters behind the concepts to learn about the challenges and why they built them to begin with. Read between the lines for clues about what might be in the Jeep pipeline.

It’s not surprising that inspiration came in a big way from the new Gladiator, although throwback was a theme, too. If you’re a fan of Jeep trucks of years gone by and also of the Scrambler, you’ll be pretty satisfied with this year’s concepts. If you’re a fan of overlanding, Jeep has acknowledged your existence. If you’re simply a fan of any kind of Jeep, all are bound to satisfy you.

We also have a few thoughts about each of the custom-built, one-of-a-kind Jeeps, plus some driving insight. Head to fourwheeler.com for even more photos and video. And, as always, tell Jeep and Mopar if you want to see any of the vehicles or accessories go into production! You helped make the Gladiator happen by voicing your thoughts, so

 

Jeep Gladiator Gravity

Jeep Gladiator Gravity

Heard from someone within Mopar about this one: “A rolling catalogue littered with all our Jeep Performance Parts accessories, from tip to tail.” We couldn’t have summed the Gravity up better ourselves. It’s a Gladiator Rubicon that was conceptualized as a rockclimbing truck/way of life, wearing loads of accessories—like a Mr. T starter kit. Among the JPP items that probably grabbed your attention are the 2-inch-round steel tube doors and heavy-gauge-steel rock rails with a powdercoat borrowed from Ram bedliners. The grille is Mopar, with JPP LED lights mated to the ones on the A-pillars. There’s also a mesh bikini top, 2-inch lift, and 35-inch-tire/17-inch-wheel combo. To make the bed useful, there are Mopar cross rails, a cargo-carrier basket, and a special Mopar/Decked storage system with sliding drawers.

Backstory Bits

“Gravity was pretty straightforward. We were sketching basically a parts catalog pull and trying to find the right balance of how many accessories to put on. We have more than 200 accessories and this is a real challenge. A lot of times we have to be selective and show some restraint on how to apply these to a vehicle, so it’s important to create a theme and to stick to that theme and bring some level of simplicity to it. “

—Nicho Vardis, Mopar Design Manager, Product Design, FCA North America

Our Opinions

Ken Brubaker, Four Wheeler Editor: The Gravity includes a full complement of JPP. It’s amazing how many parts JPP had available at launch for the Gladiator. I dig the bed-mounted Mopar cross rails, cargo-carrier basket, and the Mopar/Decked truck-bed storage system. The bed functionality is very cool.

Sean Holman, Group Content Director, MotorTrend: This one is a hard pass for me. It’s like Mopar said, “We have 180 accessories available for the Gladiator, but could only fit 150 on this truck.” This could easily be the $75,000 Gladiator that some dealer thinks is cool to put out front to drive traffic to his lot. It’s not.

Rick P w , Jp Magazine Editor: Open-air Jeeping is a natural in Moab, and the cool tube doors on this rig were spot-on. Even the Suntop gave the driving experience the maximum effect, and it was a joy to drive.

Harry Wagner, Four Wheeler Contributor: This vehicle didn’t do much for me. It just came across as an over-accessorized Gladiator. That said, I do appreciate that you can fit 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3s on a new Jeep pickup with only a 2-inch JPP lift. Quite a contrast to what it takes to fit 37-inch tires on any other Jeep truck!

Jeep M715 Five-Quarter

Jeep M715 Five-Quarter

Truth be revealed, M715s are beloved by both Jeep and Mopar folks. The 2016 Easter Jeep Safari birthed the Crew Chief 715 concept, which paved the way for the Five-Quarter to exist. Yet Mopar considers this restomod the real deal—mainly because it’s actually an M715, whereas that other one was a Wrangler Unlimited. As they said, it’s been “overdone, but purposefully.” First, let’s address your main questions: 1. A ’68. 2. Five-Quarter refers to Jeep trucks that were 1 1/4-ton (aka five-quarter). 3. They found it on Craigslist for $5,500, with a 236ci engine and original troop seats, full covered-wagon upper, exhaust pipe, and snorkel. It ran like crap and had terrible brakes and steering.

Building the Five-Quarter meant adding a carbon-fiber front end, and it received a new 6-foot custom-fabbed and -bobbed aluminum bed. They also pancaked the roof, and the soft top got a 3 1/2-inch drop. Underneath, there’s the original frame, but it’s reinforced, and the leaves were replaced with link/coil suspension. A Dynatrac ProRock 60 resides up front and was moved forward 2 inches; out back is a Dynatrac ProRock 80. At the four corners are 40-inch tires with 20-inch beadlock rims. The plan was to leave the interior alone, but as the build got going, they decided to go with a zinc-chromate bomber look and put the data plates throughout. The dash is a lot of layers of aluminum and military-looking gauges. There are also Wrangler seats. The 8-71 blower was a late addition to join the 6.2L Hellcrate Hemi V-8, but ultimately inspired a lot of the interior look.

Backstory Bits

“First thing we did was took it to the wind tunnel, for no good reason other than we have a wind tunnel. The whole studio dressed up in white lab coats, narrow ties, dorky old-school glasses, clipboards, and stuff. Like, why would you put an M715 in a wind tunnel? It does 43 mph. “

“I didn’t want it to look chopped. Chopped pickups look funny to me. We wanted it to look trimmed out. “

“We could have put anything in there, but a Hellcat is kind of a ‘gee whiz, oh wow’ moment. “

“The transmission sounds really archaic—it’s a 727 three-speed. It works beautifully. On road, the back squats and the front comes up. It’s not going to ever do a wheelie with a Dana 60 up front, but it sure feels like it’s coming alive. We did a truck a few years ago, the [2016] Trailcat [707hp Hemi Hellcat V-8], and it had a 4500 manual trans, and it did not feel as lively as this. “

“The box was probably the biggest challenge, because we committed to not cutting up the original box and shortening it, and it’s really, really heavy. The box, by the way, looked like no one ever put anything in it—it was completely clean. “

“We saved everything we took off the truck that we didn’t use and will get it back into the community. Usually it’s just waste, but we didn’t want to do that. I’m OK with cutting up a Wrangler or new Gladiator and throwing the junk out, but not this. “

—Mark Allen, Head of Jeep Design, FCA North America

Our Opinions

Ken Brubaker, Four Wheeler Editor: Five-Quarter is amazing. I think Jeep got it right in a big way. The truck’s bobbed aluminum bed, carbon-fiber front end, 3 1/2-inch-drop convertible top, heavy-duty link/coil suspension, Dynatrac axles, and 700hp Hellcrate Hemi V-8 make the truck very unique. However, I appreciate that the truck still is instantly recognizable for what it is—a ’68 M715. That’s a great balance, and one that I think people will be talking about years from now.

Sean Holman, Group Content Director, MotorTrend: Nothing short of a badass, functional piece of rockcrawling art. This concept is an attention-to-detail tour de force. It’s everything you remembered your dream M715 being, but it’s better in every single way. This is a vehicle you can walk around for hours and still pick up new and interesting details. It also mixes a modern interpretation of a military and aviation color palette with advanced materials. Not to mention a Hellcat crate engine and a Dana 80—it’s the project you wish you had the ideas and skills to build.

Rick P w , Jp Magazine Editor: When Jeep knocks it out of the park, they do it in a big way. Big, beefy, and bad—this five-quarter-ton based on the original (it still has a stock frame) is maxed out in every way. Following the design cues of the ex-military truck, the Hellcat motor down to the Dynatrac axles just ooze performance.

Harry Wagner, Four Wheeler Contributor: This truck is definitely over the top with the Hellcrate engine and Dynatrac axles. This isn’t the first (or even the second) Jeep concept with an M715 look, but are they really ever going to bring this to production? My biggest complaint is that the bed is so full of holes that you can’t really use it as a pickup. I think that takes the lightweight theme a little too far.

Jeep J6

Jeep J6

If you had to put the 2019 Jeep concepts into categories, from mild to less mild to wild, Jeep might suggest that you put the J6 behind door No. 3. When they were doing sketch proportions, the box got scaled to 6 feet long; the name J6 comes from having the 6-foot box they ended up designing—which is 12 inches longer than the Gladiator’s. The J6 began as a JL Unlimited—so it’s a two-door Wrangler and not a two-door Gladiator. It’s 201 inches long, with a wheelbase of 118.4, which is the same wheelbase as the Wrangler four-door. Got all that? It was a pretty straightforward build, although they did have to move the fuel door forward and balance it symmetrically. The J6 has a 2-inch lift and 37s, and that’s a 2 1/4-inch-steel prototype rollbar in the bed with 5-inch JPP lights. While we’re on the subject of spying prototype parts, that’s also the case with the tire carrier, brushguard, 2-inch steel stinger bar on the Rubicon front bumper, rock rails with 2-inch steel tubes, and removable hardtop.

Backstory Bits

“One really cool feature is we brought back the Brilliant Blue Metallic paint from 1978—inspired by Honcho. We bought the color chip off the Internet and went through our archives and found documents of the paint chips within our office, then went to our build shop and asked them to match that paint. We put more metalflake into it and we hotted-up the color. We were sensitive to using that name from the past. “

“The two-door longbox proportion that was kind of iconic back in the day and the blend of a modern Jeep and a historic Jeep I think is the perfect combination. “

“In the rear is a concept body-color-matched spray-in bedliner. We’re testing the waters on people’s reaction to how that looks and how that performs. “

—Nicho Vardis, Mopar Design Manager, Product Design, FCA North America

Our Opinions

Ken Brubaker, Four Wheeler Editor: The aesthetics of the J6 appealed to me. This regular-cab truck with its 12-inch-longer-than-Gladiator bed has a nice visual balance. This is a truck I’d like for a daily driver. I tow trailers often, so I appreciate that it has a built-in trailer brake controller, too. I’ll take mine in the Gobi paint color and with the Rubicon package.

Sean Holman, Group Content Director, MotorTrend: Shut up and take my money! Everything I wanted in the JT in living metal. I don’t care that it is built on a JL platform. I don’t care that it is less practical than the four-door. I don’t care that the front seats have almost no recline. The J6 exhibits perfect proportions, and I’d be in line to buy one if it was actually something that could be bought today. It’s the perfect adventure vehicle for my dad and me to go exploring in. Sadly, there are no plans to build it, but Jeep could change its mind with enough positive response.

Rick P w , Jp Magazine Editor: The J6 epitomizes what a sport truck should be—sexy and good-looking in a truly proportional way. This pickup with a production look is a clever blend of stock—not parts and pieces stemming from the Mopar and Jeep parts bin. While still using a Wrangler JKU frame, this little devil would be the hottest seller if brought to market.

Harry Wagner, Four Wheeler Freelancer: I love that Mopar built the truck that the Internet said they wanted; it is like the ultimate trolling. I dig the short wheelbase and maneuverability of the regular cab, and it actually had a surprising amount of space behind the seats. I doubt Jeep would sell as many of these trucks to the public as a crew cab, but I could see it being a popular fleet vehicle.

Jeep JT Scrambler

Jeep JT Scrambler

A lot of what makes this Scrambler a throwback Scrambler has to do with the throwback colors. But that’s not really creative enough to represent a modern-day Scrambler, so JPP parts were added to the Gladiator Rubicon that served as the blueprint for augmented reality. The Scrambler represents the history of trucks in the Jeep lineup, and this is the CJ-8 for 2019, complete with that famous paint stripe around the body but with bright colors—Gladiator Punk’N Metallic Orange and Nacho—rather than the muted/understated from back in the day. Concept accessories include the 2-inch steel tube rollbar that’s been painted white and bronze 17-inch slot wheels. Parts you can buy now include the lights, 2-inch lift and rock rails, and Mopar cold-air intake and after-cat exhaust.

Backstory Bits

“We took the 1981 specifically and designed a package around that. “

“The Scrambler started off as a dark-looking vehicle with iconic graphics, but contrast was real subtle. We started off with a dark color palette, then when we were building the vehicle, we did change the color to a bright white to accentuate the bright colors on the body side and hood graphics. It wasn’t in the sketch but as we developed the product, we discovered there was a better solution out there. “

“We removed the side badge off the fender to allow the graphics to breathe. “

—Nicho Vardis, Mopar Design Manager, Product Design, FCA North America

Our Opinions

Ken Brubaker, Four Wheeler Editor: I’m plenty old enough to remember when Scramblers were on dealer lots, so seeing the JT Scrambler brought back memories of wandering the Jeep dealer lot during my high school years. It makes sense that a Scrambler throwback would be trotted out now that there’s a pickup truck back in the Jeep fold, though I can’t help but wonder why the two-door J6 wasn’t given the Scrambler treatment.

Sean Holman, Group Content Director, MotorTrend: If you were a child of the ’70s, you get this and it’s cool. If you aren’t, it’s a nicely built Gladiator with some retro colors. Fun, but not my favorite of the group.

Rick P w , Jp Magazine Editor: Taking styling cues from the 1980s era was a natural for the Gladiator, since the new Jeep truck was almost named Scrambler. This fun build shows off the creative side of the Jeep team, but it could use some old-school KC Daylighters poking over the roof line for the full effect.

Harry Wagner, Four Wheeler Contributor: I like the retro graphics, tan top, rollbar, and orange wheels on the Scrambler. That said, I wish that they would have added stake sides like the original Scrambler had. CJ-8s didn’t come with leather seats and orange stitching or Mopar rock rails, but they are much appreciated here. I could definitely see a Scrambler Edition on future Gladiators, much like the Willys Edition JK.

Jeep Wayout

Jeep Wayout

This vehicle is pretty straightforward in concept: Getting away from it all in a vintage but modern Jeep Gladiator. You know overlanding is a real thing now when Jeep even acknowledges it with a concept at Moab—a concept that tells a story, according to Jeep. Is the story about a bug-out kit built into the ’20 Gladiator Rubicon’s payload capacity and extra space, with a full rooftop tent and big canopy? And around 37-inch tires paired with steel wheels with only a 2-inch lift, custom bed rack with ladder, custom roof rack, Mopar/Decked drawer system, ARB onboard air, auxiliary air tank from the Ram’s Air Ride system, custom fuel tanks in the bedsides, 12,000-pound Warn winch, and JPP snorkel? And a story about the inside of a tent continuing the vintage feel by having old maps, Moscow mule cups, and the like? Or is the meat of the story told through the leather seats with a topo map of Moab? Epilogue: The Gator Green you see here will be available for the Gladiator, but not for the Wrangler.

Backstory Bits

“Overlanding has been the new accessory and fashion of off-roading. “

“The Rubicon has higher fender flares on it, we widened the axle under the Rubicon so you can steer; you’re not into the frame. Those are learnings from being out here. “

“This isn’t for camping and staying in an RV or KOA park or something. This is about getting to that secret spot that you know about, but you’ve got to crawl over some rocks or through a creek or something, and you’re remote. You’re out there self-supporting and it has everything you need for you, but you can get away from people. I love that idea. I just think that’s so cool. “

“The rack looks simple, but it was very difficult. It’s actually carbon fiber and encasing a steel rack. When you come up with the idea, you have to design, engineer, and create in just weeks. Making something look really simple is hard to do. “

—Mark Allen, Head of Jeep Design, FCA North America

Our Opinions

Ken Brubaker, Four Wheeler Editor: I love backcountry camping, so Wayout spoke to me. No, it yelled to me. I really like the rooftop tent (and its cool custom interior lighting), and the Mopar/Decked bed-drawer system is genius. The functional overlanding paraphernalia is great, but it gets even better considering that Wayout is outfitted with stuff to enhance its off-road capability, including meaty 37-inch tires and a 12,000-pound winch.

Sean Holman, Group Content Director, MotorTrend: At the other extreme of the Gladiator build possibilities is the Wayout, a tasteful nod to the overlanding crowd. It is everything you’d expect such a build to have, and a few touches you wouldn’t, like the fortified step in the rear flare, the pneumatic happy hour built into the awesome Decked storage boxes, and the burrito warmer under the hood. This is one rig I would gladly borrow for a weekend adventure with friends.

Rick P w , Jp Magazine Editor: A big part of Jeeping has always been camping in the outback, and this Gladiator takes it to new heights with the glamping aspect of overlanding. From tents on top and surround-sound-like awning to the blender and bar and portable campfire and chairs, this concept has every detail nailed down.

Harry Wagner, Four Wheeler Contributor: This was by far my favorite vehicle Jeep built this year. The overland trend has been hot for a while now, but most just toss on an inexpensive rooftop tent and fridge and call it good. Everything from the Decked drawers to the Alu-Cab batwing awning to the Autohome tent was top quality, and it made me want to take the Wayout home.

Jeep Flatbill

Jeep Flatbill

Gladiator + motocross + desert lifestyle. That’s the takeaway Jeep and Mopar want you to have from this Gladiator that’s a dedicated bike truck. It rides on 40s with 8-lug wheels and Dynatrac Dana 60s with only 2 inches of lift. Just 2 inches? They had to re-craft the flares and took out the inner wheel liner to make it happen. They also couldn’t keep the stock front bumper. The carbon-fiber flares (modified versions of last year’s concept Sandstorm) and hood are custom, the B-pillar is blacked out to make the cab look a bit bigger, and the soft top has the panels pulled off. Making the racks for the bikes required a thinking cap, since there are real working components; rather than strapping in the bikes, you’re able to slide them in and out and use clamps to hold them. There are also LEDs all the way around the box to light up the bikes. Also, they let the bikes influence the styling and graphics. After reading all this, if you gathered this concept is all about the bikes, you gathered correctly.

Backstory Bits

“‘Flatbill’ describes the hat not even the hat, it’s the guy who wears the hat. This is his truck. Long shorts and tall, black socks. “

“I’ve been preaching the low lift for many, many years. I didn’t invent it, but I’m a big fan, because it used to be for a 40-inch tire you needed, 6, 8, 10 inches of lift and lots of cutting. Paying attention to that as we developed JL and now JT, where we again, widened the axles and cleared all that out, that’s I think paying attention to detail. “

—Mark Allen, Head of Jeep Design, FCA North America

Our Opinions

Ken Brubaker, Four Wheeler Editor: I’ve ridden dirt bikes for years (well, more like fallen off dirt bikes for years), so Flatbill grabbed my attention. With the bikes tethered to the bed, the concept clearly illustrates the Gladiator’s functionality as an honest-to-goodness pickup truck. Flatbill also illustrates how a set of 40-inch tires looks great under a Gladiator. Gotta love the Dynatrac ProRock 60 axles, too. I like the design and color of the wheels, but I’m not so enthused about the big 20-inch diameter.

Sean Holman, Group Content Director, MotorTrend: One extreme of the Gladiator build envelope catering to the motocross and desert crowd with go-fast looks and capability, mixed with an innovative way to secure bikes in the bed. This is one that will get you out to your favorite riding spots at speed so you don’t lose an ounce of adrenaline between rides.

Rick P w , Jp Magazine Editor: Sadly, there is an element of truth to this concept—a devil-may-care attitude that breaks the bounds of true Jeeping. This “lifestyle” concept is well crafted and uniquely detailed, but it’s not aimed at the core of the market. Kudos to Jeep for stepping out to other sports venues that may find the Gladiator to be their cup of tea.

Harry Wagner, Four Wheeler Contributor: 40s with only a 2-inch lift? Coilovers and bypass shocks? Sign me up! This truck is really sweet, and I like the motocross-inspired graphics and interior. That said, I’m not sure Jeep is really showcasing what a great pickup truck they have when the back half of the motorcycles hang out of the 5-foot-long bed. Maybe they should have used pit bikes instead.



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