Jeep Gladiator MXT Concept by AM General Wants to Be the US Military's Next LTV
The Gladiator XMT (Extreme Military-Grade Truck) could begin production in 2020.
The Jeep Gladiator could make its U.S. military debut in the coming years as a light tactical vehicle after AM General and Jeep's corporate parent Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles announced a co-developed MXT concept truck on Monday morning. The two companies envision Jeep's midsize pickup transformed to suit a variety of applications for troops out in the field as a glorious reunion that hearkens back to the days of World War II and Willys MBs—that is, if the military is actually interested.
AM General showcased two potential forms for the Gladiator MXT in its release, an open-doored convertible version that looks like a light transport vehicle and a closed-off one with a large box in the bed that presumably houses logistical equipment of some kind. The company claims it's using “custom-built and commercially available military-grade parts,” though it doesn't disclose any specifics.
On the transport concept, it's easy to see the changes in the tube doors, special seats and harnesses, and off-road upgrades like the giant tires and brush guard. While the lack of doors, a roof, or any visible armor might raise questions, it should be pointed out that unarmored, buggy-type vehicles are already used by the military in everything from basic ground transportation to Special Operations combat scenarios. Meanwhile, the logistical vehicle looks like an able hand with a smaller footprint than the Oshkosh L-ATV currently set up to take over some of the iconic Humvee's roles
AM General and FCA touts the Jeep Gladiator’s base capabilities as the driving factor behind this plan. The standard Gladiator that the concepts are based on uses a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and can tow up to 7,650 pounds with the Max Towing package. It's also possible that a future military application could sport Jeep's new diesel engine. Whether any of that could live up to real military use isn't clear yet, though modern military Jeeps have been field-tested before with the J8.
Pending positive feedback, the Gladiator could go into production as a military vehicle as early as next year, AM General said. Civilians will also see new Jeeps hitting dealers in 2020, as the new diesel and hybrid variants are expected to debut.
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