The Easter Jeep Safari is an annual pilgrimage to the rocky environs of Moab, Utah, where fans of the brand can drive their rigs through some of the toughest obstacles found in the American off-road community.
We apologize, but this video could not be loaded.
Recently, the crew at Jeep has turned it into something of a car show as well, with one-off concept cars and production vehicles loaded with the latest accessories. Jeep has released some teaser images of what it has up its sleeve for 2022, including a tasty new tidbit released today.
Described as “blending two mighty off-roaders,” referring to the Wrangler SUV and Gladiator pickup truck, this rendering shows a unique take on two of the brand’s popular models. The few lines of text accompanying the image mention a Gladiator with the starting angle of an SUV, suggesting modifications to the Glad’s box to reduce its overhang.
For those new to the off-road gang, the departure angle is the pitch measured diagonally from a vehicle’s rear wheel to its rear bumper. A machine with a large departure angle – that is, one without a lot of sheet metal extending beyond the rear tires – can clear a terrain obstacle more easily than one with a small departure angle. The image below helps to illustrate.
Other thoughts about this concept sketch? A swollen hood looks suspiciously like the one found on a V8-equipped Wrangler 392. There’s also some sort of extra bracing behind the cabin that isn’t currently on the production Gladiator, though it’s hard to tell if this is just styling which flourishes as a bright bar or something more substantial.
We’ll also note the conspicuous absence of any B-pillars; that side opening seems far too large for two-door service, and it’s easy to see the presence of two rows of seats. The lack of structural support in this area strongly suggests that this is a one-off concept, as such a configuration would likely be challenged to pass the various and sundry crash test evaluations used by NHTSA and their merry band of crash test dummies.
SUV Review: 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392
Jeep is bringing back the Gobi livery on the 2022 Gladiator
Still, the nation’s best-selling pickup truck uses clamshell doors for its extended-cab model, and there’s a latch of some sort on the rear of this concept’s cab. It would be a terribly expensive proposition to build a shortened Gladiator-Wrangler cab frame for extended cab service, but stranger things have happened.
Postmedia will have (dusty) boots on the ground at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, scheduled for the second week of April. Stay tuned for our coverage.