AM General Wants to Re-enlist Jeep With Gladiator XMT

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
am general wants to re enlist jeep with gladiator xmt

Jeep and AM General are joining forces to build a military-spec pickup, drafting the Gladiator into active duty. Though we suppose this is more of a reunion than a team-up, as both companies (and their most iconic models) owe their existence to Kaiser Jeep and Willys — if you go back far enough.

Called the Gladiator XMT (Extreme Military-Grade Truck), the concept exists so AM General can address its need for a new light tactical vehicle. Apparently impressed with the civilian model’s off-road prowess and tow ratings, the manufacturer reached out to Fiat Chrysler to see what could be done with the 4×4. The duo plan to shop the XMT around to militaries around the world, but claim their chief concern remains its suitability for those marching (er… driving) under the American flag.

The partnership makes a lot of sense for Jeep, allowing it to tap directly into its special history with the military. It might even make a good alternative to the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (aka HMMWV/Humvee) in specific circumstances. AM General would certainly have to think so, since it’s planning on selling both.

Nimbleness would be the Gladiator XMT’s most obvious advantage, but it should also cost significantly less to procure. While no standard price for military-spec Humvees exists, outfitting them for combat duty can easily push them to well over $220,000 a pop. Oshkosh Defense’s quite large Joint Light Tactical Vehicle costs over twice that and is moving in to partially replace the HMMWV within America’s armed forces — potentially making additional room for a utilitarian dune hopper like the Gladiator XMT.

Most similarly-sized light utility vehicles currently in service with the U.S. military are highly specialized, allowing the XMT to take on a more generic role as a light strike vehicle. It may also be better suited to dense urban environments where ultra-wide vehicles like an armored-up Humvee can have trouble navigating. Not that we’d presume to know what’s best for the armed services. Nor can AM General, which is probably why it previewed the model filling multiple roles — everything from general transport or command vehicle to a mobile refrigerator.

As with the HMMWV, AM General wants to be able to “apply its manufacturing and engineering expertise to convert the Gladiator XMT into mission-specific and purposeful light-weight tactical trucks based on customer requirements.” Yet the base platform won’t be much different than any Gladiator you’ll find in a Jeep dealership — just beefed up with less-brash paint jobs. When questioned on specifics, the company said to assume XMTs will come with upgraded suspensions, improved rollover protection, an optional 12,000-pound winch, various armor configurations, super-durable interiors, and accessories suitable for whatever role they’re given.

AM General has yet to release any specs, but listed the civilian model’s 7,650 pounds of towing and (up to) 1,600 pounds of payload capacity as highly desirable. If the government is inclined to agree, production of diesel XMTs could begin in the second half of 2020. While we can’t be sure that engine will be the new 3.0-liter V6 Jeep plans on offering by year’s end, it seems probable.

[Images: AM General]

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7 of 18 comments
  • Roloboto Roloboto on Oct 16, 2019

    That's because they want to drive vehicles that don't breakdown all the time down there.

    • See 4 previous
    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Oct 16, 2019

      @Jon Side note: My mother-in-law is capable of "closing" a car door harder than any spec ever written.

  • Ryanwm80 Ryanwm80 on Oct 18, 2019

    I'd like to see a spartan 'DL' model specifically for delivery purposes - available in right hand drive, with dual sliding doors. Just imagine all of those Jeeps in either post office or Amazon livery populating every town in America!

  • Lou_BC "They are the worst kind of partisan - the kind that loves their team more than they want to know the truth."Ummm...yeah....Kinda like birtherism, 2020 election stolen, vast voter fraud, he can have top secret documents at Mar-lago, he's a savvy business man, and hundreds more.
  • FreedMike This article fails to mention that Toyota is also investing heavily in solid state battery tech - which would solve a lot of inherent EV problems - and plans to deploy it soon. course, Toyota being Toyota, it will use the tech in hybrids first, which is smart - that will give them the chance to iron out the wrinkles, so to speak. But having said that, I’m with Toyota here - I’m not sold on an all EV future happening anytime soon. But clearly the market share for these vehicles has nowhere to go but up; how far up depends mainly on charging availability. And whether Toyota’s competitors are all in is debatable. Plenty of bet-hedging is going on among makers in the North American market.
  • Jeff S I am not against EVs but I completely understand Toyota's position. As for Greenpeace putting Toyota at the bottom of their environmental list is more drama. A good hybrid uses less gas, is cleaner than most other ICE, and is more affordable than most EVs. Prius has proven longevity and low maintenance cost. Having had a hybrid Maverick since April and averaging 40 to 50 mpg in city driving it has been smooth driving and very economical. Ford also has very good hybrids and some of the earlier Escapes are still going strong at 300k miles. The only thing I would have liked in my hybrid Maverick would be a plug in but it didn't come with it. If Toyota made a plug in hybrid compact pickup like the Maverick it would sell well. I would consider an EV in the future but price, battery technology, and infrastructure has to advance and improve. I don't buy a vehicle based on the recommendation of Greenpeace, as a status symbol, or peer pressure. I buy a vehicle on what best needs my needs and that I actually like.
  • Mobes Kind of a weird thing that probably only bothers me, but when you see someone driving a car with ball joints clearly about to fail. I really don't want to be around a car with massive negative camber that's not intentional.
  • Jeff S How reliable are Audi? Seems the Mazda, CRV, and Rav4 in the higher trim would not only be a better value but would be more reliable in the long term. Interior wise and the overall package the Mazda would be the best choice.