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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

More by Matt Posky

Join the conversation
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!

  • RICK Lou, not sure about panthers and Cougars , BUT at 76,I now consider myself a vintage Rolls Canardly. I roll down one hill and Canardly get up the next! Wishing you a Very Happy, Merry HanaKwanzaMas. 🎅🎄
  • Lou_BC The dealbreaker for me is the $80k starting price in Canada.
  • Zipper69 The Grenadier was designed ground up to be a "better Land Rover" and by most press accounts comes close.What little we know about the Quartermaster it's clear that it's intended for serious off road work without additional aftermarket fettling needed.The price is clearly a barrier, but IF it's the real deal, it will have a slot in the market.
  • Michael Charging more for less. Hmmmm
  • FreedMike Meanwhile, over at Nissan, you can get a perfectly nice, well equipped Frontier four-door that has a V-6, 4wd, and is capable of all the "truck stuff" you could ever want for $36,000. And unlike the "pay over sticker or go f**k yourself" nonsense you get at the Toyota place, the Nissan store will probably happily make you a nice deal.