There may soon be another U.S.-spec military Jeep as the Gladiator Extreme Military-Grade Truck has been revealed. Called the XMT for short, it was shown at the annual exhibition of the Association of the U.S. Army.
This is a combined effort of Jeep and AM General. The lightweight Gladiator offered an opportunity to show the government what could be done to create a versatile off-road military vehicle. Since the Gladiator already has a leg up for its ability to conquer rough terrain, AM General focussed on improving its capabilities with aftermarket and custom-made components.
Special seats, larger tires, and wheels, and a winch are among the additions of the XMT. Upgrades to the unique pickup box were more extensive. Just like its predecessor, the original Jeep, there is a lot that can be done and was done to impress the Army.
What Does This Military Jeep Do?
Transporting soldiers, the ability to move 1,600 lbs of gear, or housing a mobile command and control center were just some of the configurations shown. If some of this feels like deja-vu don’t forget that the M715 Jeep truck was utilized in a similar manner in the late-1960s.
Two 4×4 systems, skid plates, huge brush guard, tow hooks, and pitching the doors and roof are just some of the unique features. A 12,000 lb capable winch, 37-inch tires, tire inflation system, and armor can also be found on the XMT.
While specific details about the XMT were not released, AM General does say this is a conventional engine concept so it runs on gasoline or its 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. If production were given the green light Jeep would construct the vehicles in the latter part of 2020.
There is much nostalgia about the pairing of Jeep, AM General, and the Army. Each company’s deep connections from the past and involvement with military projects significantly affected each their future. Jeep created a separate company in 1971 to build military vehicles called General Products Division. General Products became AM General some time after forming.
XMT Ties To Past Military Efforts
AM General built both the DJ Jeep van for the US Postal Service and the Humvee vehicle. Of course, the Humvee became the Hummer H1 in 1992 for civilian use. But before that AM General was sold to LTC Corporation in 1983. This happened because parent company American Motors Corporation was selling a percentage of the company to Renault which is partially owned by the French government.
Federal regulations prohibit defense contractors from having foreign connections. In order to complete the Renault investment, it had to sell AM General. As Jeep is owned by FCA Italy S.p.A. which is Italian, we wonder if those prohibitions still exist.
Even if the military does pass on the project Jeep would be wise to sell a civilian version of this off-road warrior. A stripped-down Gladiator with certain functions available could bolster Jeep sales. Currently, Gladiators are not finding the anticipated customers it was established for. Many think its $56,000 price cools off prospective buyers.