A few months ago, we reported that a military-grade Jeep was revealed at the annual exhibition of the Association of the U.S. Army. The Gladiator Extreme Military-Grade Truck, or XMT for short, is a new Jeep Gladiator variant to be developed for the military. But the question on many people’s minds is: will the pickup truck be available at dealerships?
Jeep and AM General team up to develop the XMT
The XMT is a concept vehicle that is the brainchild of Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep and AM General. It’s a lightweight tactical truck with specs that will meet the requirements of global military customers.
The two companies share a history of making military vehicles that reaches back to World War II. Jeep’s precursors were Willys-Overland and Kaiser Jeep, makers of the iconic ’40s-era Willys MB, also known as the Jeep. AM General produces the indomitable Humvee for the U.S. military. It also had been making the civilian Hummer until 2006 when the vehicle was discontinued.
A Jeep truck tailor-made for the military
AM General will use its considerable military engineering expertise to customize FCA’s already awesome 2020 Jeep Gladiator into a spectacular light military utility vehicle. Although many particulars are yet to be disclosed, the XMT will have unrivaled capability and functionality that will make it a valuable asset on the battlefield.
In many ways, the Jeep Gladiator is the optimal platform to develop the XMT. Its 3.6-liter V6 is robust enough to provide 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. It’s a workhorse too, boasting a towing capacity of 7,650 pounds and a 1,600-pound payload. According to Car and Driver’s Connor Hoffman, the curb weight of the XMT is rumored to tip the scales at 12,800 pounds, more than 7,000 heavier than the top-of-the-line Rubicon. And the XMT’s winch is supposed to support 12,000 pounds.
From both Duffy’s and Semmler’s articles, we gather that AM General and Jeep might prototype the XMT by scaling up some of the Rubicon’s features. For example, it has two four-wheel-drive systems. The Command-Trac is the Jeep’s part-time 4WD system that comes standard on all Gladiators. It has a shift-on-the-fly transfer case used for low-traction conditions and has a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. The second 4WD system is the Rock-Trac, which is full-time and has an impressive 4:1 low-range gearing ratio.
Like the Rubicon, the XMT also will be equipped with electronic locking differentials, skid plates, tow hooks, and enormous all-terrain tires. Options for the military truck are definitely fit for battle: 37-inch wheels, a heavy-duty suspension, a central tire inflation system, troop rollover protection, and armor.
And while all Gladiator models have extremely competitive off-road angle numbers, the XMT promises to be superior. It will have an extraordinary 54-degree approach angle and a 30-degree departure angle. This is an upgrade from the Rubicon’s already-remarkable approach angle of 43.4 degrees and departure angle of 20.3 degrees. With this kind of off-road capability, the military will be well-prepped for engagement on nearly any terrain.
The two companies are considering both gas and diesel engines for the XMT. C&D’s Hoffman says that a turbo-diesel is most likely the first engine on offer. Jeep has promised a 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine that produces 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque for the Gladiator sometime this year. Our guess is that the XMT’s engine will be an even beefier version of this torquey diesel. No details about the XMT’s drivetrain have been released.
AM General will also add even more custom and off-the-shelf military-grade components to the XMT depending on customer requirements. The XMT could be equipped for transporting troops or for command and control duties. But the company hasn’t offered more specifics beyond that.
Will civilians be able to buy the XMT?
Depending on feedback from military customers, production on the XMT could start in the second half of this year. Sadly, though, Jeep and AM General have no plans to offer a civilian version in the future.
We hate to burst the bubble of many folks who dream of hooning about in their own military-grade Gladiator. However, very few civilians will get to ride in an XMT, let alone buy one.
And even if they were somehow able to buy one, it might just break the budget. Despite some fans’ notion that military vehicles are cheaply made, we’re certain that they aren’t and their price tags reflect their high quality.
Also, keep in mind that the prices of some Jeep Gladiators have been creeping north of $60,000 since they were introduced last spring. And the last-known price of an up-armored Humvee was hovering around $220,000 back in 2011. While AM General and Jeep haven’t released any figures, we speculate that the XMT might cost as much as or more than the Humvee , depending on its specifications.
So, we might have to wait to find out if Jeep and AM General can win enough military contracts for the XMT to make it viable. Maybe then they will consider offering it to the civilian market. In the meantime, Gladiator fans will have to make do with incredible mods such as this ingenuous overland camper or the breathtakingly fast Hellcat-powered Maximus.