Late last year Jeep announced it was returning to the bakkie business it had abandoned decades ago, with a Gladiator double-cab.
Immensely favourable reaction to the Gladiator
has motivated Jeep’s product people to investigate the possibility of expanding
its bakkie portfolio into single-cabs, and evidence of this is something the
Revealed ahead of the American off-road
brand’s annual 4×4 jamboree in Moab, Utah, the J6 is a Wrangler platform with
two Gladiator double-cab loadbins welded together. Into total, its loadbin is
about 300mm longer than the double-cab Gladiator’s. That might not sound like
much, but for those who prefer the workability of a single-cab bakkie, 300mm is
about the difference between things fitting inside (like dirt bikes or
construction materials) and having to drop the tailgate and attached a red flag
to whatever you intend carrying on the back.
The J6’s styling illustrates how seamlessly
Wrangler body panels are suited to any bakkie configuration. Its stance is a
lot more purposeful than a conventional Wrangler too, thanks to a 50mm lift-kit
and those huge 37-inch off-road specification tyres.
Up front there is a bulbar, featuring an
integrated winch and LEDs, whilst additional LEDs are added to the roof, too. An
oversized roll hoop takes price of place behind the cab and acts as a securing structure
for the spare wheel, which resides in the loadbin, instead of underneath.
Powering the J6 single-cab bakkie is Jeep’s
proven 3.6-litre V6, producing 209kW and 347Nm. With lockable differentials at
both the front and rear axle, this J6 single-cab should be comfortably superior
off-road to almost any other production single-cab 4×4 bakkie on the market.
Jeep has waited since 1992 to return to the
bakkie business and the probability of adding this single-cab configuration to
sell in combination with its new double-cab Gladiator, is high. Although South
Africa remains an unconfirmed market for the Gladiator double-cab, it has would
undoubtedly find customers here. A production version of this singe-cab J6
prototype, even more so.