The vehicle designers at Jeep go through an interesting R&D exercise to accompany their annual Easter Safari event in the Moab in Utah, whereby the engineers and technicians are able to dream up farfetched concept 4x4s and put their designs in front of a test audience. They’ve recently released images and spec for a new one called the J6 that appears as though it would be a hit in many markets, but particularly in bakkie-loving South Africa.
The J6 is the incumbent star for the 2019 Easter Safari event, but it bares a striking resemblance to an existing car in the Jeep lineup. They already has a similar double-cab called the Gladiator, and the J6 looks like it’s a single-cab format of the same vehicle, but the switch to a single-cab could offer a few technical benefits that many prospective buyers would be keen on seeing.
It takes some cues from Jeep’s Wrangler Unlimited platform, too, combined with the load bin/bakkie design of the Gladiator. It gets a 50mm boost in ride height over the Gladiator, fairly massive 37-inch tires that are coupled with 17-inch rims.
It’s clearly got rough off-roading in mind with a couple of other adjustments and additions – the most visible of which is the spare wheel placement; which has moved to the load area rather than underneath. It also has a compact and functional bullbar that has a built-in winch and some additional LED lights. In case a driver takes their off-roading a little over the top, there’s also a steel roll bar in the event that things go wrong.
One of Jeep’s favourite engines, the 3.6 litre V6 – which is good for 209kW and 347Nm – powers the J6, and it has lockable differentials as well as a low-range transfer case designed specifically to assist in more extreme off-road driving.
Although this is branded as a concept, none of its design elements are really all that new – the majority of its platform comes from existing Jeep vehicles, so moving this into production wouldn’t be that difficult. Usually concept vehicles use custom, one-off parts, but that’s not the case with the J6. It’s effectively just an amalgam of a lot of other Jeep parts or vehicles, so if they thought it made financial sense it wouldn’t take much to roll J6s off their assembly line.
Considering all the other single-cab options out there, do you think the J6 would be able to compete in that market? Let us know!