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 J6.
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.
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