Among the latest crop of Jeep Easter Safari concepts, the Gladiator M-715 Five Quarter (gallery below) was potentially the coolest because it looked like 1960s military pickup and packed a Hellcat crate engine under the hood. North American Jeep boss Tim Kuniskis put an immediate stop to any hopes of getting this 6.2-liter supercharged V8 into a production model, though.
Gallery: Jeep Gladiator M-715 Five Quarter Concept
"It fits like a glove," Kuniskis told Australia's Drive. "But the problem is that it fits like a glove and there is no air space around the engine and the whole external space of the vehicle so you have no crush space; you have nothing that can be used to absorb energy in a crash." Kuniskis doesn't see a way to make a Hellcat-powered Gladiator or Wrangler crashworthy to modern standards. Occupant safety in an accident isn't an issue for a one-off like the M-715 Five Quarter concept, though.
Gallery: Jeep Gladiator J6 Concept
Kuniskis also pushed back at the chance of a regular cab, two-door Gladiator like the J6 concept (gallery above) from this year's Jeep Safari models.
"And if you look at the segment and displace it down to the two-door versions, the segment is tiny… so how do you make a business case out of that," he told Drive. Kuniskis didn't completely close the door on the idea, though. He admits the two-door Wrangler performs well enough and posits that there might possibly be a niche for the two-door Gladiator. He seems far from ready to give the idea a green light for production, though.
Never Say Never:
The J6 and M-715 Five Quarter were the two most extreme takes on the Gladiator among this year's concepts. The Scrambler, Flatbill, and Wayout looked more production ready by loading the pickup with a variety of aftermarket suspension components and body parts for performing better off-road. While Jeep won't install most of these pieces on the Gladiator from the factory, customers will be able to order some of the accessories from Mopar.
Listen to the Motor1.com U.S. Podcast episode on the Jeep Gladiator: