The new Jeep concept makes the perfect off-roader for mountain bikers!
Jeep has just announced a Gladiator concept, and while the company may immediately alienate some by appearing to have pigeonholed the off-roader into a niche mountain biking bracket, it still deserves a look – even if mud splattering adrenalin rides through woodland is not your thing.
While we might be more familiar with the fine Jeep Wrangler, in the US Jeep also offers the Gladiator – a 4×4 midsized 5-seater pickup truck with roots that can be traced back to the company’s pickup offerings from 1962 through to ’88. The launch show even featured sound bytes from the Russell Crowe movie Gladiator.
The Gladiator Top Dog Concept looks every inch the aggressive go-anywhere off-roader. The concept has seen the light of day thanks to a collaboration with Mopar, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles official brand service partner. Mopar has an eye for keeping things cutting edge, and the Top Dog makes good use of the Gladiator’s ability to be heavily customised with off-the-shelf Jeep Performance Parts.
The addition of a Mopar 2-inch lifting kit coupled with adjustable FOX shocks (FOX also being a manufacturer of mountain bike shocks) adds plenty of ground clearance, while the 17-inch alloys wrapped in 37-inch KM3 BF Goodrich mud terrain tyres makes sure that you aren’t too likely to get stuck anywhere for long. Meanwhile, rock rails on either side help protect the paint and bodywork should the need arise.
A Rubicon JPP front bumper with grille guard also includes the Rubicon winch with 100ft of synthetic rope, while a bit further back the addition of a snorkel adds to the aggressive look while giving some extra peace of mind. Additional LED lighting up front will assist in illuminating dark terrain.
The Gladiator Top Dog Concept is fully loaded up with more than twenty performance parts (Mopar actually offers more than 500 parts in total), designed to make mountain biking in real off-road situations less troublesome for getting to the chosen destination, and then being able to get out again in real comfort.
The most immediately striking thing about the Gladiator Top Dog is the riveted PCOR flatbed custom storage system, which replaces the usual flatbed. Inside this storage system is a fridge that runs off the vehicle’s battery, plus a hot dog cooking grill. And with the pickup being painted in K-9 Blue, you begin to realise where the Top Dog moniker comes from.
The other side of the storage system is far more practical, containing heavy-duty pull out tool drawers for spare tyres, tools, WD-40, sealant and whatever else will keep your bikes functioning. Plenty of power supply outlets and exterior lighting will give the riders the ability to see what they are doing when the light fails or during early mornings. Safe to say the storage areas are jam-packed on this concept; so now you know why the bikes are stored on top with dual bike carrier roof racks…
But that’s not all; there’s a further hidden drawer under the rear bumper, which provides enough space for storing the fold out ladder that you’ll need to get those bikes down.
Inside, the luxury of the Katzkin leather seats with subtle contrasting blue stitching is a welcome wipe-down addition, along with stainless steel covers for the foot pedals. The K-9 Blue is featured prominently throughout the cabin interior too.
Let us know your thoughts of the Top Dog in the comments below!
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