The Moab Easter Safari is an annual event held in Utah that basically serves as a showcase for the latest and greatest 4X4 vehicles. Jeep, obviously, is a big part of the event and used the most recent gathering to display the J6 concept vehicle.
Fresh off selling all 4,190 of the 2020 special launch edition Gladiator Rubicons on the first day of availability, Jeep tested the waters with a two-door version of a vehicle that combines the ruggedness of a jeep with the bed of a truck. The J6 was one of six concept vehicles Jeep revealed earlier this week, but is far and away drawing the most attention.
The J6 is essentially a combination of the re-launched Gladiator and the popular Wrangler, but with a couple of unique features. The first, and most obvious of which, is the two-seat single cab that allows for a six-foot bed – a foot longer than the Gladiator. The J6 also features 37” tires on 17” beadlock wheels that utilize a lift kit to clear the wheel wells.
Additional features include custom steel-tube rock rails, Katzkin leather upholstery and a bank of switches for specialty lighting. Jeep used to sell a conversion kit that turned a four-door Wrangler into a two-door pickup, but hasn’t offered a production truck like the J6 since the Scrambler of the 1980s.
While the J6 will bring a smile to any Jeep enthusiast, it presents a couple of unique viability challenges for Jeep. First, they’re relaunching the Gladiator next year, and taking dedicated production and retail space away from a vehicle with such momentum could be risky.
Second, a two-door, single-cab vehicle basically eliminates the family crowd looking for an SUV alternative. Now you’re competing with the numerous iterations of a truck, but with a shorter bed. Pricing will also be tricky, as the Gladiator, depending on options, will sell for between $35,000 and $45,000. A two-door version will need to be priced below this, which could lead to slimmer margins on what is essentially a more custom vehicle.
Based on feedback out of Moab, interest for the J6 is there, but the question remaining for Jeep is whether or not it’s worth pursuing.