SEMA360

Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept is designed for off-roading, mountain biking enthusiasts

The new Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept is made for mountain bikers.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Just in time for SEMA360, Mopar has transformed a 2020 Jeep Gladiator into a custom off-roading beast for serious mountain bikers. The Gladiator has been equipped with Jeep Performance Parts and custom accessories.

"Loaded with nearly 20 Jeep Performance Parts, we built this go-anywhere Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept for passionate mountain bike enthusiasts," said Mark Bosanac, Head of Mopar Service, Parts and Customer Care, FCA – North America. "Across the entire Jeep lineup, we offer more than 500 quality-tested, factory-backed parts and accessories."

The Gladiator concept is painted K-9 Blue and takes the moniker of Top Dog Concept from the recent Jeep contest to find the Jeep Top Canine. The winner of that contest was Bear, a melting pot of a pup that has black lab, collie, chow chow, and standard poodle ancestors.

Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

At the front of the truck is a JPP Rubicon bumper that holds a 2-inch steel grille guard that is inspired by the Jeep J6 concept. A JPP 8,000-pound-capacity Rubicon Warn winch sits on the face with 100 feet of Spydura synthetic rope.

The truck's hood is latched with custom black Mopar hood latches that feature the Jeep Willys logo. A JPP snorkel and JPP 5-inch, off-road LED lights are installed up front as well.

Gladiator's sides are protectedly JPP rock rails that have been customized with welded two-inch steel tubes, similar to the front grille guard design. Custom black door sill guards have a raised Gladiator logo on them

Mopar has altered the bed of the Gladiator, removing the traditional cargo box and replacing it with a custom PCOR flatbed storage system. On the passenger side of the storage system, pull-out drawers securely store tools and supplies that mountain bikers need when out on the trails. Interior storage shelves, exterior lighting switches, and extra power supplies are within reach. On the driver's side of the storage system, a battery-powered refrigerator and electric hot-dog roller grill stand ready for post-riding activities.

A second JPP Warn winch is installed at the rear truck. Just above the rear-facing winch, a roll-out storage drawer carries a foldable ladder used for access to the dual bike rack.

Above the cab, two rack structures allow for additional storage space for tools and equipment. A set of dual concept exterior task lights are mounted on each side of the vehicle and vehicle recovery traction mats are located at the top. On top of the rack structure, a dual bike rack is the home of Trek mountain bikes.

"Built to handle the demands of an active lifestyle and offering one-of-a-kind open-air freedom, Jeep Gladiator is the perfect canvas for Mopar to push the envelope even further with the addition of an array of Jeep Performance Parts," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. "Mopar's new Top Dog Concept results in even more clever functionality and versatility for Jeep Gladiator."

The Jeep Top Dog Concept features a JPP 2-inch lift kit with FOX shocks, 17-inch JPP beadlock-capable aluminum wheels, and 37-inch BF Goodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires. Steel "high-top" fender flares provide additional clearance at all four corners.

The concept is driven by FCA's 3.6-liter V6 engine that delivers 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Mopar has carried the exterior color of the Jeep into the interior with a blue and black instrument panel that lives alongside black Katzkin leather seats, armrests, shifter boots, steering wheel, and the parking brake handle accented with blue stitching.

Mopar stainless-steel pedal covers with black rubber pads are fitted to the accelerator and brake pedals. The company's all-weather floor mats installed throughout the cabin area.

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Larger tires headline the upgrades.

Jeep

The off-road wars are heating up. This year alone, we've seen the new Ford Bronco, Rivian's R1T electric pickup truck, new off-road models of the Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, and Chevrolet Silverado, and more rugged versions of the Subaru Outback and Forester. Jeep, already deep in the game, doesn't need to do much to bolster its off-road offering, but the brand is doing just that for 2022. The automaker is offering a new Xtreme Recon Package for the Wrangler Willys SUV, which brings more capability and style to the boxy off-roader.

Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package The package can be ordered for Wrangler Willys models later this year. Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package

Beyond beefy 35-inch tires tires, the Wrangler Willys with Xtreme Recon Package gets a 1.5-inch factory lift, a 4.56:1 axle ratio, 17-inch wheels and swing gate reinforcement. Jeep says those improvements give the Willys best-in-class approach and departure angles, ground clearance, and water fording capability. Approach angle improves to 47.4 degrees, breakover angle improves to 26.7 degrees, and departure angle jumps to 40.4 degrees. The extra ride height also pushes ground clearance to 12.9 inches and the water fording depth to 33.6 inches.

The package's 35-inch tires make the Willys Jeep's third Wrangler model with hardcore rolling stock. It joins the Wrangler Rubicon and Wrangler Rubicon 392 in the 35-inch club, all of which can be equipped with the tires directly from the factory.

Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package A factory lift helps improve ground clearance and capability.Jeep

The Xtreme Recon Package can be ordered starting in October and will be available for the Jeep Wrangler Willys with 3.6-liter eTorque engine. The package adds $3,995 to the Wrangler Willys' price tag, which brings the total starting price to $40,930, including a $1,495 destination charge.

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Biden will target 50 percent of all vehicle sales for EVs by 2030.

Ford

In the last several months, we've seen automakers from all corners of the globe commit to some degree of electrification by the end of the decade and beyond. That includes the American Big Three: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, others). Today, President Joe Biden plans to throw his weight behind these efforts by signing an executive order that sets a goal of pushing the sales of zero-emissions vehicles to half of all vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030.

Biden's target is not legally binding, but the industry is already jumping on board. In a joint statement, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis confirmed that they aim to hit an EV sales volume of 40-50 percent annually. It's worth noting that the President's 50 percent goal and the automakers' sales targets also include plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use a traditional gasoline engine.


Jeep PHEV The target also includes plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use gas engines.Jeep


Auto unions and dealers are not opposed to the ambitious roadmaps laid out by the Big Three, but both have differing views on what is essential and how things will ultimately play out. While aware of the goals, the UAW is focused on wage growth and the preservation of jobs and benefits. It feels that an increase in EV production volume must happen here in the U.S. to include good-paying American union jobs.

Dealers, to a degree, are supportive of the goals but skeptical of their ultimate success. Some feel that electric vehicles do not present the earth-shattering shift in functionality and usability that other new products, such as smartphones, did in different industries. Regardless of concerns and skepticism, it appears that automakers are going all-in on the shift to electrification, so we're bound to see a wealth of new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the next few years.


GM battery facility rendering Automakers are pledging billions to increase EV and PHEV production volume.GM

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