Head Wayout: The 2020 Jeep® Gladiator Wayout Concept Goes Overland

Categories: Vehicles 

For most Jeep® 4×4 owners, the concept of adventure seeking on four wheels isn’t a new one. Nobody appreciates and exploits that philosophy more than the folks in the Jeep® Brand Design Studio. When it comes time to imagine the myriad ways owners can modify their SUVs, there may not be any team more creative.

The Jeep® Gladiator Wayout concept is one such inspiration of imagination from the folks in Detroit to make its debut at the 2019 Easter Jeep® Safari and then take center stage at the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona. The expo is a twice-yearly overlanding mecca for fans, aftermarket parts vendors and automakers alike where you’ll find the latest gear to get you, and keep you, outside.

When asked the purpose of the Jeep® Gladiator Wayout, Greg Howell, Chief Designer, Jeep® RWD, said, “It was to really show the capability of the JT.” The Wayout concept pays off the promise of its premise. The ability to venture way out is fully realized in this concept that puts the fun in functional. Thanks to the Jeep® Gladiator’s class-leading payload capacity, the Wayout has everything you’d need in and on your home away from home.

Thank that payload capacity for the fact that the Jeep® Gladiator is both 100-percent Jeep® 4×4 and 100-percent truck. After talking with loyal customers during the design phase of the JT, Jeep® Brand knew the Gladiator had to work hard. Equipped with the same heavy-duty rear suspension setup as the Ram 1500, including its beefy upper and lower control arms and track bar, the Gladiator can carry an impressive 1,600 pounds.

Starting from the bottom up, the Wayout takes every off-road driving scenario into account. It starts with a two-inch lift from Mopar®, giving it extra height to avoid obstacles. With its already notable ground clearance, that gives the Wayout a total of 13.1-inches between it and the dirt.

Tires might be the most important part of any car as they’re the only touch points between you and the road, or the off-road in the Wayout’s case. A set of massive 37-inch Falken Wild Peak all-terrain tires wrap around the 17-inch steel wheels. For comparison, both the Jeep® Wrangler and Jeep® Gladiator Rubicon come with 33-inch Wild Peaks. So, that’s a lot of sidewall for your rock-crawling pleasure. A 12,000-lb. recovery winch and Jeep® Performance Parts snorkel will help overcome any element of either the dry or wet variety. After all, overlanding also includes water.

The armor underneath the Wayout is exactly the same that comes standard on the Rubicon, but additional rock rails were included here for more protection. For durability inside the cab, the same spray-on bedliner used to reinforce the bed was used on the floors for better durability, then covered in Mopar’s all-weather floor mats. Oh, you know this is going to get muddy up in here.

Long-travel FOX® monotube shocks keep the ride in the Wayout smooth, same as on the standard Rubicon, and Dana 44 axles, with walls 10mm thicker than on the Jeep® Wrangler, help get the Wayout, out there and back without trouble.

Of course, this Gator Green Jeep® Gladiator is equipped with Jeep® Brand’s Uconnect® system with a navigation feature that allows you to enter longitude and latitude points as your destination. As you well know, there are often no streets where you’re heading. If you happen to get lost in Moab, Utah, you might be able to navigate using the Wayout’s custom leather seat covers, which feature a topographical map of the region. That same topography can be found on a custom hood graphic, as well. Just don’t forget your compass.

An on-board air compressor system allows the driver to air up or down quickly as needed depending on terrain, while two integrated fuel tanks ensure the Wayout won’t get stuck without gas. Imagine how far you’ll get to go when the 3.0-liter turbodiesel Jeep® Gladiator makes its appearance.

For additional gear storage, the Wayout has a custom roof-rack system for packing stuff up top, and the truck bed houses a Mopar/Decked bed-drawer system for added lockable dry storage. All the better to journey further with, my pretty.

If you think a rig like the Wayout can only happen in the minds of the folks at Jeep® Design using expensive custom parts, then you don’t know Mopar. They are the provider of Jeep® Performance Parts that’ve helped owners modify their Jeep® SUVs around the world for decades and already have over 200 aftermarket add-ons for the Jeep® Gladiator.

After the Jeep® Gladiator’s steadfast 3.6-liter Pentastar® V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission do their work during the dirt-driving fun, then the second party starts. The folks at Jeep® Brand Product Design know how rigorous off-roading can be sometimes, so they added a thoughtful après-drive touch. On a sliding rack mounted in the bed of the truck, which extends beyond the length of the tailgate, you’ll find the open bar, complete with blender, cocktail shaker and lime juicer!

When the sun finally melts into the horizon, setting clouds ablaze while the sky changes into its evening hue, a full rooftop tent and massive 270-degree custom awning with amber LED lighting become your 100-thousand-million-star hotel. If that’s not enough, designers lined the tent’s ceiling with twinkling lights so you can see the stars while you’re curled up in flannel everything. The perfect place to have sweet dreams about how you’ll modify yours.

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This is by far my favorite of the recent Gladiator concept trucks. It was really neat to see in person at the 2019 Toledo Jeep fest.