Think of the word Willys you'll imagine a small 4x4 utility vehicle that made its presence known during World War 2. It may not have been the most intimidating or the most powerful vehicle during the war, but it did help U.S. troops get around the battlefield, no matter the terrain or the weather.
Fast forward to today, and Willy's MB legacy continues on with the Jeep brand. It may not have the same looks as the old-school Willy's, but it shares the same go-anywhere capability. In honoring the WW2 veteran, Jeep has brought back the Willys name for a special edition model of the Gladiator. Simply called the 'Gladiator Willys', it gets a lot of 4x4 upgrades and a more aggressive exterior design.
“Building on the widely popular Wrangler Willys, we’re thrilled to announce the Willys model is joining the Gladiator lineup as another way for Jeep to connect with our customers. Gladiator Willys models harken back to the original Jeep lineup while offering an aggressive look and additional increased capability,” said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – North America.
Like the Wrangler Willys revealed last year, the Gladiator gets a limited-slip rear differential, rock rails and shocks derived from the Rubicon, and 32-inch BF Goodrich KM2 mud-terrain tires. Combined with the Jeep's Command-Trac 4x4 system, off-road transfer case, and 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, the Gladiator Willy's can easily take on any terrain.
As far as aesthetics are concerned, the special edition pick-up features a special 'Willys' hood decal, a heritage 4WD decal on the tailgate, unique 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels painted gray, and an all-black front grille. Available color choices for the Gladiator Willys include Black, Granite Crystal, Sting Gray, Billet, Firecracker Red, White, Hydro Blue, and Snazzberry.
Under the hood, the Willys special is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. It makes 285 PS with 353 Nm of torque and is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
For now, the Gladiator Willys edition is available on the Sport and Sport S models for the US market. There's no word yet if Jeep will offer it in other global markets. But if you ask nicely, Jeep Philippines might just be able to reserve and bring one in as a special order.