There's no denying Jeep's heritage when it comes to building SUVs. After all, the original Willys' is usually cited at the first of its kind. But looking at the current range, there seems to be a lack of three-row models. All the models offered by Jeep at the moment are five-seaters, which is rather unusual.
Sure, there's the upcoming Wagoneer but that's a luxury off-roader aimed at the Range Rover and Lexus LX570. What if you want a seven-seat SUV that can go rock crawling, the only way to do it is if you build one. That's exactly what Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan did recently.
What you're looking at is a Jeep Gladiator that's been turned into a stretched Wrangler with third-row seating. By the looks of it, whoever built it for him did a good job since it looks like it came from a Jeep dealership. Perhaps being a Shiekh helps in this case.
This special Gladiator isn't just some cut and shut job either. In photos, the build looks clean and well-made with no signs of hasty cutting or welding. While the wheelbase is unchanged, the rear section was clipped to give it the same departure angle as the Wrangler. The builder (or builders) even went the extra mile by having a pair of custom rear doors installed. But even with all those changes, the Shiekh kept the Wrangler's party piece, which is the detachable roof and doors.
The extensive customization continues inside. The front part still has the same doors and panels from the standard Gladiator, but it's at the back where all the goodies are found. This unique Jeep has a custom roll bar, but it was done in a way that it looks like an original part. The second-row seats are chucked out with a pair of bucket seats with a bespoke console in the center. As for the third row, the seats are unique to this SUV, and yes, they fold and tumble too. There are even seatbelts for all passengers in there.
As for the engine, the Shiekh didn't mention any mods or upgrades. Given that Jeep's 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 just came out, it's safe to assume that this particular Gladiator uses the stock, gas-fed 3.6-liter V6. It's good for 285 PS and 353 Nm of torque, which should be enough to pull the weight of this pick-up turned SUV.
Right now, we're wondering if Jeep has seen this one-of-a-kind Gladiator. If they have, it would be cool if one of the product planning folks would propose this for production.