Off-roaders are basically the coolest vehicles on the market right now. The Land Rover Defender, the Ford Bronco and the Suzuki Jimny are among the most desirable real-world vehicles you can buy. The Jeep Gladiator is among them, too, with a whiff of Hummer H3 about its obviously Wrangler-based architecture.
The Gladiator could get even cooler, too, if Jeep follows-up on a tempting concept unveiled this week. Christened the Farout Concept, it’s a mobile home that can overland through almost any off-road range in the world. On top of the regular four-door, ultra-capable chassis and 3.0-litre EcoDiesel engine sits a capsule that opens to unfold a large, rooftop four-man tent.
Some 16 feet long and 7.5 feet wide, this canvas-walled holiday penthouse can be your ticket to a lakeside view in the Rockies on one crisp, clear morning, then a beach-front vista on another. The terrain you have to cross to get there shouldn’t matter too much to the proven Gladiator running gear.
It’s specifically designed to be a comfortable home-from-home, with a wood-lined interior and “soft ambient lighting.” There’s a fridge, a cooker and hanging storage racks for your choice of spare leisure activity wear. “Outdoorsy fashion and style are celebrated,” says Jeep, with leather upholstery in a sultry-sounding dark smoke blue accented by orange stitching and checked trim inserts. Shame we don’t have a picture of it, then.
The body colour you see is called “Earl”, which is presumably a reference to Earl Grey, the fragrant and slightly posh blend of tea. It’s a bit more of a bruiser than that, though, thanks to a Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit on Fox shocks, 17-inch matt charcoal rims (watch those rocks, then), 37-inch tyres and a modified steel bumper complete with 12,000lb winch.
You can buy the long-range Gladiator EcoDiesel now. It should return around 28 US miles per gallon (33.6mpg UK) on the highway, which is a decent improvement against the petrol V6’s claimed 23 US mpg and should make an ideal buddy for long overlanding duties. We love it.