The Gladiator, piloted by Robby Gordon and Hammers champion Erik Miller, will compete in the Spidertrax 4600 Stock Class event, a division which requires vehicles to run a factory engine, stock frame and body, a single shock at each wheel and 35-inch tyres.
Expectations are high, with the Gladiator recording the fastest time in qualifying after it finished more than 10 seconds faster than its competition on the two-mile (3.2km) course.
The Gladiator has had a tickle to a few integral parts, with Savvy Off-Road, a Californian aftermarket shop – with a King of the Hammers pedigree that has seen it bring home the overall win six times – fabbing and adding go-fast off-road parts.
The Californian mob added Dynatrac 60 front and rear axles, beadlock wheels with 35-inch Falken Wildpeak M/Ts, a winch, a safety cage and Sparco racing seats. Savvy Off-Road also crafted a custom link-and-coil suspension with Fox remote-reservoir shocks.
The body-on-frame Gladiator runs the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 (213kW and 353Nm), which comes with a six-speed manual as standard – an eight-speed auto is an option. The mid-size pick-up will be available in Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon configurations when it arrives later in 2019.
“Jeep has been attending King of the Hammers for many years, listening to, observing and engaging the group of hardcore off-road enthusiasts who gather there,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Jeep Brand – North America.
“The all-new Jeep Gladiator’s high-speed locker protocol is a direct outcome of their input. So we figured even though we haven’t built the first customer unit yet, why not bring it out and put it to the test at this ultimate proving ground – the toughest one-day off-road race in the world?”
The Spidertrax 4600 Stock Class of the King of the Hammers Every Man Challenge will take place on Wednesday, February 6 at 8.00am PST (that’s 3.00am AEDT on Thursday morning).