Jeep has expanded its Willys range to include its Gladiator pickup, adding an off-road-ready version that certainly looks the part. The first time that a Gladiator has sported the Willys badge, the 2021 Gladiator Willys is more than just an appearance pack, mind, with a limited-slip rear differential among the new features.
Dating back all the way to the early military Jeeps, the Willys brand was also responsible for the now-iconic CJ civilian versions of those off-roaders. In more recent years, it has been the badge to look for on modern-day Jeep models, for those who want a rough-stuff-ready option right out of the dealership.
In the case of the Gladiator Willys, the new diff is combined with Rubicon cab rock rails and shocks, along with 32-inch BFGoodrich KM2 mud terrain tires. You also get the Command-Trac 4×4 part-time, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is standard.
Outside, there are a few ways to identify the special model. Most obvious is a Willys hood decal, but there’s also a heritage 4WD tailgate decal, and a gloss black sport grille. Special 17-inch aluminum wheels with grey pad print in black finish are included, too. There’ll be eight exterior colors to choose from: Black, Granite Crystal, Sting Gray, Billet, Firecracker Red, White, Hydro Blue, and Snazzberry.
As for the inside, what you get will depend on the origin vehicle. The Willys option will be offered on the Gladiator Sport and Sport S, both of which will get special all-weather slush mats. The Sport S Willys will add the Technology Group package, which has a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen and connected services, along with the Convenience Group.
If you’d like to take the doors off, meanwhile, there’s also a new Mopar accessory kit that might be of interest. The new Mopar Doors-off Mirror Kit addresses the fact that Jeep mounts the standard side-mirrors on the Gladiator’s doors – and the Wrangler doors, for that matter – and so, if you remove them, you lose out on rear visibility.
Mopar’s fix is a pair of separately mounted side mirrors, which attach to a cowl-end cap bolt and the upper door hinge. A T40 bit wrench, already included in the Jeep tool kit, is all that’s needed. There’s a custom thumb wheel-nut-clamp for the door flange, too, and the result is minimal vibration and the equivalent field of view of the factory mirrors, Mopar claims. They’ll also be tough: first treated with an anti-corrosion undercoat and then black powder-coat finish, they have a break-away feature in case of a particularly tight spot on the trail.
Pricing kicks off at $35,490 for the 2021 Gladiator Willys Sport, and $39,240 for the 2021 Gladiator Willys Sport S. Both are available to order now, Jeep says. The Mopar Doors-Off Mirror Kit, meanwhile, will work with current-gen Wrangler and Gladiator models, and is priced at $295.