The Only Hybrid Two-Door in Existence

The Only Hybrid Two-Door in Existence
jeep gladiator Full Overview

Jeep trucks have always been cool. We don’t care if you prefer the Willys Jeep truck, the military Kaiser Jeep M715, the Scrambler, the Jeepster Commando, the Jeep Forward Control, or the Comanche—Jeep capability combined with a pickup bed is a winning combo. Therein lies a caveat: We like Jeep trucks better with two doors, but you won’t find such a version of Jeep’s modern Gladiator pickup. That’s why Quadratec and Greg Henderson went to work designing the forbidden Jeep pickup truck.

The Background

Henderson is the mad scientist behind Unofficial Use Only, the storied custom 4×4 shop based in Lennon, Michigan. He’s produced numerous vehicles with mind-bending facades and unfaltering capability, and he is known for his twisted Jeep humor. This often manifests in the bodywork of his projects; you might find a first-generation Wrangler grille blended into the sheetmetal of a fourth-gen Wrangler, or a third-gen Wrangler wearing a Jeep Cherokee face. Quadratec, a legendary supplier of Jeep parts and accessories, tapped Henderson to build a vehicle ahead of the 2022 SEMA show. This machine had to be capable of traveling across the U.S. to off-road trails where it would aid in maintenance efforts, and Henerson delivered in a big way while showcasing a handful of Quadratec’s parts in the process.

Remarkably, the Quadratec JTe Gladiator began life not as a Jeep pickup but as a white 2022 Wrangler Unlimited 4xe model. First, Henderson and his team chopped the Wrangler’s body behind the first row, then they used Gladiator sheetmetal to close out the new cab. Henderson used a Gladiator hardtop to ensure the new vehicle would have functioning Freedom Panels. Behind the custom cab went a true Gladiator bed extended by 10.5 inches to fill the space between it and the new cab. The result was a Jeep pickup truck with the same wheelbase as a Wrangler Unlimited, a longer bed than the actual Gladiator, and a hybrid powertrain. The “JTe” name is an amalgamation of Jeep’s “JT” designation for the production Gladiator plus “e” for its electric motor.

From the Curb

Quadratec’s Lynx 2.5-inch suspension system and high-clearance fender flares work together to accommodate the 37-inch tires, giving the JTe Gladiator a commanding presence from afar. A close look at the paint job reveals a hue that’s not only reminiscent of Quadratec’s signature green, but also includes added sparkle after Henderson infused actual ground-up glass into the mix. To contrast the green, the one-off sport bar is coated in a matte white bedliner material.

On the Road

Step into the Quadratec JTe Jeep Gladiator, and you’re greeted by seats upholstered in Katzkin leather, an Alpine touchscreen stereo, Quadratec floor liners, and custom 3D-printed plastic door pockets where the original flaccid mesh ones once lived. Even with 37-inch tires, the JTe still benefits greatly from the 4xe powertrain—it will cruise almost silently through town and on the interstate on pure electric power. Our strictly unscientific results suggest the larger tires eat away at the Wrangler 4xe’s 21-mile electric range, however.

Usually with a light bar affixed to the windscreen, you can expect some sort of noise at highway speeds. But Quadratec’s 50-inch light-bar fits stealthily inside the vehicle, directly against the windscreen. This solution completely eliminates complaints about noise, and it allows you to douse the area in front of the JTe Gladiator with LED light.

On the Trails

With the same 118.4-inch wheelbase as the latest Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, this Jeep Gladiator pickup truck’s wheelbase is 18.9 inches shorter than that of the standard stock Jeep Gladiator. This makes it especially nimble when picking its way between rocks and through tight trees. Quadratec’s Lynx 2.5-inch suspension system includes lift coils, shocks, and adjustable control arms to make tackling bumps at speed an easy affair. The modified pickup gobbles up irregularities without slamming the bumpstops, and the shock rebound is tuned to keep the JTe’s rear end from bouncing skyward.

Interactions with dirt and rocks are handled by the 37×12.50R17 Nitto Recon Grappler all-terrain tires. Imperceptible on-road noise is complemented by predictable grip and handling on the trails, especially when we disengaged the anti-roll bar and locked both differentials to navigate obstacles. Despite the rough trails, we experienced no chunking or flat tires, plus the Nittos looked sharp paired with the 17×9-inch Lynx Trail Gunner wheels.

Among the just-in-case off-road goods onboard the Quadratec JTe Gladiator are a pair of winches. Up front, the 12,000-pound-capacity Teton Series RES-Q spooled with synthetic line sits upon a Carnivore steel bumper. Whether the task is self recovery or dragging a felled tree from the path, this winch should be fit for the job. Around back, Henderson mounted another winch between the JTe’s frame rails with the fairlead hidden behind the license plate. Imagine being stuck in a mud hole where the only sensible direction to travel is back whence you came—enter the rear winch. Although we didn’t use the winch, we heard that during its trail-clean-up efforts, it was used extensively to move oversized rubbish toward the pickup’s bed for easy loading. The Quadratec JTe Gladiator is also stocked with a full-size spare tire and a portable tire-inflation tank in the bed.

About Those Trail Cleanups

Tread Lightly! and Quadratec have joined in an initiative to tackle a trail cleanup in each of the 50 states, and the JTe will assist during each effort. On the tailgate you can find a decal displaying the progress of those cleanup efforts, with the completed states highlighted in blue.


This forbidden Jeep pickup will be ideal to many off-road enthusiasts because of its shorter length, nimble-handling short wheelbase, and the incorporation of an extended pickup bed. Its hybrid powertrain makes the finished product even more modern and exciting. We found no indication the JTEe Quadratec Jeep Gladiator is unpleasant on the road or less useful in the dirt, but we don’t hold out hope Jeep’s engineers will ever bring it to life as an official product offering. Regardless, the JTe will stand as an example of why people love two-door Jeep pickups, and simultaneously help to address the ever-present need for 4×4 enthusiasts to preserve the trails they recreate upon. And although this truck is presently a one-off, rumblings suggest Pennsylvania-based Unofficial Use Only might be talked into building another, should someone inquire.

Looks good! More details?

2022 Quadratec JTe Jeep GladiatorSpecifications
Base Price $54,735
Layout Front-engine, 4WD, 1-pass, 2-door, truck
Engine 2.0L/375-hp /470-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4, plus 134-hp/181-lb-ft front electric motor
Transmission 8-speed auto
Curb Weight 5,100 lb
Wheelbase 118.4 in
L x W x H 188.4 x 73.8 x 73.5 in
On Sale Now—maybe