The Jeep Wrangler is an amazingly versatile vehicle, capable of conquering trails and mall curbs with equal gusto. Yet few people would equate it with a luxury SUV like the Hummer of yesteryear, or any luxury vehicle really, as the Wrangler is all about rugged durability. But some people want it all, and there always seems to be an aftermarket company eager to fill whatever weird niches crop up.
U.S. Speciality Vehicles, maker of an armored F-450 SUV called the Rhino GX, has revealed its conversion kit called the Rhino XT for the popular Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Less armored and more luxurious than the standard Wrangler, the Rhino XT conversion hides the four-door Wrangler well, while still allowing the former Jeep to go topless at a whim.
The slabby, military-styling of the Rhino XT isn’t much of a departure from the Rhino GX, borrowing elements of several concept and production cars. Elements of the Toyota Land Cruiser FJ and Hummer HX concept from 2008 are evident without looking too hard, with riveted fenders and fiberglass-reinforced body panels.
Wearing chunky 35-inch tires and glossy 20-inch aluminum roms, the Rhino XT looks like it can still handle some serious off-roading, though the 3.6 liter Penstar V6 and five-speed automatic go untouch. Even the 3.73 rear axle ratio goes untouched, meaning you’re paying $30,000 for a wardrobe change on a fully-loaded $45,000 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, though the interior does get a much nicer leather interior than the stock Wrangler. It’s a big improvement for those seeking warmth and comfort.
Not that there’s anything stopping you from making the necessary performance upgrades to this militaristic take on the Jeep. If you’re going to drop that much on a tarted-up Wrangler, you might as well go all the way and stuff a 707 horsepower Dodge Hellcat V8 under the hood too. Who needs armor plating when you can just outrun your jaded foes instead?