I know I know, that headline is a bit mean. But I praised the ’41 Concept, calling it the “Perfect Four-Door Wrangler.” And who would I be to praise the good but forego criticizing the bad? Certainly not a writer you could trust. So here I am, writing about the Jeep D-Coder concept, a Gladiator-based Easter Jeep Safari vehicle meant to showcase aftermarket components from Jeep Performance Parts. And while the vehicle accomplishes that goal, it doesn’t look good doing it.
One thing I try not to do as a journalist is make a habit out of writing scathing takes on things — takedowns just to create controversy and clicks. That’s overdone, doesn’t require a lot of talent, and usually ignores a bunch of context behind why something is the way it is. But then there are times when I just can’t hold my tongue; this is one of those times. This D-Coder concept is hideous.
The red bumpers, the red belly pan, the red rock rails, the red tubular doors, the red interior, the red snorkel, the red basket on the bedsides — it’s utterly ostentatious, which is so far from the Jeep Gladiator’s best look. As the ’41 Concept that I wrote about earlier today demonstrated, Jeep Wranglers (and their Gladiator derivatives) lend themselves best to simplicity — steel wheels, a simple color scheme, maybe some half doors, and not too much else. A bunch of flashy red on black? Yikes:
Again, this vehicle is all about showing off the “35 JPP and Mopar accessories, each painted in contrasting Maraschino Red and labeled with QR (quick response) codes,” so there is method behind this “rolling catalog of factory-tested and factory-backed items.” And it’s worth mentioning that every year the studio designers at Chrysler come up with epic designs like the ’41 Concept, while the folks at Jeep Performance Parts tend to come up with some gaudy, over-outfitted Jeep to show off MOPAR’s aftermarket capability; so this isn’t really new. What is new, I think, is just how gaudy things have gotten this year. Just wow:
The D-Coder is based on a 3.6-liter V6 Gladiator Rubicon; there’s a three-piece bumper with a warn winch and some LED lights, some red tubular half-doors, a snorkel, 37-inch BF Goodrich tires on 17-inch beadlock wheels, a two-inch lift, some rock rails between the axles and behind of the rear, a Thule basket on MOPAR bed rails, bedliner, more LED lights on the cowl, leather seating, and a whole bunch more.
I’m a fan of the Gladiator. A convertible, off-road capable truck is just a cool thing. And I also realize that there are plenty of Jeep folks out there who like gaudy styling; the fact that this Rough Country “Angry Eyes” grille exists just proves that:
But the D-Coder is definitely a no from me, dog. Take it to a Maaco paint shop ASAP.
Looks like a simple case of sibling rivalry to these eyes. The designer of the ’41 Concept got the G.I. Joe Vamp Mark II for x-mas, whereas the D-Coder designer got the Cobra Stinger.
“the studio designers at Chrysler come up with epic designs like the ’41 Concept, while the folks at Jeep Performance Parts tend to come up with some gaudy, over-outfitted Jeep to show off MOPAR’s aftermarket capability”
I didn’t know this, it is cool to know that these 2 different creations didn’t come from the same brain trust.
While ugly, it is cool to see the QR codes on the optional parts.
This didn’t even phase me, there are some truly hideous wranglers out there.
It looks like I “must be this tall to ride it”. Can I get a seatbelt replacement add on where a lap and shoulder bar of red tubular steel lowers uncomfortably into my stomach when I start it?
“there are plenty of Jeep folks out there who like gaudy styling” – that might be the understatement of the year. Although I think it is high time we recognize that there are several different kinds of Jeep people. Anyone who has any kind of interest in a Forward Control is probably not the same person who likes Angry Eyez. If only there was an automotive website whose raison d’etre was to create weird taxonomy charts.
As a rolling accessory showcase, it does it job very well. It had to be a challenge to fit as many accessories on this thing as they did and I applaud them. Unfortunately, this is not out of place in my area. I see so much of this dumb crap around here, my eyes are at risk of rolling out of my head. “Mean jeep” faces with snorkels are the absolute worst. Throw in a jack mounted to the outside that has never been used, and you have a real winner. What I really hate is that people think they are creative and that they have made something “their own” by bolting this junk onto their Jeep. Maybe I am just jealous that I am not selling aftermarket stuff to these guys. What a goldmine!
It looks like half the jeeps I see around my area?
I just don’t know, to me besides color scheme it doesn’t look that different than the 41 concept that was being praised yesterday.
Maybe it is a Jeep thing.
It’s the My Chemical Romance edition, cmon we all had *that* phase at one point.
Well it caught my eye, I screamed to let it go.
That thing is like a Bro went nuts at Autozone and bought all the things. I wonder what that poor Jeep did to deserve that.
I’ve never liked the red and black combo, swap all the red to silver/grey and suddenly it looks great
If it was a different color it would be okay. Another too-shiny brah-Jeep that off roads on the dust on the driveway, but if it was a different color we wouldn’t have clicked, now would we?
The esteemed Mr. Gaudí would be impressed, I think. Also, why eschew the Angry Jeep headlight covers? You already put every other piece of dog vomit on it.