Jeep Gladiator ute hits the stage
This is the first official look at Jeep’s long-awaited rival to the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger.
Just weeks after images and details of the all-new Wrangler-based Gladiator pick-up leaked, Jeep has revealed the new dual cab at the 2018 Los Angeles motor show.
As was unofficially revealed, the new Gladiator brings the Wrangler’s famous off-road prowess and open-topped body to the ute market; giving Jeep a unique selling point.
“Unquestionably a truck and instantly recognizable as a Jeep, the all-new 2020 Gladiator is the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of Jeep North America at the unveiling in LA.
“There is tremendous demand for this unique vehicle from our loyal Jeep customers and pick-up truck buyers everywhere. Born from a rich and proud heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks, Gladiator combines rugged utility, versatility and functionality resulting in the most capable midsize truck ever.”
Jeep has confirmed four trim lines, Sport, Sport S, Overland and rugged Rubicon. Price and specifications for Australia haven’t been confirmed as the Gladiator isn’t likely to hit our shores until 2020.
While heavily based on the new generation Wrangler, the newly released details of the Gladiator reveal significant changes, right down to the iconic seven-slot grille. While the face of the Gladiator and Wrangler are similar, each grille opening is slightly larger for additional cooling to allow the ute to tow up to 3500kg.
The 152cm steel tray is capable of taking a 725kg payload, and not only incorporates tie-down points but also a covered 400-watt power outlet and integrated lighting. A spray-in liner and tonneau cover are available as options in the US and underneath the tray is space for a full-size (up to 35-inch) tyre.
There will be two engine options, one petrol and one diesel. The 3.6-litre V6 petrol unit is rated at 210kW of power and 350Nm of torque and will be available with both a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 3.0-litre V6 diesel makes 190kW and 600Nm and is exclusively mated with the eight-speed automatic.
Being a Jeep means the Gladiator needs to have serious off-road ability so it comes standard with four-wheel drive.
The Sport and Overland models are equipped with Jeep’s Command-Trac system, which features a two-speed transfer case with 2.72.1 low-range gear ratio and Dana 44 front and rear axles.
The more hardcore Rubicon features the Rock-Trac four-wheel drive system that includes the Dana 44 axles but adds a ‘4LO’ ratio of 4:1 and Tru-Lok locking differentials. It also gets an electronic sway-bar disconnect system that Jeep claims improves wheel articulation and increases suspension travel. Another unique element to improve the Rubicon’s off-road ability is a forward-facing bonnet-mounted camera that allows the driver to see obstacles obstructed by the front of the ute.
The Gladiator has a 43.6 degree approach angle, 20.3 degree breakover and 26 degree departure angle, as well as 28cm of ground clearance which is enough for 76cm wading depth.
A unique feature for the Gladiator over its competitors is the flexible cabin, with the windscreen able to fold down, the aluminium doors can be removed as can the roof, for a convertible ute experience.
Inside, the Gladiator features Jeep’s fourth generation Uconnect infotainment system that incorporates Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There’s also an optional sound system that includes a wireless speaker mounted behind the rear seats that can be removed and used outside the pickup. There’s also two USB ports and a USB-C port in a nod to modern conveniences.
Further Australian details on the Gladiator will be revealed closer to its launch.
Stephen has been interested in cars as long as he can remember. Speed is in the blood as his great-grandfather was a motor racing pioneer in Australia, establishing several land speed and racing records. Based in Sydney, professionally he has been writing about everything on four-wheels since 2001…