Published: Sat, December 01, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Jeep Gladiator pickup becomes reality after years of teasing

Jeep Gladiator pickup becomes reality after years of teasing

After 26 years, the American SUV market has finally introduced the new pick-up truck - the Jeep Gladiator. The Jeep Gladiator truck is now official with the unveiling of the ride at the LA Auto Show. No single-cab version of the Gladiator will be available. And the vehicle with the highest towing capacity (the Sport Max Tow at 7,650 pounds) has a 1,535-pound payload capacity and the highest gross combined weight rating at 12,800 pounds (that's the one we want to test first).

Fiat Chrysler Automobile's head of Jeep brand for North America, Tim Kuniskis, said the Gladiator was unquestionably a truck and instantly recognisable as a Jeep. As with any truck, both of these do not exist in the same vehicle. This heroic sounding model, according to Jeep themselves, is their most capable mid-size offering. It has fully removable soft and hard tops, doors and a folding windshield. Like the Wrangler, the windshield folds down after removing a few bolts but the frame stays put, holding the rearview mirror. In a nice truck-focused touch, the rear seats fold down to access back-cab storage and provide a larger load floor. Engine choices are no surprise: The base Gladiator engine will be Jeep's all-aluminum 24-valve 285-horsepower, 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 (260 pounds-feet of torque) and the 260-hp, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 (442 pounds-feet of torque) will be an option in 2020.

The 3.0-litre V6 diesel makes 190kW and 600Nm and is exclusively mated with the eight-speed automatic.

It is unclear which of these specifications and powertrains will make it to Australia. The Sport and Overland come standard with the Command-Trac 4x4 system, featuring a two-speed transfer case, Dana 44 axle technology, and a 3.73 ratio for the rear axle.

The Rubicon goes one better with a Rock-Trac "4LO" ratio of 4:1, along with locking differentials and electronic anti-sway bar disconnection. The auto transmission gets a 77.2:1 crawl ratio.

2020 Jeep Gladiator
2020 Jeep Gladiator Pickup Finally Arrives: Here Are the Official Details

Wading depth is 76cm, while ground clearance is 28cm.

The load bed itself features a lighting system (positioned beneath the rails) and a 400W external power source, and buyers can opt for Jeep's "Trail Rail" cargo management system for organising and securing items.

The Rubicon edition of the Gladiator will feature a forward-facing off-road camera that offers obvious benefits when navigating through rough terrain. They're open as standard, lockable covers are optional.

The Gladiator's tray bed is about 1500mm long, with inbuilt tie-downs and an under-floor spare wheel mount capable of holding rolling stock up to 35 inches in diameter.

Depending on the grade, the Gladiator can be equipped with an infotainment system centred around a 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.4-inch touchscreen. The Gladiator name lasted through the 1960s but was dropped for the 1972 model year. It is also the second Jeep pick-up to wear the Gladiator badge, with the Wagoneer-style ute bearing that name between 1963 and 1972. Jeep says the 2020 Gladiator will show up in dealerships in Q2 2019, with pricing to be confirmed closer to that point.

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