Why did Jeep take so long to do this?
Many Jeep fans have always wanted to have a vehicle that can go off-road and carry plenty of cargo. Now, after a myriad of teaser photos and being spotted by our eagle-eyed spies on several occasions, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator -a veritable Wrangler with a bed- has officially been revealed at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.
“Unquestionably a truck and instantly recognizable as a Jeep, the all-new 2020 Gladiator is the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure. There is tremendous demand for this unique vehicle from our loyal Jeep customers and pickup truck buyers everywhere,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Jeep – North America.
Taking inspiration from the all-new JL Wrangler, the Gladiator gets the same boxy exterior as its SUV sibling. The front fascia gets the signature 'keystone' design with its seven-slot grill and circular headlights. Meanwhile, the rear and the tailgate has a no-frills design that are accompanied by squared LED taillights. Like the Wrangler, the Gladiator can be turned into an open-air vehicle thanks to the easy-to-remove doors and roof.
Inside, the Gladiator gets the same interior design as the Wrangler. It has a straightforward dashboard layout where all of the controls are within reach. It also comes with new-style gauges, a redesigned center stack and new cloth, vinyl or leather upholstery. The Gladiator also has some unique features that are only available in a pickup truck. There's the new rear seats which can be folded upwards to reveal a hidden storage bin that can hold several items. It has several dividers which can be removed to slot in bigger objects.
Providing in-car entertainment is either a 7-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen display called Uconnect. Already on its fourth-generation, it serves as the Gladiator's infotainment system, as well as provide additional in-car controls for the climate control, security and lighting features and navigation system. Apple CarPlay, as well as Android Auto available in the 2020 Gladiator.
Under the hood, the Gladiator can come with either a gasoline-powered V6, or a diesel-powered V6. First up is the evergreen 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that produces 288 PS along with 352 Nm of torque. Power is then shifted either to a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic with manual select.
For those that prefer a bit more pulling power, there's the 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoDiesel V6. It generates 263 PS and a staggering 600 Nm of torque. The only available transmission option is the eight-speed automatic which Jeep claimed can handle the additional torque from the six-cylinder diesel. To reduce carbon emissions and improve overall efficiency, the diesel engine comes with low-friction pistons, enhanced fuel injector nozzles, and a low-pressure cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).
Like the Wrangler, the Gladiator comes with off-road ready features. It gets a Command-Trac 4x4 System, a two-speed transfer case with a low-range transfer box, and heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 3.73 rear axle ratio. Also standard are front & rear locking differenitals which help in delivering better traction off the beaten path.
Apart from those, the Gladiator also features underbody protection that keeps vital components safe from harm. It has a total of four skid plates which guard the fuel tank, transfer case, automatic transmission oil pan from debris. Meanwhile, the Rubicon benefits from heavy gauge tubular steel rock rails that protect the body while out on a trail.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator will be available in four different variants (Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon) and will be built at the company's Toledo plant in Ohio. The Gladiator will arrive in US showrooms in Q2 of 2019.