Published: Sat, December 01, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

New Jeep Gladiator unveiled at the LA motor show

New Jeep Gladiator unveiled at the LA motor show

It has been revealed at the 2018 LA motor show, and follows on from the Cherokee-based Comanche that was on sale between 1986 and 1992.

With Jeep having previously confirmed that it is calling its new pickup truck the Gladiator, you've by now heard (or made) all the references to Peter Graves's toss-away line in "Airplane"-"Joey, do you like trucks called the Gladiator?"-and resolved yourself to the brand's rationale for resurrecting the name". As seen in many current pickups, the Gladiator will have a three-piece rear window with a power-operated middle pane that will slide to the driver's side.

A clever and efficient pickup, the Jeep Gladiator is based nearly entirely off the popular four-door Jeep Wrangler SUV. The Gladiator doesn't offer the Wrangler's available turbo-4 engine, but in 2020 Jeep says it will offer a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V=6 rated at 220 hp and 442 pound-feet of torque paired to the 8-speed automatic.

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

As for engines, it's about what we expected. European Wranglers have a 269bhp 2.0-litre petrol or a 198bhp 2.2-litre 4cyl diesel, which may be carried across to the Euro-spec Gladiator. We can not wait to see all of the incredible builds in the near future.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is available in Gladiator Sport, Overland and Rubicon trim levels. There isn't a huge amount to separate the two Sport versions, but Overland is designed as a plusher, leather-bound country prowler while Rubicon (like the Wrangler it's based on) is the extreme off-road version.

The suspension is configured to allow for comfortable on-road driving while preserving all of the off-road capabilities of the Wrangler. Mopar kit like door bars, lift kits and a glut of "lifestyle" mods like bike racks and suchlike.

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The Gladiator instrument cluster is either a 3.5-inch or 7-inch configurable display as well. The Gladiator will also get 17-inch wheels, though the more hardcore Rubicon version will come with even larger wheels and tyres.

It's still a proper off-roader, right?

There was, says Jeep design chief Mark Allen, "a little bit of reluctance to call it a Wrangler truck". 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. More traditional touches are present and correct, too: electrically-actuated front and rear axle locks, a limited-slip differential, a sway bar disconnect feature and more.

The newcomer features an approach angle of 43,6 degrees, breakover angle of 20,3 degrees, departure angle of 26 degrees and a ground clearance of 282 mm.

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Its wading depth is 762mm, 162mm more than the latest Range Rover Evoque. The body-color hardtop features removable "Freedom Panels" over the front seats, while the cloth soft top can open all the way, four-door-convertible style. The seat bottoms also flip up to take advantage of the flat-load floor, which, of course, can be optioned with modular, lockable storage. The last two of these can be had with optional LED headlamps and fog lamps. All Gladiators will be offered with a factory spray-in bedliner.

As for the load bay, it can hold up to 725kg. The real details that off-roaders are wanting to know to determine if the Gladiator deserves the Jeep name and JL looks is length and approach/breakover/departure angles. The Rubicon also gets a Jeep-first front-mounted camera to help while navigating rough terrain.

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