Drawing its name from the 1960’s Jeep Gladiator and the well-received Gladiator concept from 2005, the 2020 production model is being billed as the most capable mid-size truck ever built.
The model’s styling largely carries over from the Wrangler, but there are number of unique features aft of the A-pillar. The most notable are the truck’s crew cab and 5 foot (1524 mm) long steel bed which features integrated tie-down points and an external power source.
The unique styling is also evident at the rear as the Gladiator has a modified bumper which is available with integrated recovery hooks. The truck also has a unique tailgate, modified taillights and a spare tire that is located underneath the bed.
While the Gladiator has a number of unique styling features, Jeep wisely decided to keep the Wrangler’s removable roof. As a result, FCA says the model will be the “only true open-air 4×4 pickup truck” on the market.
The entry-level model will apparently come with a soft top, while two hard tops will also be available. FCA went on to say customers can expect “dozens of different door, top and windshield combinations.”
Engine options carryover from the Wrangler, but the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is notably absent. Instead, the model will be launched with a 3.6-liter V6 that should produce 285 hp (212 kW / 289 PS) and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque. The engine can be connected to either a six-speed manual or an optional eight-speed automatic.
In 2020, the Gladiator will be available with a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that which should have 260 hp (193 kW / 263 PS) and 442 lb-ft (598 Nm) of torque. It will be available exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Speaking of capability, the truck will be offered with Command-Trac and Rock-Trac four-wheel drive systems, Dana 44 axles and locking front / rear differentials. Other options include a limited slip differential and 33-inch off-road tires.
Jeep didn’t mention much about the truck’s suspension, but noted it has been tuned to “optimize on-road handling and ride comfort” without sacrificing off-road capability or towing and payload capacities. The leaked press release, found by the JeepGladiatorForum, went on to say the Gladiator will have a best-in-class towing capacity of 7,650 lbs (3,470 kg) and a best-in-class payload capacity of 1,600 lbs (725 kg).
The Jeep Gladiator will make it official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 28th and sales should begin early next year.