Producing 270 hp (201 kW / 273 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque, the engine slots above the Wrangler’s entry-level 3.6-liter V6 which develops 285 hp (212 kW / 289 PS) and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque. While the turbocharged engine is slightly down on horsepower, it has more torque which would prove useful in a pickup.
Of course, the four-cylinder’s biggest advantage is its eTorque system. It features regenerative braking, electric power assist and an engine start / stop system. This setup significantly improves fuel efficiency as the Wrangler with the 3.6-liter V6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission is rated at 18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. With the four-cylinder, those numbers climb to 23 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.
That’s a noticeable improvement and The Drive reached out to Jeep to ask why the engine isn’t offered on the Gladiator. Their response wasn’t very detailed, but the company said “The 3.6-liter engine can handle the temperatures seen while towing.” This seems to suggest the four-cylinder engine was nixed for temperature management issues and a potentially low towing capacity.
The latter was hugely important for Jeep as the Gladiator is their first pickup in decades and the company obviously wanted to claim a best-in-class towing capacity. The brand was able to achieve that as the truck can tow up to 7,650 lbs (3,470 kg) when properly equipped.
While the Gladiator won’t be offered with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the company has already announced a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 will be available in 2020. It will be paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and produce 260 hp (193 kW / 263 PS) and 442 lb-ft (598 Nm) of torque.