Jeep has unveiled the Gladiator – a dual-cab offroad ute that represents the American brand’s first consumer truck in over 25 years.
The new Gladiator is based on the mid-size Wrangler SUV. Its wheelbase measures in at 3500mm – that’s 493mm longer than its SUV sibling. The ute’s bed is also 1500mm long, and features in-built tie-downs and a spare wheel located under the floor – tonneau covers, spray-in liners, dividers, LED bed lighting and power outlets can be had as options.
All Gladiators get Jeep’s ‘Trail Rated’ badge, and boast 43.6 degree approach, 20.3 degree breakover and 26 degree departure angles. Ground clearance is claimed at 282mm, which allows for a 760mm water fording depth. The bed can hold up to 725kg, while when the ‘Max Towing Package’ is optioned the Gladiator can tow up to 3470kg.
At launch, the sole powertrain available is the trusty 3.6-litre Pentastar naturally aspirated V6 petrol – it sends 213kW of power and 353Nm of torque through all wheels through a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. In 2020, Jeep will offer a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel engine that will produce 194kW of power and 599Nm of torque – the automatic transmission comes as standard.
Underneath, the Gladiator gets five-link independent rear suspension, something that isn’t found on the Wrangler. Two 4WD systems are offered: the Sport and Overland models get the ‘Command-Trac 4×4’ system with Dana 44 axles, two-speed transfer case, 2.72:1 low range gearing and a 3.73 rear axle ratio. On the other hand, the Rubicon variant gets the ‘Rock-Trac 4×4’ system with the same axles but with a 4:1 low range gear and 84.2:1/77.2:1 crawl ratios for the manual and automatic respectively.
Other off-road features standard on the Gladiator include an electronic sway bar disconnect, locking differentials and a heavy duty rear bumper.
Inside, there’s the same interior as the Wrangler, with infotainment screens ranging between 5.0 and 8.4 inches in size. Opting for the 7.0 or 8.4 inch screens brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Safety features available include adaptive cruise control, reversing camera, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring and ESC.
The Jeep Gladiator goes on sale in the US in the second quarter of 2019.