Jeep has finally revealed the new Gladiator at the Los Angeles motor show, the Wrangler-based mid-size ute is already a confirmed starter Down Under.
The Gladiator could be the model to reverse Jeep’s fortunes in Australia, the brand states the new ute will bring plenty of functionality, towing capability and genuine 4x4 credentials.
Design features of the all-new Gladiator include the seven-slot grille from the Wrangler with slightly wider slots for additional air intake, a swept back key-stone shape for the grille enhances aerodynamics, forward turn-signals positioned on the front of the trapezoidal wheel flares, square LED tail lamps as well as a wide and damped tailgate with power-locking.
For increased functionality and convenience the bed features under-rail lighting and a covered external 400W 115-volt power source. There is also the Trail Rail Cargo Management System, spray-in bed liner, bed divider and tonneau cover available for additional storage and organisation.
In traditional Jeep style, a four-bolt design allows the windshield to be folded down quickly and easily whilst a header bar connects the A-pillars and remains in place when the windshield is folded down to allow the rearview mirror to be unaffected.
The doors are also lightweight and made from a high-strength aluminium with the Torx bit size stamped on the hinge for easier removal. The toolkit required to remove the doors and lower the windshield is included as standard.
All Gladiator models feature body-coloured sports bars welded to the body with integrated grab handles for front occupants as well as a premium Sunrider soft top which features retainers that slide into a track for easy rear window removal.
Internally the Jeep Gladiator features a heritage-inspired centre stack, inboard and outboard circular HVAC vents surrounded by platinum chrome, metal-plated accents, push-button start and cloth or leather-contoured seats with accent stitching and adjustable bolster and lumbar support. Heated front seats and steering wheel are also available.
Depending on the trim level, the instrument cluster features a 3.5- or 7.0-inch driver information display, with either a 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system.
Two USB ports and a USB-C port are located up front with two accessible from the rear which connect to the media centre as well as a 115-volt AC outlet for charging. A subwoofer and portable wireless speakers behind the rear seats are also available.
At the rear, the seats are new and feature high-quality premium materials. They can also be folded flat to allow access to the cab-back storage or provide a floor to load larger items as well as up into a ‘stadium’ position to reveal a standard open storage bin under the seat. Durable mesh pockets extending the length of the doors and phone storage areas will also be found.
If that still was not enough storage, optional lockable bins can provide secure storage for when the top or doors are removed and are available with two different size doors according to the 60/40 rear seat cushion split.
For the 2020 model year, the Jeep Gladiator will be available in four trim levels – Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon.
Adding to the above standard features the Overland model includes LED headlamps and fog lamps with crisp white light, DRLs, two-piece body-colour fender flares with black lower insert standard (available for Rubicon models), a three-piece body-colour hardtop option with two freedom panels and quick release latches as well as manual rear-sliding window and a hand-wrapped instrument panel with soft-touch surface and accent stitching (available for Rubicon models).
Rubicon models bring a protective cab, cargo bed rock rails, a forward-facing off-road camera, steel heavy-duty off-road rear bumper, optional front steel winch-ready bumper with removable end caps and 33-inch tyres.
One of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator's biggest claims to fame is the 3500kg towing capability that matches the market standard.
Off-road capability is delivered via the Command-Trac 4x4 system for Sport and Overland models with a two-speed transfer case featuring a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, and heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 3.73 rear axle ratio. There is also a Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential which provides extra torque and grip during slippery, low-traction situations, such as driving over sand, gravel, snow or ice.
Rubicon models get the Rock-Trac 4x4 system with heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 front and rear axle ratio is standard as are Tru-Lok locking differentials. They also offer improved articulation and total suspension travel with help from a segment-exclusive electronic sway-bar disconnect.
Jeep claim over 80 active and passive safety and security features will be available on the Gladiator including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, forward-facing off-road camera, adaptive cruise control and electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation.
At launch, the Gladiator will be powered by a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine offering 213kW of power and 353Nm of torque. It will be matched with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.
A 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 is set to join the line-up from 2020 offering 194kW of power and 599Nm of torque. It’ll be hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator will begin rolling off the assembly line from the first half of 2019 and is due to arrive in showrooms from the second quarter of next year with local specifications and pricing expected then. Watch this space!
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