In Leaked Pics, a Gladiator Enters the Arena

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
in leaked pics a gladiator enters the arena

This, apparently, is it. The Jeep Wrangler pickup, which we just learned will resurrect the Gladiator name from the dustbin of Jeep’s past.

Details and very pleasing images of the model, scheduled for an L.A. debut at the end of the month, were apparently posted to Fiat Chrysler’s media site for a brief time, during which the now-renamed JeepGladiatorForum secured screenshots.

The images pull the string on the camo that’s covered the model’s pre-production predecessors for well over a year. Riding on a lengthened frame borrowed from the Wrangler Unlimited, the Gladiator is pretty much as we expected it: a four-door Wrangler with a five-foot bed aft of the cabin.

The pictured showcase two trim levels: top-flight Rubicon and what looks to be a Sahara model, surprising us with its full-length running board. Side steps seemed more likely. As this vehicle carries its own development costs above and beyond the Wrangler JL line, Jeep isn’t likely to offer a base Sport model. The Gladiator is meant to bolster FCA’s bottom line and elevate the Jeep brand to new heights, not offer truck lovers a fun, low-priced truck runabout that excels in off-road conditions. Jeep aficionados, who chomped at the bit for years hoping for a Wrangler pickup, will no doubt turn the Gladiator into a full-scale money-printing machine.

One thing made clear by these photos is that, yes, you’ll be able to own a convertible pickup when the Gladiator goes on sale next year as a 2020 model. A convertible pickup with an available stick, no less. Think about that for a second. Doors and windshield fold or unbolt in the same manner as its non-pickup siblings, too.

As for specs, it’s reported that the pickup will come with a standard 3.6-liter V6 mated to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. Optional is a 3.0-liter diesel V6/eight-speed combo. No mention of the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited’s optional 2.0-liter turbo four. To be clear, that’s the second-generation EcoDiesel engine, the output of which remains a mystery. Electronic stop-start will be a feature of this engine when it becomes available some time after the Gladiator’s launch.

Also on offer are the same 4×4 systems found in other Wranglers, along with third-generation Dana 44 axles, a limited-slip diff, and an electronic sway bar disconnect. Details scrounged from the now-disappeared webpage cites a towing capacity of 7,650 pounds and a payload capacity of up to 1,600 pounds. FCA boasts of “unmatched” crawl ratios and up to 30 inches of water fording capability.

One thing that remains unknown is the model’s starting price. A Wrangler Unlimited Sahara carries a pre-destination MSRP of $38,295, with the Rubicon model going for $41,445. While the new pickup is expected to carry a premium, opinions differ on just how high the thing might start. The mid-40k range seems likely.

[Images: JeepGladiatorForum]

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  • Good ole dayz Good ole dayz on Nov 17, 2018

    >>"Electronic stop-start will be a feature of this engine when it becomes available some time after the Gladiator’s launch" Is there a way to default that to off? Constantly pulling away from stop without oil and transmission fluid pressure has got to be hell on the long-term durability of a drivetrain. I know that manufacturers are compelled to make offering to the Obama-era climate change fraud gods and their 50 mpg fleet average "goals" -- but I don't want that offering to be my self-destructing drivetrain shortly after the vehicle is out of warranty. I would think too that lack of oil pressure would be even worse on long-term diesel longevity (though that's already in the toilet thanks to the EPA) and the climate change cult that it serves.

  • Road_pizza Road_pizza on Nov 23, 2018

    If FCA would have promised us an extended cab version I wouldn't have leased my F150. Your loss, FCA.

  • Fred I don't know about those big screens. Is there a way to minimize the display, so it's not so distracting? Especially at night the glow doesn't make it easy for me.
  • Arthur Dailey Toronto Blue Jays' games are only available on AM radio. As I am 'on the road' quite often when the Jays play that is my only option for listening to the game. So an AM radio is something of a 'must have' for me.
  • JMII My brother tracked one of these for several years... it will embarrass other sports cars. He sold it to someone who still rips it around on track days. Given my previous VW experience I wouldn't touch it but these are surprising quick and handle well for hatchback credit going to a decent AWD system. $16k seems crazy, but Rs aren't that common and this one appears to be in great condition and seems well sorted.
  • Arthur Dailey I meant the grille and the profile along the passenger area. Look closely and it is reminiscent of the Journey.
  • Daniel 16500 pesos