By on November 14, 2018

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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56 Comments on “In Leaked Pics, a Gladiator Enters the Arena...”


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Looks good to me. What isn’t clear, however, is how (or if) FCA integrated a roll cage, as in the JL and JLU models. Not that the factory ones on those models are all that sturdy anyway, compared to a proper setup.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I like it too, very utilitarian looking, which is perfect for what it is. I wonder if itll be offered in any other configurations aside from the crew cab shown.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Consider me a fan as well. It certainly is utilitarian looking, but man $50k is hardly utilitarian pricing haha. Unless I was going serious trail running, any number of the midsizer trucks with some offroad gear come in $10k-$15k under that. If I really wanted maximum utility and bang for the buck and didn’t mind the larger size, I’d be buying an XL supercrew/Suebrcab F150, 4WD, 5.0L, $375 or whatever for the optional e-locker out back, and throw $5k at some upgraded Fox shocks/struts, front bumper+ winch, some all terrain tires, and a skid plate or two.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          I would place good money on the Sport versions being $15k-$20k less than the Rubicon model. The Rubicon is for those that want a very capable off road vehicle with a warranty rather than buying cheap and going aftermarket which, ironically, is what a lot of the guys do that really want to go mountain goating.

  • avatar
    RSF

    Heck Yeah! Makes you wonder why it took so long.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Wow, very nice, but with a price close to $50K with NO money on the hood, this is going to be a status/lifestyle truck more then a work truck, but still very cool

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Diesel, truly mid-size, I am interested for sure. However at $50K no flipping way, heck forget even 40K. I must be getting old because I just don’t see the value. In general Jeeps get poor mileage, ride rough and are noisy. Sure it looks cool and can likely climb over anything but how does that make it worth 50K? Have people lost their minds? I guess this madness is why the last four of the vehicles I’ve bought (going back to ’02) have been used.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      For reference a 2010 H3T MSRP starting price was about $29k. For that starting price the H3T could be optioned with a V8 and front+rear lockers.

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      “money on the hood” eye roll.

  • avatar
    Jon

    No base sport model. No longer interested.
    Was really hoping for a single cab, V6, manual trans and windows, a radio with knobs and cloth seats. Just let a truck be a truck!

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “Just let a truck be a truck!”

      No money in that… there is a reason why Toyota no longer sells a regular cab Tacoma and everyone else doesn’t offer one. If it wasn’t for fleets, I’d bet that Ford, GM and Ram would stop building regular cab trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        anomaly149

        Also, due to tooling amortization and low volume manufacturing costs, and nonrecurring engineering expenses, manual windows are frequently as expensive as power windows, if not more. And customers expect them to be cheaper.

        This is the answer to why there is less and less base content out there: the volume and amortization afforded to mid-level content is mind-boggling, usually enough that it’s cost competitive with base content.

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      They sell what sells the most. What you described doesn’t sell in enough quantities to be worth it. All about the bottom line. Not rocket science.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I’m not a Jeep guy but I do like this. Price tag, however, is a bit off-putting.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    Nevertheless, they will sell every one they make.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Bah! That’s not a pickup, it’s a lidless-trunk sedan. If it can’t handle a six foot sofa with the tailgate up, it ain’t a pickup.

  • avatar
    riggodeezil

    It’s kinda kooky looking, but in an endearing sort of way. Hell, they might as well ask $50K. They will indeed sell them all. This is exactly the kinda vee-hickle that the modern folks all want and love. Can’t wait to see one in the Wal Mart parking lot being loaded up with potting soil and kibble. That’ll probably be the closest I’ll ever get to one.

  • avatar
    Acd

    What’s up with the rear doors with the narrow bottom opening and angled to clear the wheel wells that aren’t there? That’s like British Leyland using the same doors on so many of their cars in the 60’s and ‘70’s.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    The name Gladiator > Scrambler and that’s coming from a former Scrambler owner who finds the old school CJ-8 about the ultimate Jeep. Overall I like this rig. Id prefer a 2 door single cab myself and if this is a success that MAY come down the pipe later on. What I really, REALLY want…HEMI. With V8 power I could maybe see a mid $40K price, but no V6 (no matter how good) is worth that.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    May as well start digging the grave for the ranger now. The ranger has the personality and capability of a sock compared to this.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      OMG yes, I’m sure everyone here is thinking about how awful the Ranger is. Way to “go there” bud.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      EBFlex,
      It’s according to the pricing. If the Jeep is cheap and reliable enough it will take Ranger sales.

      The Ranger is a very well designed vehicle and less of a compromise than the Jeep for most everyday activities. The Jeep will offer the “hey look at me” I’m an outdoorsy type hairdresser”.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Big Al from Oz – no way that this will be priced “competitively” if the only trims are going to be comparable to a Sahara and Rubicon Unlimited Wrangler. Those two products are priced similarly to full sized pickups and are priced more than mid-sized trucks. A full bling Rubicon is 65k and a full bling ZR2 diesel is around 58K in Canada. Even if it is priced the same as a Wrangler Unlimited, it will be more expensive than a comparable midsized pickup.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    A full bling Unlimited Rubicon is over 65k in Canada. This will add at least 5k to that price. We are getting into Raptor price ranges. A loaded Colorado ZR2 diesel is around 60k.
    FCA will fleece some hardcore Jeep fans and a sh!tload of wannabee’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Lou,
      I made a comment below similar to yours in relation to pricing. Here in Australia this will be viewed as a midsize challenger, not a great off roader like the 70 Series are.

      The pricing will be critical, very critical. It seems US vehicle prices are climbing quicker than the global average, I wonder if TTAC can do a story on US vehicle pricing.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This seems like a nice vehicle. I would like to see it in Australia.

    But if the pricing is in the mid 40s in the US means it will be up against some stiff competition like the X Class, Amarok and even a V8 diesel 70 Series ute and even up there with the Ranger Raptor.

    It has to be really special to sell. Some will sell to the hairdresser set.

    A base model for around $40k in AUD ($27k USD) will make it attractive, even if it came with the 2.8 diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      The dated Amarok and the half-assed X-class is your idea of stiff competition?

      LMFAO!

      But I’m sure you’re hoping itll come to Australia so you can make up reasons about how awful it is and how nobody likes it because they’re all so much smarter than us stupid Americans. I mean, they buy a pig with heavy lipstick and think its “stiff competition”!

  • avatar

    good name. GM would have called it the 2019 WT4?

  • avatar
    TheDutchGun

    I’ll be curious about Canadian pricing for a 6MT. I like the look though and it’s enough truck for my needs. Next vehicle will likely be between this and a ranger or possibly bronco. Obviously the only one we haven’t gotten a good look at yet is the bronco.

  • avatar
    DedBull

    The truck guy in me wants to see this as a 2 door regular cab. I do 90 percent of my driving just commuting by myself.

    The father in me worries about that 10% of the time when we are both going opposite directions and I have to carry the infant and my son with me.

    Regardless, for the small amount of time I do truck stuff, I can’t justify $40-50K to have a truck. I’ll continue to borrow vehicles and drive my econobox.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Gladiator plus FCA Italian… I’m predicting some bad meme’s around Roman cunni!ingus.

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    >>”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.

  • avatar
    road_pizza

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

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