Scrambler Vs Gladiator: It Might Be Time to Update Your Jeep Pickup Vocabulary

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
scrambler vs gladiator it might be time to update your jeep pickup vocabulary

Since reports arose last year of Jeep’s intention to use the long-departed Scrambler name for the upcoming Wrangler-based pickup, the media has more or less run with this assumption, placing a faint asterisk next to the moniker. Would it bother you to learn this might not be the pickup’s name?

Probably not, once you learn the real name, which Fiat Chrysler apparently posted on its media site for a brief period of time. Images of swords and armored breastplates usually have that effect.

As posted by the now questionably named, a screenshot of the page sent in by a “long-time trusted source” seems to indicate the Scrambler will actually appear as the Gladiator. The pickup, debuting at the L.A. Auto Show later this month, rides on a stretched version of the Wrangler Unlimited frame.

Built in Toledo on the former Wrangler JK assembly line, the Gladiator, if that’s what FCA’s calling it, launches as a 2020 model next year. FCA began retooling the JK line for the upcoming JT in April.

Ever since the departure of the Cherokee-based Comanche in the early 1990s, Jeep purists have begged and pleaded for a new pickup to rise in its wake. With American buyers now firmly allergic to passenger cars, and with the Jeep brand now valued higher than its parent company, the time is right for JT. All it needs is a name and a steep price tag, which the public is no doubt more than willing to pay.

Assuming the accuracy of the forum’s screengrab, it’s not surprising to see Jeep revert to the Gladiator name. While the CJ-8 Scrambler (1981-1986) would be fitting inspiration for a new truck name, given its Wrangler underpinnings, the Wagoneer-based Gladiator pickup (1963-1971) is, frankly, bigger and brawnier. It’s no wonder the automaker used this moniker for its 2005 Wrangler concept truck.

[Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

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2 of 30 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Nov 12, 2018

    I'm happy to see the Gladiator name return.

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Nov 14, 2018

    The thing that I think is being missed here is this: At the end of the day, "Scrambler" is only going to have cachet with American Jeep nerds. "Gladiator" will have much greater resonance on the global stage.

  • Kat Laneaux What's the benefits of this as opposed to the Ford or Nissan. Will the mileage be better than the 19 city, 24 hwy? Will it cost less than the average of $60,000? Will it be a hybrid?
  • Johnster Minor quibble. The down-sized full-sized 1980-only Continental (which was available with Town Car and Town Coupe trims) gave up its name in 1981 and became the Town Car. The name "Town Coupe" was never used after the 1980 model year. The 1981 Lincoln Town Car was available with a 2-door body style, but the 2-door Lincoln Town Car was discontinued and not offered for the 1982 model year and never returned to the Lincoln lineup.
  • Zipper69 Some discreet dwebadging and this will pass for a $95k Lucid Air...
  • Zipper69 Does it REALLY have to be a four door?Surely a truly compact vehicle could stick with the half-door access with jump seats for short term passengers.
  • ToolGuy See kids, you can keep your old car in good condition.