2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave Desert Dueler Debuts at Chicago Auto Show

2020 jeep gladiator mojave desert dueler debuts at chicago auto show

Chevrolet has the Colorado Bison, Toyota has the Tacoma TRD Pro, and now Ford has the Ranger Raptor (at least in other markets). Now, Jeep has the Gladiator Mojave.

Built for desert running, the Mojave offers up the exact kind of kit you’d expect.

That includes FOX hydraulic jounce bumpers, FOX 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks with external reservoirs, and standard 33-inch Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires. The frame is reinforced and the Mojave gets a one-inch lift over other Gladiators, and a silver skid plate is part of the package. Axles are strengthened and there are cast-iron steering knuckles. The seats get more aggressive upper bolstering. These features are all standard.

The two-speed transfer case has a 2.72:1 low-gear ratio, and both front and rear axles are heavy-duty Dana 44 units. There’s a standard electronic-locking rear diff and a 4.10:1 rear-axle ratio. Jeep says the Mojave’s transfer case allows for higher operating speeds in 4-LO to make climbing sand dunes easier.

The approach angle is 44.7 degrees, with a breakover of 20.9 degrees and departure angle of 25.5 degrees. Ground clearance is listed at 11.6 inches. The track is a half-inch wider, and the Mojave can handle 1,200 pounds of payload and tow up to 6,000 pounds. An “Off Road Plus” button that adjusts the throttle, transmission shift points, and traction control is meant to further improve the desert driving experience.

Under hood is the expected 285-horse, 260 lb-ft of torque 3.6-liter V6. You can still choose a six-speed manual transmission or eight-speed automatic.

Jeep has labeled some of its vehicles “trail rated” for ages now, and the Mojave becomes the first to earn the brand’s new “desert rated” designation. I have no inside info, but common sense suggests this isn’t the only time we’ll see a Jeep with that designation. Orange accents help set the Mojave apart, as well.

Jeep is also unveiling High Altitude appearance packages for the Wrangler and Gladiator at Chicago. These packages allow buyers to match the roof to the body color and pair the combo with 20-inch wheels and a leather interior.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Hummer Hummer on Feb 06, 2020

    I would have thunk 4.10 gearsets would be standard anyways, that’s not a very big engine so it needs all the gearing that can be thrown at it for its weight. The transfer case is not very steep but probably perfect for sand as it mentions, kind of a hindrance when bigger tires and different terrain conditions are thrown in. Very nice truck, sales don’t seem too bad considering it’s base price is about $10k more than everyone else’s.

    • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on Feb 06, 2020

      Looks like its a rubiocon, with different shocks, transfer case gearing and tires.

  • Whynotaztec Whynotaztec on Feb 06, 2020

    I’m a Jeep guy, and I have a wrangler and love it. But having seen the gladiator in real life all I can say is meh. I don’t hate it but I can’t see ever wanting one.

    • See 1 previous
    • Kericf Kericf on Feb 07, 2020

      @highdesertcat I can confirm this is false. I've been looking at Gladiator and Wranglers and my wife said the Gladiator looks like an SUV with a birth defect.

  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.