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]
Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.
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