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Jeep Gladiator 2020 revealed: Wrangler ute officially unveiled


The all-new (and long-awaited) Wrangler-based ute has been unveiled, with the 2020 Jeep Gladiator finally revealed in Los Angeles.

It was the subject of several leaks, and it seems they were all bang on the money, with Jeep’s foray into the booming pick-up segment promising solid payload and towing specs, as well as rock-solid off-road credentials.

“Unquestionably a truck and instantly recognisable as a Jeep, the all-new 2020 Gladiator is the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure,” says Jeep’s American boss, Tim Kuniskis.

“There is tremendous demand for this unique vehicle from our loyal Jeep customers and pick-up truck buyers everywhere. Born from a rich and proud heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks, Gladiator combines rugged utility, versatility and functionality resulting in the most capable midsize truck ever.

"This is the answer to what happens when Jeep buils a truck. The most anticipated Jeep product in recent history; it's 100 per cent truck, 100 per cent Jeep, and 100 per cent original." 

The Gladiator isn't Jeep's first attempt at a truck, with a Wrangler-based ute (or one of its earlier ancestors) first launched in the 1940s. So why bring it back now? Because mid-size ute sales have doubled in the USA over the past month (results largely mirrored in Australia), and Jeep wanted a slice of that lucrative pie.

First, let’s take a moment to just look at it. Jeep’s boxy off-road icon clearly lends itself to a ute design, and so FCA’s team have largely glued a tray to the back of a four-door Wrangler Unlimited, with a choice of hard or soft roof.

  • Launch models will come with a 209kW/353Nm 3.6-litre petrol V6 paired with an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual. Launch models will come with a 209kW/353Nm 3.6-litre petrol V6 paired with an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual.
  • A 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 will launch later, scheduled for 2020. A 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 will launch later, scheduled for 2020.
  • The wheels are 17 inches, and the Gladiator stretches 5539mm in length, 1875mm in width and up to 1907mm in height. The wheels are 17 inches, and the Gladiator stretches 5539mm in length, 1875mm in width and up to 1907mm in height.
  • The manual's towing and payload capacities are listed at around 3.5 tonnes and 725 kilograms, respectively. The manual's towing and payload capacities are listed at around 3.5 tonnes and 725 kilograms, respectively.
  • The new Gladiator features a front... The new Gladiator features a front...
  • ... and rear-mounted parking cameras. ... and rear-mounted parking cameras.
  • Customers have a choice of a hard or soft roof. Customers have a choice of a hard or soft roof.
  • Even the cheapest Sport model gets the Command-Trac 4x4 system, with a two-speed transfer case and Dana 44 front and rear axles. Even the cheapest Sport model gets the Command-Trac 4x4 system, with a two-speed transfer case and Dana 44 front and rear axles.
  • The Rubicon model will prove the hardiest of the lot, with a Rock-Trac 4x4 system with “4LO” and Tru-Lok locking differentials and sway-bar disconnect. The Rubicon model will prove the hardiest of the lot, with a Rock-Trac 4x4 system with “4LO” and Tru-Lok locking differentials and sway-bar disconnect.
  • Thanks to a 1531mm long tray that is equipped with a covered power source and tie-down points, you should genuinely be able to put the Gladiator to work. Thanks to a 1531mm long tray that is equipped with a covered power source and tie-down points, you should genuinely be able to put the Gladiator to work.

Internationally, the Gladiator will arrive in three trim levels - Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon - and will be available with two engine choices, a 3.6-litre petrol V6 good for 209 kW and 353Nm - paired with an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual - while a 3.0-litre diesel V6 will launch later, scheduled for 2020.

The wheels are 17 inches, and the Gladiator stretches 5539mm in length, 1875mm in width and up to 1907mm in heigh.

Towing capacity is listed at "up to" 7650 pounds, or around 3.5 tonnes, and payload capacity at 1600 pounds, or 725 kilograms, with the manual transmission. But that number falls to around 500kg if you opt for an automatic transmission.

Like the Wrangler on which it's based, off-road adventures should be a breeze. Even the cheapest Sport model gets the Command-Trac 4x4 system, with a two-speed transfer case and Dana 44 front and rear axles. But the Rubicon model will prove the hardiest of the lot, with a Rock-Trac 4x4 system with “4LO” and Tru-Lok locking differentials and sway-bar disconnect.

And you should genuinely be able to put the Gladiator to work, too, thanks to a tray that stretches five feet, or 1531mm, in length, and that is equipped with a covered power source and tie-down points.

American cars come with the fold-down windshield, too, though that bit it unlikely to make it to Australia. On the tech front, a choice of 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.4-inch touchscreens (depending on trim level) are both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto equipped. 

The Gladiator's Australian launch date remains unclear, though it is confirmed for our market. But with a USA launch expected in the middle of the new year, we’d be surprised to see a Gladiator here before the end of next year.

What do you think of Jeep's new ute? Tell us in the comments below.

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