Jeep officials are remaining tight-lipped over the prospect of its 'Desert Rated' Gladiator Mojave coming to Australia.
The Mojave, described by Jeep as “the ultimate in high-speed off-road capability and performance in sand environments”, was on display at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, and is designed with upgrades to make it more competent off-road, similar to the popular Ford Ranger Raptor.
Speaking to CarsGuide at the launch of the Gladiator, Jeep director of product brand strategy Guillaume Drelon said plans for the Mojave are currently shrouded in secrecy.
"Yeah, call it a future product so I'm not allowed to comment on this," he said. "If I do [reveal any details about the Mojave], probably Tracie [Stoltenburg, FCA Australia communications boss] would be very hard with me."
The US Mojave has a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine (213kW/353Nm) and eight-speed auto, but it will also be offered in the US with a six-speed manual.
It is the brand's first Desert Rated vehicle and has a reinforced frame, one-inch front suspension lift, reinforced axles, 33-inch Falken all-terrain tyres, as well as Fox shocks suspension – same as the set-up in the Ford Ranger Raptor.
The leather interior is dressed up with orange stitching and embroidered Mojave logos, and the Mojave's bonnet even has a Mojave-specific decal.
Australia’s Gladiators have Jeep’s 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine, producing 209kW at 6400rpm and 347Nm at 4100rpm, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The “lifestyle pick-up truck” is available here in three variants: Overland, Rubicon and the Launch edition, of which there are only 100 available.
The Gladiator Overland has 18-inch alloy wheels, Overland-branded seats, and Jeep’s Selec-Trac Active On-Demand 4x4 system.
The Rubicon gets 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as Rock-Trac Active On-Demand 4x4 System, Tru-Lok front and rear locking differentials, front sway-bar disconnect, and Fox aluminium-bodied 2-inch diameter front and rear shocks.
The Launch edition gets a lot of that as well as tailgate badge, leather-wrapped instrument panel with Rubicon red stitching, exclusive 17-inch black alloy wheels, Rubicon steel front bumper, black leather trim seats, heated front seats & steering wheel, cargo management group with trail rail system, roll-up tonneau cover, spray-in bedliner, and auxiliary switch bank (with four programmable switches).
Pricing for the Gladiator currently tops out at $86,450 before on-road costs for the Launch Edition, meaning if the Mojave were to arrive, it would push closer to the $90,000 mark.
Jeep Australia will also introduce a circa-$65,000 entry-level Sport S version of the Gladiator before the end of the year.