Can the Jeep Gladiator Hold Its Own Against a new, Bronco-Based Pickup?
The 2020 Gladiator may be enjoying on its legacy, but a Bronco-badged pickup could nullify the former’s advantageby Sidd Dhimaan, on
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator made a strong impact when it debuted earlier this year. The iconic pickup truck from Jeep was long due and managed to live up to the hype of enthusiasts. The X-factor of the Gladiator is its versatility. People expected the Gladiator to be mainly an off-roader of sorts. The brain-stormers at Jeep, however, did a great job in splitting the variants that make the Gladiator a competent work truck, daily driver, and a hardcore off-roader. However, it is now going to face competition from the company that is dominating the truck segment for decades now. Yes, I’m talking about the Blue Oval. The company has reportedly come up with a Bronco-based pickup truck that will take on the Jeep Gladiator.
Good To See Ford Being The Attack Dog
Ford is slowly becoming the soft target in the truck segment for all major automakers. Rivian and Tesla have announced war on the Blue Oval with their pickup trucks. Just a few days back, it was reported that Nissan might up the ante to take on the Ford Ranger Raptor. So, instead of being on the defensive, Ford is fending off attacks from its rivals and has decided to counter-attack by taking on the modern-day icon - the Jeep Gladiator.
According to AutoForecast Solutions, Ford is working on a 2021 Bronco-based pickup truck.
The design and engineering began a couple of months before the Jeep Gladiator was launched. The production of this truck is expected to begin in 2024.
However, the funny thing is that the Bronco itself is based on the Ranger’s architecture. So, this is going to be a Ranger pickup-based-Bronco-based-Bronco pickup. Is this the Ranger’s alter ego?! The biggest differentiating factor will be the bed and cab ratios. Also, the Bronco will most likely come with removable roof panels, and we can expect the same from the Bronco-based pickup truck. Even the Gladiator does!
The Bronco Will be Jeep Wrangler’s Nightmare
Speaking of the Ford Bronco, the company has announced that it will be making a comeback in 2020 as a 2021 model due to popular demand. The Bronco was one of the best off-road SUVs from the 1960s to 1990s. A few test mules of the 2021 Bronco have been spotted with heavy camouflage, but they look nothing like the official teaser image that Ford has officially revealed. This teaser shows a very boxy-side of the Bronco, unlike the test mule. Another interesting aspect is the spare wheel fixed on the boot-door.
According to a leaked e-catalogue, the 2021 Bronco will be powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine.
The same mill is found in the Ranger as well, and if it was a plug-and-play scenario, the Bronco with this engine could make 270 horses and 310 pound-feet of torque. This engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, and, I believe it could take care of the power duties in the base trim of the Bronco. The other engine options could include the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine and a 5.0-liter, V-8 engine.
|Fuel economy city/highway/combined||21/26/26 combined|
Gladiator Better Take This Seriously
The Jeep Gladiator, on the other hand, is an open book. Jeep launched the 2020 Gladiator in four different trims - Sport, Sport S, Overland, and Rubicon - and, all of them serve different purposes. The Gladiator is offered with just one engine option across the entire range - a 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine that churns out 285 ponies and 260 pound-feet of twist. This is the same mill that is present under the hood of the Jeep Wrangler as well, and that is why Bronco will have the 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine. Power is sent to all the wheel via a six-speed manual gearbox, but an eight-speed automatic transmission is available as option. Jeep has focused on low-end torque and a broad torque range on the Gladiator; so, don’t judge it for its mediocre power figures on paper. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator can tow up to 7,650 pounds and haul up to 1,600 pounds in the two base trims. The figures depreciate in the top two trims and are rated at 6,000 and 1,140 pounds, respectively.
|Engine||3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V-6|
|Type and Description||60-degree, V-type, liquid-cooled|
|Displacement||(cu. in. / cc) 220 cu. in. (3,604 cu. cm)|
|Bore x Stroke||3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83)|
|Valve System||Chain-driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-pivot roller rockers|
|Fuel Injection||Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless|
|Construction||Aluminum deep-skirt block, aluminum alloy heads|
|Power||285 HP @ 6,400 RPM|
|Torque||260 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM|
If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that Ford attacked the Wrangler with the Bronco, and now, the Wrangler-based Gladiator pickup with a Bronco-based pickup. Ford’s going all berserk on Jeep for some reason. Ford has been quite stubborn in bringing the Ranger Raptor to the States. Was Ford holding this idea so that it can bring a Raptor version of this new Bronco pickup right from its launch? Its way soon to predict, but it is highly plausible. The Gladiator starts at $35,000, whereas the Ranger starts at $24,000. So, the Bronco-based pickup should be priced close to the Gladiator and will not eat into the Ranger’s sales as well. We could also expect a lot of Bronco’s features to be offered on this. Long way to go, but we are hyped to see how all of this pans out. What are your thoughts on this? Share them with us in the comments section below.
Read our full review on the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Ford Bronco.