A Great Deal It Seems

After photographs of the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator leaked into the ocean that is the Internet, every single publication started to scrutinize every single piece of information available. Before I get into details of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, I have to tell you something else. For the past few weeks, the three most important car news that appeared aren’t about cars. One is the leak of the baby Bronco, the other is the Aston Martin DBX, and the third is, well, this one - the Jeep Gladiator. See, we live in a world with fantastic roads that stretch everywhere. So, you can basically drive your sedan, sports car, or wagon (if you really must) everywhere, but you are still choosing SUVs, trucks, and other utility vehicles. The timing for this Jeep pickup truck is probably just on point. The Colorado spruced the segment; the Ranger drizzled it with sparkles, and the Frontier, well, it was there all along. Jeep will join this amazing lineup with its one-ton, mid-size Jeep Gladiator - a new truck that will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Jeep Truck History lesson

The Long, Illustrious History of Jeep Pickup Trucks
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The new Jeep Gladiator seems to have steered a lot of emotions on the market. Let me tell you why - Jeep had six different pickup trucks in its lineup through the years:

  • Willy’s Overland 4x4 Truck - produced from 1947-1965
  • Jeep FC Series - produced from 1956 - 1965
  • Jeep Gladiator - produced from 1962 - 1988
  • Jeep Jeepster Commando - produced from 1966 - 1973
  • Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler - produced from 1981 - 1986
  • Jeep Comanche - produced from 1986 - 1992

See, Jeep has a long history of making pickup trucks. One even had the name Scrambler. Another one was the Gladiator. So, no wonder we ended up with one of them in this modern day and age. Plus, each and every one of the Jeep trucks from history brought something cool into play. The FC Series, for example, was a cabover. The Gladiator, on the other hand, was rather low, but featured great clearance and was the first truck offered with 4WD and an automatic transmission. We can’t wait to see what the new one has to show.

The Jeep Scrambler or the Jeep Gladiator?

The Long, Illustrious History of Jeep Pickup Trucks
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Just weeks ago, the whole world thought that the new Jeep pickup would be called the Scrambler. Basically, after the CJ-8 Scrambler.

However, according to a short blip at the FCA media site that cited the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, we can only assume that this will be the official name of the new Jeep Pickup. This entry has been deleted since.

I am a bit bummed by this as the new truck is basically a pickup version of the Wrangler. It will look much the same, only with a nice bed behind. The Scrambler was a pickup version of the CJ-8. The Gladiator, on the other hand, had a different look to it. With that said, I feel like the new Jeep pickup is more of a spiritual successor to the Scrambler than the Gladiator. Not in size, mind you, as the new one is a mid-size truck with four doors and, probably, a five-foot bed. It is big.

Right now and according to the information we have, we can assume Jeep will introduce the 2020 Gladiator Sport Pickup JTJL98, the 2020 Gladiator Overland Pickup JTJP98, and the 2020 Gladiator Rubicon Pickup JTJS98.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is Heavily Based on the All-New 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

2018 Jeep Wrangler
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Well, of course, it is. But before you dismiss this little fact, let me tell you what basing the first Jeep pickup truck in more than 25 years on the Wrangler JL architecture actually entails.

First of all, a large part of the Jeep Gladiator will be made of aluminum.

Body panels like the doors, fenders, a tailgate, and some other pieces of the bodywork will be made of it. This way, the Gladiator will be light and competitive in the one-ton truck segment. More importantly, everything that makes the Wrangler awesome will be eligible for the Gladiator too - engines, suspension, four-wheel drive - you name it.

Interestingly enough, spy photographers and journalists have only seen four-door versions in development. No two door version in sight! Maybe later. I hope.

Leaked Press Photos

Here's Everything We Know About the Jeep Gladiator
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Jeep Gladiator Forum published five photographs of what seems to be the new Jeep Gladiator.

The photographs have that “official photos” quality to them, and I do believe they are the real deal.

They do show the 2020 Jeep Gladiator in the most fitting setting - outside the road, on grass, and on rocks.

Here we can see a pickup truck looking basically the same as the Wrangler, only with the bed at the back. I find it intriguing that Jeep (taking into account that these are the official photos) actually released a vehicle with a soft top. That would be awesome. Whatever the case, the Gladiator definitely looks exceptional. I find it attractive. Now, imagine it with some aftermarket suspension with long travel and massive tires. Can’t wait to see what time and people will make of it.

Good Stuff

Here's Everything We Know About the Jeep Gladiator
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Consider again that the Gladiator is based around the Wrangler JL.

The tech beneath the largely aluminum exterior will be really close to what we have already seen.

Some leaked documents have confirmed Dana 44 axles with disconnecting sway bars. A Limited slip diff is part of the deal, as well as 33-inch tires if you are adventurous enough for them (and considering you are thinking “hmm, I’d like a Jeep pickup,” you are).

All of this will make the new Gladiator a real treat off the roads. Heck, in the water as well, as it will wade through 30 inches of it with ease.

Jeep Gladiator Towing Capacities

Here's Everything We Know About the Jeep Gladiator
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While we are still a few days off from the official debut of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup truck, Internet warrior managed to dig up main specs for the towing and hauling capacities of the 2020 Gladiator.

Apparently, the truck will have the best-in-class towing capacity of 7,650 pounds.

Payload capacity, on the other hand, is rated at just 1,600 pounds. Basically, you have here a truck capable of amazing off-roading and can tow more than any other of this size. Plus, it looks exceptional!

Engine

Here's Everything We Know About the Jeep Gladiator
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I expect the 2020 Jeep Gladiator to have the same engine and drivetrain hardware as the Wrangler.

The 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine is a clear choice. After all, the Colorado engine bay can be equipped with the 2.8-liter turbodiesel. The Gladiator is expected to have a similar option too. On the other hand, the gasoline engine is a familiar 3.6-liter V-6.

Interestingly enough, some do report that the diesel version will have a payload rating of 2,200 lbs. It is a one-ton truck after all. As far as transmission options go, expect an eight-speed automatic and a six-speed manual.

Interior and Technology

2018 Jeep Wrangler Interior
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Take a look at this photo of the Wrangler interior. The Gladiator interior has to be the same. That means, it is rugged, well thought out, and follows the principles of the Wrangler and Jeep in general.

Despite its ruggedness, the interior will have all imaginable modern equipment including an eight-inch touchscreen powered by FCA’s UConnect infotainment system.

All with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Apart from that, the Gladiator is expected to get 80 different technology aids such as driving aids, and a comprehensive safety technology suite.
Radars, cameras, sensors? It will all be in there.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator JT is Expected in Showrooms in Early 2019

Here's Everything We Know About the Jeep Gladiator
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The Jeep Gladiator will hit dealers shortly after its debut at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. You will probably be able to order one right away, so be ready to dial that Jeep dealership ASAP after the LA Auto Show. Their phones will be on fire.

2005 Jeep Gladiator Concept

2005 Jeep Gladiator concept
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Do you remember this one?

The Jeep Gladiator Concept was revealed in late 2004. Not as a representation of the Gladiator that comes now, but as a vehicle actually denoting the 2007 Jeep Wrangler. The two-door machine did, in fact, feature many facets of the Gladiator we expect to see in a few days. After all, their looks are similar. No wonder there. Wrangler-based vehicles can’t actually look that different, can they?

However, it did feature a fold-down windshield, a 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine, removable doors, and a customizable bed. It may be that the new one will feature much the same talents. We will know soon enough.

Final Thoughts

Here's Everything We Know About the Jeep Gladiator Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Apart from being a true Jeep contender in a one-ton truck segment that is, slowly, but surely, becoming more and more popular, the Jeep Gladiator has to capture the imagination, the spirit, and the heritage of the Gladiator name and all other pickups in Jeep history. Basing it on the Wrangler is clever as it does feature a body-on-frame chassis, but also the Gladiator will inherit all of its off-roading knacks.

This may, very well, become the best selling one-ton pickup truck in the country.

Further reading

Here's Everything We Know About the Jeep Gladiator
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.

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