Jeep reveals the Gladiator which morphs into a dual-cab ute
MEET America's tough new Toyota HiLux rival.
Jeep has taken the covers off the much anticipated Gladiator dual-cab ute.
The new workhorse, based on the iconic Wrangler 4WD, is expected to join the booming one-tonne ute market in 2020, taking on the likes of the top-selling HiLux and Ford's Ranger.
It's Jeep's first foray into the segment since 1992, and it revives the Gladiator name that debuted in the sixties.
"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 mid-size truck ever," says the head of Jeep North America Tim Kuniskis.
Jeep has stretched the Wrangler's underpinnings by 787mm to accomodate a larger cabin and the tray.
In true Wrangler fashion the Gladiator will feature both soft- and hard-top versions and a fold-down windscreen, giving motorists the first open-air ute experience.
Power will come from a powerful 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine (212kW/353Nm) that is matched to a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
In a market dominated by diesel engines, Toyota and Mitsubishi are the only major players to offer a petrol-powered ute and both use a smaller four-cylinder units matched to two-wheel drive.
The petrol variant will be joined later by a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine (194kW/599Nm) paired to an eight-speed auto. The diesel's outputs make it the most powerful ute in its class.
Petrol versions will enter production overseas in 2019 with the diesel to follow later. By the time the Gladiator arrives in Australia, both engines should be available.
All models are four-wheel drive and have a towing capacity of 3500kg and a payload of 725kg which matches most mainstream rivals.
The Gladiator will also deliver some serious off-road potential thanks to locking differentials, an approach angle of 43.6 degrees and a departure angle of 26 degrees, along with a wading depth of up to 760mm.
The Gladiator will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, accessible through either a 7.0- or 8.4-inch touch screen depending on specification. Inside buyers have the option of cloth or leather and various interior storage compartments.
Exterior styling mirrors the new Wrangler with the retro Jeep grille and headlight design.
"Unquestionably a truck and instantly recognisable as a Jeep, the all-new 2020 Gladiator is the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure," says Kuniskis.