Wrangler ute debuts with V6 power, two 4WD systems, and one of the toughest names in motoring.
The Gladiator, Jeep's long-awaited Wrangler-based ute, has finally made its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles motor show.
Riding on a 3500mm wheelbase, the Gladiator is 493mm longer between the axles than a five-door Wrangler. Its frame is also 787mm longer than the largest Wrangler. In other words, it's going to be big.
The Gladiator's tray bed is about 1500mm long, with inbuilt tie-downs and an under-floor spare wheel mount capable of holding rolling stock up to 35 inches in diameter.
Options include under-rail lighting, a covered power outlet, a bed divider and spray-in liner, a tonneau cover, and a cargo management system. Given it's a Jeep, the aftermarket will likely be flooded with crazy accessories before long, too.
At launch the Gladiator will be fitted with a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine pumping out 213kW of power and 353Nm of torque. It'll be paired with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.
From 2020, though, the pickup will be offered with a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel making 194kW of power and 599Nm of torque, and a standard eight-speed auto. Both engines will come with automatic stop/start as standard.
Down back is a five-link rear suspension unique to the Gladiator, while there are two four-wheel drive systems on offer. Command-Trac 4x4 is fitted to Sport and Overland models, with heavy-duty Dana 44 axles, a two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range and 3.73 rear axle ratio. A limited-slip rear differential will be offered as an option.
For the Rubicon model, the Rock-Trac 4x4 system is used. Again it features heavy-duty 44 axles, this time with 4LO ratio of 4:1. The crawl ratio for six-speed manual Rubicons is 84.2:1, while the eight-speed auto has a 77.2:1 crawl ratio.
There's also an electronic sway bar disconnect feature, improved articulation and suspension travel, locking front and rear differentials, and a heavy-duty steel rear bumper. A winch-ready front steel bumper with removable end caps is available as an optional extra.
The Sport, Overland and Rubicon have all been 'Trail Rated' by the company, and feature a 43.6 degree approach angle, 20.3 degree breakover angle, and 26 degree departure angle.
With a ground clearance of 282mm, these Gladiators are capable of fording water up to 76cm deep. They also have a 725 kilogram payload rating, and when equipped with the Max Towing Package can tow up to 3470kg.
Depending on the grade, the Gladiator can be equipped with an infotainment system centred around a 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.4-inch touchscreen. The two larger screen sizes come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring as standard.
Available safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a reversing camera, adaptive cruise control, and electronic stability control with roll mitigation
Being a Wrangler-based vehicle, the Gladiator is available with a fold-down windscreen, and a variety of door, soft- and hard-top options.
Fiat Chrysler Australia has confirmed the Gladiator will be coming Down Under, but timing has yet to decided.