Powered by
  • WheelsWheels
  • 4X4 Australia4X4 Australia
  • Street MachineStreet Machine
  • Trade Unique CarsTrade Unique Cars

2020 Jeep Gladiator debuts at LA Auto Show

By Tristan Tancredi, 29 Nov 2018 News

2020 Jeep Gladiator debuts at LA Auto Show

Gladiator arrives with serious off-road credentials.

GONE is the Scrambler nameplate, with the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator officially debuting at the 2018 LA Auto Show.

The mid-size pick-up, set to arrive in US showrooms in the second quarter of 2019, will be available in Sport, Sport S, Overland and top-of-the-range Rubicon configurations.

IN PICTURES: 2020 Jeep Gladiator Gallery

Building on the Gladiator nameplate’s rich history, the 2020 model pays homage to the Jeep’s heritage but packs state-of-the-art tech and class-leading performance into its crew-cab form.

Jeep Gladiator revealed at LA Auto Show

When the Gladiator starts rolling out of Jeep’s Toledo, Ohio, plant it will be powered by the brand’s well-established 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine (213kW and 353Nm). This will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, but an eight-speed automatic transmission can be optioned. However, from 2020 Jeep will offer a 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

OFF-ROAD REVIEW: Gladiator in the Sierra Nevada mountains

The eight-speed auto delivers a 77.2:1 crawl ratio, as well as a 4.7:1 first gear ratio coupled with a 4.1:1 final drive; the six-speed manual features a 4.41 ratio spread.

Two advanced 4x4 systems will be available for the Gladiator pick-up. Sport and Overland models get the Command-Trac system as standard, which features a two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, and Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 3.73 rear axle ratio.

Jeep Gladiator Overland and Rubicon

Rubicon models get the Rock-Trac 4x4 system, which features the Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 4LO ratio of 4:1. Also standard is a 4.10 front and rear axle ratio and Tru-Lok locking diffs. The Rubicon’s suspension travel is aided via an electronic sway-bar disconnect.

The Gladiator utilises an exclusive five-link coil suspension design down back, with the springs tuned to find a balance between off- and on-road driving situations.

The Gladiator’s off-road credentials stack up further when you include the front and rear tow hooks, skid plates, bars, approach angle of 43.6 degrees, rampover angle of 20.3 degrees, departure angle of 26 degrees, and a ground clearance of 11.1 inches (282mm). It can also ford water at depths of up to 30 inches (762mm), tow up to 7650 pounds (3500kg), and it has a payload capacity of 1600 pounds (725kg).

Jeep Gladiator tray space

The Gladiator is available with a premium soft-top, as well as a black three-piece hard-top option – Overland and Rubicon models can be had with a three-piece body-colour hard-top. For the off-road purist who wants the windscreen gone and dirt in their eyes, a four-bolt design allows it to be easily folded down – with the rear-view mirror locked into place thanks to the A-pillar’s connection to the header bar.

The Gladiator’s legendary seven-slot grilled remains (obviously) but the slots have been widened to boost engine air-intake, which Jeep claims is to assist with the vehicle’s increased towing capacity.

The body-on-frame design features an all-new lightweight, high-strength steel frame, which is 31 inches (787.4mm) longer and has a 19.4-inch (492.8mm) longer wheelbase than the four-door Wrangler. To lose more weight, lightweight aluminium is utilised for the doors, hinges, bonnet, fenders, windscreen frame and tailgate.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Ample storage space down back is enhanced via a wide tailgate opening, strong integrated tie-down points and a power-locking tailgate. Four steel crossmembers reinforce the five-foot (1524mm) steel bed, and a full-size spare and mount capable of fitting up to a 35-inch tyre resides beneath the tray and behind the rear axle.

It wouldn’t be a Jeep without aftermarket support, and Mopar has already stated that more than 200 new or redesigned Jeep Performance Parts will be available for the 2020 Gladiator at launch. Products include a spray-in bedliner, lift kits, lighting, rock rails and wheels.

Gladiator production is set to begin in the first half of 2019. Specs and local launch dates are yet to be revealed.