Only days after the crew at the www.jeepgladiatorforum.com leaked the information that the name of Jeep’s new Wrangler based pick-up would be Gladiator, they’ve got their mitts on these leaked official images and details on the truck which will be designated JT.
They distinctly show the long wheelbase, full-size bed, four-door truck which falls into the mid-size category alongside one-tonne utes such as Ranger and Colorado. What those popular utes don’t have though is the Jeep’s peerless off-road ability afforded by live axles front and rear, with locking differentials available on the Rubicon models.
Add in the host of other off-road tricks that are available on the Wrangler, and the JT should be the best ute in its class when you get off the pavement. Water fording depth is quoted as 760mm.
The documents also claim ‘class-leading’ payload and towing capacities which, at 725.7kg and 3469kg respectively, are down on payload but up there with the popular one-tonne 4x4 offerings here in Australia. The steel cargo tub is 1525mm in length.
Looking at the images you can’t help but compare the styling of the JT Gladiator to that of the AEV Brute which was built on the JK Wrangler platform for more than a decade by American Expedition Vehicles, and those close to the project have said that it is almost the same in dimension to the millimetre. The now discontinued US$100,000 Brute was a touch less than 5.5 metres in length, riding on a 3530mm wheelbase.
*Picture: AEV Brute
Also notable in the images is that the JT still has the removable roof panels of the JL, which are just one of the multiple soft- and hard-top options available on the Wrangler. No other ute offers this open-air motoring, which would be great when off-road.
4x4 History: Jeep Gladiator
As seen at the SEMA Show last month, the aftermarket has gone into a frenzy for the JL Wrangler, offering anything and everything you could ever imagine to customise your Jeep. We expect that excitement to continue for the JT and, while there was a JL on just about every booth at the show this year, it will be JTs in 2019.
The leaked document reveals that the JT will launch in the US later in 2019 with the 3.6-litre petrol V6 engine and eight-speed auto, as found under the bonnet of the JL Wrangler; while the 3.0-litre EcoDiesel borrowed from the Grand Cherokee and RAM 1500 will not be available until 2020 model year.
The official reveal of the Jeep pick-up is to be later in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and the order books are due to open to US buyers in the new year. Jeep Australia has been awfully quiet as to whether the pick-up will come to Australia, so it still remains in doubt. Earlier on we had assurances that it would be made in right-hand drive for Australia, but it has been radio silence ever since.
Likewise on the 3.0 V6 EcoDiesel for the JL Wrangler, and it is now expected that if our Wranglers get a diesel engine option at all it will be the new 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine as has been launched in Europe. Latest word on Australian launch for JL is March or April; although, it seems to be getting later all the time.