The anticipation ahead of the introduction of the new Jeep pickup truck has been building for months, growing to point where it could be cut by a knife.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles presented the new truck at the Los Angeles Auto Show with the introduction of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
“Unquestionably a truck and instantly recognizable as a Jeep, the all-new 2020 Gladiator is the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of Jeep Brand – North America.
“We think it’s time for Jeep to have a pick up again because every time we aired a new model introduces new buyers to the brand,” he added after the intro ceremony in Los Angeles. “This brand has grown by bringing segments to Jeep, now it’s grown by bringing Jeep to new segments”
(Jeep to launch Renegade plug-in hybrid in 2020. Click Here for the story.)
With the rapid growth in the midsize truck segment and new competitors are what seems like daily, if the Gladitor is a hit, FCA will be ready to meet production demand.
“Wrangler will set another record this year, over 250k. But we have the capacity” to produce a lot of Gladiators.
“There is tremendous demand for this unique vehicle from our loyal Jeep customers and pickup 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 midsize truck ever,” Kuniskis said.
During a pre-show briefing in Detroit, Kuniskis acknowledged FCA has approached the midsized segment cautiously since other new vehicles to launch over the past couple of years such as the new Wrangler. But the midsized segment has grown rapidly during the past few months and FCA is eager to re-enter the segment.
“The midsize truck segment is hot and filling with new entries, and the lifestyle halo of the Jeep brand is not to be underestimated. Jeep is America’s best-selling SUV brand with a devoted following, and that gives them a great chance to pull in buyers who’ve never considered a pickup truck before,” said Ivan Drury, Edmunds senior director of industry analysis.
Drury noted the midsize truck segment has posted four straight years of growth, now accounts for 3.1% of industry sales.
FCA plucked the Gladiator name from the shelf because it wanted to make sure that potential buyers knew it was a completely new truck. Jeep has built a variety of pickup trucks since the 1940s. The original Gladiator resembled the Jeep Wagoneer, one of the most influential vehicles to debut in the past half century.
Gladiator debuted in 1963, however, was dropped in 1972. The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator boasts a rugged, distinguished design aesthetic that is immediately recognizable with traditional Jeep design cues.
(Jeep truck due in 2019. Click Here for details.)
The Jeep design team kept the legendary seven-slot grille seen on Wrangler, but widened the grille slots for additional air intake to assist with the increased towing capacity. The top of the keystone-shaped grille is gently swept back to enhance aerodynamics.
Gladiator Overland and Rubicon models offer available LED headlamps and fog lamps that project crisp white lighting, adding to the truck’s modern look. The new models are equipped with LEDs daytime running lights, which form a halo around the outside perimeter of the headlights.
From behind, traditional square tail lamps feature available LED lighting and give way to a wide tailgate opening for unobstructed loading of cargo into the bed.
The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator also comes with best-in-class towing and 4×4 payload capacity, The off-road capability comes courtesy of the Command-Trac and Rock-Trac 4×4 systems, third-generation Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lock electric front- and rear-axle lockers, Trac-Lok limited-slip differential, segment-exclusive sway-bar disconnect and 33-inch off-road tires.
The full-size spare tire and mount is located under the bed, behind the rear axle and capable of holding up to a 35-inch tire.
A four-bolt design at the top of the windshield’s frame allows for the windshield to fold down quickly and easily. A header bar connects the A-pillars and stays in place even when the windshield is folded down. This allows the rearview mirror to remain in place even with the windshield folded.
Lightweight, high-strength aluminum doors feature the Torx bit size stamped directly onto the hinge to eliminate guessing which size bit is needed to remove the doors. A tool kit with the necessary Torx bits to remove the doors and lower the windshield is provided as standard equipment.
All Gladiators feature body-color sport bars, which are welded to the body and feature integrated grab handles for front occupants.
A push-button starter, featuring a weather-proof surround, is standard on the 2020 Gladiator and is easily located within the driver’s reach. Cloth or leather-contoured seats feature accent stitching and adjustable bolster and lumbar support. Available comfort features include heated front seats and steering wheel.
The instrument cluster features a 3.5- or an available 7-inch thin-film transistor information LED display. A 7.0- or an available 8.4-inch touchscreen houses the fourth-generation Uconnect system and sits prominently atop the center stack. The fourth-generation Uconnect system enhances the user interface and system performance with quicker startup times and improved screen resolution.
(FCA’s aggressive product plan for next 5 years, includes plug-in hybrids. Click Here for the story.)
The all-new Jeep Gladiator is equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 delivering 285 horsepower with a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine being offered in 2020. Built in Toledo, Ohio, the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator arrives in showrooms in the second quarter of 2019 and will be available in these different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon.