Jeep’s teasing of the upcoming Gladiator stopped today as it made the full reveal of its highly anticipated midsize pickup truck. Head of Jeep North America Tim Kuniskis was out in Los Angeles today, strutting around in the L.A. Convention Center and talking at length about the heritage of Jeep pickups, from the Forward Control to the Comanche, building up the hype for when the Gladiator finally made its way up the stage.
Out from the crowd came a silver four-door Gladiator, as lines and music from the famous Ridley Scott film were played over the loudspeakers. This was the Gladiator, ready to do glorious battle in the wilderness. It was a sight to behold.
After it did a spin on the stage’s rotating platform, the Gladiator parked and Tim came back on. “This is the answer to what happens when Jeep builds a truck,” he proclaimed. “This is 100-percent Jeep, 100-percent truck, and 100-percent original.”
Kuniskis touched on the Jeep’s technology and safety features, even going so far to mention a detachable Bluetooth speaker – who carese? – but these were mere trifles compared to the Jeep’s meat and potatoes: its capabilities. To this point, Kuniskis said, “We set out to deliver a truck that’s nothing short of best-in-class.”
It wasn’t long before Kuniskis introduced a second reveal of the Gladiator, this time bearing the respected Rubicon trim. Two of these units rolled out onstage, one with its doors removed and two dirt bikes packed in the bed, and the other with its doors intact and an unpacked bed.
The Rubicon editions bore all of the familiar off-road bells and whistles that we’ve come to associate with the upmarket Wranglers, but Kuniskis mentioned a new feature coming soon. “We have a high-speed off-road calibration,” he said. “The front sway bar stays connected, the front differential unlocks, and the rear differential locks, giving you the ultimate in high-speed traction in dirt and sand.”
Standard on the Gladiator will be the 3.6-liter Pentastar, good for 285 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. For the 2021 Gladiator, the 3.0-liter Eco-Diesel will roll out as an option, good for 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque.
With all of the things the Gladiator has going for it, the pickup seems poised to become a real contender in the midsize truck market. Will it be enough to topple the Tacoma and overcome the Colorado/Canyon? Time will tell, but let us know what your thoughts are on the Gladiator! You can find the comments section below.