We get another look at the upcoming 2020 Jeep Gladiator as it handles an off-road course with complete ease.
We’re still waiting patiently for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator to go on sale. We know that FCA is making them as fast as they can at their Toledo plant, but while we’re waiting for them to start deliveries to dealers, we at least get another sneak peek at how the Gladiator handles some of the toughest terrain around.
We have The Fast Lane Truck to thank for this video that takes place at a private function for journalists at an undisclosed location. They weren’t able to talk about how the midsize pickup rides on the road or discuss fuel economy numbers as FCA wants to publish those things on Saturday, March 30th.
But for now, we get another look at what makes the Gladiator special, starting with the chassis. While much of the pickup’s parts are shared with the Wrangler, the chassis is definitely not one of them. Its wheelbase is 19-inches longer than the Wrangler, and it has thicker axles better able to support the greater weight of the vehicle. Those solid axles also help with articulation, which means the truck’s wheels are more likely to stick to the ground when off-roading.
Under the hood is the tried, tested, and true 3.6-L Pentastar V6 producing the same 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. It’s sufficient, but disappointing that FCA didn’t tune it to produce a few more horses for the pickup. An 8-speed automatic or 6-speed manual are your transmission options, and it comes in four or two-wheel-drive with front and rear locking differentials if you opt for the 4x4.
Unique among pickups is the Gladiator’s removable roof, which comes in hard or soft-top designs. While being in the open air in a pickup sounds like fun, it does likely mean that driving at highway speeds will have some pretty bad wind noise even with the roof up.
Class-leading approach and departure angles make off-roading a breeze, however, the breakover angle of 23.6 degrees is strictly average due to the Gladiator’s long wheelbase. Crawl control is available, as well as a forward-looking camera to get a close look at what you’re about to drive over.
As you can see in the video, there’s a ton of great little tweaks that make the Gladiator an off-road legend in the making. They really put the pickup through the wringer and it came out unscathed. We’ll have to find out more from FCA when the first Gladiator goes on sale in the coming months.