People are hyped for the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator. It is the first pickup truck the company will offer since 1992, and it’s gearing up to be quite a special release. It will first show at the LA Auto Show at the end of November 2018, but don’t expect to be able to buy it until next year. Even then, though we’re finally seeing the Gladiator, the nucleus of the truck has been around for much longer. It’s a wonder why it hasn’t been released already, as in years ago!
This is true especially when you consider the popularity of trucks in the US. The Ford F-Series is still the most popular and best-selling line of cars in the States. We don’t expect Jeep’s new truck to take them out of that spot, but the Gladiator will offer new options and originality that’s been missing from the pickup truck market since at least the last century, it seems.
Out of the 60 cars debuting at the LA Auto Show at the end of November, the Jeep Gladiator is clearly one of the front-runners in terms of popularity. It doesn’t look like it’ll be too expensive, and it’ll be based on the awesome JL Wrangler. We just hope Fiat-Chrysler hasn’t put together something sloppy, and that they give us a polished, epic product.
FCA isn’t in the best of shape, after all, with CEO Sergio Marchionne having been in some tough situations lately. For instance, they’ve had to cut production of their sedans like the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 in order to make room for the more profitable SUVs and crossovers. We just hope production of the Gladiator doesn’t stall because it’s gearing up to be something unique and grand.
Here are 25 things we know about the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
25 It Will Use A V6 Engine Like the JL Wrangler
Just like its one-year predecessor, the JL Wrangler, we can expect the Jeep Gladiator to use the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 gasoline engine with Electronic Stop-Star. This Chrysler V6 engine will crank 285 horsepower to the car, and a new six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic make the most of it.
There will likely also be an optional 270-hp, turbocharged, 2.0-liter inline-4 engine, and a diesel V6 engine to debut later.
That being said, these are simply the powertrains available to the Wrangler, so they could be different in the Gladiator. The Wrangler first debuted with a 3.6-liter Pentastar VVT V6 engine, with an optional 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 Chrysler Hurricane available.
24 It Probably Won’t Have A Hellcat Engine
That must seem like a pretty specific thing for the Jeep Gladiator to NOT have. But that’s because Jeep made a Wrangler with the 707-hp supercharged V8 from the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat back in 2016. But that dream Jeep is believed to be a one-off. If you really want a supercharged Hellcat motor and a seven-slot grille, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will also be available, and it supposedly will have the crazy powerful Hellcat engine. That Cherokee Trackhawk, with its supercharged engine, was able to run the quarter-mile in 11 seconds, no problem (11.6 seconds). We probably won’t ever see a quarter-mile like that out of the Gladiator, but we can dream, right?
23 It Will Probably Get A Stronger Diesel Engine Option
The diesel V6 engine we mentioned above can be expected to make an appearance in the Gladiator because it will make an appearance in the Wrangler in 2019. In fact, because of the release timing of the Wrangler’s 2020 diesel engine, maybe the Gladiator will have the option for that engine right from the get-go.
The engine will be a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, built by VW Motori, and will become available in 2019.
It’s the same engine that is available in the Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2) and the Ram 1500. It will produce approximately 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. The rest of the world market will get the 2.2-liter, inline-four, turbodiesel engine.
22 It Will Probably Have An Off-Road Trim
For a car that basically looks like it belongs off-roading, this should not come as a surprise, especially when you consider the multiple trims of the JL Wrangler. Recent spy shots from Road & Track have shown Wrangler pickups featuring some knobby off-road tires. They aren’t the BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA KO2s that are used on the Wrangler Rubicon, either. They’re something similar from Falken. This would indicate that the Wrangler pickup will probably be offered with a Rubicon variation to its off-roading lineup. This car might be a pickup, but it’s a Wrangler first and foremost.
21 Check Out The Tech It Will Have
Maybe this is one of the reasons Jeep decided not to release the truck back in the early 2000s: the technology was not quite there. But now, it seems like it is. The new Gladiator will have the same tech available on the Wrangler, and a leaked dealer presentation confirmed it. It will have both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and it will probably share the same screen sizes with the current Wrangler: either a 5.0-inch touchscreen, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, or an 8.4-inch touchscreen. It will also have “Next generation advanced safety systems,” according to the presentation.
20 The Roofs And Doors Will Be Removable
There was an image taken during a tour of Jeep’s Toledo factory posted to the Jeep Scrambler Forums a while back, which showed a cab frame from the Wrangler pickup without doors or a roof. That means you’ll likely get the option to do so on the Gladiator. It appears the Gladiator will also get the regular Wrangler fold-down windshield, too. The Scrambler Forums have evidence from internal Jeep documents that shows the roof will be removable. There will probably be three configurations available to consumers: manual-folding roof, hard top with removable roof, and power-sliding soft top.
19 It Will Have A Towing Capacity Of 7,650 Lbs
Besides having the same engine options that the JL Wrangler offers, the Jeep Gladiator will also have quite good towing capabilities. According to Jeep’s leaked press release, it’ll tow up to 7,650 lbs and carry up to 1,600 lbs payload, both of which are “best in class.”
It will also offer the same transfer cases, axles, optional electronic differential lockers, and electronic front sway bar disconnect that are available on the JL Wrangler.
It will probably have the ladder frame that the Wrangler has, which is exactly what off-roaders want. Also, according to specifications, the Gladiator Rubicon will be able to ford up to 30 inches of water!
18 It Isn’t Built From AEV Brute Design, Like People Thought
For years, off-road aficionados have ogled the American Expedition Vehicle Brute, which is built off a modified Wrangler Unlimited chassis. The Brute is AEV’s pickup version of the Wrangler, with packages starting at $41,665 (not including the vehicle itself).
The Brute is pricey, but AEV had an easy go of keeping orders flowing because of the lack of competition.
Well, not anymore. After Jeep announced they’ll be releasing a pickup, AEV shut down Brute production, on March 31, 2017. The company knew its time was up. That being said, their resale value should shoot up once production stops. People thought Jeep would take styling cues from AEV for their Gladiator, but that’s not the case. It’s all Wrangler, baby.
17 Jeep Has Made Plenty Of Concepts To Tease Us
Jeep has released plenty of concept photos of the Gladiator and luckily, the Gladiator forum has brought them to our faces. Generally speaking, we know the Gladiator will be boxy, upright, with round headlights and a seven-hole grille. The success of this truck will no doubt come down to the details, which were shared courtesy of the JL Wrangler Forums. They whipped up their best guess at what the next-gen Wrangler could look like as a two- and four-door Rubicon pickup. It will share its windshield, grille, headlights, bumpers, front fenders, and hood with the regular Wrangler.
16 The Differences Between Wrangler And Gladiator
JL Wrangler Forums maintains that the Gladiator won’t have the character line that runs below the windows on the front and rear doors, though the pickup bed will feature its own horizontal crease.
Also, the fender vents behind the front wheel openings of the Wrangler Rubicon will go missing.
The Gladiator is expected to have the leading edge of the truck bed angle-cut to follow the shape of the door opening, rather than a vertical gap between bed and cab as seen on most traditional pickups. JL Wrangler Forums also believes the Gladiator, like two- and four-door Wranglers, will feature a new door hinge design and updated pull-style door handles, replacing the current generation’s push-button units.
15 More Off-Road Utility Than Ever Before
One of the most exciting aspects of the Jeep Gladiator, for off-roading enthusiasts around the world, is this idea posted to JL Wrangler Forums: that the two-door Wrangler Rubicon pickup will offer all the right-size off-road abilities of a Wrangler, but with more utility than any previous generation of the historical 4x4. This could be a groundbreaking vehicle in terms of the evolution of off-roading by production vehicles. The Wrangler is a masterful off-road vehicle, no doubt, but now imagine all that plus the payload and towing capacity of a full-size truck. The possibilities are endless!
14 Jeep Hasn’t Sold A Pickup Truck Since 1992
Another reason this pickup is such a big deal is the simple fact that Jeep hasn’t sold a pickup since 1992, when the XJ Cherokee-based Comanche went out of production. The Comanche is nothing like what we expect the Gladiator to be like.
It was produced between 1985 and 1992, in rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, with two cargo bed lengths of either six or seven feet.
Back in the mid-80s, AMC Chairman W. Paul Tippett Jr. said, “People are finding trucks a reasonable and sophisticated alternative to cars,” and we agree. That sentiment has not changed, we’re just happy Jeep has realized what's going on. When they see sales of the Gladiator, they’ll probably be kicking themselves for not getting it to market sooner! (Like back in 2005, when it was first rumored.)
13 It Should Cost Close To $30,000 Base
One of the reasons the AEV Brute ended production is because it was so pricey. Now, when you look at that $40,000+ price tag just for the modification and compare it with the expected price of the Gladiator, which should start at $30,000, you can see where the problem for AEV lies. The Gladiator will likely be able to do everything the Brute could, maybe better and definitely for cheaper. The current JL Wrangler starts at $27,945, though the Wrangler Rubicon costs $37,945, and other trims like the Sahara might also push the price of the Gladiator closer to $40,000. But $30,000 for the base truck is not bad at all.
12 It Will Be A Different Truck Than Ever Seen Before
Modern trucks are amazing, but in this day and age, truck options are actually quite limited. You pick a major brand, then you choose a size: either big, bigger, or biggest. Ford, for instance, has the F-150 with a 6.5-foot bed. The F-150 SuperCrew goes to eight-foot beds, all the way to the huge F-450.
The GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado are lifesavers, but their engines are pretty measly.
The Gladiator should add diversity to the stiff truck market, which is huge in the US. In fact, Fiat-Chrysler is abandoning production of the Dodge Dart and the Chrysler 200 to focus more on profitable SUVs and crossovers. The Gladiator should prove to be a capable off-roading machine that is tough, special, and original, all at once.
11 The Gladiator Concept Was Unveiled In 2005
It’s been a long time coming since we got a sneak peek at the Jeep Gladiator. Thirteen years, in fact. Back in 2005, the Gladiator Concept was shown as a Wrangler pickup, which got a lot of attention. Unfortunately, the concept never reached production. A handful of other concepts have cycled through over the past few years. Finally, the late Fiat Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne, confirmed in early 2016 that Jeep would be offering a production pickup version of the JL Wrangler, the standard SUV that made its debut in late 2017.
10 It Will Finally Show At The November 2018 LA Auto Show
The LA Auto Show is a huge annual event that is held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in early December. This year, it starts early: November 30, and ends on December 9. Fans can expect to finally see the Wrangler pickup in its debut appearance at the show. Via Jalopnik, the LA Auto Show put out a press release saying “a pickup truck from Jeep” will be among the cars making their world debut at the show. The media preview of the LA Auto Show starts November 27, so we can expect more information before the show even starts.
9 It Will Probably Be Called The Gladiator
For a while, a rumor was circulating around that the Wrangler pickup would be named the Scrambler, after the rare two-door pickup version of the CJ-8 built from 1981 to 1986. But in recent months, a whistleblower informed the Jeep Scrambler Forum to an apparent slip-up from within FCA. On Jeep’s media page, a header appeared that said “2020 Jeep Gladiator.”
The page was quickly removed from FCA’s site, but the damage had been done: the Wrangler pickup rumor has got legs.
“Gladiator” was also the name for Jeep’s Wagoneer-based pickup truck built from 1963 to 1971, so the rumor has precedent. Jeep also resurrected the name for the JK-generation Wrangler-based concept truck from 2005.
8 It Will Look Like A Wrangler
No surprise here, but the Jeep Gladiator will take almost all of its styling cues from the Jeep Wrangler. In theory, it IS a Wrangler, just with a truck bed. Detailed renderings have given us a clear idea of what to expect with the Gladiator. The next-gen Wrangler sports a trimmer profile than before, with a vertical, kinked grille and integrated turn signals in the front fenders. We can expect that same thing with the Gladiator. Some official looking photos from the Jeep Gladiator Forum were uploaded that showed the pickup available in four-door body styling with a five-foot bed, with soft top or hard top options, and in multiple trims.
7 Its Production Has Been Rumored Since 2015
While the first concepts of the Jeep Gladiator came out in 2005, that particular concept never reached fruition. As recently as 2015, rumors have been spreading about the Gladiator’s inevitable production schedule. That was back in September of 2015, though people have been clamoring for this vehicle for much longer. AutoNews reported that Jeep dealers were told at a national press conference that the Wrangler pickup would be in their showrooms by April 2019 at the earliest, so production will probably begin at the end of this year. That doesn’t mean the car will be available for consumers by April 2019, however.
6 It Will Have A Nice Interior Like The Wrangler
The new Wrangler SUV debuted in late 2017 for the 2018 model year and was a massive improvement over its predecessor. That, hopefully, means the pickup will take its styling cues, both inside and outside the truck.
For the new Wrangler SUV, the interior was much nicer than before.
It was made with better materials, had a sharper, sleeker design, and it came equipped with FCA’s awesome UConnect infotainment system. We can expect the Gladiator to have the same interior design and infotainment system as its Wrangler brethren.
5 Its Body Will Save Weight
If the JL Wrangler (the one introduced in 2017) is any indication of what’s to come, consumers will be happy to know that the Gladiator will be lighter than expected, but won’t compromise with towing capacity or anything like that. The JL Wrangler’s body is made from aluminum, which helped save up to 200 lbs of weight over its predecessor, the JK. The Gladiator’s debut at the LA Auto Show is also exactly a year after the all-new Wrangler JL and Wrangler Unlimited JL were debuted. That’s why we can expect to see so many similarities between the vehicles.
4 It Has Its Own Forum Already
In case you couldn’t tell by earlier entries, the Jeep community has welcome the Gladiator with open arms, so much so that a forum is already in place in anticipation of its release. The forum was originally called the “Jeep Scrambler Forum” when the previously-rumored “Scrambler” name was released, but it has changed since then to the “Jeep Gladiator Forum.” The forum has been a consistent and reliable source of Jeep rumors for the past year or so, and it’s where all the spies and whistleblowers go to post their information and photos. People at the forum have published a trove of technical details about the Gladiator, showing that the truck means business.
3 Its Photos Were Leaked
Besides the tech details that were shown on the Jeep Gladiator Forum, photos were also leaked. The images leaked by the Gladiator Forum are purported to be official promotional images from Fiat Chrysler’s media site. These were briefly uploaded and made public before being taken down, though of course they weren’t taken down quick enough to avoid notice. Looking closely, viewers could see the Gladiator pickup appeared to be available in both Rubicon and Sahara trims, and the pickup bed measured five feet, with an integrated power source and cargo tie-downs. This is also how we’ve seen that the doors will be removable and the windshield will fold down, just like the JL Wrangler.
2 People Have Already Put 42-Inch Tires On Renderings
Clearly, people cannot wait for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, or the Scrambler, or the JT, or the Jeep truck… whatever it’s going to be called, it’s going to be a hit. TFLtruck will be at the 2018 LA Auto Show to see its release and bring people the latest info, but to keep people busy in the meantime, they’ve shown renderings that have the Gladiator with big, 42-inch tires on it. The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most commonly modified vehicles in the world, with the year-old JL Wrangler already having an extensive array of accessories and mods. The upcoming Gladiator will follow suit, and people want to know what it’ll look like lifted and with huge tires. Lo and behold.
1 It Will Sell Really Well
In an article that’s based mainly on opinions and inferences from what we’re seeing from press releases and leaked photos, this might be the most guaranteed entry on this list. It should come as no surprise that the hype surrounding the Gladiator has reached a peak.
When you add in the fact that drivers from the US love pickup trucks and Jeeps, this is pretty much a guaranteed success.
Sergio Marchionne knew this, which is why building a Wrangler pickup is such a no-brainer. It will also be completely different than every other pickup truck on the market, which should only help sales. Marchionne told the 2018 Detroit Auto Show that FCA expects to sell 100,000 units per year, and they’ll be “expensive—intentionally so.”