The new Jeep Gladiator is a beast of a truck

We suddenly want to become outdoorsmen because of it
by Rowan Horncastle | Nov 29, 2018
PHOTO: TopGear.com
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The Jeep pickup truck is back! And it’s called the Gladiator. Yes, the Gladiator. Along with the FCA group’s other awesome nomenclature (Demon, Hellcat and Trackhawk), we approve of this name big time.

Based on the same body-on-frame chassis as the latest Wrangler, the Gladiator is nothing short of an absolute beast. Being nearly a meter longer than an equivalent crew-cab Wrangler—and featuring a 1.5-meter bed—it’s a load-lugger’s dream. Not convinced? Well, it’s also capable of carrying loads of up to 725kg and has a huge 4,370kg of towing capacity. That’s good enough to tug boats, ATVs, and even an old Jeep Wagoneer.

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Built by America’s foremost off-road enthusiasts, it ought to monster all the terrain when you go off the beaten track, just like baby brother Wrangler. The Glad will be offered with either a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline or a 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine, connected to either an eight-speed auto or a six-speed manual. Unfortunately, performance figures are yet to be announced.

Depending on what spec you opt for, two different all-wheel-drive systems are available. Both will offer full-time torque management, and the Gladiator will be equipped with electric front- and rear-axle locks, a slippy diff, electronic sway-bar disconnect, 17-inch wheels, 33-inch off-road tires, and 282mm of ground clearance. News that’ll no doubt make any mud-plugger froth with excitement.

Better than that, you can also peel it like an orange and skin the roof, doors, and rear windscreen if you really want to see and feel the elements. Then you can utilize all that room and fill it with outdoor-y things like kayaks, bikes or a tray full of climbing gear to scale El Capitan. Or, if you’re not outdoorsy, shopping.

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Although approach angles are the same as the current Wrangler, all that extra length out back means the breakover angle (20.3 degrees) and departure angle (11.1 degrees) have had to suffer. But, given the wading depth is 762mm, if you’re too lazy to get the kayaks off the rack, you can just send the car down the river.

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The Gladiator is the byproduct of an overwhelming consumer demand for a load-lugging model for the first time since it binned the old Comanche in the early ’90s. And we reckon Jeep has smashed the request out of the park. Being a Gladiator, it’ll no doubt have its vengeance, in this life or the next. All we know is, we can’t wait to try it.

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: TopGear.com
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