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Jeep revives Gladiator name for new pickup truck

The first pickup from the American auto brand since 1992

We really hope this pickup truck is truly worthy of the name. PHOTO FROM JEEP

As we’ve said, pickup trucks are becoming hip again. And not just in the Philippines (thanks to the tax exemption afforded by the TRAIN law) but also around the world. The latest proof of this trend is the latest pickup model of the American SUV brand Jeep called the Gladiator. It should be noted that the “Gladiator” name was first used by Jeep on its Wagoneer-based J-Series pickup back in 1963.

For those too young to remember, Jeep has a somewhat formidable history in pickup trucks. If you’ve only associated the brand with SUVs (Wrangler, Cherokee, Renegade), that’s because the firm stopped producing pickups nearly three decades ago. Its last one was the Comanche, last assembled in 1992. The very first Jeep pickup actually appeared as far back as 1947—a 118-inch-wheelbase workhorse that inspired the marque’s succeeding trucks.

We dig the no-frills, utilitarian styling of the new Gladiator. PHOTOS FROM JEEP

The all-new Gladiator is a body-on-frame mechanical masterpiece that looks so rugged it makes modern one-ton pickups seem like motoring divas. It is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 gasoline engine that is rated at 285hp and 352Nm (and mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic gearbox). Further down the road—in 2020, to be exact—the Gladiator will also be equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 diesel motor rated at 260hp and 599Nm. For this oil-burner, an eight-speed automatic shifter will take care of the gear changes.

We prefer the Gladiator’s boxy design to the modern-looking bodies of all the new pickup trucks. PHOTOS FROM JEEP

The Gladiator will have three variants: the Sport (available with a separate S trim), the Overland and the Rubicon. Standard on the first two is the Command-Trac 4×4 system with a 2.72:1 crawl ratio. The latter boasts the Rock-Trac 4×4 system boasting a “4LO ratio of 4:1” as well as the so-called Tru-Lok locking differentials.

The Gladiator also features skid plates and rear tow hooks, with the Rubicon even adding a steel winch-ready front bumper and a steel heavy-duty rear bumper. Some of the off-road figures provided by Jeep include:

  • Ground clearance – 282mm
  • Approach angle – 43.6°
  • Break-over angle – 20.3°
  • Departure angle – 26°
  • Water-fording depth – 762mm
  • Towing capacity – 3,470kg
  • Payload capacity – 726kg

The Gladiator, in other words, is ready to serve you through all your off-road adventures. Which is expected, because it would be totally weird if a truck arrogantly christened “Gladiator” couldn’t live up to the name.

Picture the possibilities. Just go visualize them. Excited yet? PHOTOS FROM JEEP

Yep, the Gladiator has removable doors so you can double the fun with your outdoorsy buddies. Speaking of doors, these are made of high-strength aluminum together with the hood and the fender flares, helping to keep the vehicle’s overall weight down.

The above photos are those of the Overland variant. Here are images of the Gladiator Rubicon:

The Gladiator Rubicon is officially our new dream car. PHOTOS FROM JEEP

This new Jeep Gladiator will be built in Toledo, Ohio, in the United States. According to the manufacturer, production is set to commence “in the first half of 2019.” As you know, we have a local Jeep distributor here (Auto Nation Group), so there’s a big chance we could get this product. We don’t think the importer will pass up the chance to bring in a US-made vehicle that’s exempt from excise tax. Wait for it.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.