Jeep will release the Gladiator truck in Australia in May, with two regular models – Overland and Rubicon, and a special Gladiator Launch Edition, which will be limited to just 100 vehicles.
Gladiator boasts two advanced 4×4 systems. The Selec-Trac Active On-Demand 4×4 system, standard on Overland, features a two-speed part-time transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, and heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 axles with a 3.73 rear axle ratio.
Rubicon features the Rock-Trac Active On-Demand 4×4 system, with heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 4LO ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 rear axle ratio is standard as are Tru-Lok locking differentials.
Rubicon also offers improved articulation and total suspension travel with help from a segment-exclusive electronic sway-bar disconnect, and a crawl ratio of 77.2:1.
Selec-Trac and Rock-Trac offer full-time torque management, enabling optimal grip in low-traction conditions.
Tru-Lok front and rear locking differentials on Rubicon provide extra torque and grip during slippery, low-traction situations, such as driving over sand, gravel, snow or ice.
Rubicon also has an Off-Road+ Button, allowing the vehicle to automatically adjust operating parameters of key systems (Throttle, Selec-Speed Control, Traction Control, Transmission Shift Mode) to be tailored for optimal performance. Unlike the rotary controlled Selec-Terrain that has been offered in other Jeep products, Off-Road+ is a single button with two distinct missions:
• If enabled in 4HI, it tailors operation of the Jeep for higher speed sand performance
• If enabled in 4LO, it tailors operation of the Jeep for very low speed rock picking manoeuvres
Jeep says Gladiator utilises a variety of ways to optimise ride, handling and sound characteristics while optimising fuel economy even while towing and hauling. Utilising a body-on-frame design and five-link suspension system, Gladiator delivers composed on-road driving dynamics and passenger safety.
The body-on-frame design uses advanced materials and engineering to be nimble, yet stiff and durable, and features an all-new lightweight, high-strength steel frame. When compared to Jeep JL Wrangler 4-door, Gladiator’s frame is 787mms longer with a wheelbase 492mms longer than Wrangler.
According to Jeep, the longer wheelbase and the bed’s positioning enables better weight distribution and a more comfortable and composed ride when carrying cargo.
A traditional steel bed utilises four steel cross-members to reinforce the load floor while the aluminium tailgate is damped.
To protect critical vehicle components while on the trail, including the fuel tank, transfer case and automatic transmission oil pan, Gladiator employs three skid plates and bars. Both models use heavy gauge tubular steel rock rails to curtail potential body damage and feature segment-exclusive rock rails for the bed corners.
The use of lightweight, high-strength aluminium closures, including the doors, door hinges, hood, fender flares, windshield frame and tailgate, reduce weight and boost fuel economy. Gladiator’s weight was further reduced by using hollow track and stabiliser bars, aluminium engine mounts and steering gear.
Gladiator utilises a five-link coil suspension configuration with the front suspension using a lateral control arm and four longitudinal control arms. The full-width track bars made of forged steel control lateral movement of the axle with minimal angle change during suspension travel. The control arms are located under the frame rails while the rear shocks are forward facing to provide consistent damping for ride comfort and load management.
The springs have been tuned for optimum balance between on-road handling while providing a comfortable ride around town, with or without cargo in the bed, and off-road capability. Ride comfort, body-roll control and handling is significantly enhanced with assistance from shock tuning, hard points and body mount strategy.
Exclusive to Rubicon, FOX-Branded aluminium two-inch diameter shocks transform performance by using race-proven damping control to provide a comfortable on-road ride and predictable off-road handling in even the toughest conditions.
With an approach angle of 40.7 degrees, break over angle of 18.4 degrees, departure angle of 225.1 degrees and a ground clearance of 283mm, Jeep says Gladiator can go anywhere.
Gladiator offers the proven 3.6-litre V6 Pentastar engine across the Overland and Rubicon models.
The engine delivers 209kW of horsepower and 347Nm of torque. The powerplant is engineered to provide a broad torque band with a focus on low-end torque for extreme off-roading. The 8- speed ZF-Automatic transmission is standard across the range, enabling the vehicle to optimise engine output while on the trails and efficient power delivery at highway speeds.
Uniquely suited to the requirements of Rubicon, the 8-speed transmission delivers a 77.2:1 crawl ratio. Gladiator’s towing and 4×4 performance benefits from a 4.7:1 first gear ratio coupled with a 4.1:1 final drive.
Selec-Speed Control is standard with the automatic transmission and manages vehicle speed in 4LO while traversing off-road terrain without requiring throttle or brake input, allowing the driver to focus on steering. Selec-Speed Control is activated using a button on the dashboard and can be adjusted from 1-8 km by using the AutoStick shift control.
Gladiator boasts a rugged, distinguished design aesthetic that is immediately recognisable due to its traditional Jeep design cues.
The seven-slot grille is wider than the Jeep JL Wrangler’s for additional air intake to assist with towing capacity. Enhancing aerodynamics, the top of the grille gently slopes back in the Gladiator design.
Both Overland and Rubicon come with LED headlamps and fog lamps that project crisp white lighting. Gladiator also features daytime running lights with forward turn signals positioned on the front of the trapezoidal wheel flares.
At the rear, traditional square tail lamps also feature LED lighting as standard, giving way to a wide tailgate opening for unobstructed loading of cargo into the bed. Clever functionality and versatility were the focus while designing the Jeep Gladiator’s durable bed to streamline usability, with under-rail bed lighting and strong integrated tie-downs, providing superior durability. The cost option Trail Rail Cargo Management System provides additional storage options to organise and secure cargo.
Unique to Jeep, a four-bolt design at the top of the windshield’s frame allows for the windshield to fold down quickly and easily. The header bar connects the A-pillars and stays in place even when the windshield is folded down, allowing the rear-view mirror to remain in place with the windshield folded.
Gladiator’s lightweight, high-strength aluminium doors feature the Torx bit size stamped directly onto the hinge to eliminate guessing which size bit is needed to remove the doors. An easy-to-use tool kit with the necessary Torx bits to remove the doors and lower the windshield is provided as standard equipment.
Gladiator is available in Black, Bright White, Billet Silver Metallic, Firecracker Red, Sting Grey, Hydro Blue, Granite Crystal Metallic, as well as two new exclusive Gladiator colours; Gobi and Gator.
Overland has body-colour hard-top and fender flares, whilst Rubicon features a black hard- top roof and black fender flares. In addition, all Gladiator models feature body-colour sport bars, which are welded to the body and integrated grab handles for front occupants.
Jeep says the three-piece hardtop roof can be easily removed, providing a segment-exclusive open-air option. The two Freedom Panels and quick-release latches enable fast removal and installation of the hardtop. Gladiator comes with different door, top and windshield combinations allowing for configuration and personalisation.
Gladiator’s interior combines authentic styling, versatility, comfort and intuitive features, with high-quality materials found throughout the cabin.
The heritage-inspired centre stack features a clean, sculpted form that complements the horizontal dashboard design. A hand-wrapped instrument panel features a soft-touch surface with accent stitching on Overland, whilst Rubicon features Redicial Red paint on the dashboard’s mid- bolster. Functional features, including climate and volume control knobs, media charging and connectivity ports, and Engine Stop Start (ESS) control are all sculpted for quick recognition and are easily within reach of the front-seat occupants.
The centre console features metal-plated accents, while real bolts are used on the shifter, grab handles and the infotainment screen’s frame. A push-button starter, featuring a weather-proof surround, also comes standard and is easily located within the driver’s reach.
Cloth or leather-contoured seats feature accent stitching and adjustable bolster and lumbar support with comfort features including optional heated front seats and steering wheel. The all-new rear seats also feature high-quality premium materials, giving the seats an athletic look that also delivers comfort and support.
With the rear seats folded flat, LED lights on the quarter trim panels illuminate the storage space behind the seats, while storage nets included on the cab-back wall provide more secure stowage.
Additional clever storage solutions are found throughout, including durable mesh pockets that extend the entire length of the doors and numerous phone storage areas.
The rear seat cushions can fold up into ‘stadium’ position to reveal a standard open storage bin, utilising the space under the seat for stowing miscellaneous items. An optional lockable bin provides secure storage space when the top or doors are removed and are available in two different size doors that correspond to the 60/40 split rear seat cushion. Removable dividers can also provide the flexibility of up to five separate compartments and use the same lock as the glove box and centre console.
A removable bolt bin fits in the under-seat storage space and makes it easy to secure bolts when the doors and top are removed, or the windshield is folded down. The bolt bin lid indicates the corresponding number of bolts and their location under the lid in Petroglyph style.
The instrument cluster features a 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) information LED display. The LED display allows the driver to configure information in more than 100 ways, including current media being played, tyre pressure, tyre-fill alert or digital speed readout. Integrated buttons on the steering wheel control audio, voice and speed functions, allowing the driver to keep their hands on the wheel.
An 8.4-inch touchscreen houses Jeep’s fourth-generation Uconnect system and sits prominently atop the centre stack. Uconnect enhances the user interface and system performance with quicker start-up times and improved screen resolution, with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard across the range. Directly below the touchscreen are functional features, such as climate and volume control knobs and media connectivity ports.
There are two USB ports and a USB-C port up front and two in reach of occupants in the back seat which connect to the media centre.
An available portable Bluetooth wireless speaker is located behind the rear seat. LED lights on quarter-trim panels illuminate the storage space and the docking station for the wireless speaker. Waterproof up to 3-feet of water for 30 minutes, the speaker offers additional utility in remote locales, as it can charge up to three other devices connected to its USB ports.
A forward-facing off-road camera allows obstructions on the trail to be easily seen. Standard on Rubicon, the front camera sits behind the middle slot of the grille and can be accessed through the available Off-road Pages. The camera also includes an integrated washing system, which is accessed via the Clean Camera button on the Uconnect touchscreen. Like windscreen washer jets, the system squirts the front camera lens with soapy water via a nozzle.
Gladiator offers more than 70 active and passive safety and security features, including Forward Collision Warning Plus, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, forward-facing off-road camera, standard ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, Adaptive Cruise Control and electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation.
Gladiator is available to order now at Jeep dealerships throughout Australia, starting at $75,450 (MSRP).
Jeep Gladiator Launch Edition
Jeep will release a limited run of 100 Gladiator Launch Edition vehicles, built on a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon specification with limited edition badging and design accents. Australia’s first-ever Jeep truck, the Gladiator Launch Edition, is available for order now, priced at $86,450 (MSRP).
The Gladiator Launch Edition will be available in three colours, Diamond Black, Bright White and Firecracker Red, with body colour fenders and body colour hard top.