After 27 years, the last was the Jeep Comanche (1986-1992), the pick up is back among the various Jeep models. The new Gladiator fully represents the tradition and the spirit of freedom and adventure of the Stars and Stripes brand. In the enchanting context of the Dolomites, on the occasion of the Camp Jeep in San Martino di Castrozza, the European Jeep fans were able to experience the new Jeep Gladiator for the first time in Europe.
Photography and story by Paolo Baraldi
Presented last November at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Gladiator, Jeep's new pickup, landed in Europe to be admired at the 2019 Camp Jeep. On this important occasion, Jeep wanted to give its European fans this exclusive preview that opens the doors to the brand in a segment that had been missing since 1992.
Jeep Gladiator born from Jeep tradition
The new Jeep Gladiator is born from the rich tradition of robust and reliable American brand pick-ups.
The first example of Jeep pick-up truck dates back to 1947, when Willys Overland presented a 1 ton four-wheel drive vehicle based on the CJ-2 model. This was followed in more than 40 years by various pick-up models including the FC-150/170 (1957-1965), the Jeep Gladiator / Serie J (1963-1987), the CJ-8 Scrambler (1981- 1985) and the Jeep Comanche (1986-1992).
Today, after 27 years, Jeep returns to the segment with a unique proposal, a multi-purpose open air vehicle able to offer driving fun, legendary off-road capabilities and advanced technologies, while guaranteeing greater freedom and flexibility in the transport of equipment and cargo thanks to the 152 cm steel box.
New Jeep Gladiator for the EMEA markets, in Europe available from the second half of 2020
The new Jeep Gladiator represents the evolution of the Wrangler formula and adds to the unparalleled all-terrain capability of the Jeep icon further versatility, freedom and driving dynamics on the road with an off-road capability worthy of the Jeep tradition guaranteed by two advanced 4x4 systems, Command-Trac and Rock-Trac, third-generation Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lock front and rear differential locks, electronic disconnection stabilizer bar, and an absolute novelty in the segment, 32" tires.
The engine range of the new Jeep Gladiator for Emea (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) includes a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 petrol engine, available exclusively in markets outside Europe and the Middle East, and a new 3.0 EcoDiesel V6 engine, the only engine that will be available in Europe. Both engines are combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission that optimizes engine power delivery on off-road routes and benefits from regular torque delivery at motorway speeds.
The Gladiator offers a unique combination of authentic design, freedom of driving in the open, functionality and versatility, advanced and efficient powertrains, driving dynamics on the road, off-road reference capabilities and innovative technological features in terms of safety and connectivity.
Produced in Toledo (Ohio, USA), the new Jeep Gladiator is available in three different versions: Sport, Overland and Rubicon. It will arrive in Middle East dealers in the first half of 2020; the introduction in Europe will take place by the end of next year and only the Sport and Overland versions with a 3.0 liter V6 diesel engine will be distributed.
The Jeep Gladiator at Camp Jeep in the San Martino di Castrozza
My first contact with the new Jeep pickup was in February in California during the King of the Hammers where a pre-series, prepared by Savvy Off-Road, was brought into the race in the Everyman Challege by Roby Gordon and Erik Miller.
Jeff Hines, Emea brand Head, in San Martino di Castrozza presented, for the first time in Europe, two examples of the Gladiator, both in the Rubicon version, one specific for off-road, with a 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 engine petrol engine with 285 hp, Rock-Trac 4x4 traction system and third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles. One with White Clear Coat livery and the other with Black Clear Coat livery, the latter also with unique customization created for the occasion by Mopar.
Since they are not yet produced and approved for Europe, the two Gladiators exhibited at the Camp Jeep were those in the American version. It could be easily understood that from the front bumper.
WEIGHT AND DIMENSIONS
Empty weight STD (Kg): 2245
Max. Payload (kg): 725
Towing capacity (kg): 2722
Height (mm): 1872
Width (mm): 1877
Length (mm): 5487
wheelbase (mm): 3485
Height from the ground (mm): 280
Volume box: 1005
Angle: front / exit / overpass: 43.4 ° / 26.0 ° / 20.3 °