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Jeep Gladiator name returns on a Wrangler-based ute

Jeep hasn’t had a ute in the Australian market since the demise of the J-series in the 1980s. The J-series replaced the range that was marketed in the USA as ‘Gladiator’ until 1971.

The Gladiator name has returned, emblazoned on a much-anticipated Wrangler-based ute body that was launched at the November 2018 Los Angeles Auto Shown and will be available in the USA in mid-2019.

The ute bodywork is crew-cab-only, with a 1.5-metre-long cargo box and sits on a 490mm-stretched Wrangler Unlimited wheelbase.

The Gladiator is a typical US-market light pickup, with a very limited payload of around 800kg, but towing capacity is said to be 3500kg.

Power comes from the Wrangler’s current V6n Pentastar petrol engine, driving through a six-speed auto and two-speed transfer case. An eight-speed auto is optional and the Fiat-VM three-litre diesel will be introduced later in 2019.

The US-market Gladiator comes with adaptive cruise control; autonomous emergency braking; removable doors, windscreen and roof panel and an electrically-disconnecting rear anti-sway bar.

The Australian specifications and release date haven’t yet been announced.

 

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