JEEP’S DUAL-CAB CON­TENDER

The Gympie Times - - MOTORING -

Meet Amer­ica’s tough new Toy­ota HiLux ri­val. Jeep has taken the cov­ers off the much-an­tic­i­pated Gla­di­a­tor dual-cab ute.

The new work­horse, based on the iconic Wran­gler 4WD, is ex­pected to join the boom­ing one-tonne ute mar­ket in 2020, tak­ing on the likes of the top-sell­ing HiLux and Ford’s Ranger.

It’s Jeep’s first foray into the seg­ment since 1992, and it re­vives the Gla­di­a­tor name that de­buted in the ’60s.

Jeep has stretched the Wran­gler’s un­der­pin­nings by 787mm to ac­com­mo­date a larger cabin and the tray.

Power will come from a burly 3.6-litre V6 petrol en­gine (212kW/353Nm) that is matched to a six-speed man­ual or eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

In a mar­ket dom­i­nated by diesel engines, Toy­ota and Mit­subishi are the only ma­jor play­ers to of­fer a petrol-pow­ered ute and both use smaller four-cylin­der units matched to two-wheel drive.

The petrol vari­ant will be joined later by a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel en­gine (194kW/599Nm) paired to an eight-speed auto. The diesel’s out­puts would make it the most pow­er­ful ute in its class.

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