JEEP’S DUAL-CAB CONTENDER
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.