There is no doubt that the upcoming 2020 Jeep Wrangler Truck (JT) has a lot of excitement around it. For the past several months, we have been telling you that since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) or the Jeep brand had yet to confirm the rebirth of the “Scrambler” name that was found on the Jeep CJ-8 from 1981 to 1986. However, our sources are telling us that name will be another name that has a lot of Jeep truck heritage and that name is Gladiator.
The Gladiator name dates back to the 1962 model year, with the debut of the first full-size Jeep J-Series pickups. The Jeep Gladiator pickups were based on the same platform and share most of its body sheet metal with the legendary Jeep Wagoneer (SJ). The name lived on throughout the 1960s and was kept on the J-Series trucks until 1971. It was at that time, the truck would just be called the J-Series until it ended production in 1988.
The nameplate made a quick return in 2005, when Jeep introduced the world to the Jeep Gladiator Concept at the 2005 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan. The vehicle was a preview of some of the styling elements of the upcoming 2007 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited (JK). The concept featured an extended cab style cab configuration. The Gladiator Concept was powered by a 2.8-liter four-cylinder common-rail diesel (CRD) engine which made 165 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft of torque which was found in European Jeep models and featured a 6-speed manual transmission.
The Gladiator Concept stole the show at NAIAS that year. It brought a lot of consumer demand for such a vehicle. However, the Dodge brand already had the mid-size Dakota and with limited places to build such a vehicle as well development cost to build a truck off of a completely different architecture at the time the brand shelved the idea for the time being.
Enter the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator. While it shares a lot of its body panels and interior with the 2018 – 2019 Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited (JL), it will vastly different. Different platform, suspension and will feature some new class exclusive innovations.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator will make its debut at the L.A. Auto Show on Wednesday, November, 28th. We will be streaming the event live on our homepage.