2020 Jeep Gladiator Reveal a Huge Hit at LA Auto Show

RK Motors Dec 14 2018

Announced just a week after the Gladiator’s introduction, FCA announced plans to reopen and engine plant in Detroit to build a three-row version of the next-generation Grand Cherokee coming in 2021.

On so many levels, the Gladiator is much more than a Jeep Wrangler with a five-foot bed. And while no Hemi V-8 engine option is on the immediate horizon (leaving that niche to aftermarket outfitters), the 3-liter EcoDiesel will be offered once production ramps up for the Gladiator’s expected end-of-second-quarter launch. No prices were announced at the reveal but expect them to be substantially higher than comparable Wrangler trim levels (a fully configured Wrangler Rubicon tops out at almost $58,000 so don’t expect to see a fully-equipped Gladiator Rubicon for less than $60,000). And the Gladiator will likely generate excessive ADMs (added dealer markups) for those who must be the first to own a Gladiator next Spring.

We spoke with several insiders at FCA, including Ralph Gilles, Head of Design for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, who admitted that there was intense internal debate as to what to call the Gladiator. Many felt that Scrambler, a nameplate applied to the AMC-built, CJ-8 pickup built from 1981-1986, was the better choice. But given that the original full-sized pickup introduced in 1963, and the 2005 concept were both dubbed Gladiator, that was the best choice. Just prior to the start of the LA Auto Show FCA media photos leaked (possibly by design) and the cat was out of the bag with regard to the name for Jeep’s new pickup.

The reveal generated incredible interest from the automotive press, both digital and online, domestic as well as from the international media. In the days that followed the launch event, it seemed that a new YouTube video on the Gladiator surfaced almost every hour, rehashing the reveal. It’s been a long time since any FCA product introduction has generated such a reaction.

So as to not repeat what has already said by our colleague Rick Pewe, editor of JP Magazine, click over to the industry’s most comprehensive review on the JP Magazine website of the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
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