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Jeep brings back the truck with Gladiator

LOS ANGELES - After being gone from the lineup for nearly 30 years, Jeep unveiled a pick-up truck version of its popular Wrangler Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The new truck is called the Gladiator, a name Jeep has used on previous pick-up trucks decades ago.

The truck rides on a frame that is stretched 31 inches compared to the Wrangler. Consequently, the wheelbase is nearly 20 inches longer.

Still, Jeep says every version of the Gladiator will get its "Trail Rated" badge, thanks in part to an approach angle of 43.6 degrees, a breakover angle of 20.3 degrees and a departure angle of 26 degrees. The trucks also have 11.1 inches of ground clearance.

The truck can drive through up to 30 inches of water and can tow up to 7,650 pounds.

The more hard-core Rubicon model features things like beefed up suspension and a camera tucked into the middle grille slot so off-road drivers can get a better view of what's directly in front of the truck.

Jeep managers say the truck has more than 80 available safety and security features, including blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and electronic stability control.

Inside, owners will find things like an instrument cluster that displays on either a 3.5- or 7-inch screen, plus a center screen to control various functions that will range from 5 to 8.4 inches, depending on trim level.

Powering the truck is an updated version of Chrysler's 3.6-liter V6 engine good for 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. That power is fed through either a standard six-speed manual transmission or an available eight-speed automatic.

Starting in the spring of 2020, buyers will be able to choose a 3-liter diesel engine that generates a little less horsepower, but offers an impressive 442 pound-feet of torque.

The Gladiator will go on sale in the second quarter of 2019.


Frederick Olson

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