February '19

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64 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2019 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ erhaps the worst-kept secret of the recent Los Angeles Auto Show was the debut of FCA's hotly anticipated 2020 Jeep Gladiator truck, featuring a crew cab configuration and durable 5-foot-deep steel bed. Based on last year's hugely successful debut of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited SUV, the new 2020 Gladiator instantly becomes what Jeep claims is "the most capable mid- size truck ever," with up to 30 inches of water-fording, best-in-class 7,650 pounds of towing capacity and 1,600 pounds of payload capacity. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is available in four trim options: Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon, and will arrive in showrooms in the second quarter of 2019. "There is tremendous demand for this unique vehicle from our loyal Jeep cus- tomers and pickup truck buyers every- where," said Tim Kuniskis, head of Jeep brand North America. "Born from a rich and proud heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks, Gladiator combines rugged utility, versatility and functionality, resulting in the most capable midsize truck ever." All Gladiator models feature body-col- ored sport bars, which are welded to the body and feature integrated grab handles for front occupants. A premium Sunrider soft top provides a segment-exclusive easy open-air option and full open top positions, according to Jeep. The soft top features retainers that slide into a track for rear window removal. Gladiator Overland and Rubicon models share an available three-piece, body-color hardtop option, while a black three-piece hardtop available on all models offers addi- tional options for open-air driving. Two Freedom panels and quick-release latches enable fast removal and installation of the hardtop. All hardtops also feature a manual rear- sliding window, and there are dozens of different door, top and windshield com- binations. The Gladiator will feature the 3.6-liter Pen- tastar V-6 engine at launch, with a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine set to arrive in 2020. For the aftermarket, the Gladiator is obviously loaded with accessorizing oppor- tunities. Kim Mathers, head of Mopar's Accessory and Aftermarket group, said that the new Gladiator enters the market with a heritage built on off-roading. "The light-truck market has been growing very significantly over the last four years and it's been fueled mostly by new entrants. A product like the Gladiator, from a truck perspective, is a very stand- alone truck with best-in-class towing and best-in-class payload, which are obviously very important parameters for customers in that segment," Mathers said. "Add to that the off-road capability, 100-percent 4x4, and add to that the open-air element, and it's a very unique product for the market." The Mopar brand is preparing a portfolio of more than 200 parts and accessories for the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. EDITOR'S NOTE: This ar ticle originally appeared on THE SHOP's website. Sign up for our free eNewsletter that brings all the industry news to your inbox daily at Will Jeep's Gladiator Rule the Light-Duty Truck Market? P \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ ONE MORE THING... By Keith Turner The 2020 Jeep Gladiator light-duty truck is loaded with accessorization opportunities.

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