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Jeep Wrangler Pickup could be Gladiator, not Scrambler

by Patrick Rall on

We know now that the long-awaited Jeep Wrangler pickup will make its grand debut later this month at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. We know that it will look a great deal like the JL Wrangler, except it will feature a cargo box and the overall form of a mid-sized pickup rather than the tried-and-true SUV form. It will almost certainly come with the same engines as the current Wrangler and we can expect that the shared cabin portions will have the same basic look.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon JL

In short, the Wrangler-based pickup should copy as many aspects of the SUV as possible, as the people calling for a mid-sized Jeep truck want a Wrangler pickup – not a pickup that looks like a Wrangler up front. It likely combine the feel and function of the current Wrangler with the cargo-hauling capabilities of a mid-sized pickup and for those who have been following this story for the past few years, that is all common sense information.

The biggest question recently has focused on the name, with many outlets have referring to it as the Scrambler, as that was the name of the last truck offered by Jeep. However, information from a Jeep Scrambler Forum that was found on the FCA Media website seemingly reveals the name of this new truck and it is the 2020 Gladiator. That information has since been removed from the FCA website, but this information seemingly reveals the name of the upcoming pickup.

This comes as a surprise to some people, but this isn’t the first time that Jeep has offered up a Gladiator. Back in the 1960s, Jeep offered a truck based on the Wagoneer called the Gladiator.  The biggest hang-up for critics of the name could be the fact that the Gladiator was based on the larger Wagoneer while the Scrambler was based on the CJ, which eventually became the Wrangler. That was why many people figured that the new Wrangler pickup would be called the Scrambler, but history aside, Gladiator seems to fit better from a marketing aspect.

More importantly, this wouldn’t be the first time in recent history where Jeep built a Wrangler-based pickup called the Gladiator. Back in 2005, Jeep introduced the Wrangler Gladiator Concept (shown here in green) at the North American International Auto Show as a mid-sized pickup based on the JK Wrangler. It is expected that the JL Wrangler-based truck will have a similar look to the 2005 Gladiator Concept, so it would make good sense for the production truck to also carry the Gladiator name.

In the end, Gladiator just plain has a nicer ring to it than Scrambler. Just imagine that you drive the new Jeep pickup and someone asks you what you drive.

“I drive a new Jeep Gladiator.”

“I drive a new Jeep Scrambler.”

Gladiator definitely sounds better to us, so let’s hope that this information proves to be accurate. We will know for sure in less than a month.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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