Rugged Jeep Gladiator adds performance for 2021 with EcoDiesel V6
Pickup buyers who want a rough, rugged and off-road capable truck powered by a diesel engine will get just that when the 2021 Jeep Gladiator hits the road. For the first time the truck will come with a 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 that will ramp up performance along with better fuel economy.
The Gladiator, introduced in 2019, has proven popular for its on-road performance as well as off-road capability, but customers were still asking for one more piece of the puzzle, according to Jim Morrison, head of the Jeep brand for North America.
"Before we introduced Gladiator, one of the most common questions consumers asked us was, ‘Will you please offer a Jeep truck?,' followed closely by, ‘Will it be offered with a diesel engine?' While we know the answer to the first question, I'm pleased to answer the second with a resounding, ‘Yes'," said Morrison. "Gladiator's combination of stellar off-road capability and the vehicle's fun-to-drive on-road performance, best-ever Gladiator fuel economy and incredible driving range underwrite the fact that our customers knew exactly what they were asking for."
The Gladiator is a mid-sized pickup truck based off the Jeep Wrangler platform, and designed with plenty of functionality for both off- and on-road operation. A variety of trim levels offer a selection of 4x4 systems, Dana axles, front- and rear-axle lockers, limited-slip differential and more for dedicated off-roaders, while also providing tuned suspension designed to optimize on-road handling and ride comfort at the same time.
The truck is roomy inside and lightweight out, offering a versatile selection of cargo options to choose from.
While 2021 specs have not been fully released, it's expected that the Gladiator will have the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 available, along with an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.
On the Sport, Overland and Rubicon models, though, the 3.0-litre EcoDiesel is expected to be a popular choice. Offering 260 horsepower and 442 lb.-ft. of torque, and with engine stop-start technology offered standard, the V6 will link up with a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission calibrated for low-RPM shifts as well as on- and off-road driving.
A hefty list of updates has helped improve the EcoDiesel performance and efficiency, including a new-generation water-cooled turbocharger to improve responsiveness, and redesigns to the cylinder head intake ports to give higher flow capacity. The engine's exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system has been improved with a dual loop system, cutting down turbocharger energy losses and helping improve fuel economy. Numerous other improvements strengthen the engine, reduce weight and add to Gladiator's added performance.
A new 5.1-gallon diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank has been installed right behind the fuel tank; DEF refills are aligned with oil changes, and levels monitored with a new DEF gauge in the front cluster.
All of the EcoDiesel models feature Dana 44 front and rear axles, and feature a 3.73 axle ratio. RockTrac two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio is standard on the Rubicon, while Command-Trac part-time two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 gear ratio is available on Sport and Overland models.
The 2021 Gladiator EcoDiesel is available for order now.