Because too much torque is never enough!
Fans of the midsize truck segment were absolutely thrilled when at long last, Jeep announced that it would be building a Wrangler-esque truck to take on the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma. So far, the Jeep Gladiator hasn't really disappointed, with bold styling, impressive levels of capability, and in the recently-available Mojave trim, a proper desert runner the likes of which haven't been seen in the segment before. But there was always one complaint: Based on a platform linked to the stunning Ram 1500, there was only one engine available for the Gladiator in the form of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine. There's good news, today, however, as Jeep has announced that 2021 model year Gladiators will be available with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6.
It's big news for those who enjoy towing, as, while the 260 horsepower produced by the EcoDiesel V6 is 25 hp less than the gas V6 option, the EcoDiesel produces 442 lb-ft of torque compared to the Pentastar V6's meager 260 lb-ft. Not only is it torquier, giving the Gladiator impressive towing capability, but the diesel engine is also expected to be more frugal. At this stage, the EPA hasn't yet tested the EcoDiesel in the Jeep pickup, but in the case of the Wrangler, it improves fuel economy from 20 mpg to 25 mpg on the combined cycle.
To aid towing, other mechanical changes have been made, and the additional torque necessitates an enhanced version of the eight-speed automatic gearbox fitted as standard. Furthermore, Gladiator Sport, Overland, and Rubicon models with the EcoDiesel engine are equipped with Dana 44 heavy-duty axles and all feature a 3.73 axle ratio.
"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 Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand - North America.
"Gladiator's combination of unmatched 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."
Pricing hasn't yet been announced for the diesel engine, but orders are open with the first deliveries expected in winter 2020.