Remember when Jeep’s new pickup truck was known as the Scrambler?
One of the most anticipated new model debuts at the 2018 LA Auto Show was undoubtedly the 2020 Jeep Scrambler. It’s the first pickup truck Jeep has made in 26 years, but it was well worth the wait. Quite simply, it’s one of the most capable midsize trucks ever made, with a towing capacity of 7,650 lbs, a 1,600-lb 4x4 payload capacity, and a 3.6-liter V6 pumping out 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It’s been a long time coming too, as prototypes of the Wrangler-based pickup were first spotted several years ago.
However, the Gladiator name only became known a few weeks before its world debut. Prior to that, prototypes were referred to as the Scrambler. While Jeep never confirmed the name, we became used to calling it the Scrambler over the years. So why did Jeep decide to call it the Gladiator?
Well, it isn’t the first time Jeep has applied the Gladiator name to a truck. Jeep representatives explained to Autoblog that the long-forgotten Jeep Gladiator concept truck revealed in 2005 had a big influence. The concept sparked rumors of a Wrangler-related pickup truck for over a decade, and some of the design cues have been carried over to the current truck. However, the concept was just a two-door extended-cab pickup. The Gladiator was also the name of Jeep’s longest-running pickup truck line, the Gladiator and J-Series.
Jeep also wanted to avoid using the Scrambler name because it could have the wrong connotations. The old Scrambler was effectively a stretched version of the small CJ-7, but the Gladiator name conveys the truck’s toughness and off-road capability more effectively. We think it's a very suitable name, but there will always be Jeep fans fond of the original Scrambler that would have liked to see the name be revived.