Forget about the Gladiator Mojave; THIS would be the ultimate off-road bruiser.
Just this week, Jeep pulled the wraps off the all-new Wrangler Rubicon 392 - a powerful, hot-blooded new variant that draws its power from Fiat Chrysler's stalwart 392 Hemi V8, pumping out 470 horses' worth of trail-conquering grunt. Of course, the Wrangler shares its platform and a large share of its parts with Jeep's new midsize pickup truck, the Gladiator, which raises the question: is a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon 392 next?
We don't appear to be the only curious news outlet. Motor Trend posed that very question, only to turn up a rather unsatisfying answer: maybe.
Jeep has confirmed that both the 392 Hemi V8 and the Wrangler's new plug-in-hybrid 4xe powertrain will, in theory, fit under the bodywork of the Jeep Gladiator, giving Jeep the option to launch a Gladiator Rubicon 392 and Gladiator 4xe later if they so choose. But Jeep reportedly won't commit to either product and while the Gladiator and Wrangler do indeed share the same platform, Motor Trend points out that they're on completely different development paths, as evidenced by the fact that the Gladiator launched a "Desert Rated" Mojave trim that is, so far, still absent from the Wrangler portfolio.
Rumor has it that the Wrangler will add a Mojave trim in the future, and there's no doubt that similar rumors regarding a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon 392 will crop up. But for now, at least, they will remain rumors only.
At the end of the day, we're left with the tantalizing possibility that Jeep has available something of a "shortcut" to developing a potent, V8-powered midsize off-road truck - one that could trounce all over the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and perhaps, if one ever reaches the US, the Ford Ranger Raptor. The engine, the truck, and most of the parts to make it all work are already there; all Jeep has to do is pull the trigger.