The Gladiator concept takes yet another stab at a Jeep pickup, and this appears a logical and easy-to-produce machine. Its engine is a 163-horsepower, 295-pound-foot turbodiesel (specs virtually equal to the new Liberty CRD's 2.8-liter four) with part-time four-wheel drive. With a 138-inch wheelbase, its dimensions are close to those of the midsize Dodge Dakota pickup. It's also described as a concept, but it clearly gives clues to the design direction of the 2007 Wrangler. Jeep used the Gladiator name on a pickup built from 1963 to 1969. Despite the Wrangler/Liberty styling themes, Chrysler says the Gladiator's platform is unique. The club cab has a small lower access door on the driver/sidemount side and a full-height rear-hinged half-door on the passenger side.
The sidemount spare saves space and allows rear overhang to be short, and it recalls the spares on the early J-10 Gladiators. Rugged and basic; top is canvas, for an open-air option. Rear-window glass rolls down, the rear seat cushion drops and slides under the deep bed, which slides forward to extend from its 5.6-foot standard size to eight feet in length.
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