One Step Closer to the Diesel-Powered Jeep Gladiator

July 18th, 2019 by

The new Jeep Gladiator is on sale in the United States already – and it has sold a reasonable amount (2,548 units in May) at an average price of $56,403, according to jeepgladiatorforum.com. Jeep is working on getting the truck to Europe, where it will go on sale “by the end of next year.” However, European consumers will have the chance to get up close and personal with the new Gladiator 260-HP V6 Diesel Engine way before ‘it’s available in the dealerships in the United States.

The Jeep Owners Group hosted the annual Camp Jeep event in San Martino di Castrozza, in the heart of the Dolomite region in Italy, on July 12th-14th. ‘That’s where the Gladiator made its first official appearance on the continent. But it’s not going on sale there until 2020.

Jeep will sell the pickup in Europe, and it will have a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel engine, and it’s expected to deliver about 260 horsepower and 600 Newton-meters of torque. It will have an eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system. An engine start-stop function will be featured as a standard as well.

Jeep will offer its Middle East customers, the Gladiator with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine. It delivers 285 hp, and 256 lb-ft of torque and that one will only come with an eight-speed automatic. The United States is supposed to be coming out with the Jeep Gladiator 260-HP V6 Diesel Engine, but there has been no further news on it. 

When the truck goes on sale next year, it will only be available in three trim levels. The Toledo-built machine will be sold in the Sport, Overland, and Rubicon models with the Sport and Overland getting the Command-Trac 4×4 system with a two-speed transfer case as standard. The Rubicon gets a Rock-Trac 4×4 system with heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1.

If the JT team had designed a taller hood specifically for the vehicle JT, it would have significantly reduced how many components are shared with the JL. That would mean the added cost and manufacturing complexity would have been minimized. “We wanted to minimize the tear-up as much as we could,” Gladiator’s chief engineer Pete Milosavlevski—or Pete Milo for short told jalopnik.com.

While the cooling ‘module’s height was limited by the hood position, dropping the cooling module below the bumper was a no-go because of the ‘vehicle’s strict approach angle requirement. Balancing the cooling demands with off-road performance was a key challenge, Milo told jalopnik.com. So, the thickness and height were locked in.

So what was stopping engineers from stretching the radiator outboard? One thing that was noticeable when sitting in the Jeep Gladiator is how narrow the nose is—presumably a styling decision that was meant to visually “connect” the JT and the Wrangler. Architectural, the parts that shape the front end are called “hydroformed rails.”

Secured to them is a Front End Module, or FEM, which carries the cooling module. The hydroformed rails could not move to accommodate a larger cooling module. They are a critical structural component that had been established at the beginning of the JL program.

“We didn’t want to significantly change our front impact strategy,” Milo told Jalopnik when analyzing the heat exchanger packaging constraints. So it was a big struggle—engineers had only a small space bounded on top by the hood, on the bottom by the approach angle, and on the sides by the two hydroformed rails. The radiator couldn’t grow.

But of course, there are more engineers can do to help keep an engine sharp while towing around 7,650 pounds at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. And it goes farther than merely just enlarging the radiator. Improving heat exchanger efficiency is another “lever” that engineers considered, as was upping coolant flow and airflow.

If you’re interested in test-driving Jeep models near Fort Myers, make sure to check them out at Cape Coral Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM

Photo Credit: youtube.com

 

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