Traditionally, Rubicon models have been the most desirable Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler models. They are the pinnacle of the brand’s off-road performance pedigree, but unfortunately, their sticker prices reflect that. At the bare minimum, you’re looking at $45,615 to get into a Gladiator Rubicon. And that’s before you add any of the plentiful options and accessories that can skyrocket the price even higher. Luckily, there’s a new Gladiator in town that provides much of the Rubicon’s off-road performance at a far lower price: the 2021 Jeep Gladiator Willys. Customers could configure, price and order a 2021 Gladiator Willys since the summer, but today, Jeep is announcing details of the off-road truck in full.
Based on the Sport S model, the Gladiator Willys get’s an aggressive, throwback appearance with blacked-out trim and decals. The grille, wheels and Jeep badges are all black, while the black “WILLYS” badge up front and “4 wheel drive” badge on the tailgate give the model a special appearance enthusiasts will appreciate. The merits of this trim level are more than just a pretty face, though, with lots of standard off-road performance equipment.
The Willys takes the rock rails and heavy duty shocks straight from the Rubicon model, plus adds 32 inch BFGoodrich KM2 mud terrain tires; one of the best street-legal off-road tires on the market. The standard 4×4 system is bolstered by a limited-slip rear differential and Command-Trac 4×4 part-time, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio. A Selec-Trac Full Time four wheel drive system with 4×4 auto is also optional, coming right off the Rubicon model.
The 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 with a 6 speed manual is standard, while an 8 speed automatic and diesel are optional. Inside, the Gladiator Willys comes well equipped with a 7 inch touch screen, with the larger 8.4 inch unit optional. It also gets the Technology Group package and all-weather slush mats standard.
Put that compelling package together with a $35,265 (plus $1,495 destination) sticker price, and you’ve got many of the off-road components of the Rubicon for a significantly lower price. With all the off-road performance most people want before turning to the aftermarket, and a unique retro design, the Jeep Gladiator Willys looks to be a great success. It’s currently available for order and hitting dealers nationwide.