If there is one thing that the folks at Jeep love as much as off-roading, it is building limited edition vehicles. The automaker has peddled slightly tweaked versions of their products for decades now, with varying degrees of success. Models like the Levi’s Edition CJ remain incredibly sought after, whereas others like the Dragon Edition Wrangler are better left forgotten. For the 2021 model year, FCA has rolled out yet another limited edition model by way of the Jeep Gladiator California Edition.
Coming into the new year with a bit of regional inspiration, the new Jeep Gladiator California Edition is a Golden State dealer exclusive. Like many of Jeep’s limited edition products, the package appears to start life as a Sport S model. From there, Jeep has gone ahead and given this truck a serious blackout treatment. The entire front facia is finished in Gloss Black, including the grille and the fog light bezels. The 17 inch wheels are blacked out too, and come wrapped in all-terrain tires as standard. The removable Freedom Top comes finished in a black paint as well. While not currently listed on the configurator, Jeep Gladiator California Edition buyers will be able to spec the beloved Nacho clear-coat exterior paint if they so choose.
Power comes courtesy of the 3.6L V6 engine, which provides 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, though an 8-speed automatic is available for $2,000. Buyers can also opt for the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 for $4,000, though that requires the addition of the 8HP75 8-speed automatic. If you genuinely wish to take your Gladiator off-road, Jeep’s potent Selec-Trac full-time 4×4 system is a $695 option.
The blackout treatment continues inside, where the dash panels, door panel inserts, and instrument panel are all finished in Gloss Black. Black cloth bucket seats come as standard, complete with some black accent stitching. Jeep Gladiator California Edition buyers will also receive the Convenience Package as standard, which includes a universal garage opener and remote start capabilities for automatic-equipped trucks. Beyond that, the interior remains unchanged from the Sport S model.
If you happen to live in California, you can order this West Coast special now from a starting price of $38,705. That’s not a terrible premium over a standard Sport S, which starts at $38,100. That said, it does seem odd that the 2021 Jeep Gladiator California Edition doesn’t come equipped with a soft-top. Considering how difficult it can be to remove a Jeep hardtop, perhaps buyers are expected to only remove it once. Besides, it’s not like California has real weather.