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JEEP GLADIATOR MOJAVE EDITION DEBUTS WITH NEW ‘DESERT RATED’ BADGE OF HONOR

Look Out, F-150 Raptor

Jeep Gladiator Mojave

The Jeep Gladiator comes from the factory ready to go where most pickup trucks could never dream of. Rocky trails, deep streams, muddy fields, and of course, the wide open desert. Almost immediately, in fact, Jeep Gladiator customers took their lifestyle pickup truck to the dunes, and they quickly realized one thing: it needed more capability. Something closer to the dune-jumping Ford F-150 Raptor, if you will. Enter the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave.

The first-ever Jeep Gladiator Mojave looks to play in the sandbox with specially-tuned Fox 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks with external reservoirs, industry-exclusive Fox front hydraulic jounce bumpers, a reinforced frame, a one-inch front suspension lift with a front skid plate, a half-inch increase, stronger axles with cast-iron steering knuckles, aggressive front seats with integrated upper bolsters and standard 33-inch Falken Wildpeak All-terrain tires.

The genius behind the Fox shock system is that they contain internal passages that allow military-grade suspension fluid to bypass the shock piston through regulated ports as it moves through the suspension travel. The result is a predictable ride over normal off-road driving conditions, with the ability to ramp up damping force in extreme use.

The enhancements were enough to for Jeep to give the 2020 Gladiator Mojave its inaugural “Desert Rated” certification.

The 4×4 capability of the Jeep Gladiator Mojave features a  two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, and reinforced Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 4.10:1 axle ratio and standard electronic-locking rear differential. If things get a little rocky, the Jeep Gladiator Mojave features a best-in-class approach angle of 44.7 degrees, a breakover angle of 20.9 degrees, a departure angle of 25.5 degrees and a best-in-class ground clearance of 11.6 inches.

Additionally, Fox jounce bumpers soften impacts and prevent bottoming out in harsh off-road situations at high speed. At the same time, the suspension aims to deliver a comfortable ride over gravel and broken pavement.

33-inch Falken Wildpeak All-terrain tires are standard, while Falken Wildpeak Mud-terrain tires are optional. Adding additional capabilities is an Off-Road Plus button, which adjusts throttle, transmission shift points and traction control for both Baja dune running, as well as during low-speed rock crawling. The Off-Road Plus drive mode on Mojave will also feature, for the first time on Jeep, the ability for drivers to lock their rear axle at high speeds while in 4-High as a rolling update later this year.

Despite the mail-slot hood, which may elude to a Hemi or Hellcat V8 engine, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave sticks with the tried-and-true 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine delivering 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A six speed transmission remains standard, while the ZF-sourced eight-speed transmission is optional.

Look for pricing of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave to be announced soon. For now, behold the pretty pictures.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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