From the beginning of the Jeep's history, it has broken every standard of convention. Form the creation of the design for the military back in WWII; to the advent of the civilian class Jeep people have been fascinated with the Jeep. There are even those that believe that Henry Ford’s Jeep is one of the major reasons we did so well in the ground war of WWII. This very well might be true, since there were very few other vehicle options to choose from for those brave gladiators of the Great War. In the current SUV craze, many forget that Jeep was the original SUV and the original multipurpose off road civilian vehicle. The general public has continuously looked to the Jeep for innovation, versatility, and ground breaking designs and ability. The new concept of the Jeep Gladiator upholds our expectations of the Jeep name legacy, and everything it represents.
The Jeep Gladiator story does not start with the Jeep Gladiator, but instead it begins with the story of the Jeep Wrangler. The Jeep wrangler was introduced in the mid-90’s as the flag ship and workhorse of the Jeep company. It was the company's answer to the multi-purpose vehicle market that was growing up around it. Before the 80's and 90's, a car was a car, and a 4-wheel drive was a 4 wheel drive. The Jeep Wrangler answered the call of the public to be both car and 4X4, which the competition had decided to answer in body style rather than in performance or ability.
Now, the aging Jeep Wrangler has again taken its place in the spotlight by becoming the Jeep Gladiator. The Jeep Gladiator is a Jeep Wrangler with an extended and reinforced chassis. The first major change that makes the Gladiator not a Wrangler is the longer more comfortable cab to give the back passengers more leg room, and at the same time making it a better ride for the three passengers that are sitting back there. In addition, the Gladiator has a new third door entrance into the back, a relatively new concept for the Jeep. It sports a vinyl removable top, weather proof interior, and a V6 under the hood in order to haul all the people and things you can now get in there. The most obvious feature of the Jeep Gladiator is the extended bed. The Jeep Gladiator has a large truck-like five feet by four feet bed. This is a size long enough to hold most easily hauled items, and small enough not to get in the way. The Jeep Gladiator is not looking to challenge the truck industry; but instead, offer the Jeep enthusiasts and the Jeep admirers more versatility.
The new Jeep Gladiator's bed might turn a lot of people off of the new jeep. There are many who will also assume that the Gladiator is attempting to become something that it isn't, or a feeble attempt by the new and improved Jeep company to recoup car sales by adding non-needed features much like Ford's small Bed SUV that came out a few years ago. In fact, Jeep's history has seen beds and extended beds in their concepts and their construction even prior to the original Ford pick-up. Henry Ford’s original fleet of Jeeps for the military had large beds and the ability to connect and weld on a larger beds if so needed. Jeep has offered bed's in many of their Jeep designs from the 60's and into the 80's. It is only since the SUV craze that this idea of a bed behind the jeep has been set aside. But, the innovative bed doesn’t stop there. If you need to haul something a little bigger or even longer, there is an extended-cab device that given you and extra 3-4 feet. The Gladiator's versatile shape and bed is merely the next step in the evolution of Jeep's long history of innovative designs and performance. With the Gladiator, Jeep continues to stay one step ahead of the competition and the off road industry, while at the same time helping out the home owner with their day to day errands and tasks.