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Chicago Auto Show: High performance ‘Desert Rated’ Jeep Gladiator Mojave debuts

Jeep is turning its off-roader into an off-roadrunner.


The brand is introducing a new “Desert Rated” version of the Gladiator pickup that is optimized for high-speed driving on dirt roads and sand, rather than crawling over rocks like its current Trail Rated models are.


The Gladiator Mojave features high-performance Fox shocks and hydraulic jounce bumpers designed to resist overheating and soak up big impacts, a one-inch front lift, a front skid plate, a reinforced frame, stronger axles and steering knuckles, a wider stance and the ability to lock the rear axle while the four-wheel-drive system is in high for added traction on slippery surfaces.


The Mojave rides on 17-inch wheels with 33-inch all-terrain tires and provides 11.6 inches of ground clearance. The trim level will initially be available on 3.6-liter V6-powered trucks with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.


The changes transform the Gladiator into somewhat of a competitor to both the Ford F-150 Raptor and Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.

Pricing will be announced closer to when it goes on sale this spring.


This story has been updated to clarify that the Mojave trim is only offered on the Gladiator pickup


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