Following nearly 30 years sans new truck and endless rumors about what the next Jeep pickup will look like (and when it will come to fruition), we now have the details about the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. Jeep's rugged midsize pickup truck is set to go on sale in the next couple of months and we wanted to take a closer look before it hits dealerships. We were able to get up close and personal with the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon at an event hosted by Jeep and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Here are 5 must-know facts about its capability and design.

1.  It Shares a Front Half With The Jeep Wrangler

Wrangler and Gladiator

If you were to look at the Jeep Gladiator from the front, you might mistake it for the 2019 Jeep Wrangler. The 2020 Gladiator is undeniably a Jeep, sporting the iconic 7-slot grille and round headlights on the front fascia. One difference we noticed in the grille of the Gladiator is the wider meshing which helps boost its towing capacity by allowing for more air intake. If you're looking at it from the side, the Gladiator matches the Wrangler through the edge of the front doors. Starting from the rear doors through the tailgate, it was designed from the ground up. 

The Gladiator has a steel frame that is 31 inches longer than the Wrangler's and a wheelbase that is 19.4 inches longer, allowing for improved weight distribution and a better ride while hauling cargo. The 5-foot bed is made from traditional steel and the aluminum tailgate can be locked in 3 positions (open, closed and halfway-up for more loading versatility). The rear suspension of the Gladiator was inspired by its FCA cousin, the Ram 1500. A five-link coil suspension design includes two upper and lower control arms for longitudinal control and a track bar for lateral axle control. 

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2. It Beats Competitors in Towing and Payload Capacity

Jeep Gladiator Tailgate

The Jeep Gladiator will undoubtedly become a favorite among shoppers who need Jeep's proven off-road chops along with towing and hauling capability. From an offroading standpoint, the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon will be able to handle nearly any trail with an approach angle of 43.6 degrees, breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, departure angle of 26 degrees and ground clearance of 11.1 inches.  

While the off-road capability shouldn't come as a surprise from a Jeep truck, its towing and payload numbers are equally impressive for the midsize pickup segment. The 2020 Gladiator offers a best-in-class towing capacity of 7.650 pounds and a 4x4 payload capacity of 1,600 pounds. This capability comes in handy for towing and hauling toys like boats and ATVs.

3. It Is The Only Open-Air 4x4 Pickup Truck

Jeep Gladiator Open Air

Like its Jeep Wrangler sibling, the Gladiator is designed for the hardcore off-road enthusiast. Unlike other pickup trucks in its segment, it lets the driver and passengers experience true open-air adventure. The Gladiator's four doors are lightweight and can be easily removed with a tool kit that is included standard. The windshield also folds down just like the Wrangler's. Buyers will be able to choose from several hard top or soft top roof options, both of which can be opened up for a full sky view.  

4. A Diesel Engine Option is Coming Soon

Jeeo Gladiator Engine

Under the hood of the first batch of the Jeep Gladiator, you'll find FCA's 3.6-liter Pentastar engine offering 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It featuring a broad torque band focusing on low-end torque for maximum off-roading, hauling and towing capability. The Pentastar is paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission and an eight-speed automatic transmission is optional.  

Starting in 2020, you'll be able to get your hands on a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine which produces 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. This engine will be available with an eight-speed automatic transmission standard to handle the increased torque. The EcoDiesel V6 features turbocharged technology helping to improve fuel economy numbers.

5. It's Equipped with Clever Storage and Tech

Jeep Gladiator Storage Compartment

The Gladiator's practicality doesn't stop with the best-in-class towing and hauling capability. There are also many clever storage and technology features inside the cabin. Fold up the rear seats vertically and you'll reveal storage compartments underneath. There are mesh pockets along the length of the doors with multiple phone holders and for security when going open-air, there is also a lockable storage bin. 

In addition to the smart storage, the Gladiator presents innovative technology for all the ways customers will use it. Exclusively on Gladiator Rubicon models, is a forward-facing camera specifically designed for off-roading. It shows obstructions coming up on off-road trails and when things get a little muddy, the camera is conveniently able to clean itself with a mist you control from inside the truck. Finally, there is an option to upgrade the audio with a subwoofer and portable speaker docked behind the rear seat which can be removed and used anywhere.