New desert-focused Jeep Gladiator Mojave unveiled in Chicago
For the first time in its history, Jeep has unveiled a baja-ready, desert-specific, high-speed sand runner. The Jeep Gladiator Mojave, sure to be followed by a Wrangler model as well, was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show with a newly-minted “Desert Rated” badge where the “Trail Rated” emblem would usually be.
The Mojave model is more than just a trim package. Jeep changed the chassis of the truck, specifically the suspension system, and did extensive testing of the rig in its newfound environment of expertise. Biggest of the changes are the 2.5-inch internal bypass shock absorbers, with external reservoirs, and Fox hydraulic jounce bumpers to accommodate more airtime and the smaller bumps taken at higher speeds that are indicative of hardpack and sand driving.
The specially-tuned Fox shocks are the most visible change to the Mojave model’s underpinnings. A one inch front suspension lift, reinforced framing at key points where speed affects movement, and 33-inch Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires are among the other changes made for the Gladiator Mojave. The tires are on a half-inch wider track than a standard Gladiator, providing added stability.
Inside, more aggressive front seating with larger, integrated upper bolsters to hold driver and front passenger in place during the heavy jarring are also added. On the aesthetic side, there's Mojave badges, stitching, and other trim indicators of the Gladiator’s Desert Rated status.
The desert-focused Gladiator has the same 4x4 system and Dana 44 axles as the Rubicon model. Approach and departure angles are also the same, at 44.7 and 25.5 degrees respectively, while breakover increases slightly to 20.9 degrees thanks to the added front ride height of the Mojave model. Jeep has also added step sand slider side rails and a silver front protective plate from Jeep Performance Parts.
The Jeep Gladiator Mojave will enter showrooms in the second quarter of 2020. Pricing and other details are yet to be released.
Also unveiled at the Chicago show was a new trim model for the Jeep Gladiator and the Jeep Wrangler: the High Altitude model. These models will be the luxury pinnacle of the two off-road vehicles’ range.
“Our new Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator High Altitude are in direct response to customers who continue to ask for even more luxurious materials, premium content and technology in two of the most capable vehicles that we’ve ever offered,” said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America.
The High Altitude models will feature painted gloss black 20-inch wheels, matched body-color treatments, and High Altitude-exclusive front and rear bumpers. Running boards with an integrated step, matte black Trail Rated badges, and other trim details also accompany these changes.
Inside, the High Altitude models will feature a full leather luxury interior with a leather-wrapped dashboard, leather-trimmed center console and door panels, and Nappa leather seating. Jeep High Altitude models will also feature an Alpine premium stereo, 8.4-inch touchscreen with WiFi hotspot, navigation, and driver-assist technologies like blind-spot monitoring.
The High Altitude models will become available in the second quarter of 2020.