JEEP has announced that the Gladiator pick-up truck will be scoring a diesel powertrain for the 2021 model year, with the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 set to churn out 194kW of power and a grunty 599Nm of torque, although FCA Australia has confirmed it won’t be headed Down Under.
The engine itself is the third generation of Jeep’s familiar EcoDiesel V6, with the second-generation version currently in service under the bonnet of the Grand Cherokee where it produces 184kW/570Nm.
To extract the extra power and to make it as efficient and refined as possible, engineers made a series of mechanical changes to the powerplant including the addition of a new water-cooled turbocharger, redesigned cylinder head intake ports, updated exhaust gas recirculation system, tweaked compression ratio and redesigned pistons.
According to Jeep North America boss Jim Morrison, the most common question prospective customers were asking regarding the Gladiator was if it would be available with a diesel engine, something he is now all too proud to confirm.
“Gladiator’s combination of unmatched off-road capability and the vehicle’s fun-to-drive on-road performance, best-ever Gladiator fuel economy and incredible driving range underwrite the fact that our customers knew exactly what they were asking for,” he said.
Just like the petrol-powered Gladiator, power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with all variants scoring a two-speed transfer case, albeit it with varying (2.72:1 – 4.0:1) low-range gear ratios.
In Canada and the US, the Gladiator ‘EcoDiesel’ will be available in three trim levels – Sport, Overland and Rubicon – with the Rubicon continuing as the off-road flagship.
While Jeep claim the diesel will be the most fuel-efficient Gladiator “ever”, it has not actually released an official figure, nor has it released an official CO2 rating.
For reference, the petrol version uses between between 11.2L/100km and 12.4L/100km (Overland vs Rubicon) on the combined cycle and emits between 260 and 288g of CO2 per kilometre.
Service intervals for the North American vehicles are pegged at 16,000km.
Despite the second-generation EcoDiesel engine being offered here in the Grand Cherokee, FCA Australia has confirmed the diesel Gladiator will not be making a local appearance any time soon due to the newest version of the powerplant not being engineered for right-hand drive, leaving the 3.6-litre petrol V6 to soldier on alone.
Jeep has sold 161 Gladiators since order book opened in March (year ending June), accounting for 0.2 per cent of the total off-road pickup truck market.