The V-8-powered 2021 Jeep Wrangler 392 is the latest addition to the off-road-oriented SUV‘s ever-growing model line, which also includes gas-powered four- and six-cylinder engine options, an available turbo-diesel V-6, and the forthcoming gasoline-electric hybrid 4xe. Despite the Wrangler sharing its mechanical bits with the Gladiator pickup, the SUV’s 4xe and 392 powertrains are currently missing from the midsize Jeep truck’s options menu. So the obvious question is: Will the Gladiator lineup add either option in the future?
Jeep isn’t ready to kick a possible Gladiator 4xe or 392 to the curb, as brand spokespeople acknowledge the Wrangler 4xe’s 375-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain and 470-hp 6.4-liter V-8 are capable of fitting under the Gladiator’s hood (and, in the case of the 4xe’s battery pack, the truck’s back seat). Still, Jeep is also adamant it’s not ready to commit to producing the Gladiator with either powertrain option.
Blame the fact the Wrangler and Gladiator follow different development paths. As a spokesperson for the brand shared, “the 392 for the Wrangler was a project that was given a green light a while back.” It’s not very surprising that Jeep would prioritize this engine for the Wrangler over the Gladiator, given the many Wrangler owners who have expressed interest in an eight-cylinder variant of Jeep’s open-topped SUV. Plus, the JL-generation Wrangler has been around for more than two years now; the Gladiator was new for 2020.
Nevertheless, it appears the group working on the Gladiator has the potential to benefit from the hard work put in by their Wrangler colleagues who figured out how to fit the big V-8 within the engine compartments of these two Jeep models. In fact, we’d wager Jeep might even think hard about building a salable Gladiator 392 if enough midsize truck buyers convince the brand that there’s a market for a high-performance V-8 (or plug-in hybrid 4xe) iteration of the model.
Until we hear Jeep decisively announce it has no plans to produce a Gladiator 392, we’ll keep holding out hope that the brand’s decision to “not [make] any commitments” to the model means there’s still a chance a V-8 Jeep truck might see the light of day.
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