It looks like the Jeep Gladiator is gearing up for battle … with the Ford F-150 Lightning.
Jeep last week updated the header image on its Facebook page with the photo of a vehicle interior that has been identified as a Gladiator pickup equipped with the plug-in hybrid powertrain from the Wrangler 4xe SUV.
Members of the JeepGladiatorForum.com noted several features that distinguish the Gladiator from the Wrangler, including the shape of the roll bar and seat belt anchor placement seen in the rearview mirror along with a button for the cargo bed light on the dashboard.
The Jeep Gladiator is currently available with either a gasoline or diesel V6 engine. (Jeep)
A hybrid display is clearly shown on the infotainment system display and the blue accent stitching matches that of the recently-introduced Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid.
Jeep has not yet responded to a request for comment about what’s being depicted in the image to Fox News Autos, but Jeep CEO Christian Meunier last year said that “for sure” an electrified Gladiator was in the works.
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The Wrangler 4xe combines an electric motor with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to provide 21 miles of all-electric driving and extended-range hybrid operation, so a Gladiator using the same powertrain wouldn’t be a direct competitor for the all-electric F-150 Lightning, but would represent yet another alternative to the Ford in the plug-in pickup segment, which will also be getting entries from Tesla, GMC and Rivian this year.
Mike Manley, the head of Jeep parent company Stellantis’ North American operations, also said to “stay tuned for a little while” for more information on an electrified Ram pickup.
The Wrangler 4xe’s powertrain is rated at 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, which makes it the second-most powerful Wrangler behind the V8-engine Rubicon 392.