2021 Jeep lineup will add Gladiator Altitude; tech upgrades rumored for Wrangler
Just as rumors indicated, Jeep has announced a new Altitude trim level for its Gladiator pickup that pairs lots of popular options into a value-oriented trim.
This new trim will start with the Sport S model powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and add the popular eight-speed automatic transmission along with 18-inch wheels finished in Granite Crystal. The fender flares are body-color, as is the grille, while each of the seven slots in the grille is inset with dark gray. Nearly every other bit of trim that makes up the Altitude is black, including the Freedom hardtop, exterior badging, cloth seats, and stitched-leather steering wheel. As we expected, the Altitude also comes with the painted bumper normally grouped with the painted fender-flare option.
Jeep says the Altitude will land on dealer lots early in the third quarter of 2020, and it’s already on the Gladiator configurator with a base price of $41,835, including destination.
As a comparison, the Sport S starts at $38,240, also including destination. It’s not available with 18-inch wheels, but once optioned with the Freedom hardtop ($1295), eight-speed automatic ($2000), and body-colored fender flares and painted bumper ($250), then the price is just $50 shy of the Altitude. It seems that Jeep knows what its customers want, and the Altitude checks all the boxes for the must-have goodies.
Mopar Insiders, the source of those initial Gladiator Altitude models, has more leaked information on the 2021 Wrangler as well. The Slec-Trac full-time transfer case available on the Sahara will likely appear on the Sport for the first time, and a full-time version of the Rock-Trac transfer case could become available on the Rubicon, which would allow all Wrangler models to use all-wheel-drive on the pavement.
The Gladiator’s grille-mounted, forward-facing camera could also trickle down to the Wrangler, which would help drivers place the front tires on difficult trails. Mopar Insiders also expects Jeep to add a tire-pressure monitoring system that will help trail-happy drivers air down their tires. Wranglers with the optional Uconnect infotainment system could easily get Selectable Tire Fill Alerts that let the driver set desired tire pressures for the road and trial. When airing down for maximum off-road traction, the horn would then honk once when the pressure is reached. When airing back up for the street, the horn would honk again to indicate the selected road-driving pressure.
The Rubicon may also get a dose of Gladiator tech, in particular the Off-Road Plus driving mode that allows for higher speed driving with the rear locker engaged. Perfect for sandy situations, Off-Road Plus allows the driver to tailor the vehicle’s throttle response and shift points to their liking.
Jeep has done a great job of satisfying its customers’ needs and desires with new models, legendary off-road capability, and unique problem-solving solutions. Will the new Bronco light an even hotter fire under Jeep’s crafty team of engineers?