We've finally driven the hotly anticipatedand can confirm that it lives up to the hype. If you're one of the folks who's been waiting for a Wrangler-based pickup for awhile now, you won't have to wait much longer. If you want the very special Launch Edition, however, get on the interwebs today, Thursday April 4.
Why just take orders on April 4? Today is otherwise known as Jeep 4x4 Day. (Get It? April 4, or 4/4.) You can order your Launch Edition at Jeep.com, and you'll be contacted by a concierge later in the day. Remember though, there are only 4,190 units available, so you'll have to act quickly.
And why 4,190 units? It's a nod to 419, the area code of Toledo, Ohio, where the Jeep Gladiator and itssibling are built.
The Launch Edition is based on the fully loaded Gladiator Rubicon but gets a few unique visual accents, including special badging, 17-inch midgloss black aluminum wheels, black leather seats and red contrast stitching. Like other Rubicon models, the Launch Edition will be powered by the Gladiator's 3.6-liter V6 engine, with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The Launch Edition will also come with the Rubicon's robust four-wheel-drive system, forward-facing camera, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and more.
If you order one of the Launch Edition models, you'll be eligible to enter Jeep's "Find Your Freedom" contest, in which you can win $100,000, presumably to take a year off and go camping around the country in your brand-new truck. Me? I'd invest in a roof-top tent and Yeti cooler and see if I can make that vacation last for longer than a year...
In order to enter the contest, buyers will need to submit some sort of Gladiator video, and Jeep will choose a winner with the help of US Army veteran Noah Galloway. Galloway was injured during the Iraq war, losing part of his left arm and leg, and has gone on to work as a motivational speaker and author.
You'll pay a huge premium for a Launch Edition. While the, plus $1,495 destination, the Launch Edition is a whopping $60,815 plus destination. Yowza.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator hits dealers this spring.
Originally published March 29.
Update, April 4: Republished as preorders are open.