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Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Jimmyb  Jimmyb is offline
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Default Waiting on the Jeep Scrambler

 2020 Jeep GladiatorIt’s Jeep’s answer to the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux and Nissan Navara, and yet another addition to the busy mid-size ute segment. Based on the new JL Wrangler which will land locally this year, the upcoming Scrambler will be an off-road ready ute with unique rugged looks.

The Scrambler name itself comes from the Jeep Wrangler CJ-8, built through 1981-86, that was commonly fitted with a ‘Scrambler’ appearance package. The CJ-8 had a detachable half-cab that turned the four-wheel drive into a ute - hence the name - though the only model sold in Australia at the time had a full steel hardtop roof.

In its most basic form the Scrambler is a four-door Wrangler with a ute tray on the back. It requires modifications to the ladder frame chassis and a tray rear-end behind the second-row seats. The rear tailgate remains a mystery but will likely have Jeep embossed across it with the Scrambler name nearby. But from the B-pillar forward it will essentially look like a Wrangler.

Given the Scrambler’s heritage and Jeep’s penchant to bring out special edition models there will no doubt be a bunch of optional packs for the ute, bringing back the twin side stripes and unique alloys the original received.

Based on the latest JL Wrangler we can expect a similar level of robust design inside, including a chunky moulded dash, round air vents, new diff lock and sway bar control switches, a mix of analogue and digital dash displays and an up to 8.4-inch infotainment system.

Based on the ladder frame chassis that underpins the Wrangler, the Scrambler will be geared towards off-road use and have a one tonne-payload with 3500kg tow capacity.

Engine options from the Wrangler that will pop straight in include the new 200kW/400Nm 2.0-litre petrol turbo and a 194kW/600Nm 3.0-litre V6 diesel that would sit top of the class – but those engines are pretty well off the cards for Australia.

Instead, we’d likely have the choice of a 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine producing 150kW and 450Nm, and an updated 3.6-litre petrol V6 producing around 210kW of power and 350Nm of torque.

Transmissions will be a six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic mated to Jeep’s Selec-Trac four-wheel drive system.

A point of difference over some of the competition will be if the Scrambler is able to secure safety technology from the Wrangler like autonomous emergency braking that it will need to score a five star ANCAP rating.

What’s on the wish list?

The 3.0-litre V6 would add a third ute to the V6 turbo diesel fight that’s currently owned by German rivals the VW Amarok and Mercedes-Benz X-Class. But why go only halfway when the US brand can salute its heritage with a Hellcat-style Hemi V8 that’d blow HSV’s Sportscat and Ford Ranger Raptor out of the water.

When is it coming?

The new Wrangler is only around the corner and the Scrambler won’t be far behind. It’s tipped to reveal itself in full towards the end of this year or early next, perhaps as early as the LA motor show in November.

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What is the difference between the Gladiator and the Scrambler?
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Igoing by the price of the Rubicon jl, I don't see how it can compete with the Toyota 79 dual cab. The gxl with Diff locks comes in slightly more expensive than the Rubicon, but comes with a twin turbo diesel and a 3.5 tonne towing capacity. AND it comes in manual only. I've been a huge jeep fan, since I was about 5 and the neighbours had 2 golden Eagles. An cj7, xj and now a cj8, I think I'll be trading up to the cruiser. Mega bummed out, but at that price point, the jl is just too expensive for what you get.

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