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From Renault's new Alaskan bakkie to the latest models at the Frankfurt motor show bound for SA.

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The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Jeep's super bakkie

2005-01-10 09:30
According to DaimlerChrysler the Gladiator is a lifestyle pickup with all of the rugged functionality of the famed Jeep Wrangler.

It is a "super utility truck" that features an open-air canvas roof, removable doors and fold-down windshield so driver and passengers can get in touch with the outdoors, and an expandable pickup-truck bed and clever storage compartments to offer truly useful cargo capacity.

"Jeep Gladiator is an authentic statement of Jeep brand heritage that explores what shape and features a modern Jeep pickup might have," said Trevor Creed, senior vice president of Chrysler Group Design.

Jeep enthusiasts will likely recognise the Gladiator name from the 1962 full-size pickup truck model.

Other Jeep elements on today's Gladiator that blend style and function include the seven-slot grille, an open-air passenger compartment, a Command Trac part-time 4x4 system, front- and rear-locking differentials, a front winch and full skid plates.

While the heritage rings true, DaimlerChrysler says that Gladiator is also a "thoroughly modern pickup, intelligently engineered for an active lifestyle".

There is a driver-side cabin-storage access panel as well as a lockable storage panel in front of the rear wheel.

The 4-foot-wide bed space is expandable with storage that can extend inside the cabin when more length is needed.

The bed can be transformed easily from its standard length of 1 725 mm to 2 026 mm with the midgate expanded, and ultimately to 2 723 mm with the midgate expanded and tailgate down.

Gladiator is powered by the modern and efficient 2.8-liter, 4-cylinder common-rail turbo diesel engine that provides 120 kW of power.

It delivers ample power to all four wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission and a traditional part-time transfer case.

The front and rear suspension are multi-link designs for a smooth ride over all surfaces with plenty of suspension travel for capable off roading. Coilover shocks are used at all four corners for superb control.

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