The Jeep Gladiator rolled onto a stage at the Los Angeles Auto Show Wednesday. Essentially a Wrangler with a pickup truck bed, it’s a product Jeep fans have long been waiting for.

Jeep’s last pickup, the Comanche, went out of production in 1992. Now, the Gladiator will face off against a lot of fresh competition in the mid-sized pickup market. Trucks like the¬†Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado and long-time market favorite, the Toyota Tacoma, are designed to appeal to buyers looking for something more fun and efficient than a massive full-size pickup.
But the Gladiator will also appeal to those who simply want a Jeep Wrangler with a bed. Executives at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Jeep’s parent company, say it’s one of the questions they are most commonly asked.
“When are we going to get a Wrangler pickup?”
The Wrangler, designed for serious off-road driving, is already engineered like a truck rather than like a tall car, as most SUVs are these days. That made adding a bed to the back a relatively natural idea.
The Wrangler is also the only four-door convertible on the market. That means the Gladiator will be a convertible pickup, a truly unique selling point. It will be available with a cloth top or removable hard top. The windshield also folds down, as it does on the Wrangler, for a complete open-air feel.
For difficult off-road terrain, the Gladiator will have an optional forward-facing camera enabling the driver to see obstructions just ahead on the trail. The truck will also be able to drive through two and a half feet of water.
The Gladiator will be built in Toledo, Ohio, where the Wrangler is made. Production will begin in the first half of 2019. Pricing will be announced closer to that time.