Jeep continues to persevere as pioneers in a constantly evolving market. For example, Jeep now builds a desert racer in a market where the meanest off-road race machines can range from $500,000 to $1 million to make.
To be clear, the Gladiator does not compete with the likes of the 4×4 truck Larry Roeseler or “Mr.Baja,” used in the Baja 500. But the Jeep Gladiator Mojave is the first to don Jeep’s new Desert Rated badge. The Mojave withstands extreme heat and also the sands of desert racing.
While it is easy to compare the Mojave and the modified Rubicon, the upgrades are of two different worlds. Frames and axles are reinforced—the suspension system is designed for hard landings, and the suspension system includes a 1-inch front lift to support colossal wheel wells. Additionally, there are 33-inch Falken Wildpeak tires that enable climbing at accelerating speeds. The Rubicon only runs up to 30 mph in 4-Low, the Mojave up to 50 mph.
Even with the Mojave’s stamp of off-road durability, it’s still an incredible ride for commutes and weekend fun too. Mojaves steering is also pretty silent compared to the Rubicon, and that’s because the tire treads are designed specifically for sands.
Consumers shouldn’t be afraid of not turning heads as the midsize pickup displays a beautiful hood with faux scoop, the Mojave decal, orange tow hooks, and orange accents (similar to the blue accents on the new Wrangler 4xe).
The Mojave contains the same engine as the Gladiator, a 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. There are also different transmissions available: the 6-speed automatic and the 8-speed automatic. The 4-low also receives extra assistance from the 4WD transfer case by providing a taller ratio of 2.72:1. The Diesel variation of the Mojave was recently released, and it provides a 3.0-liter V-6 with 260 hp and a massive 442 lb-ft of torque.
Give the Mojave a little time, about 8.3 seconds worth, and she can go from 0 to 60 mph. Not the best, but don’t forget to add the sand. Shift into 4-Hi and tap the Off-Road+ button, and the sandy trail and dunes don’t stand a chance. Instead, consumers can coast as the system automatically adjusts the throttle, transmission, shift points, and traction control.
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