Jeep has released a brand new desert-focused model known as the Gladiator Mojave, and with it, brought about an entirely new designation for the brand: desert rated.
The Mojave builds on the Gladiator Rubicon, but takes things in a high-speed desert direction by adding FOX 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks, front hydraulic jounce bumper, a one-inch front suspension lift, unique seats and special styling cues. Jeep also decided to beef up many of the components on the Mojave, including adding frame reinforcements, stronger cast-iron steering knuckles and adding Dana 44 axles to the front and rear.
Overall off-road numbers are all a little better on the Mojave thanks to the enhancements, with approach angle coming in at 44.7 degrees, breakover still not great at 20.9 degrees, departure at 25.5 degrees, and ground clearance up to 11.6-inches.
Jeep also announced that this is the brand’s first “Desert Rated” vehicle, a badge that will come on Jeep vehicles that are setup specifically for the desert. We don’t know what the next desert rated vehicle will be, but we do know that this designation will spread throughout the lineup, and our money would be on the Wrangler to be next.
Desert rated is all about high-speed off-roading, and that’s why Jeep used the Command-trac transfer case in the Mojave with its 2.72:1 low range ratio, rather than the more aggressive 4:1 ratio in the Rubicon. This allows for higher speeds when the Gladiator is in low range.
Jeep says that the front hydraulic jounce bumpers combined with the internal bypass shocks will soften even the hardest high-speed impacts and will prevent bottoming out.
The track has been pushed out by a half-inch to help with stability and to house the larger shocks. For rubber, a set of 33-inch Falken Wildpeak ATs or MTs are available.
For the first time on the Jeep Gladiator, drivers will also be able to lock the rear differential while the Jeep is still in high-range, once again in the name of high wheel speeds.
Under the hood is the 3.6-liter V6 engine making 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, hooked to a six-speed manual as standard equipment with an eight-speed auto optional. Tow rating for the Mojave comes in at a respectable 6000 pounds while maximum payload is up to 1200 pounds.
Looking inside, the Mojave has bolstered front seats to keep occupants in place along with orange accent stitching and embroidered logos. Leather and cloth are both available and the interior color options are Black and Steel Gray, the latter of which will be good at keeping the seats from burning up in the sun.
A unique hood complete with (fake) scoop and decals is a calling card of the Mojave, while exterior badges, orange tow hooks, unique wheels and Jeep Performance Parts sand sliders complete the look. A front facing trail camera can also be had on the Mojave, just like the Gladiator Rubicon.