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Jeep Gladiator Launch at the Aircraft Carrier Hornet - 2020 Preview by Jon Rosner +VIDEO


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Special Feature from Jon Rosner


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The choice of location for the presentation of the Jeep Gladiator (all versions of it) was nothing short of brilliant. The 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Splash Down by the USS Hornet, an American icon. The USS Hornet was the Alameda-based launch pad for the truly daring and historic Doolittle Raid that saw American twin-engine B-25 bombers hit back at the Japanese Mainland in small retaliation for the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

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This was a party to launch the latest in a long line of American icons, the Jeep Gladiator, a four door pick-up with a 137 inch wheelbase, 30 inches longer than the base Renegade. The Gladiator offers something very new to Jeep. The Gladiator offers a pick-up bed so that the Jeep can cover you when you need a truck for your DIY projects. One vehicle, greater capability, simple design. A Jeep hallmark.


In an exchange of emails between your author and Scott Brown of Jeep: “Can we do a bit of high speed testing on the flight deck, after all, lots of run-off, if a bit damp and salty” Response: “No, rides only.” Does this the Jeep have a snorkel option?” Response: “Oh boy, it does….”

“Good Lord, I don’t think that we could continue the war without the Jeep. It does everything. It goes everywhere. It's as faithful as a dog strong as a mule and as agile as a goat. It constantly carried twice what it was designed for and still kept going.” Ernie Pyle, Pulitzer Prize Winning War Correspondent.

Several generations later the Jeep is still the leader. In the 1997 Jeep TJ received the coil spring suspension treatment it needed to give it a civilized ride. Keeping the solid axles meant that the Jeep had better articulation off-road. Today you can buy a competitor’s SUV but you would still have to spend thousands to get a competitor’s SUV ready to drive the Rubicon Trail.

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The Jeep is the Apple iPhone of the off-road community. You can buy a Jeep Rubicon or any Trail Rated Jeep drive it to work during the week and on Friday head straight to the Rubicon fully expecting to traverse it without a glitch. Most cars and SUVs today require a 60 page owner’s manual to understand how they operate it.

In the new Jeep pressing one button will disconnect the anti-sway bar granting you greater suspension travel to clear even the most challenging outcroppings. Tires, articulation, locking front and rear differentials, they all worked together beautifully in the real world such as the Cliff Hanger 2.0 located on the Switzerland Trail in Boulder Colorado, plenty of videos on Youtube to see.

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The Jeep Gladiator and Renegade strutted their stuff on the off-road course set up on the deck of the Hornet, steep angles, huge drop-out, a real challenge but the Jeeps being demonstrated handled it with aplomb.

Proof in the pudding? In 2015 Jeep sold 70% of the 1.2 million Jeeps sold in the US, that means that 30% were sold outside of the United States. This is the only American designed, American built vehicle that is a truly serious competitor on the world market. That’s pretty impressive.

Icon to icon, Jeep at the Hornet, a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.