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Jeep Rumored to be Developing Ford F-150 Raptor-Fighting Gladiator Variant

Possibly called the Hercules

Possibly called the Hercules

Based on what we already know about the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, it’s going to be awesome. Instead of simply tacking a bed onto the back of a Wrangler, Jeep developed the Gladiator to be a true pickup truck. You’ll also soon be able to buy a Rubicon version that will be able to handle some serious off-roading. But now we’re hearing a rumor that there’s an even more awesome Gladiator under development—one that’s aimed squarely at the Ford F-150 Raptor.

Our friends at Jeep Gladiator Forum report that this model will potentially be called the Hercules, and it will presumably slot in above the Rubicon. It reportedly hasn’t been greenlit for production just yet, but Jeep’s said to be serious enough about it that several prototypes are already being built. With beadlock wheels, larger off-road tires, a front skid plate, black-out grille, lift kit, steel front bumper, rock rails, ram air hood, large fender vents, and vented high fenders like you see in Jeep Gladiator Forum’s rendering shown above, the Hercules would certainly look the part. 

The big question is, if Jeep has the Raptor in its sights, will the Hercules stick with the Gladiator’s engine lineup? Currently, the Raptor’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, quite a lot more than the 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque you get from the Gladiator’s naturally aspirated V-6. The diesel version makes a more impressive 442 lb-ft of torque but only 260 hp.

We can’t say for sure, but assuming the Hercules heads to production, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Jeep use the 6.4-liter V-8 found in other FCA products such as the Durango SRT. With 475 hp and 470 lb-ft on tap, the V-8 would help justify a $50,000-plus USD price tag and make the Hercules a more direct competitor for the Raptor. Plus, if Jeep’s already going to the trouble of shoehorning the 392 into the Gladiator, a Hemi-powered Wrangler could soon join the lineup, as well.

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on our part. Maybe it’ll actually happen. But either way, we like the idea of an even more off-road-focused Jeep truck—especially if it gets more power.

Source: Jeep Gladiator Forum