Jeep rolls out Gladiator pickup truck at New York Auto Show

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The New York International Auto Show begins this weekend, and this is the year of re-designs.

One of the models making a comeback is the Jeep pickup truck.

Jeep has introduced the all-new Gladiator to its lineup, and it's rolling into the hottest market segment.

Scott Tallon works for Jeep Product Marketing.

"After being absent since 1992, over a quarter of a century, we are now ready to launch the all new Jeep Gladiator," he said.

Playing off some of the strengths of the iconic Wrangler, the Gladiator brings its own unique features.

"It's about a 19-inch wheelbase stretch over the unlimited," said Mark Allen, head of Jeep Exterior Design. "And another 10 inches piled on the back there for the 5-foot box."

The grill has been opened up and redesigned, because the towing rating is much larger than the Wrangler. Additionally, LED lighting has been added.

Then there's the higher-end Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

"The hood is aluminum, front fender is aluminum, the doors, the windshield frame," Allen said. "The body tub itself is steel. The box itself is steel."

The first glimpse of the new Rubicon was here in New York -- and Eyewitness News was invited to the rare launch.

"This also happens to be our number one Jeep market on the planet," Tallon said.

Jeep loyalists say they have been clamoring for a pickup truck.

You can get a black or body-colored hard top, and the hard corners and back window come off. The windshield also folds down.

"I can do it up to 30 miles-an-hour, but off-road, the windshield never gets dirty and there is no glare," Allen said. "It's just a fun aspect. It's like taking the doors off."

They've added a stub rail to the lower side of the box, protecting the back corner -- which is vulnerable when off-road.

The new heavy-duty truck lineup includes the 2500 and 3500 models, now with a bed-lowering mode.

For more information and Auto Show coverage, visit abc7NY.com/nyautoshow.

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