In my normal internet travels of trying to keep up with all things Jeep, I stumbled upon something…interesting.

The Jeep Gladiator was all-new for this model year. A full-length pickup owing most of its life to the Wrangler Unlimited, it’s exactly what you’d expect a Jeep pickup to be. True four-wheel-drive, a removable roof, and a bed just long enough to do a fair amount of hauling. The sole engine available today is a 3.6L V6 paired to an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. We know an EcoDiesel-equipped Gladiator is on the horizon, but what else is on the way?

A member of the Jeep Gladiator Forum posted photos of this camo-wearing truck recently and it’s raising some questions. The body is all the same as the Gladiator we know but the hood is either wholly different or seriously raised. Forum members are speculating what this Gladiator’s powertrain could be. Suggestions are a Hellcat engine, a plug-in hybrid test mule, or the rumored Hercules powerplant – a forced-induction version of the 3.6-liter Pentastar. Or maybe it’s simply an EcoDiesel test truck out on the road trying to get the kinks worked out before production begins.

Whatever it is, I’m looking forward to further engine options being available in the Gladiator. Any other, new engine will undoubtedly make an already expensive truck even more expensive, but better has the opportunity to make it even better in the process. More engine options are always better and it’s an exciting time to be a Jeep fan.

[Editor’s comment – interesting mirror setup on the vehicle of the picture taker. -KK]