Gallery: Jeep Steals the Show at 2020 Chicago Auto Show

There weren’t many big debuts at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, but the folks at Jeep made up for that, introducing four new vehicles. This included the premium High Altitude trim level for both the Gladiator and Wrangler, the new Desert Rated Mojave trim level for the Gladiator and the new Mopar-branded JPP 20 package for the Wrangler. While these aren’t as big of news as an all-new model, each of these vehicles is sure to be popular with the Jeep crowd, including those who do and those who do not go off-roading.

First up, we have the new High Altitude trim level for the Wrangler and Gladiator. This is the new premium luxury appearance package for the two models, so this is ideal for those Jeepers who aren’t looking to go rambling through the woods. On the outside, everything is either body-colored or gloss black, with LEDs in every lighting fixture.

On the inside, just about everything in the Wrangler or Gladiator High Altitude models is wrapped in leather, with quilted leather on the seat bolsters. Buyers can pick between Black and Steel Gray, and in addition to all of the leather, this package includes all of the premium infotainment goodies as well.

Next up, we have the Jeep Gladiator Mojave. The Mojave package is the first Jeep to sport the new “Desert Rated” badging, with this being the first model to stray from the traditional Trail Rated moniker. Like the Trail Rated program, Desert Rated vehicles must meet internal requirements in grueling conditions, but for this system, it is all about how well the vehicle covers deep sand.

To achieve the Desert Rated capabilities, the Jeep team started with the Command-Trac 4×4 system, featuring a two-speed transfer case with 2.72:1 low range, front and rear Dana 44 axles, 4.10 gears and an electronic locking rear differential. That system is driven by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and the buyer’s choice of the 6-speed manual transmission or the 8-speed automatic. The manual yields a crawl ratio of 57.3:1 while the automatic offers a slightly less-aggressive ratio of 52.6:1.

More importantly, the Drive Mode system in the Gladiator Mojave features a unique Off Road Plus mode that has several key aspects. Most notably, drivers can lock the rear axle when in four-wheel-drive-high, allowing for improved grip at higher speeds. Along the same lines, the four-wheel-drive-low gear range has an increased high speed compared to Trail Rated models, making it easier to soar across the sand.

In addition to the unique drivetrain features, the Gladiator Mojave has a unique suspension setup that begins with specially-tuned Fox 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks with external reservoirs. There are also industry-first Fox front hydraulic jounce bumpers, a one-inch front suspension lift, a front skid plate and, of course, 17-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch Falken Wildpeak All-Terrain tires. This suspension-and-tire setup offers the Desert Rated Jeep a best-in-class approach angle of 44.7 degrees and a best-in-class ground clearance of 11.6 inches. The other numbers aren’t bad, either, with a breakover angle of 20.9 degrees and a departure angle of 25.5 degrees.

Finally, to give the Gladiator Mojave a unique look, it has a package-specific hood, orange tow hooks, orange trim inside and out and the new Steel Gray leather, which stays cooler in the hot sun.

Finally, we come to the JPP 20 Wrangler. Since 2010, Mopar has offered a branded vehicle such as the Mopar 10 Challenger or the Mopar 16 Ram Rebel. For 2020, Mopar has turned to the Jeep Wrangler for this limited edition package and since Jeep has its own catalog of performance parts, this Moparized machine has a different name than the rest.

The JPP (Jeep Performance Parts) 20 starts with a Wrangler Sport S Unlimited and transforms it into the ultimate off-road machine. Buyers can pick any of the available engines, but the 8-speed automatic transmission is standard. Also, buyers can only pick between Ocean Blue or White exterior paint, but they do get to pick between five different wheel options and four different tires choices.

On the outside, the package includes tube doors with side-view mirrors, but the standard solid doors come with the package as well. There is also a mesh sun shade that comes in addition to the standard hard top. Next, Mopar adds a shortened steel bumper with an integrated Warn winch, D-rings and LED off-road lights, with more off-road lights at the base of the windshield. Out back, there is a high strength swing door hinge to handle the bigger spare, and a JPP 2-inch lift kit provides the aggressive stance.

Finally, in addition to the Katzkin leather seats, the JPP 20 includes a matte black American flag hood graphic, black fender vents, a black fuel door, a JPP graphic decal on the passenger-side quarter panel and an aluminum JPP badge on both the driver’s side fender and the rear swing door. Like all Mopar vehicles, the JPP 20 Wrangler will be a limited production model, but we don’t know how many will be built just yet.

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Patrick Rall

Industry News Editor Patrick entered the Mopar world when he bought his 1983 Mirada back in 1994, installing a mild 340 a year later that would eventually be built up into the range of 500 horsepower. Today, Patrick daily drives a Hellcat Challenger, but he still has his 340-powered Mirada, as well as a 1972 Demon 340 and a Hemi Ram.

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