XDubai and Jeep partner to create “Gladiator Route”

Jeep and XDubai partner to create the #GladiatorRoute
Dubai, UAE, 09th December 2021: Jeep Middle East has ‘partnered with sports and destination brand XDubai, famous for numerous world firsts and the XLine in Dubai Marina, to launch a breath-taking journey across some of the UAE’s most spectacular desert landscapes and rugged terrain, in the #GladiatorRoute adventure. On the way, the XDubai athletes will encounter the extreme conditions of the legendary Rub’ Al Khali (the Empty Quarter), where temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees, in the world’s most off-road capable mid-sized pickup, the all-new Jeep Gladiator Sand Runner. Marco Melani, Managing Director for American Brands at Stellantis Middle East, said: “The #GladiatorRoute is an extreme expedition in the ultimate off-road pickup by a team of extreme sports athletes, to cross the UAE on a route that has never been achieved before. The official expedition vehicle, the Jeep Gladiator Sand Runner is the first vehicle in history to earn Jeep’s new ‘Desert Rated’ badge, making it the perfect tool for venturing off-road and exploring the UAE’s breath-taking wilderness. However, the #GladiatorRoute is more than just an expedition – it is a call to action for all Jeep owners and off-roaders across the region to leave the asphalt and their comfort zones behind and find their own adventure, in the spirit of Jeep’s guiding principle: Go Anywhere. Do Anything.”

XDubai on the #GladiatorRoute

With three cars and nine people, equipped with various camera rigs and a lot of grit, the XDubai team is taking on the challenge to prove that the Jeep Gladiator Sand Runner has what it takes to complete the gruelling journey. The 587km #GladiatorRoute, for the XDubai team  starts at the most Southern point of the UAE next to the Saudi Arabia border, and ends at the Northernmost point in Ras Al Khaimah, in a wadi on the Northern side of Jabal Jais, in a trip spanning five days and four nights. Along the way, the Jeep Gladiator’s desert prowess will be put to the test in some of the Arabian Peninsula’s most hostile terrain, along a trail that few vehicles can even attempt, full of unmapped roads, punishing dunes and harsh conditions.

The XDubai Team

The XDubai athletes taking part in the adventure are: Nicholi Rogatkin, crowned world champion and a legendary rider on the FMB World Tour; JB O’Neil, Wakeboarder of the Year 2021; and Lynn Jung, Best Female Athlete at the biggest Freerunning competition in the world, “Red Bull Art of Motion”.

Jeep and XDubai join to launch a journey across the UAE's desert landscapes Official Vehicle – Jeep Gladiator Sand Runner

The Gladiator Sand Runner represents the ultimate in extreme off-road capability and performance in desert environments, courtesy of the brand’s renowned 4×4 systems, significant suspension upgrades and extensive development in the Middle East’s harsh sand and desert terrain. To earn the first-ever Desert Rated badge, the Sand Runner has been engineered with unique performance components to create a formidable desert off-roader. The components have been expertly calibrated to be in harmony with one another, giving the customer refined performance and peace of mind. Jeep engineers equipped the Gladiator Sand Runner with specially-tuned high-performance FOX 64-mm (2.5-inch) internal bypass shocks with remote reservoirs to maximize handling, comfort and bottom-out resistance. The remote reservoirs keep the suspension fluid cool, preventing shock fade during long runs through the hot desert at high speed. Industry-first FOX front hydraulic jounce bumpers act as a secondary pair of shocks to provide additional damping force as the suspension reaches maximum compression in order to prevent abrupt bottoming out in harsh off-road situations at speed. A 13-mm (1/2-inch) increase in the Sand Runner’s track provides additional stability and allows for packaging of the larger shocks. Jeep engineers also reinforced both the frame and axle to handle rough desert terrains at high speeds. Also new to the ‘Desert Rated’ Gladiator Sand Runner, the Off-Road Plus button has been specially configured for the desert, adjusting throttle, transmission shift points and traction control for peak performance on higher speed passes on sand terrain, as well as during low-speed rock crawling. For the first time on a Jeep product, the Off-Road Plus drive mode on the Sand enables drivers to lock their rear axle at high speeds while in “4H”.

Proven powertrain

The Jeep Gladiator Sand Runner’s 3.6-litre Pentastar V-6 engine delivers 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and features engine stop-start (ESS) technology as standard equipment. It is engineered to provide a broad torque band with a focus on low-end torque, an essential trait needed for extreme off-roading.

Sand Runner inside and out

Inside the cabin, the Gladiator Sand Runner features unique front seats with integrated upper bolsters to hold occupants comfortably in place during high-speed off-road driving. The upgraded seats are available in leather or cloth with orange accent stitching and embroidered Sand Runner logos. The Gladiator Sand Runner benefits from a 25-mm (1-inch) front suspension lift that offers a greater approach angle and a more prominent appearance. Distinguishing Sand Runner elements include the performance hood, exterior badges, orange tow hooks and unique 17 x 7.5-inch wheels and the optional Jeep Performance Parts heavy duty side steps.