Jeep drops a Hellcat Gladiator bombshell
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Earlier this week Jeep released their concepts for this year's Easter Moab Safari, all six of the vehicles that were unveiled were based on the Gladiator, and one was Hellcat-powered.
Five of the concepts used the new Gladiator chassis, but the supercharged V8 one didn't — and now we know why.
Tim Kuniskis, Jeep's boss in North America, revealed that neither the Wrangler or the Gladiator will ever be Hellcat-powered and explained why:
“Everybody always asks me that question: it fits. You know that. It fits like a glove,” Kuniskis said.
“But the problem is that it fits like a glove and there is no air space around the engine and the whole external space of the vehicle so you have no crush space; you have nothing that can be used to absorb energy in a crash.
“It is not a problem to put it in - other than emissions and fuel economy - except it would never pass any crash tests, and that’s a problem.”
Teasing us with a 707hp Trailcat just a few years ago, this admission from Jeep comes as a surprise, but it makes perfect sense. Though it's a hard pill to swallow, cramming that much power into a Wrangler doesn't seem like the wisest idea.
As well as dismissing the Hellcat claims, Kuniskis revealed that you shouldn't be waiting for the two-door Gladiator to hit showroom floors anytime soon. The J6 concept was unveiled alongside the Hellcat Gladiator in the Easter release, but the company is going to gauge market interest for a while before making any moves.
If you still can't accept the fact that Jeep will never produce a hair-raising high-powered Wrangler, you might have to go looking for someone who will. You would have to import it yourself, but Dakota Customs in America will build you a personalised Hellcat Wrangler.