The new Jeep Gladiator is one of the hottest trucks of the year and just hitting showrooms, but Hennessey Performance is already offering a custom version it thinks is much more entertaining.
The Texas-based tuner’s Maximus 1000 is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 from a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat that’s been shoehorned under the hood and modified to deliver 1,000 horsepower. That’s nearly four times as much as the Gladiator’s factory 285 hp V6 can muster.
The 4×4 truck is also fitted with unique bumpers, leather upholstery with Maximus badging, an LED light bar, 20-inch wheels, and a 6-inch lift kit. Pricing is similarly sky high and starts at $200,000, with just 24 examples to be built over the next year.
And while Jeep currently sells a Hellcat-powered version of the Grand Cherokee, it won’t be putting it in the Gladiator or Wrangler it’s based on.
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The 2020 Jeep Gladiator has hardly been on sale long, and already companies are racing to drop in big V8s, especially since Jeep won’t do it. America’s Most Wanted 4×4 had one of the first converted Gladiators, and it featured a 707-horsepower Hellcat engine.
It’s been 28 years since Jeep has made a pickup truck, something that the brand did regularly from 1947 to 1992, but the Wrangler-based Gladiator has finally arrived. Jeep tossed us the keys in Sacramento, California, and from there we drove it over 800 miles through the Nevada desert to Moab, Utah, to see how this truck handles in the 4×4 Mecca of North America.