So, You Want A Hellcat V8 In Your Jeep Wrangler Or Gladiator? You Could Do It, But…

It "fits like a glove", but there's one problem

Jeep Hellcat engine "fits like a glove"
2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. [Photo: FCA]

A Wrangler with a Hellcat V8 under the hood? Yes please.

When the new Jeep Wrangler JL was first unveiled, I’m sure it took about 0.2 seconds for someone to hatch a plan to stuff a Hellcat V8 under the hood. The new Gladiator hasn’t even gone on sale yet, and the same idea is churning in the minds of some Jeep loyalists the world over. Now, if you wanted a Jeep with a Hellcat V8, you could buy the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. That’s nothing short of a ballistic missile on the road — but you don’t want that, do you?

Jeep’s North American boss says the Hellcat engine will fit, but there’s one issue.

Well, it turns out there’s some hope for those of you who had the idea to stuff a Hellcat engine in your Wrangler or Gladiator. Speaking to Drive, Jeep’s North American boss Tim Kuniskis said it can be done. More than that, he said the 6.2-liter Supercharged V8 “fits like a glove.”

There’s just one problem: crash protection.

As it turns out, the 707 horsepower engine is such a tight fight that “there’s 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.” In other words, it would not be able to pass government crash tests. That probably won’t stop some enthusiasts from cramming it in anyway, but don’t hold your breath for a Wrangler Hellcat from the factory.

That’s not to say Jeep hasn’t tried shoving that engine in a Wrangler before. Nevertheless, the so-called Wrangler Trailcat was an Easter Jeep Safari concept. Even this year, Jeep’s all-Gladiator lineup features the Hellcat-powered M-715 Five-Quarter Concept. Although, we don’t expect that particular Gladiator to make it into full-scale production.

A two-door Gladiator may be more likely, and that has already captured the imagination of our community over on Check that out now!