Hey, kid! Wanna see a Hellcat engine in a new Jeep Gladiator?
We’ve seen a few of these Hellcat swaps when the Gladiator finally went on sale. Tuning houses from around the country were emboldened when Fiat Chrysler announced that the Hellcat’s 6.2-L supercharged V8 fits like a glove inside the engine bay of a Wrangler or Gladiator, but that FCA wouldn’t be making their own official Hellcat swaps due to safety regulations. While the engine fit, it didn’t leave a whole lot of room for crush space.
So the task of placing Dodge’s 6.2-L V8 under the hood of a Gladiator fell to independent companies. One such company was Recon who collaborated with America’s Most Wanted 4x4 to build their own Hellcat Gladiator in about 6 weeks.
And since you’re already doing a lot of work removing the Gladiator’s bolt-on body to install an engine that can barely fit, you might as well tweak the supercharge just a touch to give it a little more horsepower. Rather than the 707 hp that the Hellcat is known for, this Gladiator make somewhere north of 750 hp.
Brooks from DragTimes got a hold of this build and decided to feature it on his channel. In the video, we’re given a good look at the build’s massive 37-inch off-road tires wrapped around 22x12-inch wheels, as well as other off-road goodies like tow hooks and a winch. There is also some new LED daytime running lights, a strobe, and colored rock lights from Recon.
All in all, the car is estimated to have cost about $100,000 in upgrades including the price of the original Gladiator.
On the road, Brooks says the car handles well, drives great, and feels a lot like driving a Demon. Which likely has something to do with the fact the Gladiator was given a ton of power but the brakes are still stock.
It's also apocalyptically loud since the removable door and window panels don't do a great job of sound deadening. On the plus side, it takes just 5.7 seconds to go from zero to sixty, so it’s got great acceleration. Which is really all you need in a Hellcat swap.