How's a 1,000-HP 2020 Jeep Gladiator Sound?

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By Brian Normile

In a development that's only surprising because of how long it took to arrive, Hennessey Performance will be shoving a 1,000-horsepower, 6.2-liter Hellcat V-8 engine into the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup truck. That's 160 hp more than fellow Fiat Chrysler Automobiles product the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 203 more than the current range-topping Hellcat Redeye. Called the Maximus 1000 (because of that one movie starring Russell Crowe ... gah, the name escapes me), Hennessey plans to build 24 units at a price of $200,000, including the donor Gladiator.

Read More About the 2020 Jeep Gladiator

First of all: Duh. This sort of customization is inevitable for any FCA product that can physically fit a V-8 — put one in a 124 Spider, cowards! — though Jeep head Tim Kuniskis shot down any chance of a factory Gladiator getting the engine, as Kuniskis told Australia's Drive:

"Everybody always asks me that question: [the V-8] fits. You know that. It fits like a glove," he 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."

So now we have 1,000-hp V-8 in a vehicle that wouldn't pass crash tests, according to the head of Jeep. Wonderful.

The rest of the upgrades to the Maximus include a 6-inch lift, custom 20-inch wheels, stainless-steel exhaust, BFGoodrich KD off-road tires, special front and rear bumpers, LED lights and a custom interior complete with Hennessey and Maximus embroidery on the seats.

Hennessey plans to begin production of the Maximus 1000 in July, with each unit expected to take four months to build. Hennessey's goal is to turn out two units a month, so July 2020 might be your last chance to get one.

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