In April 2019, CARmag.co.za reported that a senior Jeep executive confirmed the Hellcat V8 “fits like a glove” in the Gladiator bakkie, but that a production model was not on the cards. It does, however, seem this sparked an idea from various tuners. The latest firm to drop the 6,2 Hemi into the double-cab bakkie’s engine bay is TR3 Performance.
Sourced from the drag-strip-ready Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the 6,2-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine churns out a whopping 527 kW and 880 N.m of torque, which is considerably more than the standard 3,6-litre V6’s 213 kW and 353 N.m.
In addition to the engine swap, the Wrangler-based bakkie has been equipped with various mechanical upgrades, such as an uprated exhaust system, Fox shocks and a lift kit. Exterior revisions include an updated front bumper, replete with LED light bar, revised fenders and myriad off-road items.
The off-road kit includes a roof-mounted 50-inch LED flood light and rear winch. The full-sized spare wheel is now fixed to a carrier sited in the load bay. The Jeep Gladiator seen here rides on 17-inch alloys, wrapped in Micky Thompson Baja off-road rubber.