The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is already a hit as the company managed to sell all 4,190 Launch Editions in a single day despite the fact that they cost more than $60,000.
The company wants to build on that momentum, but it appears there won’t be a Hellcat-powered model in our future. Speaking to Drive, Jeep’s North American boss said the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 “fits like a glove” but the engine is big that it doesn’t leave enough room for crash protection.
As Tim Kuniskis explained, the fit is so tight 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.” He went on to say this means a Hellcat-powered Gladiator would never to be able to pass any crash tests.
While we shouldn’t expect to see a Gladiator Hellcat in showrooms, Jeep hasn’t shied away from putting the engine in concepts. Three years ago, the company introduced the Wrangler Trailcat which had an off-road focused suspension, Dana 60 axles and a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that was paired to a six-speed manual transmission.
The news will probably sadden fans, but there is still the possibility of additional Gladiator variants in the future. Kuniskis suggested the company could eventually offer a single cab variant similar to the J6 concept which was introduced earlier this week. However, that’s far from a sure thing as he noted the mid-size truck segment is dominated by four-door models with five foot (1.5 meter) beds.
This makes building a business case for a single cab variant “tough” as the market is for them is “tiny.” Despite these obstacles, Kuniskis said the two-door Wrangler sells well and noted a possible two-door Gladiator would be a lifestyle vehicle.