Primed for just about any adventure, the convertible-roofed Jeep Gladiator pickup shouldn’t need spicing up—but don’t tell that to Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE). By injecting its signature ingredient (horsepower) into the 2020 Gladiator, the Texas-based tuner has concocted the “Maximus 1000.” The truck debuted at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, which opened Tuesday, and we have the full scoop on this imperious rig.
Utilizing a tweaked version of the Hellcat’s 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, the Maximus sends 1,000 hp and 933 ft lbs of torque to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Though laden with weight penalties like steel bumpers, heavy-duty axles, Dana 60 front and rear differentials, and oversized BF Goodrich off-road tires, the Maximus charges to 60 mph in a scant 3.9 seconds.
This supercar-like acceleration is sure to whiten any driver’s knuckles—especially from the truck’s towering vantage point. King off-road suspension with a six-inch lift necessitates drop-down running boards for any non-NBA passengers. When everyone does clamber aboard, they’ll enjoy an upgraded leather interior with seats embroidered with “Hennessey” and “Maximus” callouts, and a thundering exhaust note via stainless steel pipes.
“Our clients want exclusive, extreme vehicles that deliver a fun and an exciting driving experience both on and off road,” says company founder, John Hennessey. “What other vehicle can climb to the top of Aspen Mountain with a KTM dirt bike in the back and then run from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds at the drag strip later the same day?”
One look at the souped-up Jeep should satisfy any customer’s craving for excitement, and with just 24 examples slated for production—at a price of $225,000 each (including the cost of a donor vehicle)—the beautiful brute guarantees exclusivity. In fact, nothing about Hennessey’s latest leviathan seems modest, but then it’s hard to be humble when you’re a gladiator named Maximus.