Jeep Wrangler Trailcat Has Hellcat Engine, Viper Seats, Manual Gearbox
Stretched out, chopped down, and ready to kick nature’s ass.
The rumors were true, the Magic 8-Ball was right: Jeep has, indeed, crammed a Hellcat engine into the Wrangler. It’s called the Jeep Trailcat. It makes the full-blown 707 horsepower. It has a six-speed manual gearbox. And by God, it is a beautiful thing.
But transforming the Wrangler into a Trailcat wasn’t as simple as grabbing a spare Hellcat engine and a comically large shoehorn. To fit the irascible supercharged 6.2 liter V8 into the compact 4x4, Jeep had to stretch the Wrangler’s wheelbase a full foot. To make up for the slightly awkward proportions that resulted, Jeep pumped up the Trailcat’s visual badassitude by stripping it down to its raw essence. The windshield was chopped down two inches, while the doors and roof were tossed aside in favor of door bars, a satin black roll cage, and a square of canvas to keep the rain away.
That wasn’t enough to set the Trailcat apart, though. So Jeep pulled the stock hood and replaced it with a vented black job complete with power-dome, slapped on a black grille and matching black steel bumpers, then outfitted it with LED headlamps and driving lights. Combined with Fox shocks, Dana 60 axles front and rear, and 17-inch wheels wearing ginormous 39.5-inch BF-Goodrich Krawler T/A KX tires, the Trailcat should basically be able to do anything.
The interior is everything a Wrangler’s guts should be—which is to say, minimalist. The leather-wrapped carbon fiber seats were yanked from the Dodge Viper. They come equipped with four-point harnesses, because, duh, it’s a 707 horsepower Jeep with no doors. There’s no navigation screen and no radio, but who cares? All the noise you’d ever want is just a downshift of the Hellcat logo-adorned shift knob away.
The odds of parking a Trailcat someday in your driveway are pretty damn slim—Jeep rarely turns its Easter Moab Safari concepts into production vehicles. But when we see Fiat-Chrysler Sergio Marchionne at the New York Auto Show in a couple weeks, we'll give him talking-to.