A Hemi-Swapped Jeep Renegade Is Cooler Than a Trackhawk and You Know It

A Charger V8 swap takes this Renegade from cute ‘ute to tiny terror.

byNico DeMattia|
Jeep News photo
Mike Martin


Of all the cars to V8 swap, the Jeep Renegade would likely land at the bottom of most people's lists. However, sometimes very creative and exciting builds come from unexpected places, and this Hemi-swapped Renegade is one such example.

Mike Martin already had a 2015 Jeep Renegade, with a custom-fabricated widebody kit and air ride suspension, but he wanted to make something genuinely special out of it. So he secured the powertrain, electronics, and interior from a wrecked Dodge Charger R/T donor car and got to work.

Mike Martin

Dropping a 5.7-liter V8 into a front-wheel-drive, transverse-engine crossover that normally packs a 1.3-liter four-cylinder seems nearly impossible. However, Martin was determined to make it come together somehow. The Jeep's entire floor and both subframes had to be cut out, which left just the body. He then custom-fabricated a rear subframe and cut the front half of the Charger's floor and subframe out to fit in the Renegade.

A stock Renegade makes 177 horsepower, so upgrading to a 370 horsepower Hemi V8 is going to make a shocking difference by itself. But Martin didn't stop there. Prior to stuffing the Hemi in, he disassembled it and upgraded it with a hotter cam, new valve springs, new valves, new rollers, and a cylinder deactivation-delete kit. He also gave it a Holley EFI High Ram intake and a limited-slip rear diff from a Charger Hellcat. So it should rip.

Mike Martin

The build isn't finished just yet, and it's been a two-year work-in-progress, but it's almost there. This isn't just an engine swap, but a complete overhaul of the Renegade's body and chassis to accommodate a Charger's V8 engine and running gear. Martin also wanted to make sure it was a fully functioning road car, so it still has air conditioning and it's going to have the same electronic systems as the stock Charger R/T. Count me incredibly curious to see how this build develops, and to see the finished product.

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