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Hellcat-Swapping a Side-by-Side Can Only End Poorly

SXSBlog made a Demon-swapped side-by-side for the express purpose of doing burnouts and it's as unhinged as you think.

There’s a certain universality to the desire of putting the biggest, most powerful engine into the smallest, lightest object. We all wonder, “Well, what would a motorcycle be like with 1,000 horsepower?” Or maybe that’s just me and my kindred spirits at SXSBlog who put an 800-hp Dodge Demon crate engine into a side-by-side.

These folks have been responsible for a number of side-by-side builds that have been completely divorced from reality. And the Demon-swapped one isn’t even the craziest; that goes to the 1,000-hp drag-spec side-by-side they built last year that used a Toyota 2JZ engine for motivation. While that build was specifically to go fast, the Demon-swapped build is designed solely to do burnouts.

It’s an exercise in cognitive dissonance. The exterior looks mostly like a normal CF-Moto 1000XL but hidden underneath is complete lunacy. Stock Ford Mustang wheels give the secret away to the astute, but underneath the liftable utility bed is an 800-horsepower 6.2-liter supercharged V8 from a Dodge Demon. It’s shoehorned in every sense of the word, with the rear seats hosting most of the engine, while a Powerglide gearbox hides just behind the engine. Through a short driveshaft, the power gets twisted into an S550 Mustang rear subframe complete with control arms, axles, and rear differential. 

A lot of custom fabrication made the swap possible, with a custom gear linkage made up to connect the Powerglide to the stock shifter location with 3D-printed gates to match. A rear-mounted radiator keeps things under control, while a front-mounted oil cooler keeps the oil temperature in check. The shifter is specifically designed to be shifted between first and second quickly to control wheel speed during a burnout. The machine will do an estimated 170 mph rear wheel speed during a burnout, which is tire-popping territory.

The build is freshly running but hasn’t turned a wheel in anger yet. So while it sounds cool and is louder than fear, there are steps yet to be completed. But at this stage, a commendation is in order: This is one of the craziest things on four wheels.

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