The 707-horsepower Hellcat V8 is an instant classic. When the supercharged powerplant first showed up in a 2015 Dodge Challenger, we were so in awe of its contemporary brawn that we wished Fiat Chrysler would put it in everything. We were half-joking at the time, but the automaker may have been listening.
In January, Jeep confirmed that the Grand Cherokee SUV would gain a Hellcat version in 2017, and in celebration of the 50th Annual Easter Jeep Safari, the off-road brand has premiered a new vehicle that’s sure to get your blood pumping.
The Trailcat Concept is based on the iconic Wrangler, but to get the blown eight-cylinder to fit, Jeep lengthened its wheelbase by 12 inches. There are other visual differences from the Wrangler as well, including a chopped windshield, huge 39.5-inch BFGoodrich Krawler tires, tubular half-doors, and a variety of Mopar knickknacks.
The star of the show, obviously, is the Hemi under the vented hood. 650 pound-feet of torque will rocket the Trailcat over just about any surface you can imagine, and better yet, it’s mated to a six-speed manual gearbox for a truly immersive experience. To keep that power down, the one-off Jeep equips rugged Fox shocks and Dana 60 axles front and rear.
Is this concept a sign that Jeep will continue to “Hellcat all the things,” or is our dream of a V8-powered Fiat 500 too far off the deep end? Hey, it couldn’t hurt to try.
Also on display at the Easter Jeep Safari are the Crew Chief 715 Concept, the FC 150 Heritage Vehicle, the Comanche Concept, the Shortcut Concept, the Trailstorm Concept, and the Renegade Commander Concept. The event features trail rides and other off-road activities and kicks off in Moab, Utah on March 19.