Just when we thought people were getting tired of making way-too-obvious Gladiator jokes for Jeep's new midsize pickup, Hennessey decided to throw a wrench in the works -- a 1,000-horsepower Hellcat engine-shaped wrench -- and now its bringing it to the home of big, silly high-power customs -- SEMA.
Hennessey Performance announced on Wednesday that its first Hennessey Maximus -- a Jeep pickup that borrows its name from the protagonist of the movie everybody's been quoting in Gladiator-related headlines since it was first announced -- has actually been built and that first example is going to debut at the 2019 SEMA show in Las Vegas. Unlike the standard Gladiator, though, this one has been given a heapin' helpin' of power, pushing its output into the four-figure range.
At the heart of the Maximus is a 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 from Dodge's Hellcat lineup. That's been given a Hennessey engine upgrade, pushing its output to 1,000 hp and 933 pound-feet of torque. It wields an eight-speed automatic transmission. Elsewhere, the Maximus has been given a new ECU, new wiring harnesses, a new radiator and a revised fuel system. A stainless-steel exhaust will likely shout this car's credentials to the heavens and back.
Of course, it's more than just an aesthetic upgrade. After all, what good is spending six figures on a truck if it can't be seen from space? To give the Maximus more visual grunt, Hennessey added unique front and rear bumpers, LED lights, 20-inch wheels wrapped in off-road tires and a suspension upgrade that adds a 6-inch lift. The interior receives custom leather upholstery with embroidered seats. Magically, there's a 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty thrown in the mix, too.
If you want a Maximus, though, you'll have to act fast. Hennessey will only build 24 examples of this almost-a-monster truck, each commanding a $200,000 price tag that, thankfully, includes the cost of a base Jeep Gladiator to modify. Production is underway but it's not clear just how many of these monster machines Mr. Hennessey has actually sold.