Hennessey’s take on the Jeep Gladiator is a very exclusive affair

Remember when Maximus, played by Russel Crowe, was advised by the older gladiator that to win his freedom, he must first win the crowd? Well, we do, and so does Hennessey Performance, because the rad yet very-limited-edition 2020 Jeep Gladiator Maximus has stemmed from that exact movie quote. And yes, it packs a Hellcat V-8. So, you can consider this crowd pretty much won at this point.

What is a 2020 Hennessey 1000 Maximus?

2020 Hennessey Maximus Jeep Gladiator Truck
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Well, it’s a Jeep. Or better said, it used to be a Jeep Gladiator. That was before John Hennessey’s crew got its hands on it. Now, it’s just badassery on four wheels with a Hellcat twist.

This isn’t the first Jeep to feature a Hellcat engine, but since it didn’t come out of FCA’s stable, we’re in for a whole new dimension of tweaks and add-ons. We already knew the Hellcat engine fits inside the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, and apparently so did Hennessey. However, the reason Jeep won’t do it is safety in the event of a crash, as with the Hellcat engine in, there wouldn’t be enough space left to absorb the energy of an impact. So it’s interesting to see how will Hennessey address that.

2020 Hennessey Maximus Jeep Gladiator Truck
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The 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V-8 got a hefty power bump thanks to Hennessey's ever-popular HPE1000 engine upgrade that turns the resource dial to 1,000 horsepower and 933 pound-feet of torque.

To put things into perspective here, your run-of-the-mill Jeep Gladiator relies on the long-serving 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that churns out 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

2020 Jeep Gladiator vs. 2020 Hennessey Maximus

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Jeep Gladiator vs. Hennessey Maximus
2020 Jeep Gladiator 2020 Hennessey Maximus Jeep Gladiator Truck
Displacement: 3.6 liters V-6 6.2 liters V-8
Power: 285 horsepower 1,000 horsepower V-8
Torque: 260 pound-feet 933 pound-feet V-8
Ground clearance: 11.1 inches 17.1 inches

So it’s pretty obvious that the regular Gladiator puts out around four times less resources when compared to the newfound grunt provided by House Hennessey. Married to the Hellcat V-8 is an eight-speed automatic transmission, although it is unclear whether Hennessey went for the Jeep-issued 850RE unit and imbued it to handle the extra horsepower and torque levels.

Now, even in its most basic iteration, the Jeep Gladiator can easily complement a range of various lifestyles.

But given the fact that Hennessey will build just 24 units of the Maximus 1000 priced at $200,000 each, it becomes quite clear that those who'll buy it are coming from a different customer spectrum.

Think Dan Bilzerian, for a change, or Jamie Foxx, who is already the proud owner of a Rezvani Tank.

How is the Hennessey Maximus different from a Jeep Gladiator?

2020 Hennessey Maximus Jeep Gladiator Truck
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Well, we’ve covered the engine chapter, so it’s time to tick the other boxes.

Among the new bits and bobs brought by Hennessey are a new ECU, radiator, and fuel system, together with new wiring harnesses.

The exhaust is stainless steel, and there’s a big bad LED bar throned on top of the windshield plus a pair of Maximus bumpers, so you’ll know exactly what kind of vehicle is in front or behind you. That is if you happen to somehow miss the 20-inch wheels dressed in BFGoodrich KD off-road tires and the extra six-inch suspension lift.

The inside has been completely revamped with custom leather and new embroidery for the seats, but that’s all we get for now in terms of cabin changes. Also, Hennessey plans to build the Maximus at a rate of two units per month with production kicking off in July, so in theory, you shouldn’t wait too much for one. All you have to figure out now is how to get the $200k.

2020 Hennessey Maximus by the numbers

2020 Hennessey Maximus specs
Engine V-8
Engine displacement 6.2 liters
Gearbox 8-speed automatic
Power 1,000 horsepower
Torque 933 pound-feet
Wheels 20 inches
Suspension lift 6 inches

Further reading

2020 Jeep Gladiator Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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