For engineers, modern automotive design is a balancing act fought between what they’re capable of creating and what will comply with federal regulations. While the latter have greatly improved the safety and efficiency of mass-produced vehicles over the years, they have also created boundaries that engineers must work within. Concept vehicles, on the other hand, are never intended for production. In turn, incredible “what if” vehicles like the 707-horsepower Jeep Wrangler Trailcat become possible. In order to achieve the look that Jeep wanted for the Trailcat, they installed a swept back windshield with a two-inch chop versus the standard Wrangler, and the wheelbase has been lengthened to 108 inches, though it is safe to assume that was at least partially out of necessity to fit the industrial-grade mechanicals found here. Along with LED headlights and off-road lights, the Trailcat sports a modified "Power Dome" vented hood to provide better heat extraction and breathing for the supercharged motor, and a pair of custom-built tube doors help complete the look.
If the Trailcat looks bigger than a normal Wrangler, that's because it is. And we're not just talking about the jacked-up suspension and 40-inch BF Goodrich Krawler tires. It's been stretched 12 inches beyond the length of a standard Wrangler. In part to make room for the suspension bits and also to provide space for the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 and its six-speed Tremec TR-600 manual gearbox.
The suspension has been upgraded with Fox shocks and Eibach springs to both improve wheel articulation and provide more body clearance for the massive 40-inch tires. Jeep engineers also made some significant changes to the platform itself, chopping the windshield by two inches and extending the wheelbase to almost 108 inches to provide room for the new components. Jeep says the Trailcat is “equally at home on Moab’s rugged trails or a high-speed section”, and we would add a Mad Max film set to that list as well.
Despite the fact that the Trailcat is an impressive piece of machinery for a multitude of reasons, it's hard for the Hellcat motor not to steal the show every time the engine gets turned over. It's certainly a tight fit in the Wrangler's engine bay, and unlike the Challenger and Charger, the battery is installed up front. Mechanically, the motor is identical to the powerplant in Dodge's coupe and sedan which generates a peak torque figure of 650 lb-ft of torque and 707 horsepower. It plays its song through a pair of Borla performance mufflers, the tailpipes of which are pointed downward for maximum rumble effect.
Like the doors, the Trailcat’s grille guard is a custom fabricated piece, and all of the concept’s accents have been given a satin black paint hue. Taken as a whole, the Trailcat is like something you might’ve scribbled on your notebook back in the day when you were daydreaming in class; except this is far more awesome because it’s not only a real, tangible thing – it actually goes like hell too. Jeep could have easily created a roller concept to take to car shows and other events, but instead they built this very mechanically sound 4×4 instead. It’s almost certainly not headed to production, but just the fact that they created it is cause for glee.
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