At this year’s SEMA360 virtual show, Mopar brought new parts for Jeep and Dodge, as well as a Gladiator that can go further into the trail than any other.
There’s simply no denying the effect that the pandemic has had on the automotive world and there are few things that have been as drastically affected as the aftermarket parts business. That was more evident than ever at this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. The SEMA show is a yearly event held in Las Vegas that features both aftermarket and major automotive manufacturers building incredibly cool aftermarket parts for all sorts of vehicles.
Despite all the hassles and hindrances with the indoor SEMA show being canceled, Mopar still dominated the SEMA360 virtual stage with three demonstrations of innovation and advancement. The folks at Mopar and Jeep went all out to impress. For Mopar, offering exceptional parts and accessories has been a hallmark of SEMA each year, and they certainly didn’t disappoint for 2020 (despite the lack of a brick and mortar show). Let’s dive into the wild off-road tech they brought and the sneaky on-road monster they’ve released to the public.
When the Ford Bronco arrived, there was a small detail that off-roaders noticed. With the doors are removed, the side mirrors stayed in place. That’s important because when you remove the doors of a Jeep Wrangler or Gladiator, the mirrors are attached to those doors, so they’re gone altogether. While it’s not optimal for some trails, it’s not a big problem usually. If you want to drive on public roads without your doors though it becomes a very big problem.
To combat this, Mopar designed special side mirrors for both the Wrangler and Gladiator. These mirrors use the same mounting point that the door would have if it were still attached. That allows the aftermarket side mirrors to be removed and installed in minutes with the same simple tools that come in every Wrangler and Gladiator. To ensure that they’re still safe to use on the roughest of trails, these mirrors have a built-in breakaway feature should owners be on an especially tight trail or roadway. It’s a small part that might claw back from sales from the folks over at Ford with their Bronco.
The Jeep Gladiator has been the subject of much praise since its long-awaited arrival in 2018. In an effort to show what can be done when you want to truly customize one to the moon, the team at Mopar built the ultimate mountain biker version of the Gladiator. Bike racks are of course standard on the Top Dog concept, but it’s all the parts that you wouldn’t expect from Mopar that have impressed us the most.
The most notable facet of the build is clearly the flatbed PCOR system that’s been installed behind the cabin in favor of the standard cargo bed. While there are lots of off-roading accessories like A-pillar LED lighting and rock guards, it’s the PCOR flatbed system that turns this into a mountain biker’s dream Jeep. Inside you’ll find pull out drawers for keeping tools and spare parts secure. A well-lit work-space provides more than ample room to fix issues and more storage is provided behind the rear wheels in securely recessed bins.
When riders return from a long day out on the trails, the driver side of the PCOR box houses a small fridge and an electric hotdog roller complete with a drawer to warm up your buns. The rear drawer opens up to reveal the stow-away ladder, used to access the roof of the Gladiator where the bikes can be secured. Mopar really did think of everything you could ask for when it comes to a rig like this. We get the feeling there’s a hardcore mountain biker on the Mopar team who might be taking this one home with him or her.
In years past, we’ve seen the Hellephant HEMI engine be built as a low production 1,000 horsepower monster and then sadly sell-out in less than 48 hours. This year, Mopar is committed to serving more customers for longer term with an engine nearly as insane. That motor is the same one found in the Hellcat Redeye Challenger, complete with 807hp and 717 lb-ft of torque.
To achieve such a power boost from the bigger than ever 2.7L supercharger, it’s now pushing 14 psi. That power can be controlled better than ever as well, thanks to a new complete wiring harness and loom from Mopar designed to make installing the Hellcat Redeye crate engine as simple as possible.
This is a big win for classic cars and retrofitters everywhere. Until now, the “Hellcrate” has been the most powerful crate motor that’s widely available from Mopar and it makes a paltry 707hp with an asking price of $20,215. The “Hellcrate Redeye” will run you just $21,807 and while it might seem strange in the land of 700+ horsepower, that extra hundred is enough to notice a difference.
Ultimately, this was a winning year for Mopar at SEMA360. Combining tried and true parts like the Hellcrate Redeye along with an off-road-focused build like the Jeep Gladiator Top Dog concept, provided a way for Mopar to continue innovating and profiting from earlier innovations. Perhaps someone out there will combine all three of the major announcements from Mopar this year and we’ll get to see a doorless (but not mirrorless) Jeep Gladiator with an epic PCOR system and a Hellcrate Redeye motor under the hood. One can only dream.