Spartacus: The Hellcat Powered Gladiator of Our Dreams
Can a vehicle be over-the-top and understated at the same time? We think so. Case and point is Offroad Power Product’s latest build creation- Spartacus. We’ve learned over the years that the OPP crew takes its builds seriously and are not afraid of pushing the limits of each on the trail. When we first caught wind of the company’s 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon build, we were excited to see which direction they would go.
We’ve seen some pretty incredible overland projects roll out of their Spokane, Washington, headquarters in the past. So, we had a feeling that might be the category this Jeep would fall into. However, these guys are always pushing forward and delivered our favorite Gladiator build to date. Instead of roof top tents and countless knickknacks bolted all over the place, the OPP crew decided to go with a very tastefully done ride that blends a proven low center-of-gravity stance with 707 pavement-ripping ponies under the hood.
Yes, my friends, this Gladiator is powered by a 6.2L Mopar V8 Hellcat crate engine. When it originally showed up at the 2019 SEMA Show with 40-inch-tall Nitto Trail Grapplers and stock axles, we were skeptical about just how reliable this build would be with that kind of power under the hood. Thankfully, our worries were put to rest when we found out the original two-week build time didn’t leave enough time for the Dynatrac ProRock Elite Series axle package to get bolted underneath. Of course, that didn’t stop the team from laying the Hellcat hammer down before the axle swap.
Though we had hoped to get you a full video breakdown on the OPP Gladiator at the 2020 Easter Jeep Safari, COVID-19 would see to it that couldn’t happen. Thankfully, our friends at Offroad Power Products are handy behind the camera and got us some updated shots of Spartacus. We were looking forward to showing you this Gladiator in action soon, but until then, we’re bringing you the details in the feature below.
Offroad Power Products had a build plan before it ever took delivery of its 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon. This meant they could jump straight into the build as soon as they got it in the shop. As a retailer of all off-road things worth having, this would serve as a company billboard of sorts for the brand.
Aside from the vinyl wrap, the first major upgrade the Gladiator received was in the form of a Hellcat crate engine conversion via America’s Most Wanted 4x4. Along with the supercharged Hemi V8, a stronger eight-speed transmission from a Ram truck was bolted behind the 6.2L. While low range isn’t as much of a necessity with 650 lb-ft of torque on tap, OPP has plenty of gear reduction on hand with the Rubicon’s original NVG 241 OR transfer case.
One of the first companies to get a jump on the Gladiator suspension was JKS Manufacturing. The 3.5-inch J-Spec kit would be paired with Fox 2.5 remote-reservoir shocks with DSC adjusters. This system retains the factory control arm mounting points and offers a nice balance of ride control on and off the road.
If you’re going to pump out big power, and run a 40-inch-tall tire, you are going to need an axle set strong enough to get the power to the ground reliably. That’s why OPP ditched the stock axle set for a Dynatrac ProRock XD60 front axle and ProRock 80 rear. These full-float axles were fit with ARB Air Lockers and 5.38 differential gears. Feeding the massive axle set are drivelines from Tom Woods.
A Better Approach
Keeping the path clear for the 40-inch Grapplers is a stubby series aluminum front bumper from GenRight. Of course, just in case things don’t go according to plan, the Warn Zeon 10-S winch is there to help.
While the factory highline fenders help with running a large tire with a minimal amount of lift, in order to fully cycle the 40’s with only 3.5 inches of lift, more fender mods were necessary. Thankfully, the Rubicon models have a two-piece fender that allows you to remove the bottom half. With the lower portion removed, OPP used Artec Industries fender brackets to add some rigidity back to the flare. Up front, GenRight inner fender liners were used to protect the Hellcat, while allowing it to expel heat.
The factory LED lighting group provides ample on-road illumination, but Spartacus can really light the way on the trail thanks to a set of Baja Designs LP6 lights. If they don’t need as bright of a blast from the amber-tinted LEDs, they can always switch on the Baja Designs S1 Ditch Lights mounted at the cowl.
Bump In The Back
Out back, you’ll find another aluminum bumper upgrade courtesy of GenRight. This setup allows the truck to retain the stock Rubicon bed guards and factory hitch. As was the case with the front, both bumpers got a black finish.
The Offroad Power Products team never skips leg day. Wrapping around a set of 17x9 Battle Born beadlock wheels are the most proven mud-terrain radials on the market—the Nitto Trail Grappler. This 40x13.50R17 has been a go-to for the OPP crew as the tire’s capability in the dirt doesn’t translate to an on-road sacrifice. At the end of the day, the massive mud-terrain radials had an excellent track record of rolling true and going the distance in more ways than one.
Aside from the OD Green Bartact seat covers and Innovative JK Products under seat air compressor mount, the interior of the truck remains mostly stock. While there are few green accent pieces, this extremely modified, yet wildly understated approach Offroad Power Products took to the build is something we can appreciate in a sea of over-the-top builds.
On The Trail
We’ve been on the trail plenty of times in the past with the OPP crew and know these guys do more than talk the talk. We love that this Gladiator has a modest lift height and a dream-list powertrain. We’re sure there’s more add-ons to come, but as it sits, it’s just about perfect. When it comes to less is more, this truck nails it.
Digging this Gladiator? Then you’ll definitely want to check out this EVO-Built Jeep Truck.