Go on. Name a better candidate.
We can think of a lot of cars that need a V8, yet don't have one. Heck, we can think of a number of Stellantis' own cars that could benefit from the brand's Hemi V8, like the one in the Dodge Challenger. The Chrysler Pacifica comes to mind, as does the Jeep Wrangler (and Stellantis actually did that one!). But the Jeep Renegade? Mike Martin thinks that should be the first on the list.
For the better part of a year and a half, Martin has been quietly documenting his installation of a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 into the humble CUV. Now, the project is nearing completion, and the amount of work, skill, sweat, and math that goes into something like this is worth recognizing.
Just about everything you're looking at in the photo is custom. That extends to the things you don't see, like the suspension geometry. Martin is clearly a better engineer than we are. Not that many could confidently change the suspension geometry of a car from an outdoor lift in their driveway.
The idea behind the project appears to originate from a 2015 Charger. Martin removed the wiring harness and drivetrain from that and started work on putting the guts into a car that, at best, fit AWD and a turbo-four engine. Of course, by the time Martin is done the Renegade will have RWD and double the cylinders. And likely more than double the power.
Back in 2016, the 5.7-liter Charger made an appreciable 370 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque. That was in a car that came in at a hefty 4,253 lbs. Depending on the vintage, a Renegade is about 3,000 lbs. We're sure that Martin will also be tuning up the motor.
At least, based on the rest of the car we assume he will. His videos mention that the car will run a set of super-wide tires and sit on air suspension. Supposing the newly-rebuilt frame can handle the torque, this is probably going to end up being the fastest Jeep Renegade on the planet.
Honestly, the most shocking part of all this is how much room is left at the front of the car. Much of that will be eaten up by radiators and A/C condensers later in Martin's build process, but for now, it's roomy enough to make us wonder why there wasn't a V8 in the Renegade in the first place.