The crowd at the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas has seen plenty in terms of power and performance.
Mopar turned heads this year by going big. 1,000 horsepower big.
That gets us to the new “Hellephant,” a supercharged 426-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 crate engine unveiled at SEMA 2018 and which goes on sale in the first quarter of next year. The “Hellephant” feeds 1,000 hp and 950 lb-ft of torque into any pre-1976 street or off-road vehicle you can fit it into. That output level is on pump gas, by the way, not some exotic racing fuel.
The name? Like the engine, it blends elements of legacy and modern heritage. The 426 Gen 2 HEMI V-8 from the ‘60s and early ‘70s carried the “Elephant” nickname due to its power output and physical size, while the modern supercharged Gen 3 HEMI V-8 is the “Hellcrate” engine, debuted by Mopar last year at SEMA.
Key elements of the “Hellephant” 426 Supercharged Mopar Crate Engine include:
- Race-proven aluminum block from the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak cars that dominated the NHRA’s Factory Stock Showdown class
- 3.0-liter IHI supercharger with higher-efficiency rotors, running 15 psi of boost
- Valvetrain and valves adopted from the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon engine
- High-lift camshaft
- Custom-forged pistons
Just like the other members of the Mopar Crate Engine family, the “Hellephant” 426 offers true plug-and-play installation with the Engine Kit that includes an unlocked Powertrain Control Module, engine and chassis wiring harnesses, power distribution center and electronic throttle pedal. There’s also a Front End Accessory Drive (FEAD) kit that includes an alternator, pulleys and drive belt.
What can you do with a “Hellephant” 426 engine? Mopar and the FCA US Product Design Office decided it was a great starting point on a project to mark the 50th anniversary of an iconic design – the 1968 Dodge Charger.
The second-generation Charger is a long and wide car that exudes speed and performance and became a favorite of movie directors, most notably flying through the streets of San Francisco in “Bullitt.” The design was built for only three years but it still turns heads today.
Five decades later, designers tackled the challenge of preserving the spirit of the 1968 Charger while modernizing it. The result: the 1968 Dodge “Super Charger” concept, also unveiled at the 2018 SEMA show.
Of course, the heart of the “Super Charger” is the “Hellephant” 426 HEMI Crate Engine under the custom fiberglass hood with a modified scoop adopted from the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.
The FCA design team wanted the car’s looks to match the engine’s brawn. The list of changes includes:
- Two-inch stretch in the wheelbase, moving the front wheels forward to reduce the overhang
- Front and rear tracks widened by 5 inches
- 2.5-inch lower ride height in front, 3.5 inches lower in the rear
- Headlamps from the 2019 Dodge Challenger shine behind blacked-out fixed vertical slats grille
- Door handles and window drip rails “shaved” to create smooth body appearance
- Custom “De Grigio” gray metallic paint
- Wing vent windows in front doors replaced by single-piece door glass
- Rear seat deleted, front bench seat replaced by bucket seats from Dodge Viper
In a real twist, the design team kept the original look and location of round taillights, but converted the four units into high-mounted exhaust outlets (using Alfa Romeo Stelvio exhaust tips from the Mopar catalog) with the exhaust pipes routed through protective boxes in the trunk. LEDs cast red light around the exhaust ports for the proper brake light illumination.
While the 1968 Dodge “Super Charger” is a one-off concept, it shows what performance car enthusiasts can do with a dose of creativity and the Mopar parts catalog, including the family of crate engines headed by the Hellephant 426 HEMI.
What more does it take to prime your imagination?
Mopar Or No Car!