Occasionally, America has a good idea... a monstrous plug and play supercharged V8 called Hellephant is definitely one of them
It’s officially official: Dodge has gone mad, and we love it. We have now reached the critical junction in humanity where Dodge will sell you a 1,000bhp, 950 lb ft crate engine to lob in whatever car you like. That, ladies and gents, is what we call progress. Better than that, Dodge has christened this monstrous engine of preposterous power and tremendous torque “Hellephant”. Yes, Hellephant – note the Demon-style logo. How sweet is that?
All that oomph comes from a supercharged, all-aluminium HEMI block with a four-inch stroke and an increased bore of 4.125 inches. You can stop rubbing your thighs now, suck, squeeze, bang, blow fans. The name is merely a nod to the infamous 426 HEMI engine that was first introduced in 1964 and nicknamed the “elephant” due to its colossal power and size.
But instead of just unveiling this engine on a stand and saying “Ta-dah!”, Dodge decided to showcase it in a 1968 Dodge Charger to celebrate the iconic car’s 50th birthday. God bless America. It made its debut at the SEMA show, and quite frankly is one of the coolest muscle cars we’ve seen this year. The chassis has been modified to allow for the reverse-birth of that four-digit “Hellephant” powerplant, while a T-6060 manual six-speed ’box from a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has been added to try its best at getting 1,000bhp to the road. This could be quite the rodeo.
Looks mean, too. That’s thanks to the front wheels being nudged forward two inches compared to the original to accommodate the flares and shorten the Charger’s overhang. The wheel sizes are also suitably modern, with 20 x 11in Devil’s rims pulled from the Hellcat up front, and custom 21 x 12in milled aluminium wheels out back. The body has been dropped 2.5 inches at the rear and 3.5 inches up front, while six-piston Brembos make sure they can stop 1,000bhp of go.
Finished in a custom ‘De Grigio’ Grey Metallic, the Challenger has had a supersized hood scoop influenced by the Dodge Demon to make sure the engine can breathe. As you can see, the famed ’68 Charger’s hideaway headlight design has been tweaked to include the modern Hellcat headlamps, which lurk behind the grille. Then the donor car’s doorhandles and drip rails have been shaved, creating a slicker profile. To keep the streamlined look rolling, the front door vent windows have been put in the bin and swapped for one piece of glass.
No price yet, but considering the ‘Hellcrate’ 697bhp version is priced at $19,530 (£15,124) expect to pay at least £20k. Still, not bad for an engine in a box that delivers Bugatti Veyron levels of firepower. Really there’s only one question that requires answering… if you bought a 1,000bhp crate engine, what would you drop it into?
SEMA, famous showcase of futuristic technology gets a blast from the past...