They got us. We were sure that Mopar was hinting at the return of a big-block-based Hemi crate engine. Instead, it took the Gen III Hemi V-8 to 426 cubic inches and is offering it up as the Hellephant, a 1000-horsepower mammoth of a motor that also churns out 950-lb-ft of torque and is ready to drop into your classic Mopar street muscle car or drag racer.
The elephant doesn’t use the classic 426’s bore and stroke, the late-model architecture doesn’t allow for such large bores. Instead, it uses a 4.0-inch bore that leaves plenty of cylinder wall thickness along with a 4.125-inch-stroke crankshaft. Unlike all the production car Gen III Hemi V-8s, even the Hellcat and Demon, the Hellephant uses an aluminum block, the same one used in the Drag Pak Challenger. The engine’s camshaft and forged pistons are unique, but parts of the valvetrain were sourced from the Demon, while the valve covers are from the SRT Hellcat Redeye. So far there’s not much detail on the supercharger, other than it’s an “improved” version of the one found on the Hellcat. It’s certainly not the same Whipple used on the supercharged versions of the Drag Pak Challenger.
Also available to go with the engine itself is a kit that includes wiring, a throttle pedal, O2 sensors, and an ECU that’s tuned and ready to run. Combine that with the front-end accessory drive kit that bundles the alternator and power steering pump with the required pulleys and belt, and you’d have just about everything you’d need to trample the competition except for fuel and cooling system.
Mopar built a beautiful 1968 Charger it dubbed “Super Charger” to highlight the Hellephant crate engine package. It has tons of custom touches, including modifying the signature Charger taillights to act at quad exhaust tips. Hellephant emblems, in the style of the Hellcat and Demon, are located in the steering wheel and fuel filler door, and the car wears flares like the widebody Hellcat Challenger and Demon.
The Hellephant’s 1000-hp rating makes it the most powerful crate engine offered by an OEM, eclipsing Chevrolet Performance’s naturally aspirated, 776-hp LSX 454R. Put them together and you’d have 1776 horsepower for the most ‘Murican engine duo we could imagine. If that’s your goal, you’ll have to wait until early 2019, as the Hellephant goes on sale the first quarter of next year.