By on October 30, 2017

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT with the HEMI® Hellcat engine - Image: FCA

This should lead to more than a few odd pairings. Mopar, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ performance and aftermarket parts division, will now offer a Dodge SRT Hellcat engine — the company’s 707 horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 — minus the car.

Dubbed the “Hellcrate,” the warranty-backed engine and associated kit was unveiled Monday ahead of this week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. This means Mopar fans looking to own a 707-hp beast have other options than just visiting an FCA dealer and signing on the dotted line for a new vehicle.

The move is apparently the result of many impassioned pleas from loyal fans.

“Never before has a supercharged, factory-direct 707-horsepower crate engine kit been offered, and we are proud to be the first to deliver a solution enthusiasts have demanded,” said Pietro Gorlier, head of parts and service for Mopar, said in a statement. “This ultimate powertrain option fits the needs of owners and fans who demand iconic performance.”

Uh oh, there’s that word “iconic” again. Does FCA have a trademark on it? Joking aside, the news is a big deal for owners of vintage muscle cars who aren’t satisfied with the status quo.

Buyers of the crate engine will have 707 hp and 650 lb-ft delivered to their door, but they’ll also require the Hellcrate engine kit, which includes a powertrain control module (PCM), power distribution center, engine wiring harness, chassis harness, accelerator pedal, ground jumper, oxygen sensors, charge air temperature sensors, and fuel pump control module. For owners of vehicles built before 1976, Mopar will offer a Front End Accessory Drive Kit, bringing an alternator and power steering pump to the mix, along with belts, pulleys and other essentials.

When purchased together, the crate engine and engine kit comes with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty from Mopar. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t come cheap. The engine alone carries an MSRP of $19,530, which is over $3,000 more than a 640 hp GM LT4 crate engine. The engine kit, which you’ll need, is another $2,195.

Still, when considering the engine’s brand-new condition and the peace of mind from the factory warranty, it’s a relative bargain compared to motors pulled from wrecked vehicles. Used Hellcat engine prices have reached $25,000 in the past.

Of course, putting all that power to the rear wheels of God-knows-what means having a transmission capable of withstanding it, and for this role Mopar prescribes a manual. Specifically, the brand’s Tremec Magnum transmission kit, a to-order version of the one you’ll find in a factory Hellcat.

Mopar claims there’ll be another interesting bit of product news announced Tuesday afternoon. We’ll keep you posted if it turns out to be something worthwhile.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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26 Comments on “Ditch That Slant Six: Dodge Hellcat Powerplant Is Now Available as a Crate Engine...”

  • avatar

    Fact: My favorite car in the world happens to be a sterling

    Fact: Everyone puts lame VW engines in those.

    Fact: With this motor I’d feel like Ferrari’s got nothing on me.

    Theory: Is there any possible way to squeeze that engine in that car?

  • avatar

    Should have waited to make the announcement until tomorrow. ;-)

  • avatar

    I should put this in my daughter’s Kia Soul. :O

    BTSR will buy one for his living room coffee table.

    • 0 avatar

      Living rooms resemble those FOUR CYLINDER small cars BTSR DESTROYS with his HELLCAT POWERED mobiles. He don’t do living rooms he’s got a YUGE LOFT instead.

  • avatar

    I find it mildly disingenuous that they treat the need for an also-expensive transmission as almost a minor footnote. It might as well be in the same crate, since there really isn’t another unit that will work.

    • 0 avatar

      These swap projects can use a large variety of transmissions. Few will go with the ZF 8HP in this application due to the need for a factory style PCM and CAN networking. Most will go with adapting a variety of older transmissions like the 727 torqueflite, TH400 GM trans, Powerglide or a host of others. Nearly every crate engine offered out there isn’t bundled with a transmission because of the varying wants/needs, so no sense doing it here.

      • 0 avatar

        But how many transmissions are out there that will be able to bolt up to this beast without blowing up? Can those other transmissions be adapted to handle that much torque?

        • 0 avatar

          Yes. Because of the enormous aftermarket following of the gearboxes I mentioned, they can all be built to handle this kind of power and more. Aftermarket parts exist to mate them together too.

        • 0 avatar

          Lots, automatic and manual. On the manual side you have Tremec’s TR6060 and T56 Magnum (IIRC the model name), both have been put behind engines with the same or more power in 4,000 pound cars on drag radials at least with respectable reliability.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve put 650hp and 700lb-ft through an unmodified 6HP26 for around a year and it hasn’t blown up yet. It did come with an “upgraded clutch pack” as new but I don’t think anything else has been strengthened.

    • 0 avatar

      You can literally bolt a Powerglide onto anything.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    They should include a rear end and suspension for all that power, too.

  • avatar

    The guys at Gas Monkey Garage (specifically Aaron Kaufman, when he was there) were waaaaaaay head of FCA when they took a Hellcat engine, mated it to a Powerglide, and stuck it in a ’67 Dart (the “Shartcat”), and got it working. FCA said it couldn’t be done, but GMG, along with a couple of tuning firms, got it working. The first one couldn’t get it to work, but the second one (DiabloSport) could.

  • avatar
    Bill Wade

    Hmm…. Hellcrate, Pinto or Vega station wagon, wheelies, pump gas.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    This and air ride suspensions should keep Gas Monkey Garage in business for decades. GYSOT.

  • avatar

    Can somebody find me a nice S90 or V90 to drop this into…

  • avatar

    I just assume that wrecked Hellcats will be so common that these engines will be easy to source in the future. Most cars will be sideways or backwards when wrecked so the engine should be fine.

    Muscle car resto-mod builders will be in heaven with this crate motor. The real question is when does the first one get shoe horned into a Miata?

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Some lunatic will build a motorcycle around this motor.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    The hot rod builder in my town is currently transplanting the entire drive line from a totaled HC Challenger into a 1969 Charger for a client.

    I agree with the above, using the transmission from the current HellCats found at the Dodge dealer will be much easier than attempting to build and mate a 700R4 or 727 Torqeflight.

  • avatar

    Hellcrate Ram pickup.

  • avatar
    Richard Gaskill

    The Hellcat is only suitable for drag cars or show cars. You can’t just”ditch a slant 6″ and drop in over 700 hp without major suspension modifications. Enough Hellcats have been wrecked to prove that even with a new factory suspension many drivers are incapable of controlling the car.

    • 0 avatar

      Plum Floored Creations has already performed a Hellcat motor swap with a 2012 Dodge Durango and True Street Performance did something similar with a Jeep Grand Cherokee, both of which are used as daily drivers, so some people might not see the Hellcat as only suitable for drag cars or show cars.

      Besides, I suspect those vintage Mopar owners who really want to use a Hellcrate engine will hardly be intimidated by the idea of suspension modifications.

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