Hella Good Hellephant: Mopar Debuts 1,000 Horsepower Crate Engine

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

It’ll have not escaped your notice that the performance arm of FCA is currently going all-in on horsepower. Numbers cresting the 700 mark currently reside in SUVs, while the march towards the stratosphere continues in the Challenger. I firmly believe that, even at 840 horsepower, they haven’t yet reached the upper limits of what a speed-crazed Mopar fan can buy right off the showroom floor.

If that same fan is willing to deal with the “some assembly required” mantra, they can now treat themselves to Mopar’s new Hellephant engine — a supercharged beast making 1,000 horsepower.

First, let’s provide some context, just in case you’ve forgotten the history lesson provided when we speculated on this engine last week. In 1964, Chrysler roared onto the track at Daytona with a 426 cubic inch engine shoehorned into a Plymouth Belvedere. That car, and others with the same motor, was so fast that NASCAR outlawed the thing for ‘65. Racers dubbed it the “elephant engine,” thanks to its massive amounts of power. It apparently weighed more than I do after a trip to the buffet, as well.

Yesterday at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Mopar pulled the cover off its modern day elephant engine. Dubbed the Hellephant 426 – FCA is not known for subtlety – the monster motor takes horsepower into the four figure range, dragging 950 lb-ft of torque along with it.

This setup is known as a crate Hemi engine, or a “plug-and-play” package. For those not up on their hot-rodding techniques, plug-and-play packages allow gearheads to drop an entire powertrain into their project car with minimal headache. The complete engine assembly includes a water pump, flywheel, front sump oil pan, supercharger with throttle body, fuel injectors, and coil packs. As with the existing Hellcrate motor, Mopar will also offer an accessory drive kit, further easing installation woes by including an alternator and power-steering pump, plus all belts and pulleys.

Your author doesn’t mind saying that his speculation on how Mopar was going to reach the 426 cubic inch measurement was a little off. At the time, I figured the company would retain the 4.09-inch bore found in Demon/Hellcat engines but lengthen the stroke. Not so. The spellcheck-vexing Hellephant does indeed have a longer stroke, at 4.0 inches, but it also has a bigger bore measuring 4.125 inches on the round.

Using math calculations I cannot perform before at least three cups of flavored Lavazza Italian coffee, we learn total displacement of this motor is actually a hair over 427 cubes. Close enough.

Additional features of the Hellephant 426 include valve covers imported from the Hellcat Redeye and a valve train pulled from the Demon. An improved supercharger with a high-efficiency rotor is mounted atop the 426’s all-aluminum block. Using that type of metal provides big weight savings to keep the Hellephant relatively light.

Displaying the motor on an engine stand was not enough for FCA, so they went and built a 1968 Dodge Charger. This brute was worked over by Mopar to accept the Hellephant 426, stretching the wheelbase and applying a widebody kit. Eagle-eyed readers will spy exhaust tips lifted off the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

The Hellephant 426 engine is designed for installation on pre-1976 street and off-road vehicles. Look for it in the first quarter of 2019.

[Images: Mopar]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • PeriSoft PeriSoft on Oct 31, 2018

    *ring* *ring* "Hello? FlyinMiata?"

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    • Raph Raph on Oct 31, 2018

      I'm sure even a stout Windsor 5.0 is tough on the Miata chassis let alone an LS and the Hellephant would just wad that car up even worse. altough it would be cool until you have to regularly visit the body shop and the frame straightening machine to keep the trunk from popping open all the time.

  • Macmcmacmac Macmcmacmac on Oct 31, 2018

    MOPAR ---- NO PHUCKS GIVEN!!!!!!1!!!1!!! Funny how many tricks Bugatti had to resort to to make 1001hp. Yeah, yeah, I know, no comparisons...but on the other hand, NO PHUCKS GIVEN!!!!!!!!1111!!!!!11 MOPAR is my favourite car company. There, I said it. I have no blind spot regarding the quality or sophistication of their products. I just love the madness of it all. Seems like a proper American car company.

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