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426 Hellephant crate engine packs 1,000 horsepower

by Patrick Rall on

The big news from Mopar at the ongoing SEMA Show in Las Vegas is a new supercharged Gen 3 Hemi measuring 426 cubic inches and delivering an unbelievable combination of 1,000 horsepower and 950 lb-ft of torque. In much the same way that the Dodge Challenger has set the bar for muscle car performance, the Hellephant is the standard by which all crate engines will be judged going forward – and most of them aren’t going to size up very well to this 426-cubic inch rendition of the Hellcat Hemi.

From the teasers Mopar rolled out last week featuring a massive elephant behind a classic Dodge Charger that is smoking the tires, we figured that this new crate engine would measure 426 cubic inches. This engine is based on the same Gen 3 architecture as the Hemi in the Hellcat, Demon and Redeye, except this mill features an all-aluminum block design that has been bored and stroked to the tune of 426 cubic inches with a four-inch stroke and a 4.125-inch bore.

In addition to the large-displacement, aluminum engine block that the Hellephant borrows from the Drag Pak program, this 1,000-horsepower Hemi has a forged rotating assembly, a unique camshaft and a cylinder head design similar to that of the Hellcat, along with some valve train parts borrowed from the Demon.

Also, the Hellephant relies on an IHI supercharger that is similar in its design and construction to the units found on the Hellcat, the Redeye and the Demon, but this blower is bigger. The Hellcat relies on a 2.4-liter supercharger while the Redeye and Demon both feature a 2.7-liter compressor, but in the case of the Hellephant, the supercharger has been enlarged to a whopping 3.0 liters. The supercharger also features new internal screws and the inlet portion has been “massaged” for better flow. So not only is the Hellephant the bigger Gen 3 Hemi in terms of displacement, but it also has the bigger supercharger – leading to those stunning figures of 1,000 horsepower and 950 lb-ft of torque.

Like the HellCrate, the Hellephant can be ordered with a plug-and-play kit called the “Hellephant” 426 Supercharged Mopar Crate HEMI Engine Kit. This kit includes everything that you need to get the engine running, such as a powertrain control module (PCM), power distribution center, engine wiring harness, chassis harness, accelerator pedal, ground jumper, oxygen sensors, charge air temperature sensors, fuel pump control module and cam bus interface device. That PCM comes tuned to allow the Hellephant to deliver 1,000 horsepower, but it is unlocked, so it can be tuned for even more power. That rating of 1,000 horsepower comes at the stock boost level of 15psi, running on 93 octane pump gas, so just a tune for race gas will add big power.

Finally, Mopar also offers Front End Accessory Drive (FEAD) Kit for the Hellephant, which includes alternator, power-steering pump, belts, pulleys and some other essentials for an easy install into your classic Mopar muscle car.

We don’t have any pricing on the Hellephant or either of the accessory packages, but we know that when it goes on sale, it will be the strongest turnkey crate engine package offered by any of the American automakers.

To showcase the Hellephant, Mopar designed the gorgeous “Super Charger” shown here alongside a stock 1968 Charger. This SEMA Show car has the 1,000 horsepower engine, a heavily customized body and a unique chassis, allowing this classic Mopar muscle car to make the most of all of that power.

At a media preview for the SEMA debuts, I spoke with a few members of the Mopar team about this new crate engine. The HellCrate is designed to work with a manual transmission, so I asked the members of the team what transmission the company recommends for the Hellephant. The reply was “whatever you can build to handle that power”. Also, with the ongoing rumors that a 426 would be coming to production soon, I asked if the Hellephant could be adapted for street use and I was told “absolutely not”, so this seems to be strictly a crate engine, but it is the meanest crate engine that Mopar has ever offered – and that is saying a great deal.

Finally, I asked members of the Mopar team if the 3.0-liter IHI supercharger would be available through Mopar independent of the crate engine and they said that it would be. When I asked when, they said that it would be sometime after the initial Hellephant engines have shipped, which should be during the first quarter of 2019, so by summer next year, you might be able to buy the 3.0-liter IHI supercharger for installation on your Hellcat, Redeye or Demon.

In the meantime, crank up your speakers and listen to the Hellephant roar on an engine stand.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.


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