Dodge at SEMA 2018

I can’t idly sit by and ignore the Hell-ephant in the room, let’s talk about Dodge stampeding into the 2018 SEMA show with their all new HEMI crate engine. While GM totes an electric concept car and Ford displays a few non-production pick-up trucks, Chrysler goes full throttle by unleashing the all new HELLEPHANT! Because the 707 horse “HELLCRATE” engine released at last year’s SEMA just wasn’t enough, Dodge is upping the ante again with 1,000 horsepower and 950 lbs of torque delivered to your door. No that’s not a typo, yes you read that right. We’re talking quadruple digits of raw power out of the box. This record shattering new crate motor isn’t just out to hurt feelings, with it’s four hundred and twenty six cubic inches of muscle it pays homage to the famed second generation 426 HEMI that all of us Mopar-nuts lust after.


Not only is the number 426 music to our ears, but listen to that idle. Unlike many modern fuel injected motors the new Hell-Ephant has the iconic choppy idle and booming thunder of a REAL HEMI engine. Click here to hear it roar!

Similar to the “Drag Pak” motors, the new 426 HEMI is cast out of aluminum for weight reduction. While the heads and throttle body are borrowed from the 840 horse “Demon” engine, Dodge redesigned many components including an all new humongo cam, forged pistons, and a fresh 3.0 liter supercharger that runs north of 14 PSI.

Upon it’s debut, it was stated that the Hell-ephant is designed for 1976 and older Mopars and will be available to the public in a complete kit. The kit will include a full front end belt drive (power steering pump, alternator, belts and pulleys), an easy “plug and play” wiring harness (including the PCM, power distribution center, accelerator pedal, oxygen sensors, temperature sensors, fuel pump control module, etc) and all other necessary components (such as the flywheel, front sump oil pan, fuel injectors and coil packs).
In short, this means shoehorning one of these monsters between the fenders of your old Super Bee or Roadrunner will be as simplified as possible. If you’re thinking you just died and went to heaven just wait because it gets better; this 1,000 horse HEMI engine is designed to run 93 octane, pump gas! This means your new Hell-ephant can rest easily between the cage of a drag car or the fenders of a street-rod.
Tod Beddick (head of Mopar Accessory and Performance Parts) is the man responsible for this monstrous creation. He says designing this block to handle 1,000 horse without crumpling in half has been an ongoing process taking years of expert engineering and design. A ribbed lifter valley, improved casting technology and extra material at the base of the bore assist the aluminum block to withstand high RPM.

While there is no definitive price on Chrysler’s new Elephant engine we do know they will be available to the public within the first quarter of 2019. Based off the prices of the Hellcrate and other Dodge crate engines buyers can expect to pay somewhere north of $20k.
1968-dodge-charger-hellephantAppropriately, Dodge released the resto-mod intended Hell-ephant crate engine with a resto-mod concept car of their own. Following the 2016 “Shakedown Challenger” Dodge’s new “Super Charger” concept provides a modern take on an iconic Chrysler, the famed ’68 Charger. Subtle nods to the Demon Challenger were crafted within this 1968 B body such as the obtuse wheel flares, low profile chin spoiler and the widened Demon hood scoop. Shot in De Grigio Gray, this 50 year old relic looks like it could be a brand new car.
While many enthusiasts cry for a production of the new “Super Charger” (as they did in 2016 with Dodge’s “Shakedown” concept) others scoff at the modernization of a classic B body. While I agree it is hard to top the cosmetic exceptionalism of an original factory Charger from 1968, it is critical Dodge continues to focus on their heritage and muscle car roots. Doing so not only appeals to their base but helps minimize the “Fiat” stigma (how can you diss a brand that is responsible for these whopping horsepower numbers?). As Dodge continues to relive the horsepower wars we wait and wonder when other manufacturers like Ford and GM will play along.

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