Just imagine all the crazy builds using this fire-breathing HEMI.
Performance nuts have been waiting with baited breath and then disappointment after Mopar delayed production of the Hellephant crate engine. A new report indicates the wait is almost over as production will begin before the end of December. A production quality issue created the holdup, but that’s been corrected.
Pre-orders for the Hellephant were originally opened by Mopar on April 26 of this year, what’s known among the faithful as HEMI Day. The crate engine was unveiled at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, generating considerable excitement.
A supercharged 426ci HEMI V8 crate engine, the Hellephant wowed the crowds with a Mopar-first 1,000-horsepower figure straight out of the box. It also produces a tire-shredding 950 lb.-ft. of torque, making the engine an item of interest for enthusiasts. Those figures far exceed the Dodge Demon’s earth-shattering 840-horsepower and 770 lb.-ft. of torque.
While not officially confirmed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, it’s been reported the quality issue had to do with excessive camshaft tension in the crate engine. That then lead to a critical failure, something the company wanted to correct before moving forward with production.
Some Hellephants no doubt will be dropped into newer vehicles, but likely the majority are destined for classic cars. We’ve never seen restomods with such a crate engine, making it simple to see why enthusiasts are excited about the possibilities.
Of course, where there’s much power in the automotive world there’s also much cost. Mopar priced the Hellephant engines at $29,995. They come fully assembled with a water pump, oil pan for the front sump, flywheel, supercharger and throttle body, fuel injectors, plus coil packs. Obviously, people considered the setup a solid deal, with a year’s worth of engines sold in just two days.
An additional $2,265 adds the Hellephant “plug-and-play” engine kit. It works with just about any pre-1976 vehicle, opening up all kinds of possibilities. That means a simpler installation with items like an unlocked PCM, plus an engine wiring harness, power distribution center, chassis harness, accelerator pedal, O2 sensors, and more.
There’s no official confirmation of just how many Hellephant HEMI V8s are being manufactured during any period of time in Indiana, so we’re unsure of the volume impact the release will have on the market.
To showcase the possibilities of the Hellephant, FCA debuted the Dodge Super Charger Concept muscle car at the 2018 SEMA Show, a Dodge Charger with the Hellephant, which also made a big splash. Stay tuned for more insane builds for 2020.