Most families have that one family member that's just a little bit different. Maybe a little weird, perhaps a little scary, very often brilliant. Over at Chrysler, that Uncle Fester is Mopar. It's the in-house outfit that bolts things onto other things for fun. Got a Jeep and want to accessorize it with extra grab handles, fatter tires, or bulletproof bumpers? Mopar can do that. And if you ask nice, the special closet in the back of the room will be opened and you can maybe add more power, too.
A few years ago, it was hard to imagine a powerplant small enough to fit in a car and able to churn out more than 500 horsepower – not without jet intakes anyway. Even specialized race cars were only just breaking that 500-hp barrier. Now the barrier has four digits and it's been broken, not just by production vehicles, but by an engine you can buy off the shelf and shove into just about anything even remotely road worthy.
Mopar debuted the Hellephant 1,000-horsepower (745.7 kW) at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Drooling crowds of performance junkies stared at it like seeing barbecue after Lent. Mopar says that almost 1,000 of those junkies have been willing to buy the engine named Hellephant, which is now available for pre-order.
Just the name announces the intent of this engine. The Hellcat carries its 707 horses, sounding growly and great. But what's bigger than a cat from hell? An elephant from hell, obviously. The engine hearkens back to the 426 Hemi engine of the 1960s, known best by its nickname "Elephant." Like the Elephant engine, there probably won't be many Hellephant engines actually sold. The big 7-liter Elephant only had 11,000 units produced during its seven-year run.
The official name of the Hellephant is the 426 Supercharged Crate HEMI Engine, part number P5160194. It can be purchased for a mere US$29,995, plus shipping, and buyers can opt to add another $2,265 and get an installer's kit (P#77072500) for easy plug-and-play. Other "menu" items, Mopar says, are also available to go along with the Hellephant 526. Most everything you can imagine being required to install and utilize a beast of this 1,000 horsepower nature.
Chrysler has begun production on the Hellephant engine for deliveries later this year. The engine and installation kit are intended for pre-1976 vehicles or off-road-only rigs, for legal reasons. Most buyers of engines like these are putting them into restomods (modified restorations) or race-only vehicles.
The video below provides an overview of the Hellephant engine.
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