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If you’re looking for real horsepower, like really real horsepower, then this is the engine for you. This is a 5000-hp SMX street engine, all 9.4 liters of it. The builder, Steve Morris, says it can take you anywhere you wish to go on pump gas. We’ll leave it up to you where you need to be with 5000-hp. 

Who needs a 5000-hp engine?

SMX 5,000 hp
Steve Morris 5,000-hp SMX V8 | YouTube

We know you’re saying nobody needs that kind of horsepower for the street, and you’re right. But this type of engine isn’t for regular street cars. Some like the SMX are for Drag and Drive events, like the Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week and Tom Bailey’s Sick Week. To prove which car is the fastest street car in the country, these cars have to do both, race down the quarter-mile and then drive to the next dragstrip and do it again.

There’s more to it than that, but this is the main idea. So these cars need two tunes, one for the street and the other for racing performance. And they need different setups for both pump gas and racing fuel. This engine, going into Cleetus McFarland’s street/strip El Camino, will use a 70 lb boost from twin turbochargers.

That’s the measurement for pressure jammed into the cylinders, which represents 70 lbs per square inch. So it is compressing air in each cylinder 70 lbs. If you think of a tire, the manufacturer recommends 32 lbs of air for inflation. Put another way, that amount of added pressure puts much more stress on the engine. 

How fast and quick are cars with the SMX engine?

smx v8
Steve Morris 5000-hp SMX V8 | YouTube

At some point, turbos and superchargers run out of enough air to compress high-density air into the cylinders. So you can go to compound turbo systems, or introduce nitrous. With compound turbos, you’re balancing multiple turbochargers to increase boost. And you need intercoolers to cool down the charge. 

In most cases, these drag-and-drive events go with multiple turbochargers. The aforementioned Tom Bailey has gone 250 mph in a quarter-mile with his Camaro, powered by a Steve Morris SMX engine. This equates to under six seconds. So that’s its proven capability which, again, includes daily 200-mile treks on streets and highways as the event moves from one dragstrip to the next. 

How much horsepower without forced induction?

Steve Morris 5,000-hp SMX V8 | YouTube

The SMX is an all-aluminum V8. Without supercharging or turbocharging, the engine is capable of 1000 hp. It definitely fills any engine bay. And the price is as big as its other numbers, around $75,000. You know what they say, “How fast you want to go depends on how much you intend on spending.”

Certainly not for everyone, but having 5000 hp at hand has a certain ring to it. There are several drag and drive events held throughout the year, with the first and best, Drag Week, happening in September. 


Do You Know How Much Horsepower the Average Car Actually Has?