Remember the Hellephant? It is the stout 1,000 hp crate engine from Mopar that has never materialized. Well, until now. After a giant push at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, we expected to see orders materialize and engines arriving at customer’s garages. Well, in two days the entire year’s production estimate sold out.
Then production was delayed. Mopar said that by the end of 2019 or in 2020 production would commence. As 2019 wore on Mopar revealed camshaft tension was damaging cams. Still, more delays. So, what’s the big deal and why are people being patient just to get their hands on the Hellephant?
The Hellephant may look like a production engine, but the 1,000 hp monster is not
First, this is a 1,000 hp monster based on the current Hemi. It is not, however, like anything currently in a production Fiat Chrysler vehicle. The block is aluminum. It’s a joint venture between Fiat Chrysler and Tool Engineering International, or TEI. The only thing it shares with a production Hemi is displacement with the 7.0-liter 426 Hemi V8.
Another tidbit is that Fiat Chrysler won’t sell you one unless it is going into a vehicle manufactured before 1976. That, or for off-road use only. It’s an emissions thing. You may be wondering why Fiat Chrysler even makes this? After all, if it doesn’t share anything with a production engine and is becoming a hassle, why bother?
The Hellephant is all about publicity directed at Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep
This is all about the publicity offering a 1,000 hp engine creates, and also how it will be viewed in badass cars and trucks around the country. Each project that gets completed becomes a mini-brand ambassador. You really can’t buy that kind of exposure and publicity.
Now, you may realize you’ve found the perfect engine for your 1971 Challenger of 1958 Dodge pickup truck. You would be in the majority for thinking that but you’ll definitely be in the minority when you know the price. Out the door, a Hellephant crate motor fully-assembled will set you back $29,995.
These are hand-built and come with a surprising amount of standard components
These are hand-built engines. They come with a complete water pump, flywheel, oil pan for the front sump, supercharger, throttle body, coil packs, and fuel injectors.
From there you can also order the “Plug-and-Play” kit. This gets you an unlocked pressure control module, 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. You’re going to need all of that anyway, so why not step up for the extra $2,265 the kit costs?
After all of the hype and waiting, Mopar said it is just now delivering Hellephant crate motors. Obviously, this did not go the way Mopar wanted it to. But that’s in the past and we’re anxious to see what the future holds for some projects with a Hellephant under the hood. It will most certainly be worth the wait for a shot of 1,000 hp.