When the teasers started to fall from the Dodge and Mopar, we suspected something big was in the works. Dare we say, the return of the 426 Hemi engine was the elephant in the room (pun totally intentional) because all the signs were pointing in that direction. The real question was how much power it would bring, and today that question is answered. Say hello to the Hellephant – a 1,000 hp (746 kW) plug-and-play cage engine for the street. Yikes.
As the name suggests, this is essentially a larger Hellcat mill with a 4.0-inch cylinder bore and 4.125-inch stroke. The block is made entirely of aluminum and there is an improved supercharger on top to feed the large engine with copious amounts of air. The box package includes all critical parts plus tuned wiring and PCM assembly to give the engine its full power potential. However, there is a problem – the box engine was designed to work in applications for on- and off-road use in pre-1976 vehicles only.
To showcase the return of the legendary 426 Hemi, FCA dropped a Hellephant into the body of everyone’s favorite villain, a 1968 Dodge Charger called the Supercharged Concept. Of course, the build involved more than just dropping into a 1,000-horsepower engine. It’s a complete system with a six-speed manual transmission, massive six-piston Brembo brakes behind Hellcat wheels that measure 20 inches in the front and 21 inches in the rear, and an updated interior with all sorts of parts borrowed from the recently departed Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Viper.
I’ve had major plastic surgery, too. Wide-body fiberglass front and rear fenders add more serious stance to the Charger, but also allow the wheelbase to extend a few inches. You’ll notice less overhang in the front, with more modern inspiration found in the borrowed Demon front splitter, and the rear spoiler modeled on the current R/T Charger. Classic pop-up headlights have been removed in favor of permanently fitted eyes from the new Challenger, and discerning Mopar fans will identify side mirrors from not something new, but a classic 1971 duster.
said Steve Beam, FCA’s President of Parts and Service for Mopar and Passenger Cars. “The 1968 Dodge Charger is one of the most exciting classic cars, which is why we decided to use it as a starting point for the ‘Super Charger’ concept. It’s a great vehicle and a great showcase for our Hellephant engine.”