What car wouldn’t be better with this 1,000-horsepower ‘Hellephant’ engine?

While Chevy showed off an electric drag racer at the 2018 SEMA show, Mopar, the parts division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), doubled down on old-fashioned internal-combustion horsepower. At SEMA Mopar unleashed the “Hellephant,” a massive V8 engine producing 1,000 horsepower and 950 pound-feet of torque and it wants you to put this monster motor in your car.

The Hellephant is what’s known in the industry as a “crate engine.” It’s sold as a stand-alone item that hobbyists or professional builders can put into project cars (yes, these engines are typically shipped in crates). Crate engines come in all shapes and sizes (Honda will sell you a Civic Type R engine, for example), but more often than not they’re big American V8s. The Hellephant may be the greatest of them all.

To understand why this engine is such a big deal and why it has such a bizarre name, you need a little history. In the golden age of American muscle cars during the 1960s, few cars garnered as much respect as those powered by (pre-Fiat) Chrysler’s 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Hemi V8. This engine was known as the “Elephant Motor” because of its immense size. Today, 426 Hemi cars like the Dodge Charger and Plymouth Road Runner are highly sought among collectors.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and Chrysler is once again selling Hemi-powered cars, and the 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat engine is currently the most potent. “Hellephant” is a portmanteau of “elephant” and “Hellcat,” as it’s related to the Hellcat engine. Mopar increased displacement to 7.0 liters to match the 1960s Elephant Motor but kept the supercharger.

The Hellephant is designed for pre-1976 vehicles, including both street and off-road applications, according to Mopar. It comes as a kit with all of the electronics and sensors needed to make it work. Mopar also offers a front-end accessory kit that adds an alternator, power-steering pump and more. The engine will be available to order in 2019, with pricing to be announced at a later date.

To show the potential of its new engine, Mopar stuck one in a 1968 Dodge Charger, which was christened “Super Charger.” The car uses a six-speed manual transmission from a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and features numerous modifications including a wide-body conversion, lowered suspension, and 20-inch wheels. But even with 1,000 hp, the Super Charger won’t have the most powerful Hemi V8 on the SEMA show floor. Tuner SpeedKore brought a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon with 1,203 hp.


The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is ready to strike with over 700 hp

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 revives one of the greatest names in American muscle cars, and gives Ford some ammunition in the horsepower war with Chevy and Dodge. Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the GT500 boasts over 700 hp.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.