You can never be too rich, nor have too much horsepower. And for those who thought the Dodge Demon was pushing the limits, Fiat Chrysler’s Mopar division will deliver a high-performance surprise at this year’s SEMA Show.
Taking things into four digits for the first time, Mopar gave a handful of journalists a sneak peek at three customized models it will bring to the annual accessories show in Las Vegas next week – as well as the most powerful, factory-supplied “crate” engine ever to be offered to serious performance fans.
And you can be sure that anything using the 1,000 horsepower V-8 will be hitting 60 by the time you pronounce its full name, the Fiat Chrysler 426 Crate Mopar Hellephant.
That 426 cubic-inch displacement figure is magic for Mopar fans, and it picks up where the engine that powered last year’s Challenger Hellcat Demon left off.
(Dodge debuts 10,000+hp Hellcat. Click Here for the story.)
The Hellephant uses an even larger, 3.0-liter supercharger modified to increase airflow enough to deliver 15 pounds of boost. Meanwhile, Mopar has opted for an aggressively reinforced aluminum block that shaves about 100 pounds off the mass of a comparable cast iron block.
All told, the package can muster up 1,000 horsepower and 950 pound-feet of torque, with a redline of 7,000 RPMs, and Mopar chief Steve Beahm contends it is durable enough to run repeatedly down the dragstrip, though FCA has not yet decided whether it will offer a factory warranty for the Hellephant, as it did for the Demon.
The new package will be offered in engine-only form for $19,000, though buyers will also be able to get a Demon-like “Hell Crate” that includes the electronics and everything else needed to package the engine, for $21,995.
Meanwhile, Mopar plans to offer a version of the blower alone sometime after the first quarter of 2019.
And for those who are wondering if the folks at FCA have finally hit the wall, Beahm hinted that, “1,000 isn’t the limit on this engine.”
The world’s biggest aftermarket accessories show, SEMA routinely draws some wild and crazy customized concepts from automakers as diverse as Dodge, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota. This year is no exception, though FCA’s Mopar division has decided to bring only three special models to Las Vegas this year.
That includes the Super Charger, a specially updated version of the classic 1968 Dodge Charger – no surprise, as the ’68 is one of the most famous of the ‘60s-era muscle cars. In this case, the automaker actually got hold of an original Charger and then made a number of modifications, inside, out and under the hood.
“We had a lot of discussions” about what could make the 1968 Charger look even meaner while still respecting the original design, explained Joe Dehner, Mopar’s styling chief. “There’s a lot of material here. It’s iconic. But a lot of things needed updating.”
For one thing, the oddly inset wheels have been moved out, the overall coupe gaining 4 inches in width. The wheelbase, meanwhile, has been stretched from 117 to 119 inches.
The chromed drip rails have been removed, as has the old quarter-window up front.
(Click Here to check out Dodge pushing the boundaries with new Challenger Hellcat Redeye.)
The Super Charger picks up side mirrors from a 1971 Duster, meanwhile, as well as bigger tires, a splitter and a new spoiler. The pop-up headlights have been replaced by a single-piece grille concealing classic round headlamps.
There are some decidedly modern pieces, as well, including Viper seats and a fiberglass hood with a scoop lifted from the menacing Dodge Demon.
And, like the Demon, the back seat has been removed, the Super Charger ready to race, including a new rollbar.
One of the more unusual details finds the exhaust system routing through the trunk and popping out through the back fascia where the original tips have been replaced with ones borrowed from an Alfa Romeo 4C.
The other two Mopar SEMA show cars offer two takes on the new Dodge Ram. Think of them as reaching new highs and lows.
The Low Down Ram has its suspension dropped two inches, while the Ram Rebel is raised two inches.
The Low Down features a distinctive two-tone paint scheme with matching 22-inch painted wheels. And, as with most of the concepts Mopar brings to SEMA, you can find key accessories already in the parts division’s catalogues. Even the distinctive hood is likely to be added, Beahm hinted.
The lowered concept features a power tonneau, along with 5-inch exhaust tips.
Inside, what started out as a Ram Bighorn adds milled billet pedals and other aluminum accents.
Under the hood, meanwhile, it features a new and visually distinctive air intake shared with the Rebel.
“This one is an 11 or 12,” on a scale of 1 to 10, suggested Dehner.
The Rebel features a functional Ram Bar lighting rig, as well as cast aluminum running boards with textured covers. Its V-Block 18-inch wheels are shod in 35-inch off-road rubber.
(Is the Dodge Viper set for another comeback? Click Here for the story.)
The 2019 SEMA Show officially opens on Oct. 30 and runs through Nov. 2.