We'll never say no to a 1,000-hp crate motor.
If you're looking for a crate motor for your classic car build, the 2018 SEMA Auto Show was full of good options. GM revealed its 755 horsepower LT5 crate motor, which is the same engine found in the Corvette ZR1. Then the folks over at FCA's Mopar division took it up a notch with the new Hellephant crate motor, a 7.0-liter supercharged V8 with a whopping 1,000 hp. Since we already created a list of cars we'd love to see with the LT5 engine, we thought we'd do the same for the Hellephant. As brand purists, all but one of the cars on this list are FCA products.
The Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcat are obvious choices for a Hellephant swap. We'd absolutely love to see 1,000-hp versions of the Hellcat twins as range-topping models for SRT. Of course, Dodge could simply rename them the Challenger and Charger Hellephant and price them at a premium over the new 797-hp Hellcat Redeye.
It's amazing to think that in 2018, we can describe the Dodge Viper as "only" producing 645 hp from an 8.4-liter V10. Even though the Viper ACR was a track monster, its aerodynamics actually slowed it down at higher speeds and the power wasn't enough to overcompensate. If someone could stuff the 1,000-hp Hellephant motor into a Viper ACR, it would be one of the most insane track cars ever produced.
We thought it was lunacy when Jeep announced it would be stuffing the 707-hp Hellcat engine into a Grand Cherokee. Now, FCA has gone even more mental with a 797-hp version of the same engine. The only way FCA could truly prove it has lost all of its marbles would be to stuff the 1,000-hp Hellephant into the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackawk. The resulting Trackelephant - yes, we know how awesome the name sounds - would easily trump the Lamborghini Urus as the most impressive SUV in the world.
What could possibly more insane than a 1,000-hp Grand Cherokee? How about a 1,000-hp Jeep Wrangler? FCA has shown that it's possible to shove a Hellcat engine into a Wrangler, at least in concept form. While 1,000 hp isn't exactly necessary to climb up a mountain, we certainly would mind it when having some fun in the sand. Forget Trailcat, this would be the Trailephant - yes, we know we just keep knocking it out of the park with these names.
Of all the cars and SUVs FCA has created 700 hp versions of, we are surprised a Hellcat-powered Ram hasn't been one of them. We'd absolutely love to see a Ram 1500 with the 7.0-liter Hellephant engine. FCA has built a Ram TRX concept car with supercharged power but has yet to put it into production. This Hellephant engine seems like the perfect engine for a range-topping Ram model.
In addition to new cars, we wanted to pitch a few older FCA models that we think could benefit from a Hellephant engine swap. Chrysler's last true sports car, the Crossfire, is now a bargain on the used market and could make for a cheap swap candidate. Although we doubt the engine would fit into the engine bay, we'd absolutely love to pull out the original Mercedes motor and swap in the 1,000-hp Hellephant engine. Oh, and we have another badass name for this car - the Hellfire.
There are few cars in history that look crazier than their actual performance. The Plymouth Prowler may look like a concept, but it's powered by a rather conventional 253-hp 3.5-liter V6 mated to a four-speed automatic. Though it isn't easy, tuners have found ways to fit a modern HEMI engine under the oddly-shaped hood of the Prowler. Perhaps with enough money, someone could figure out how to stuff a Hellephant in there too.
We mentioned that one car on this list wasn't from FCA. For the sheer lunacy of the idea, we decided to include the Mazda Miata on this list. Yes, we know the engine probably wouldn't fit and yes, we know a 7.0-liter V8 would throw off the Miata's incredible balance. Still, tell us the prospect of a 1,000-hp Miata doesn't sound hilarious. A Hellephant engine in a Miata may not even be possible but we'd love to see it become a reality.