Dodge Direct Connection Offers Complete Kit To Build A 1,100-HP Drag Racer

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And it looks cheaper than most alternatives, although you will still have to shell out around $200,000.

Dodge will eventually go fully electric, but before it gets there, it's celebrating internal combustion like no other automotive manufacturer out there. In addition to giving the standard Charger and Challenger a few final-year updates, it will also be selling several Final Call models to commemorate the death of the V8 engine.

But just when you think Dodge is done making ICE announcements, it goes ahead and introduces new crate engines as part of the brand's growing Direct Connection performance parts lineup.

As you might have read, Direct Connection is introducing a new series of upgraded Hellephant engines. This new lineup of crate engines is launching with a new naming convention that indicates engine block material. We cover all of this in the introductory article, but for the purposes of this missive, we'll stick to the A170 Crate Engine.


The A170 builds on the A30, the engine formerly known as the Hellephant, complete with a 3.0-liter supercharger. That means a 426 cubic-inch bored and stroked third-generation HEMI aluminum block with 4340 H-beam rods with forged aluminum pistons and a 3.17-inch supercharger pulley.

The A170 gains an upgraded fuel system with flex-fuel capability and delivers over 1,100 horsepower with E85 fuel. The last run of Hellephant crate engines produced 1000 hp and 950 lb-ft of torque.

Dodge made some substantial upgrades to the C30 and C170 Hellephant Series crate engines, and you can read all about those in the article we referred to in the opening. The idea here was to explore previous announcements made by Dodge regarding Direct Connection, and we think it's entirely possible to build an NHRA-ready drag car using the C170 and the NHRA-approved rolling chassis.


The rolling chassis made its debut in August, and it retails for $89,999, while the Dodge Challenger body-in-white kit costs an additional $22,995. The chassis is rated for a 7.5-second quarter mile and comes standard with a four-link rear suspension, Drak Pak-specific Bilstein coil-over shocks, Strange Engineering nine-inch back end, Strange Pro Series II racing brakes, and Weld beadlock lightweight wheels with Mickey Thompson drag racing tires.

At the time, Dodge said that a powertrain, driveline, and engine management solution were not included to give the customers more freedom, but this Hellephant setup is the one to choose if you want ultimate performance.

The final power figures and pricing will only be announced next year, but we can already estimate how costly it will be to build an eight-second car using stuff purchased from the Direct Connection online store.

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The previous Hellephant 425 Supercharged Crate engine is still available on the website, retailing for roughly $30,000. Looking at Dodge's changes, we estimate a C170 will cost approximately $7,000 to $10,000 more. Let's go for $40k, if only because it's a nice round figure.

We set up a shopping list, and here's what you'll need: the $90,000 rolling chassis, the $22,995 7.50 Body Kit (complete with NHRA-certified roll cage and lightweight parts), a $16,095 electrical and fuel kit, the $6,495 Interior Kit, and the $6,695 Racetech Head Restraint Performance Seat Kit.

The best gearbox for the task appears to be the Tremec TUET11009 Magnum six-speed, which can handle up to 1,200 hp. The entire package, including everything you need, retails for $7,422.00.


Add all the above together, and you get roughly $300 shy of $190,000. As with all car builds, you can add at least another 40% for all the stuff that will inevitably go wrong.

We did some research online, and there doesn't appear to be a set price for how much it costs to build a car to compete in the Super Stock class. The lowest figure we could find was $200,000, going up to $275,000, which makes this new Dodge kit seem relatively affordable.

You can go this route or opt for the 1970 Dodge Charger body made entirely from carbon fiber. It's made by Finale Speed but is part of Direct Connection's online offerings. You'll look hella cool, but be prepared to pay $200,000 for the body alone before you rip out the standard supercharged 6.2-liter Dodge Hellcat crate engine and replace it with the upgraded Hellephant engine.


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