The Hellephant makes a triumphant return, and is joined by the new HurriCrate engines.
Dodge and Mopar have always aimed to provide power-hungry customers with an enviable array of modifications, stylish accessories, and even crate engines. The Dodge Hellcrate motor, for example, allowed customers to rejuvenate their old Challenger or Charger muscle cars. What's more, it reinforced the automaker's reputation as a performance-loving brand.
At SEMA 2022, the company announced two new crate engines: the Hellephant engine has made a return, and is joined by the new HurriCrate powerplant, which is based upon the new Hurricane six-cylinder mill (pictured below).
Let's kick off with the Hellephant family, which Dodge describes as the "most powerful lineup of GEN III Hemi-powered cast iron and aluminum engines to date."
Direct Connection's Hellephant engines now feature a 3.0-liter IHI supercharger and the aforementioned GEN III engine block, that has been designed to run on both premium or E85 fuel. Initially available with 1,000-horsepower, Direct Connection has expanded its offerings with three new versions to cater to a wider audience.
The new lineup of engines is labeled according to their engine block material ("A" for aluminum, "C" for cast iron), which is followed by fuel type - "30" for premium fuel (E15 max) or "170" for E85 fuel. As such, there are four options for individuals to choose from.
The A30 crate engine uses a 426 cubic-inch (7.0-liter) bored and stroked aluminum block with 4340 H-beam rods. The forged aluminum pistons and 3.17-inch supercharger pulley provide 1,000 hp on premium fuel.
Thanks to an uprated fuel system (and flex-fuel capabilities), the A170 delivers 1,100 horsepower with E85 fuel. The new C30 motor, as explained, uses an upgraded 376 cubic-inch cast-iron long block and a 3.0-liter supercharger. Aside from improvements to the valve train, there's a larger throttle body, upgraded hardware, and stronger rods and pistons. This engine produces up to 900 hp.
The C170, which can run on E85 fuel, is capable of delivering more than 1,000 horses. The C30 and C170 also boast additional improvements, including upgraded cylinder heads and upgraded crank dampers, amongst other things.
The entirely new HurriCrate engines provide comparable performance to a naturally aspirated V8, says Dodge. The twin-turbo powerplant is also offered with varying output levels, with the HurriCrate Cat 1 delivering 420 hp and 468 lb-ft of torque. The Cat 3 version is more muscular, with 550 hp and 531 lb-ft. A racing variant, the HurriCrate Cat X, is in the cards for the future, along with a Drag Pak.
The six-cylinder HurriCrate utilizes high-flow turbochargers for improved throttle response, high-pressure direct fuel injection, Plasma Transfer Wire Arc-coated cylinder bores for a low-friction wear surface, and water-cooled dual exhaust manifolds.
Both Cat 1 and Cat 3 versions are turbocharged, but the more powerful engine utilizes Garrett turbochargers with 26 psi of peak boost. The lesser variant has 22 psi of boost and a single high-pressure direct injection, as opposed to the Cat 3's dual setup.
"We're bringing the Hellephant back and adding new HurriCrate engines to augment the Direct Connection lineup with two new families of crate engines. The demand from enthusiasts for performance parts for the street and strip continues to grow, and Direct Connection will continue...to feed it," said company CEO Tim Kuniskis.
But that's not all Dodge is offering on the crate engine front. Details remain scant, but the automaker has said it will introduce the 1,500-hp Direct Connection 1500 Hemi Crate Engine. This immensely powerful option produces 1,000 lb-ft of torque and comes courtesy of DSR Performance.
Elsewhere, Dodge has announced the return of Roadkill Nights for 2023, representing the eighth edition of the celebrated series. The 2023 iteration will see competitors create a Dodge or Plymouth drag racer with the new HurriCrate Series engine.
Those at SEMA will be able to get up close and personal with the Last Call Charger and Challenger models. Six of the special edition vehicles will be present, and all are set to cause a stir amongst traditional fans. These rarities will never be repeated, as 2023 is the last year Dodge will offer a V8.
All mentioned power figures as based on preliminary estimates.