Four years ago, Dodge showed up at SEMA with a thousand-horsepower crate engine that you could just buy off the shelf. Well, assuming you knew exactly which shelf to look at, and exactly when it would be stocked, because that whole aisle emptied out in a matter of days. Now, though, the Hellephant is back — and it’s brought some friends and siblings along with it.
The Hellephant has expanded into a four-engine family, making between 900 and 1,100 horsepower depending on the spec. But, for its big return, it’s bringing another member of the Stellantis stable to the Direct Connection store: Two variants of the new twin-turbo six-cylinder, dubbed the HurriCrate. Never not on brand, I guess.
Hellephant buyers can pick one of two options each for two different criteria, making a sort of Punnett square of engines. It can be had with a cast-iron or aluminum block, and prepped for pump gas or flex fuel. Oddly, the cast-iron block has considerably lower displacement than its aluminum brother — a mere 376 cubic inches to the aluminum’s 426. All wear a three-liter supercharger, though boost numbers and pulley sizes change between options.
HurriCrate loyalists get a mere two options, each named for a type of climate change-influenced natural disaster: the Cat 1 and Cat 3. This naming scheme leaves two, four, and five open, so don’t be surprised if those spots in the lineup are eventually filled. The Cat 1 gets two turbochargers, pushing 22 lbs of boost through a water-to-air intercooler setup. The block’s 10.4:1 compression ratio seems oddly high for a boosted engine, particularly one with cast pistons, but perhaps the liquid cooling can really prevent engine knock at that kind of load.
The Cat 3 upgrades to Garrett turbos making 26 psi at their peak (no brand is given for those on the Cat 1), as well as forged pistons. Compression drops to a more traditional 9.5:1, and the fuel injection and intercooling systems are revamped. The Cat 1 claims 420 horsepower, blaze it, while the Cat 3 bumps the number up to 550.
Pricing has yet to be released, though Stellantis promises firmer numbers in 2023. If that Cat 3 comes at a reasonable price, maybe we’ll finally begin to see the end of 2JZ Supremacy in the tuner scene. Or, at least, we’ll see a competitor to the venerable B58.