The 7 Cars We Want To See With a Hellephant Swap
Time to Hellephant all the thingsby Jonathan Lopez, on
In case you were unaware, FCA stole the show this year at SEMA. The big headline was the Hellephant, a 1,000-horsepower monster that’s looking to curb stomp the competition as the most powerful crate engine ever offered by an OEM. We’re so excited about it that we decided to put together a list of cars that we think need a Hellephant under the hood, with entries ranging from the obvious to the slightly insane.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that the Hellephant is designed for either off-road applications or smog-exempt pre-1976 vehicles. Regardless, we’re sticking to our guns on this one in the hopes that one of you crazy wrench-turners gets inspired to create one of these wild beasts.
This one should be the most obvious recipient of the new Hellephant crate engine. After all, it was the Hellcat that spawned this latest wave of über-powered muscle cars we’ve been enjoying for the last few years.
Not that the Hellcat needs any more power.
After all, it already comes with a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 pumping out 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, which is enough for a run to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, a quarter mile time in the 10’s (with drag radials), and a top speed of 200 mph. That’s all well and good, but once you get locked into a serious power habit, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
Read our full review on the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
Although Dodge gave the Viper the axe in 2017, we think a Hellephant swap could breathe new life into this all-American performance hero.
Originally equipped with a massive 8.4-liter V-10, the last Viper produced upwards of 645 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, all of which was sent to the rear wheels by way of a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission. Properly motivated, the last Viper could sprint to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
Now imagine if that V-10 was swapped for a Hellephant. Suddenly, the massively wide rear tires would spin endlessly for grip, and the top end would rise from 206 mph to… well, something a lot higher. Not only that, but the Viper would suddenly have the power needed to challenge the latest crop of hypercars out there.
Of all the cars listed here, we think the Viper is the most deserving of a Hellphant swap.
Read our full review on the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR.
Best known for offering American-style luxury and presence at a relatively affordable price point, the Chrysler 300 has some pretty nice things going for it. The exterior is understated, while the interior is beset with all the good stuff you expect from the luxury sedan segment, like Apple CarPlay support and an 8.4-inch touchscreen. However, there is one glaring problem - the Chrysler 300 is slooow.
Even when equipped with the top-trim powertrain option, which includes a 5.7-liter V-8 making 363 horsepower, the 300 still takes 6.3 seconds to hit 60 mph, while top speed is a rather ho-hum 131 mph.
Now imagine stuffing 1,000 horsepower under the hood.
Suddenly, that sedate luxury sedan is a fire-breathing monster with enough muscle to scare even the baddest of Mercedes-AMG’s and BMW M’s. Talk about a sleeper!
Read our full review on the 2018 Chrysler 300.
Jeep just released the newly updated fourth-generation JL Wrangler last year, and as expected, the fan boys went nuts. It’s a totally understandable reaction. Not only does the JL keep all of the old model’s perks, like classic good looks, an open-body driving experience, and endless capability off the pavement, but it also brings a host of new stuff as well, like a more civil ride for, you know, actual roads, plus more comfort and tech bits in the cabin as well.
Providing motivation is a standard 3.6-liter V-6, which whips out as much as 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It’s a nice little package for off-roading duties, that much is sure, but when it comes to performance anywhere else, we feel it’s a bit lacking.
Our solution? Well, how about a supercharged V-8 behind that iconic grille?
After that, we’d raise the suspension a few feet, toss on 50-inch mud tires, then proceed to roll over everything in our path in true monster truck style.
Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking…
Sheesh, Lopez, now you’re just being ridiculous. Well, you might be right. Actually, you’re definitely right. But you know what else is ridiculous? A 1,000-horsepower crate engine, that’s what!
Now, the logistics of actually massaging a supercharged 7.0-liter V-8 into the same space as the Alfa’s stock turbo 1.7-liter four-banger might be… complicated, but as they say, with enough time and money, anything is possible. Just be careful when cutting into that carbon fiber to make it fit though, don’t wanna crack anything important. And no worries if the engine is sticking out over the roofline - it just looks more badass like that. Handling might suffer a little, but hey, with 1,000 horsepower, it doesn’t really matter, does it?
Read our full review on the 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider.
Charming, cute, adorable - these are the words usually used to describe the latest Fiat 500.
But what if we took all those adjectives, arranged them in a big pile, poured a few gallons of gas on them, then lit them on fire?
That’s the idea with this swap, anyway. Something to give the little city runabout a little more “zest” than what’s offered with the stock vehicle’s turbo 1.4-liter four-cylinder. Just for the sake of reference, the standard 500 makes 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque - nah. We’d rather have the heart of a Hellephant in this thing. Granted, making it work would probably involve a gutted 500 shell on top of a custom chassis, most likely with a RWD drivetrain and a lot of extra rubber. Did someone say “pop a wheelie?”
Read our full review of the 2017 Fiat 500.
|Note: Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat rendering pictured here.|
I’m afraid it’s only gonna get crazier from here, folks.
A few years back we mused over the possibility that FCA would drop the supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V-8 into its Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Unfortunately, nothing came of it, but we refuse to let the dream die, especially now that the Hellephant has arrived.
Look, we already got the rendering all squared away - just throw in some sharper angles, big wheels, and a decent spoiler off the roof in the rear. Then replace the comfy seats inside with some racing buckets, while the infotainment system gets spruced up with new performance gauges.
The only thing left is the powertrain. “Plug-and-play,” right? Shouldn’t be a problem.
The final result will be the talk of the school drop-off line, and I guarantee your kids won’t be ashamed to ride with you right up to the curb.
Hellephant all the things!