Dodge launches SRT Demon 170 V8 as crate engine

Want to build your own 1,025hp, Hemi-powered something? The Challenger 6.2 will cost less than $30k…

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, 1 November 2023 / Loading comments

Over here, engine swaps tend to be relatively tame. A Rover V8 in an old sports car, perhaps, or a spicy K Series in a Metro for those more courageous. Maybe a 3.0-litre turbo Impreza for something different. In America, as with most things, the approach to donor engines is that bigger is always better. Which is why Dodge, having previously made its standard Hellcat supercharged V8 available through the Direct Connection catalogue, is now adding the Hellephant motor to its crate engine line up. You know, the one with more than 1,000hp. For buyers to do whatever they want with. Bear in mind companies like Ringbrothers had already made the 707hp version of the 6.2 work in an original Charger – the possibilities are considerable. And berserk. 

For $27,695 (£22,800), buyers will receive a fully assembled Hellephant C170 supercharged crate Hemi engine, complete with 3.0-litre IHI ‘charger, 3.02-inch pulley for loadsa boost and a 105mm throttle body – all the component upgrades from the production model, basically. This is exactly the same 1,025hp V8 as used in the Challenger SRT Demon 170, available to order from the Littlewoods for lunatics as of Q1 2024. God bless America – and the Dodge Direct Connection catalogue.

That’s not the only addition announced in this SEMA week, either, as the 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight six that took the place of the old 6.4-litre Hemi is also available to buy. The Hurricane has now become – you’ve guessed it – the Hurricrate, and while it’s currently only being sold by DC as a long block (rather than a fully dressed crate motor), there’s considerable potential. With two low-inertia turbos, high pressure direct injection and cylinder bores coated  with ‘Plasma Transfer Wire Arc’ for least possible friction, the most potent Hurricrate can churn out up to 550hp and 531lb ft. Which is pretty punchy – BMW M’s own 3.0-litre S58 straight six is rated at up to 550hp and 479lb ft from the factory. While the inline configuration isn’t as space efficient as a vee, it isn’t hard to see why a 3.0-litre of such potency might appeal – especially when priced from $8,995. 

“The Dodge Direct Connection portfolio continues to expand since its relaunch in March 2022,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge CEO. “New Direct Connection Long Blocks, as well as the availability of the Direct Connection C170 Crate Engine in early 2024, join new initiatives recently announced, such as more than 20 new co-branded premium car detailing and car wash products under the Direct Connection/Jay Leno’s Garage banner. Even more growth for Direct Connection is in store for 2024.” Suffice it to say the off-the-shelf V8s are a little more interesting than Jay Leno wash ‘n’ wax, and we’re rather more excited about what’s coming than the boss sounds. Though with production of the Challenger now winding up, the C170 really must be as extreme as the crate motors will get. But three times the power of a Supra ought to be enough to be getting along with…

  • Stellantis definitely not done with engines yet
  • Dodge unveils 1,025hp Challenger SRT Demon 170

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