Dodge has just introduced new supercharged and turbocharged options to boost the brand’s ever-growing Direct Connection performance parts lineup. Starting today, two new series of crate engines will be available for the street and the drag strip: the HELLEPHANT and HurriCrate series engines.
Dodge is showcasing both of its new engine lineups, as well as additional Direct Connection products, at the brand’s display area at the 2022 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas.
The Direct Connection supercharged HELLEPHANT series of crate engines boast the most powerful lineup of GEN III HEMI®-powered cast iron and aluminum engines to date, ranging from approximately 900 to over 1,100 horsepower, based on preliminary estimates.
The all-new HurriCrate series of crate engines will offer a lineup that includes a Cat 1 (a play on the classification of Hurricanes) crate engine that delivers up to 420 horsepower and a Cat 3 engine that reaches up to 550 horsepower, based on preliminary estimates.
Direct Connection is also expanding its line of officially licensed parts, with the introduction of the 1,500 horsepower and 1,000 lb.-ft. Direct Connection 1500 HEMI Crate Engine offered by longtime partner DSR Performance.
“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 be there to feed it,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge CEO. “Since Direct Connection first launched back in March our performance parts line continues to evolve, backed by the factory and by our network of Dodge Power Brokers dealers.”
Direct Connection HELLEPHANT Engine Series –
Direct Connection’s family of HELLEPHANT engines all feature a 3.0-liter IHI supercharger and GEN III HEMI engine block available in cast iron or aluminum, which are designed for either premium or E85 fuel. Expanding from the original 1,000-horsepower supercharged 7.0-liter (426 cubic inch) HELLEPHANT HEMI V8 crate engine, Direct Connection will offer three new variants with upgraded hardware and fuel systems to maximize power output.
The new lineup of high-horsepower Direct Connection crate engines will launch with a new naming convention that indicates engine block material (cast iron or aluminum) and fuel type. Each engine name begins with an “A” or “C,” for aluminum or cast-iron block respectively, followed by a numeric representation of fuel type — “30” for premium fuel (E15 max) or “170” for E85 fuel — with numbers corresponding to the alcohol content “proof” in the recommended fuel type.
The HELLEPHANT lineup of four crate engines includes:
- A30 Crate Engine: Formally known as the HELLEPHANT 426 Supercharged HEMI crate engine, the A30 makes use of a 426 cubic-inch bored and stroked GEN III HEMI aluminum block and features 4340 H-beam rods with forged aluminum pistons and 3.17-inch supercharger pulley to achieve 1,000 horsepower on premium fuel
- A170 Crate Engine: Building on the performance of the A30 with an upgraded fuel system with flex-fuel capability, the A170 delivers over 1,100 horsepower with E85 fuel, based on preliminary estimates
- C30 Crate Engine: This new entry in the HELLEPHANT lineup starts with an upgraded 376 cubic-inch cast-iron long block and features a 3.0-liter IHI supercharger with a larger throttle body, stronger rods, pistons, upgraded hardware, and an improved valvetrain to produce approximately 900 horsepower on premium fuel, based on preliminary estimates
- C170 Crate Engine: Building on the performance of the C30 with an upgraded fuel system and flex-fuel capability, the C170 will deliver over 1,000 horsepower with E85 fuel, based on preliminary estimates
The C30 and C170 HELLEPHANT Series crate engines include several upgrades to optimize cylinder pressure capability and deliver maximum performance on premium or E85 fuel configurations. Highlighted features for the C30 and C170 crate engines include:
- New 3.0-liter IHI supercharger with improved intercooler, larger snout, and a 3.02-inch pulley for increased boost
- 105mm throttle body with new housing, blade, shaft, and geartrain for increased airflow
- Upgraded cylinder heads with upgraded valve guide and seat material
- Upgraded pistons with top land cutback to improve combustion sealing
- Upgraded connecting rods with new material and revised bushing material to support increased combustion pressure
- Main and rod-bearing material upgraded to copper-lead for increased load capability
- Upgraded crank damper to absorb torsional impacts due to increased combustion pressure
- Improved head and main cap fasteners for increased clamp load capability
- Billet steel main caps for improved strength
- Ethanol sensor and upgraded fuel rail and injectors for improved fuel flow to support E85 fuel (C170)
Direct Connection HurriCrate Engine Series –
The all-new Direct Connection HurriCrate Series engines are derived from the 3.0-liter Hurricane twin-turbo engine. The Hurricane named one of Ward’s 10-Best Engines and Propulsion Systems for 2022, delivers more horsepower, more torque, and fewer emissions than many naturally aspirated V8s, offering resto-mod builders and racers a technologically advanced, high-power density crate engine solution.
The HurriCrate series of crate engines employs state-of-the-art engineering and technologies that include two low-inertia, high-flow turbochargers for rapid response to throttle inputs, Plasma Transfer Wire Arc (spray bore) coating in the cylinder bores for an ultra-thin, low-friction wear surface, and high-pressure direct fuel injection.
The HurriCrate engine series features options based on the desired level of performance. The HurriCrate Cat 1 crate engine offers up to 420 horsepower, while the HurriCrate Cat 3 delivers up to 550 horsepower, based on preliminary estimates. The Cat 1 utilizes the inherent torque advantage of the Hurricane engine’s twin-turbo inline six-cylinder design to deliver 468 Ib.-ft. of torque by 2,500 rpm, while the Cat 3 delivers its max 531 lb.-ft. of torque at just 3,500 rpm.
Plans for a racing variant, the HurriCrate Cat X crate engine, are currently under development for race applications, including a future Drag Pak.
Cat 1 Crate Engine Highlights:
- Twin-turbocharged with liquid charge-air cooling turbos delivers 22 psi of peak boost
- Cast aluminum pistons with cast iron top ring land insert
- 10.4:1 compression ratio with premium fuel recommended
- Single high-pressure direct fuel injection with pump actuated by a dedicated chain-driven shaft
- Engine-mounted water-to-air charge cooler with a dedicated cooling circuit with a single inlet
Cat 3 Crate Engine Highlights:
- Twin Garrett turbochargers with liquid charge-air cooling turbos deliver 26 psi of peak boost
- Enhanced performance is delivered by lightweight, oil-jet cooled, forged aluminum pistons with an anodized top ring land and a diamond-like coating (DLC) on the pins to minimize friction
- A 9.5:1 compression ratio with premium fuel recommended
- Dual high-pressure direct fuel injection with pumps actuated by a dedicated chain-driven shaft
- Engine-mounted water-to-air charge cooler with a dedicated cooling circuit with dual inlet
Additional HurriCrate engine series highlights include:
- Two low-inertia, high-flow turbochargers, each feeding three cylinders, for rapid response to throttle inputs
- Plasma Transfer Wire Arc (PTWA) coating in the cylinder bores for an ultra-thin, low-friction wear surface
- Dual overhead camshafts with wide-range, fully independent variable valve timing
- Dual water-cooled exhaust manifolds integrated into the cylinder head
HELLEPHANT and HurriCrate series crate engine horsepower and torque specifications are preliminary estimates Full details on the HELLEPHANT and HurriCrate series of crate engines, including pricing, availability, and final specifications, will be announced in 2023.