2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV Trackhawk is powered by the supercharged V8 Hellcat engine. For the price of a small new car, you can obtain an aftermarket version of the ferocious Hellcat.


Fiat-Chrysler’s Mopar parts division recently announced it would be selling a "crate" version of its 707-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged "Hellcat" V8 engine to help sate the appetites of power-hungry, latter-day hot-rod drivers.

Dubbed the "Hellcrate," this is the same engine that powers the Hellcat versions of the full-size Dodge Challenger coupe and Charger sedan, and the new-for-2018 Trackhawk rendition of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV.

To be sure, these Hellcat-infused models have generated much of the automaker’s positive press the last two years, and FCA is understandably unleashing the engine on the aftermarket to further cash in on its good vibes.

The Mopar 6.2-liter Crate HEMI Engine, as it’s officially called, is being sold along with a Hellcrate HEMI Engine Kit that includes additional componentry such as a powertrain control module, power distribution center, engine wiring harness, chassis harness, accelerator pedal, ground jumper, oxygen sensors, charge air temperature sensors and fuel pump control module.

The powertrain control module is unlocked and loaded to allow the full factory 707- horsepower calibration.

But that’s not all, an essential Front End Accessory Kit is also necessary for successful installation, and it comes with among other items an alternator, power steering pump, belts, and pulley.

"Never before has a supercharged, factory-direct 707-horsepower crate engine kit been offered, and we are proud to be the first to deliver a solution enthusiasts have demanded," says Pietro Gorlier, FCA’s head of parts and service. "This ultimate powertrain option fits the needs of owners and fans who demand iconic performance."

Mopar says the Hellcrate HEMI is optimized for use with manual transmissions — the company recommends the Tremec Magnum transmission kit.

In production, only the Dodge Challenger Hellcat can be fitted with a manual, and in fact it’s a Tremec TR-6060 with a ZF-Sachs 258 MM Twin-Disc Clutch. Most Challenger and all Charger Hellcats put all 707 horses to the pavement via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, albeit one that allows manual control via paddle shifters or the gear selector.

In a production version of the Dodge Challenger, the Hellcat supercharged V8 is good for a 0-60 mph sprint in around three and a half seconds (with the automatic gearbox), an 11.2-second quarter mile, and a highly illegal top speed of 199 mph.

But don’t think you’ll be able to wrench a 707-horsepower motor into the old family car or 4X4, as the Hellcrate is “only intended to be used in pre-1976 street and off-road vehicles.”

According to an FCA spokesperson this is due to emissions-related issues. Still, we suspect some ambitious individuals may throw caution to the wind and retrofit this outrageous engine into some unexpected rides both new and old. Anyone want to see a Hellcat engine jammed under the hood of a Jeep Wrangler?

Infusing an existing vintage ride with Hellcrate muscle will cost a thrust-crazed enthusiast $18,530 for the engine and another $2,195 for the required engine kit.

And that, of course, does not include installation. To that end, the package includes in-depth information sheets with what the release terms "helpful installation tips and requirements."

At that, this would not be a project for the average automotive tinkerer. Swapping out engines is clearly not for anyone other than a professional technician or at the least, a well-accomplished (and well-outfitted) alley mechanic.

Fortunately, when purchased together the Crate HEMI Engine and Engine Kit are backed with a factory three-year/unlimited mileage warranty.