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Mopar reimagines 1968 Dodge Charger with modernized 1,000-hp 'Super Charger' concept

Dodge and Mopar set out to wow the crowds at the 2018 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 -- and boy did they ever with the one-off 1968 Dodge "Super Charger" Concept. The stealthy muscle car, excitingly faithful to the original design language, features modern elements from the current Dodge Charger SRT and Challenger SRT lineup to showcase the new 1,000-hp "Hellephant" 426 Supercharged Mopar Crate HEMI V8 engine and kit. There's some Dodge Viper in there too.

The car is a glorious mashup of new car parts, technologies, and design all pulled together in a way that is simultaneously nostalgic and contemporary. Plus it flat-out looks cool.

The "updated classic" ride pushes all that horsepower to the pavement through a stock T-6060 manual six-speed Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat transmission.

The custom "De Grigio" Grey Metallic classic 1968 Dodge Charger, which is marking its 50th anniversary in 2018, feeds the "Hellephant" fresh air through a supersized hood scoop modeled on one from the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The hood features fiberglass construction on the outside with inner-steel construction inside carried over from the original vehicle.

VIDEO: Joe Dehner, Head of Mopar Design, gives an overview of the design and inspiration for the 1968 Dodge "Super Charger" Concept.

The 1968 Charger's pop-up headlamp design has been redesigned to place Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat headlamps permanently behind the grille, and the original's door handles and drip rails are shaved away, creating a clean, streamlined appearance. Front door vent windows are removed and replaced with a one-piece side glass, but the 1971 Duster mirrors add to the throwback appearance.

The 1968 Dodge Super Charger Concept assumes a wide body stance thanks to front and rear fiberglass wheel flares painted the "De Grigio" Grey Metallic body color. The front wheels push forward 2 in. to accommodate the flares and shorten the Charger's overhang, extending the classic's wheelbase from 117 in. to 119 in.

Front wheels are stock 20- x 11-in. Devil's rims pulled from the Challenger SRT Hellcat, while the rears are upsized 21- x 12-in. custom-milled aluminum Devil's wheels. The body drops 2.5 in. in the rear and 3.5 in. in the front to aggressively hug the pavement. Six-piston Brembos deliver decisive stopping power -- a clear advantage over the original 1968 brakes.

Custom fiberglass front and rear bumpers are flushed up and shortened cross-car to provide an integrated design. The custom fiberglass front chin splitter takes influence from the Demon, while the custom rear spoiler is inspired by the modern Charger R/T.

The trunk key cylinder lock is shaved, and the Satin Black fuel door embellished with a custom-milled aluminum "Hellephant" medallion, one of many unique design touches incorporated throughout the "Super Charger" Concept. Vehicle graphics and badging are Satin Black vinyl decals, including the "Hellephant" logo on the front fenders, "Super Charger" badging above the doors, and classic tail stripes at the rear.

It looks like the Product Design Office (PDO) team let their imaginations run wild at the tail of the '68 Charger. The lower exhaust tips are eliminated and replaced with Alfa Romeo Stelvio 5-in. dual-walled exhaust tips re-engineered to run through the taillamp housing. The brake lights have been uniquely reconfigured with LED lights that glow around the exhaust tips.

Inside, door panels and interior trim are Satin Black with the unique "Hellephant" milled medallion applied on the upper door panels. A Dodge Viper steering wheel also carries the "Hellephant" medallion at its center. The instrument panel insert is "De Grigio" Grey Metallic body color, and the dash is customized with a full array of Mopar gauges.

The body-color center console holds a manual shifter from the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, as well as the ignition button and toggle switches for the headlamps, wipers, fog lights, and hazard lights. The stock front seats have been replaced with Dodge Viper seats re-wrapped in Alcantara leather and accented with red stitching -- and are fitted with four-point Sabelt black racing harnesses.

The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon "seat delete" option opens up the rear and also sheds weight while making space for a custom 2-in. roll cage designed to follow the profile and harmonize with the shape of the day light opening (DLO). A Challenger SRT Demon net allows for storage of racing equipment such as helmets and gloves. A black Challenger SRT Hellcat carpet covers the rear of the interior, while the front features custom floor mats modified from the current Charger SRT and Mopar pedal kits for the Challenger.

The "Hellephant" engine hits the 1,000-hp mark via bulked-up displacement, with 4.0 in. of stroke and bore specs at 4.125 in. An improved supercharger with a high-efficiency rotor is mounted on the all-aluminum block, which provides huge weight savings to keep the "Hellephant" light. The all-aluminum block, used in Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak race vehicles that dominated the 2018 NHRA Factory Stock Showdown class, was configured for the street in close collaboration with Mopar and engineers from the motorsports world.

The complete engine assembly includes a water pump, flywheel, front sump oil pan, supercharger with throttle body, fuel injectors, and coil packs. The first-ever 1,000-hp crate engine assembly offered by an OEM can be paired with the Mopar "Hellephant" 426 Supercharged Mopar Crate HEMI Engine Kit as a relatively simple plug-and-play option for experienced installers. The engine assembly and kit are designed for installation on pre-1976 street and off-road vehicles.

Additional features of the "Hellephant" 426 Supercharged Mopar Crate HEMI engine include valve covers imported from the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye and valve train, valves, locks, and retainers pulled from the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The engine build includes a special high-lift cam, as well as custom-forged pistons.

The "Hellephant" 426 Supercharged Mopar Crate HEMI engine assembly and kit will be available in the first quarter of 2019. For more information, visit

Sources: FCA North America, Dodge, Mopar

Published November 2018

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