Despite a relatively enormous $30,000 price tag, Mopar’s 1,000-horsepower supercharged Hellephant crate engine sold out in just 48 hours. Some enthusiasts may have missed out on the crazy engine due to lack of funds, or they just assumed there would still be some Hellephants down the line. But worry not, swap-happy gearheads. There are plenty of V8s in the world to pick from, and we highlighted four favorites. They’re not as powerful, but they’re all cheaper, and still have a lot to offer.
Mopar 6.2L Hellcrate
Odds are a lot of prospective Hellephant buyers were Mopar fans to begin with, so we’ll start the list with the next-most-potent offering: the Hellcrate. This is the same supercharged 6.2-liter V8 found under the hood of the Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcats and the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. It makes 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque like those cars, too. It’s also about $10,000 cheaper than the Hellephant engine at $20,020, and that leftover money can be used to finish the project or for aftermarket upgrades to get it closer to the Hellephant’s output.
GM LS9 6.2L
The Hellcrate isn’t the only factory supercharged crate engine on the market. From General Motors comes the supercharged 6.2-liter LS9 V8. This is the engine that was used in the C6 Corvette ZR1. At 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque, it doesn’t make as much power or torque as the Hellcrate. But it does boast a dry sump oil system. So instead of pumping oil out of a pan at the bottom, the engine uses an oil tank mounted remotely that pumps oil into the engine.
Ford Aluminator 5.2XS
Our pick from the Blue Oval lacks a supercharger, but it makes up for that with a flat-plane crank. Yes, the Aluminator 5.2XS is very similar to the 5.2-liter engine found under the hood of the Shelby GT350 Mustang. The difference is that this version is actually better. Due to a few changes including the use of a Cobra Jet intake manifold and throttle body, revised cam profiles and different connecting rods, pistons and head bolts, it makes 580 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque.
GM LS7 7.0L
Before there was the GT350 and the Aluminator engine, there was the C6 Z06, Camaro Z/28 and the LS7 engine. Though the Aluminator and the GT350’s Voodoo engines eclipse the LS7 in revs and power, the GM engine’s 505 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque and 7,000 rpm redline are still impressive. It’s an engine that at least one of our editors still fantasizes about today. It also brings a dry sump oil system to the table like the LS9. To sweeten the deal, it’s the most affordable of the engines on our list at $13,293.28. We’re not entirely sure why GM decided to price it down to the penny, but we don’t really care with this classic power plant.