Hennessey Chevrolet Corvette hits 205mph

The C8 Corvette has only just hit showrooms, but Hennessey Performance is already turning it up

It should come as no surprise, but Texas-based tuner Hennessey Performance has been eyeing the all-new mid-engined C8 Corvette for upgrades since the car’s inception. Though video footage of its twin-turbo set-up surfaced earlier this year, it has now managed to break the 200mph barrier without a turbo in sight.

Thanks to the addition of a new, less restrictive stainless steel exhaust system and a healthy dose of Nitrous Oxide, Hennessey extracted 641bhp from the model’s 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8, up a substantial 146bhp over standard. Though top speed sits at 194mph from the factory, 205.1mph was the figure the tuner achieved on an eight-mile oval at the Continental Tire Proving Grounds in Texas.

> New Chevrolet Corvette C8 review – America's sports car has turned supercar

As if this wasn’t enough, Hennessey has plans to push the C8 even further, to hypercar-beating numbers. Having sourced an early car, the tuner has already managed to shoehorn a pair of turbochargers behind its rear bumper and testing is well under way. Though currently restricted to the limits of the factory ECU, initial dyno runs on 5 psi of boost recorded an increase of 177bhp and 119lb ft of torque over standard, for a total output of 643bhp and 570lb ft of torque.

Future plans are to reach a staggering 1200bhp, however, with the reinforcement of the LT2 powerplant and factory dual-clutch gearbox. The HPE1200 Twin Turbo C8 Corvette is set to feature a host of forged components to aid the longevity of the engine, including new aluminium pistons, steel connecting rods and more. 

For those that don’t feel the need for twice the power of a McLaren 600LT, Hennessey is also planning to offer a supercharger kit once tuners crack the ECU, turning the new Corvette to a comparatively-sensible 700bhp. Estimated performance figures haven’t been provided, but should the power not be turned solely to tyre smoke, it’s safe to say the fettled C8s will be rather brisk. 

Aside from modifications to the powertrain, a handful of new carbonfibre components will be added to the exterior for more aggression, including a front splitter and a new rear wing. Hennessey will also add uprated Brembo brakes, adjustable Penske suspension and a new wheel and tyre setup. 

Company founder, John Hennessey, said: ‘We expect the new C8 Corvette to be an excellent platform from which our clients can further personalize their cars. Over the past several months we have had hundreds of inquiries from C8 buyers wanting to know what we will be offering for the new Corvette. The customers are telling us what they want and big surprise – they want more power!’

Pricing for the power upgrade kits are yet to be revealed, but the first tuned car is set to roll out of Hennessey’s doors in 2020. 

> Chevrolet Corvette C8. R revealed at Kennedy Space Centre

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