When the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 arrives next year, it will be the most powerful factory-built road car from General Motors, ever. The new LT5 delivers 755 horsepower and 715lb-ft of torque, making it one of the most powerful production engines in the world and the second most power engine from an American automaker, trailing only the supercharged V8 in the new Dodge Demon. This power will make the new C7 ZR1 one of the quickest and fastest production road cars in the world, but being one of the most powerful, one of the quickest and one of the fastest just won’t be enough for some Corvette ZR1 buyers.
Some new ZR1 owners will want lots more power, and that is where aftermarket companies like Hennessey Performance come into play. As is often the case, John Hennessey’s crew is the first to offer up a high performance package for the new LT5-powered ZR1 and with as much as 1,200 horsepower – these are some serious upgrade packages.
To be exact, HPE is offering three performance upgrade packages for the C7 Corvette ZR1, with outputs of 850hp, 1,000hp and 1,200hp. Today, we bring you a look at that 1,200hp ZR1 setup.
The HPE1200 Corvette ZR1
The Hennessey HPE850 and HPE1000 packages for the new Corvette ZR1 build on the stock LT5 engine, but the HPE1200 starts by removing the 6.2L engine block and replacing it with a 7.0L unit. That engine features aluminum pistons, forged steel connecting rods, a forged stroker crank (hence the extra displacement), a custom camshaft, ported LT5 cylinder heads, long tube headers, a full high performance exhaust system with catalytic convertors and – most importantly – HPE’s “high flow supercharger system”. There are no details on this supercharger, but we can bet that it is a large displacement unit fitted with a beefed up intercooler system.
That engine build affords the HPE1200 Corvette ZR1 1,200 horsepower and 1,066lb-ft of torque at the crankshaft, which Hennessey claims will allow the Chevy supercar to dash from 0-60 in just 2.2 seconds en route to a quarter mile time of just 9.2 seconds at 147 miles per hour – as well as a top speed of 230 miles per hour.
These are Preliminary, Estimated Numbers
Whenever we cover anything from Hennessey, critics of the Texas-based tuned are quick to come out of the woodward to badmouth the company for one reason or another. In this case, the naysayers will point out that there are no new LT5s on the road yet, so how could HPE have possibly built and tested one already?
My guess is that they haven’t, but they have built enough high performance Corvette engines in the past few years to have a good idea of what kind of power they can get from a build. With that in mind, it is likely that the power numbers are estimated, but I would guess that these are numbers that the HPE team knows that they can get from a 7.0L V8 with a gigantic blower.
Along the same lines, the 0-60, quarter mile and top speed are likely based on other high performance C7 Corvettes with comparable power, but we can expect that once HPE has built at least one HPE1200 Corvette ZR1 – there will be full information and maybe even a video.