Corvette hits 200 mph on Texas highway (legally)
The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 debuts in Detroit this January and won't go on sale for months, but John Hennessey has already stamped his own version in Texas.
The Houston tuner, who had police shut down a highway last year so he could blast to 220 mph in one of his turbocharged Cadillacs, has done it again in a modified Corvette Stingray.
Like last time, Hennessey's reasoning was to "test" the electronic toll readers on a stretch of highway, this time on the Houston Grand Parkway. Apparently, if you're John Hennessey, you can convince the Texas State Police to shut down miles of public road, stage a multi-camera video shoot with a helicopter and promote your new 603-horsepower Corvette all in one day.
That, right there, is a man living his life.
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Hennessey claims his HPE600 Corvette is the first C7 Corvette to hit 200 mph (a Racelogic GPS recorder read 200.6 mph), which is probably true considering the C7 has only been on sale in limited quantities for a few months. The stock Corvette pushes 460 horsepower, zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and an estimated 190 mph top speed. Not too shabby.
Hennessey upgrades bring the car to 603 horsepower, zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and at least 200 mph on the top end. Hennessey hasn't turbocharged the V8 — he'll undoubtedly launch a twin-turbo version later with more than 1,000 horsepower — and instead installed a custom camshaft, stainless steel headers, high-flow cylinder heads and ECU tweaks. The suspension, brakes and everything else is stock. Only 100 will be built for 2014, although a price hasn't been announced. The photos from the highway run on his company website are amusing, to say the least. The video is terrifying.
We don't know what the 2015 Corvette Z06 will bring. The previous C6 Z06 had 505 horsepower, so it'll have to top that. Chevrolet is keeping the details secret until launch next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Earlier this year, Hennessey took his Venom GT — a stretched and widened Lotus Elise with a 1244-horsepower V8 — and set a Guinness World Record for reaching 300 kph (186 mph) in 13.63 seconds, besting the Swedish-made Koenigsegg Agera R by almost a full second. By unofficial record, the Venom GT smoked the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport to 200 mph by nearly eight seconds.
In April Hennessey reached 265.7 mph in the Venom GT, claiming title to the world's fastest production car — angering Bugatti, which had been stripped of the record due to a technicality, and the fact that Hennessey was only selling a few dozen or so cars. That same month, Bugatti took the title back after Guinness changed its rules.
Bear in mind these stunts are all considered part of Hennessey's day job. Any openings down there?