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With a toll road all to itself, Hennessey pushes its HPE600 Corvette Stingray past 200 mph

The stock 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a very nice car, but can it go 200 mph?

Hennessey Performance Engineering is never satisfied with stock, which is why less than a year after the C7 Corvette’s debut, the Texas tuner has pushed one past the double-century mark.

As with many of Hennessey’s high-speed shenanigans, the HPE600 Corvette stretched its legs on a closed section of Texas State Highway 99. That’s the brand-new toll road with an 85 mph speed limit, by the way.

The ‘Vette achieved 200.6 mph, as recorded by the highway’s RFID toll system. Clearly, toll dodging on this road is not a good idea.

The HPE600 package upgrades the 6.2-liter LT1 V8 with ported cylinder heads, a new camshaft, and retuned software. There’s also a freer-flowing exhaust system and the Texas test car had a 100-shot nitrous-oxide system from Nitrous Express just for good measure.

The result is a staggering 700 horsepower, compared to 460 hp for the stock Stingray. Hennessey said the increase in power was necessary, even though 200 mph is only about 20 mph faster than the stock car’s top speed. At high velocity, aerodynamic drag becomes a major issue.

If you saw The Fast and the Furious and think nitrous is just an invitation to have your car consumed in a ball of green flame, Hennessey also plans to offer an HPE700 upgrade package with a supercharger, which the company says will reliably get a Stingray past 200 mph.

If you want your barnstorming bow tie to have four doors, Hennessey also offers an HPE600 Chevrolet SS. It’s already achieved 164.2 mph, although Hennessey says it will go faster with better gearing.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
It’s a great week for Corvette lovers: First the Z06 and now the all-new Callaway Corvette
Callaway Corvette

One of the highlights of the Detroit Auto Show was the release of the simply stunning Corvette Z06 supercar. Apparently it's my lucky week because the release of the Z06 has just been followed by famed Corvette customizer Callaway's release of its own supercharged Corvette.
The biggest feature of the Callaway Corvette is, of course, the supercharger. The front driven Eaton TVS blower fitted by the real life Dukes of Hazard at Callaway brings the Corvette's LT1 engine up to 610 horsepower and 556 pound feet of torque. That's only a bit less than the 625 hp and 635 pound feet of torque than GM's horde of engineers got out of the Z06.
What I find even more impressive, though, is the fact that Callaway reports that the addition of this massive Mad Max-style supercharger doesn't affect fuel economy. Callaway says this is through the use of active fuel management and supercharging valving, but I think that Callaway found some sort of genie or wish granting fish.
All this power is good for a 0 to 60 time of 3.4 seconds and a standing quarter mile in just 11 seconds. Not bad when you consider Callaway's package costs just $23,000 and comes with a three year warranty.

If you want something a little different  you can get the Corvette Aerowagon, which converts the already gorgeous Stingray into a sleek, stunning and unique shooting brake. I know the idea of a Corvette wagon seems a bit odd, but this package just works and it will only set you back about $15,000 over the cost of the standard Stingray.
If you get both the supercharger and the Areowagon packages you will be in possession of what basically amounts to an awesome, custom supercar.
Still with the Z06 being as amazing at is, and trust me it is amazing, it's going to be very hard for people who want a special Corvette to choose between the Supercharged Callaway and the Aerowagon. But fortunately, unlike a lot of hard choices in life, this one has no wrong answer. 

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The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: The first true American supercar
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 front

There are a few monumental moments in American history: signing of the declaration of independence, the moon landing, and the unveiling of the 2015 Corvette Z06 here in Detroit.
If you think I am overselling this debut, you might be right. If you have even a modicum of American pride pumping through your veins, you might well agree with me. Honestly, the now-unveiled Z06 is already a thing of legend and stamp on the history books.
First-look video

Let’s start with the highlights – and one I think perfectly encapsulates the adroitness of the Z06. When fitted with the Z07 package, the Z06 – even during preliminary testing – has already recorded some of the fastest lap times ever for a Corvette, surpassing even the last-gen $100,000 Corvette ZR1. Let that sink in for a second.
How has it bested its older brother? It’s the first Z06 model to offer a supercharger. That’s right; under that long, shapely hood, Chevy wedged the all-new 6.2-liter LT4 V8 that makes over 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque. Backing that up is either a seven-speed manual or an all-new eight-speed automatic developed in-house by Chevrolet. To top it all off, the Z06 grips the road like never before thanks to its downforce-inducing body.
And oh what a body it is. Look at the damn thing. With that massive carbon fiber splitter, it looks like evil incarnate. I joked when we saw a teaser image of the Z06 that it was slathered in ‘combat yellow’ paint. Seeing the Z06 in its full livery is truly awe-inspiring. I’d say that, even with that yellow paint, the Z06 looks less combative than it does ominous. It draws you in with its razor-edge beauty but makes you a bit nervous for what’s in store for you behind the wheel.
Muscle to the nth degree
Chevrolet has made supercharged pushrod V8s for decades. None, however, is like the all-new 6.2-liter LT4.
Engineers were able to fit the supercharger and intercooler down into the valley of the motor, making it only about an inch (25 mm) taller than the standard, naturally aspirated LT1 V8 that powers the Stingray. Amazingly, for as compact as it is, the LT4 makes 37 percent more horsepower and 40 percent more torque than the LT1.
Engineers didn’t just get tricky with the supercharger packaging; they also added cylinder deactivation (one of the only supercharged V8s on the planet to receive such fuel-saving tech), direct injection, and variable valve timing. The result is a hunk of American aluminum built in Tonawanda, New York that makes at least 625 hp and 635 lb-ft.

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Watch Hennessey takes this tuned Chevrolet SS to 163 mph on a Texas toll road
watch hennessey little fun texas toll road 163 mph chevy ss

The Chevy SS really is a '60s muscle car that traveled forward in time ... and also from Australia. How do we know this? Well, it's a car that you can still legitimately get souped-up. Fortunately for everyone who loves a good muscle car, Hennessey has done just that.

In this video we see Hennessey take a supercharged SS out on a Texas toll road for a little bit of testing. Refreshingly enough, Hennessey isn't doing the testing for his ego; this 163 mph speed run is for the good of the community. Well, at least the toll road community. That's because Hennessey apparently regularly works with the toll road, and the state police, to make sure that radar traps and toll collection systems work for everyone ... especially those more than doubling the posted speed.
On an unrelated note, kudos to the Texas state police for running some truly badass looking Dodge Chargers as highway pursuit cars.
While the modifications are still in their initial stages, the results look impressive. By my count, 0-163 mph took just over 17 seconds. That is, to put it mildly, brisk. And if it weren't for the SS' gearing, it could be doing a lot more than just 163 mph.
Hennessey is still cagey about some of the details, but this bad boy is putting out upwards of 600 horsepower. Quite the jump over the standard 415 hp but not as insane as some of the other tuning projects that Hennessey has gotten up to over the years, like the 738 hp Ferrari 458 Italia.
If this level of madness isn't quite your speed, Hennessey should be offering some more sensible performance modifications like air induction systems, intercoolers, turbos, and suspension upgrades.
All of this tuning madness really is enough to make you think that you are in the '60s when peak performance was just a new carburetor away. 

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