When Dodge launched its 840-horsepower Challenger Demon last year, tuner Hennessey Performance Engineering decided to one-up it by turning the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 into the 1,000-hp Exorcist (get it?). Now we’re finding out just how potent a Camaro with a four-digit horsepower figure can be.
Hennessey recently ran the Exorcist up to a top speed of 217 mph at the Continental Tire Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas. Dodge doesn’t quote a top speed for the Challenger Demon, but Hennessey noted that its Camaro beat the 213-mph claimed top speed of the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The Exorcist is also faster than a host of pedigreed supercars, including the Ferrari 488 Pista and McLaren 720S.
The Exorcist starts life as a Camaro ZL1, sporting a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that produces 650 hp from the factory. Hennessey replaces the factory-installed supercharger with a larger unit, and modifies the intercooler system, cylinder heads, and other components. The car is also treated to a new stainless-steel exhaust system. The modifications come with their own three-year/36,000-mile warranty.
Hennessey used a 10-speed automatic transmission in its test car (the stock ZL1 is also available with a six-speed manual), and said the Exorcist hit its top speed in ninth gear. The company hasn’t tested the Exorcist on the Challenger Demon’s home turf — the drag strip — yet, but said it’s planning to conduct 0-to-60 mph and quarter-mile acceleration tests soon. Dodge claims the Demon will do 0 to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds, and run the quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph.
Hennessey has already deliver 20 Exorcists to customers, and plans to build a total of 100 cars. The total cost of an Exorcist equipped identically to the top-speed test car is $119,950. That’s a lot of money for a Camaro, even one with supercar-rivaling speed. It’s also about $35,000 more than a Demon, and about the same as a 2019 Corvette ZR1. The Exorcist is a bit faster and roomier than the ‘Vette, but it’s unclear whether it can match the ZR1 in the corners. We’ll find out soon, as Hennessey is planning to take the Exorcist to a proper road course in addition to the drag strip.
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