Hennessey Va-Va-Vette hits 323km/h

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IOL mot pic dec18 Corvette Stingray HPE700


Hennessey HPE700 is the first street-legal C7 Vette to qualify for membership of the double-century club.

Only a handful of supercars can rightfully lay claim to achieving 322km/h - 200mph in the old language - and in truth, it's better expressed in the old measures since straight-line speed is essentially an American obsession. If this were a Porsche, a Ferrari or a McLaren its bragging rights would be measured in terms of lap-times at the hallowed Nurburgring.

But it's not, it's a brand-new 2014 Corvette Stingray C7 that's been leaned on (as only a Texan can lean) by Hennessey Performance and, on 11 December, driven by company founder John Hennessey it hit 200.6mph (323km/h) on a closed section of the newly completed segment E of Texas State Highway 99, also known as the Grand Parkway, west of Houston, which will be opened to the public on 21 December.

It could only happen in Texas.

That run - verified both by GPS VBox data, as used by our sister publication Star Motoring, and by the radar guns of the Texas State Troopers who were on hand to see that justice was served - made it the first street-legal C7 'Vette to qualify for membership of the double-century club.

Straight out of the Bowling Green plant in Kentucky, the production C7 Corvette Stingray Z51 is good for 340kW and a true 288km/h but, as any anorak will tell you, aerodynamic drag increases as the square of velocity, so that extra 35km/h required a serious beef injection - 515kW at 6500rpm, to be exact.

How'd he do that?

Hennessey's personal Va-Va-Vette has what he calls the HPE600 package, comprising long-tube exhaust headers, ported factory cylinder heads, high-flow catalysers, HPE camshaft and a remapped ECU, which Hennessey says is good for 440kW (600 horsepower - geddit?) with a Nitrous Express NO2 kit in addition to deliver the extra 75kW.

Hennessey concedes that it's an expert's weapon and it's not available to you and me, but he will soon be releasing the HPE700 package, without nitrous but with a gaping TVS2300 supercharger stuffing air down its eight custom-made throats to specially ported and polished heads, a special Hennessey camshaft to monitor the distribution of said air, long-tube headers for disposal of same and a suitably re-written set of performance parameters.

All of which will cost you $22 500 (R233 000), over and above the cost of a new Z51 at $66 000 (R683 000) - still cheap by European standards.



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