Hennessey doesn’t do subtle. In fact, subtlety seems to be the Texas-based tuner’s kryptonite. This aversion to disappearing quietly into the night is one reason why it just announced a 1,200-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. You’d think the 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque would be enough for Hennessey gear heads, but that’s too plebeian, too subtle, and even a cursory fan of the company should know better.
The 1,200-horsepower Corvette ZR1 is part of Hennessey’s HPE1200 package, which also turns up the torque to 1,066 pound-feet from the ZR1’s supercharged 6.2L LT5 V8 engine. HPE1200 is the ultimate package in a three-package offering, as Hennessey also offers somewhat tamer performance with the HPE850 and HPE1000 packs, which raise horsepower to 850 and 1,000, respectively.
To achieve the tremendous amount of power in the HPE1200 package, Hennessey requires the Corvette ZR1 HP1200 to use race gas. Lower-grade 93 octane gas produces 1,100 horsepower. But race gas isn’t the only thing Hennessey needed for the Corvette to make that many ponies. Other upgrades include a ported factory supercharger, billet high-flow throttle body, upgraded Hennessey lower and upper pulleys, high-flow air induction system, ported cylinder heads, custom HPE camshaft, and much more. What’s more, the eight-speed automatic requires also requires upgrade, but if you opt for the seven-speed manual gearbox, then no transmission upgrade is necessary.
As with any Hennessey package, the Corvette ZR1 HPE1200 comes with Hennessey exterior badging, Hennessey premium(!) floor mats, serial-numbered dash and engine plaques, and a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty along with professional installation and an HPE engine management calibration.
While Hennessey does not provide performance figures for its 1,200-horsepower Corvette ZR1 HPE1200, it does have some numbers for the 1,000 horsepower package. Hennessey says the Corvette ZR1 HPE1000 hits 60 mph, with the optional rear drag radial tire upgrade, in 2.3 seconds, on to a quarter-mile run in 9.4 seconds at 147 mph. Top speed is a claimed 230-plus mph. The extra 100 horsepower for the ZR1 HPE1200 should produce similar, if not slightly better, results. For those interested, pricing and availability information is with Hennessey.