We have a feeling the C7 Corvette – the last of the front-engines – is going to be a very popular car for years to come for those performance enthusiasts who will seek ever-higher levels of power.
Especially since Hennessey Performance seems intent on helping them reach those goals.
In fact, check out this new video from Hennessey that features an in-depth yet very understandable explanation of the company’s most powerful package for the C7 Z06 – the HPE1000 – from their Director of Research and Development, Jason Haynes.
Haynes recently took a customer’s car equipped with that package out for one last test run at the Pennzoil Proving Ground before making the delivery.
Though moist conditions at the track prevented an all-out show of power, it proved to be more than enough to leave Jason insisting the system might be better named the “Expletive” Package “because at every turn as soon as you crank this thing up cold start … it’s another expletive!”
The upgrades result in the car being able to gallop from 0 to 60 mph in a blistering 2.5 seconds, with quarter-mile runs of 9.7 seconds at 147 mph and a top speed of more than 220 mph!
The key to those fantastic numbers, according to Haynes, is the new centrifugal supercharger in place of the small 1.7-liter positive displacement factory supercharger.
“We have upgraded it to a larger displacement centrifugal head unit,” Jason explains, noting that the main difference between the two systems is the way air is moved. “By changing the way that it moves air, we can change the way that the car feels and accelerates.”
The new system provides a linear boost curve so that “the more RPMs we can turn, the more boost that we’re going to make,” he says. “Down low, the car is very controllable, but as you accelerate, it just keeps pulling, it keeps pushing you back in the seat because we’re keeping the boost going.”
Haynes says they also designed the camshaft to sound “really great” with an “old-school big block lope to it” while still driving “really nice.” He provides proof of that by not touching the accelerator and pulling off the clutch “and this thing just glides – you can still hear the lope but we’re moving, we’re not bucking and shaking, we’re not surging.”
Other upgrades in the HPE1000 package include a fabricated intake manifold, long-tube headers, ported cylinder heads, an upgraded valvetrain, high-flow air-to-air intercooler, a new auxiliary fuel system, a new exhaust, and all gaskets, fluids, and tuning.
Whenever an owner adds an aftermarket package to his Corvette, there can be a degree of fear about the reliability. Haynes says the company’s warranty is “great for that peace of mind for somebody that wants to modify their car but not have to worry about fixing it.”
One thing that Hennessey does differently from other companies, he says, is that “we really pay attention to the efficiency of the system, the efficiency of the engine, the efficiency of the supercharger, the efficiency of the package.” If you just turn up the boost on the stock supercharger, the law of physics will at some point negate your gains and trade that off with heat production. “There’s some other companies out there that push it way beyond the efficiency limit and the car will actually go slower lap after lap after lap.”
Not a problem with Hennessey packages “where you can take the car out lap and lap and it’s going to perform just as it did on lap one,” Haynes says.
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