Video: Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 HPE600 Test Drive with John Hennessey
Two simple facts: Hennessey is known for making crazy horsepower numbers by tuning already-powerful cars and many enthusiasts complain the new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is underpowered. The solution: let Hennessey tune your 505-horsepower Camaro with some go-fast goodies to get an amazing 636 horsepower from the its 7.0-liter V-8.
This particular kit is called the Hennessey HPE600 and includes porting the heads, swapping in a more aggressive camshaft, upgrading the valvetrain components, bolting on stainless steel longtube headers, welding on high-flow catalytic converters, and flashing the Z/28’s computer for some extra power.
The result is an extra 131 horsepower, making the total count 636 horses at the crankshaft. The new parts help the naturally aspirated, 7.0-liter V-8 make 553 horsepower at the massive 305-series rear tires.
Hennessey explains the process wasn’t as simple as using the previous HPE600 kit from the old Corvette C6 Z06 toolbox. General Motors changed the LS7’s cylinder heads extensively between the two cars, so the Hennessey team had to reconfigure its porting process. On the flip-side, GM’s stock cold-air intake box on the Z/28 works well enough to be left alone.
As with every car Hennessey builds, a shakedown run is needed to ensure everything is ‘tight and right.’ In the video John Hennessey himself takes the Z/28 through its paces to see what the added power does. The Camaro’s super sticky Pirelli tires, performance suspension, and carbon-ceramic brakes all combine to make the it one of Chevy’s best-handling cars, but the added power allows the GM’s new track toy to keep up with the Camaro ZL1 and perhaps even nip the heels of Dodge’s new Challenger Hellcat.