2000 Chevrolet Corvette - Fire Storm

Hot Looks And Tire-Smoking Torque Set This C5 Ablaze

Steve Temple Jul 13, 2007 0 Comment(s)
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Initially, Kenne Bell bolted on its new 2.6-liter twin screw supercharger. Most guys would have been content with the resulting 750hp Vette, but not Gooss. Within 60 days of having the car back in his possession, he talked Kenne Bell chief Jim Bell into swapping the 2.6 for a prototype 2.8-liter blower. As we hinted at the outset, Jeff doesn't seem to know when to quit.

During this development phase, Kenne Bell engineers discovered that for anything higher than 700 horses, a speed-density system worked better than a mass air meter. This switch also added a few horses. Pressurized to 18 psi, the engine-by now upgraded to a 403-cube, AFR-headed LS2 stroker-exceeded 875 lb-ft of rear-wheel torque at only 4,000 rpm.

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At that point, Jeff finally did decide to quit, requesting that the dyno run be called off prematurely. "Although we would have easily gone over 950 torque and 900 hp on my little 403 LS2 stroker, I had nothing more to prove to anyone. We had accomplished one of our very first goals: the highest-horsepower Kenne Bell C5 in the world."

Instrumental in this achievement was the very first set of 1 7/8-inch C5 long-tube headers ever produced by Long Island-based exhaust fabricator Kooks Custom Headers. Routed into high-flow cats and a 2.5-inch Bassani exhaust system, they flow enough air to keep pace with the ravenous LS2 without introducing an overabundance of noise or compromising emissions legality.

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Aside from the pillar-mounted gauges, the interior upgrades are subtle. Check out the custom orange stitching on the wheel and shifter boot.

How does it drive? Accelerate lightly through the gears, and you can hear the faint screech of the blower in the background-just enough to let you know this isn't some ordinary C5. Stab the throttle and the car turns violent, squatting and lunging forward as if sprayed with a 500 shot of nitrous. Acceleration is so fierce, it literally takes your breath away. You may even forget to shift gears, what with all that rolling thunder coursing through your body. Let off the throttle and the car goes instantly quiet, giving you time to take a huge gasp of air and perhaps utter the appropriate expletive.

A key factor in maintaining the car's superb overall driveability is the Centerforce 12-inch single-disc clutch. It's forgiving for a super-high-performance unit, with very smooth operation, low pedal force required for engagement, and no chatter or slipping.

With the car finally on the road, we wonder what's next for Gooss. He says he's done with the modifying game for now, but don't believe a word of it. That Lambo orange is the color of a flame that just keeps getting hotter.

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