It was a 202-mph Texas tornado, on Thursday, February 25, 2016, as pro driver Brian Smith drove the 751-horsepower Hennessey Camaro SS to a top speed of 202.1 mph. In the process, Hennessey’s Chevy became the first 2016 Camaro SS to break the 200 mph mark.
The run was made on the 8.5-mile high-speed oval at the Continental Tire Proving Grounds located in Uvalde, Texas. This is the same test track where the Hennessey team ran their HPE750 Supercharged Mustang to over 200 mph with Jay Leno’s Garage in 2015. During both tests, speeds were validated with Racelogic’s VBox 3i GPS data logging system.
The team from Hennessey Performance (HPE) increased the factory LT1 V-8 engine from 455 bhp to over 750 bhp by the tried-and-true method of increasing airflow through the engine. Starting with their HPE600 naturally aspirated engine upgrade, the Hennessey Camaro benefited from CNC-ported cylinder heads and camshaft and valvetrain upgrades.
The exhaust features Kooks 1 7/8-inch long-tube stainless steel headers with high-flow catalytic converters. Other upgrades include a high-flow intake manifold and engine management recalibration, and chassis dyno tuning to verify its performance. The resulting power increased to 605 bhp at 6,500 rpm. A nitrous-oxide kit was added to increase power by another 146 bhp. The net combination provided 751 bhp at the engine, which equated to 649-rear-wheel hp on HPE’s Dynojet chassis dyno. Additional modifications included a lowered suspension system from Chevrolet Performance Parts.