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Hennessey fills Z28 Camaro void with 562-hp HPE550

Tue, 31 Mar 2009

The 6.2-liter V8 in the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS cranks out 426 hp or 400 hp, depending on the transmission choice.

But there are some people out there who want more. With a higher-performance Z28 Camaro from the factory on the back shelf as General Motors battles for survival, aftermarket tuners are ready to fill the void.

Among the first out of the gate is Hennessey Performance Engineering of Houston, Texas, with its HPE550 Camaro.

Bolting a Magnuson/Hennessey supercharger and Corsa stainless-steel exhaust system onto GM's LS3 V8 enables Hennessey to crank up the output to 562 hp at 6,200 rpm and 557 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm.

Hennessey says that powertrain will rocket the Camaro from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, compared with runs in the 5.0-second range in the stock Camaro SS with a manual transmission. Hennessey says the reworked Camaro will cover the quarter mile in 11.9 seconds with a top speed of 119 mph.

How much damage does this do you to bank account? Hennessey says the parts for the HPE550 Camaro--which include high-flow fuel injectors, air induction, aluminum wheels and an aerodynamics package--will sell for $18,950 plus shipping charges, but that leaves the installation up to you.

Hennessey will create the HPE550 for you for $24,950 plus shipping (plus the $31,000 base price of a Camaro SS.) Buyers also get a half-day class at the Lonestar Motorsports Park drag strip, next door to Hennessey's facility. There also is a menu of upgrade options, which include brake and suspension changes and an automatic transmission. Hennessey plans to build a maximum of 500 units for the 2010 model year.

Hennessey will be happy to stuff a 705-hp version of the Corvette ZR1's V8 into your Camaro for $39,500.

But wait! You say the HPE550 still isn't enough? Then Hennessey will steer you toward dropping in a 705-hp version of the LS9 V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The company hired racer and retired GM engineer John Heinricy as developer and test driver. The LS9 upgrade will set you back a mere $39,500.

And it gets even crazier from there. Hennessey offers 850-hp and 1,000-hp twin-turbo upgrades, for $54,500 and $59,500, respectively.

By Dale Jewett