Throughout its 60-year history, America's sports car has been synonymous with performance, and the newest generation is clearly no exception. The C7 Corvette Stingray has a vastly stiffer aluminum structure that's 99 lb lighter than before, a new LT1 6.2-liter V-8 with 460 bhp and improved fuel economy, plus a wedgy, low-slung shape that's fresh yet instantly identifiable as a Corvette. But it's not the Hennessey way to leave well enough alone-even if that "well enough" baseline already represents one of the quickest-accelerating sports cars on the planet.
The Hennessey HPE700 Corvette, expected to debut in October 2013, will pre-empt the factory's C7 ZR1 and may well out-accelerate it too with Hennessey's 700-bhp performance package incorporating the Eaton TVS R2300 supercharger. Packing 8 psi of boost through custom CNC-ported factory cylinder heads, working with proprietary intake and fueling systems plus a recalibrated ECU, the system should provide enough sheer thrust to thrill even the most jaded enthusiast. Transmission choices include either a 7-speed manual or 6-speed automatic.
Visually, the HPE700 Corvette can be made to hit as hard as its powertrain, with Hennessey's optional CarbonAero™ body treatment consisting of an aggressive front splitter, notched rear spoiler, side sills and a hood-the last with a deeply drawn power dome and dramatic central vent that both decreases underhood temperatures and increases downforce by evacuating air. The body pieces are made of hand-laid carbon fiber, and in typical Hennessey fashion they increase downforce while still striking that delicate balance between looking aggressive and not being overdone. "We're only interested in changes that deliver a measurable increase in performance, period," says company founder John Hennessey. Optional 10-spoke H10 alloys shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires fill out the wheel wells with the appropriate amount of menace.
Special touches and options can further individualize the HPE700 Corvette. Interior details haven't been finalized at this early date, but each car will come with dash and engine plaques displaying the serialized build number. An optional coilover suspension system utilizing Penske double-adjustable shocks will be offered, as will a Brembo brake upgrade with carbon-ceramic rotors. Less powerful variants-a normally aspirated HPE500 and supercharged HPE600-will be offered too, and all components that comprise the HPE complete cars will be available individually.