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Corvette hits 200 mph on Texas highway (legally)

Because he can, Houston tuner John Hennessey closed a state highway for the second time in order to drive insanely fast.

By Clifford Atiyeh Dec 19, 2013 12:23PM
The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 debuts in Detroit this January and won't go on sale for months, but John Hennessey has already stamped his own version in Texas.

The Houston tuner, who had police shut down a highway last year so he could blast to 220 mph in one of his turbocharged Cadillacs, has done it again in a modified Corvette Stingray.

Like last time, Hennessey's reasoning was to "test" the electronic toll readers on a stretch of highway, this time on the Houston Grand Parkway. Apparently, if you're John Hennessey, you can convince the Texas State Police to shut down miles of public road, stage a multi-camera video shoot with a helicopter and promote your new 603-horsepower Corvette all in one day.

That, right there, is a man living his life.

Hennessey claims his HPE600 Corvette is the first C7 Corvette to hit 200 mph (a Racelogic GPS recorder read 200.6 mph), which is probably true considering the C7 has only been on sale in limited quantities for a few months. The stock Corvette pushes 460 horsepower, zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and an estimated 190 mph top speed. Not too shabby.

Hennessey upgrades bring the car to 603 horsepower, zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and at least 200 mph on the top end. Hennessey hasn't turbocharged the V8 — he'll undoubtedly launch a twin-turbo version later with more than 1,000 horsepower — and instead installed a custom camshaft, stainless steel headers, high-flow cylinder heads and ECU tweaks. The suspension, brakes and everything else is stock. Only 100 will be built for 2014, although a price hasn't been announced. The photos from the highway run on his company website are amusing, to say the least. The video is terrifying.

We don't know what the 2015 Corvette Z06 will bring. The previous C6 Z06 had 505 horsepower, so it'll have to top that. Chevrolet is keeping the details secret until launch next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Earlier this year, Hennessey took his Venom GT — a stretched and widened Lotus Elise with a 1244-horsepower V8 — and set a Guinness World Record for reaching 300 kph (186 mph) in 13.63 seconds, besting the Swedish-made Koenigsegg Agera R by almost a full second. By unofficial record, the Venom GT smoked the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport to 200 mph by nearly eight seconds.

In April Hennessey reached 265.7 mph in the Venom GT, claiming title to the world's fastest production car — angering Bugatti, which had been stripped of the record due to a technicality, and the fact that Hennessey was only selling a few dozen or so cars. That same month, Bugatti took the title back after Guinness changed its rules.

Bear in mind these stunts are all considered part of Hennessey's day job. Any openings down there?

[Source: Hennessey]

Dec 19, 2013 1:23PM
They did NOT shut down the freeway. That section of the Beltway is new and won't open until December 21st. I live right next to it.
Dec 19, 2013 1:17PM
When I was in my 20s, I would've loved to have done that. Now it would scare the crap out of me!
Dec 19, 2013 1:29PM
Yes!  Horsepower is alive and well !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dec 19, 2013 1:44PM
The real winner here is the State of Texas for allowing this to happen.  There are fewer and fewer states each year with any guts left.  Can anyone imagine this happening in Vermont?  Assuming they even had the road, that is.
Dec 19, 2013 1:28PM
Porsche cant do that for twice the price.
Dec 19, 2013 1:07PM
Good to see the radar unit in the patrol car can record 200 ... could make for a nasty ticket
Dec 19, 2013 12:56PM
200 MPH -- just wonderful. And where, might I ask, is one supposed to drive the thing at those speeds? 
Dec 19, 2013 2:04PM
yeah maybe they should mention all the people he has screwed over with the viper deals and bankruptcy stuff he has had as well!..
Dec 19, 2013 12:53PM
Dec 19, 2013 1:49PM
You know something back in the day of muscle cars that speed was not unheard of. For example one day 1968 while station at Ft. Sill, Ok my wife and I were out car shopping for cheap cars. Being in the Army back then didn't leave you much money for most anything, any how in the back row of this second hand car lot was a 1956 Ply with a crack windshield and the price mark on it was $65.00 bucks...I pop the hood and there starring back at me was a Hemi....I couldn't get  the money out fast enough...It also was a auto on the dash. I smoke that car....One day up at the gas station where the state patrol got their gas etc. They offer clock me in it down a road that they chose...I said great....WE went out there and they stop about a mile or so down the road...I took off, they clock me at 157.6 mph in that old Hemi and said the front wheels were also ready to leave the road...That was the fastest I had ever been until I got a 1995 Ford Must GTS with the last yr of the 302's. I have hit 150  mph (And smoke the brake disks in slowing down) with it and the state patrol even told me they didn't have a car that could catch me. The was in Huntsville Al.
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