Once a car goes to Hennessey Performance, it doesn’t stay stock for long. The Texas tuner has been working with a twin-turbo setup for the new 2020 Corvette, but the car featured in this clip isn’t boosted. Rather, it has a custom exhaust setup and a big fat bottle of nitrous oxide occupying space in the C8’s rear storage compartment. What’s the purpose of all this madness? Simple: to be the first to exceed 200 mph in a new mid-engine Corvette.
On the surface, that doesn’t seem like a difficult task. Completely stock, the 2020 Corvette already has a top speed of 194 mph. However, wind resistance at such velocities becomes significant, requiring exponential increases in power to move the needle even just a little bit. Additionally, the Z51 package adds additional aero that drops the speed to 184 mph flat-out. This particular car does have that package, but for this run the rear spoiler was removed. It certainly helped with speed, but as we hear in the video, the lack of downforce made the Corvette a bit dicey to handle.
As for the extra power punch, that comes from a 135-bhp shot of nitrous. Combined with an upgraded Hennessey exhaust system, power is raised to a claimed 650 bhp (485 kW). That’s certainly a healthy jump versus stock, but as we previously mentioned, pushing through the air at speeds similar to passenger jets requires a lot of power to go just a little quicker.
Gallery: Hennessey C8 Corvette 205 mph
We already mentioned 200 mph in the headline, and video preview is emblazoned with 205 mph so you already know how fast it goes. Blasting down a straightway at the Continental Tyres Proving Ground in Uvalde, Texas, the nitrous-boosted C8 reaches 205 mph before the driver lifts. It appeared the speed was still rising ever-so-slowly, but for all intents and purposes, 155 extra bhp gets you just 11 more mph on the top end.
The video claims this a world record for the C8, but it’s not official. Still, 205 mph is nothing to sneeze at in any car, never mind a new Corvette that can be purchased for $60,000 (approx. £49,000 at the current exchange rate) and modified with a simple nitrous oxide system.