Because you can never have enough power, and Hennessey knows it.
In stock form, the 1, 000 horsepower club is highly limited – there are just 4 current members – but on the aftermarket scene that magic number is far easier to come across. While cars like the Mk IV Toyota Supra have been known to cross the 1,000 hp mark for years with various tuners, in recent times there has been one tuning house in particular known for producing four-figure monsters.
A man by the name of John Hennessey wasn’t content with the stock outputs of many American performance cars and has quite literally made it his business to give them the power he believes they rightly deserve. Though there are many to choose from, we’ve selected ten of the most impressive 1,000-hp hammers from Hennessey Performance.
The Dodge Challenger Demon already redefined muscle car performance in stock trim – producing 840 horsepower, running a 9-second quarter mile, and launching so hard it pops a wheelie. So the notion that Hennessey felt that wasn’t enough, sounds frankly ludicrous. Well after the conversion from standard Demon to HPE1000 – which includes the Demon’s race-spec ECU, high-flow upper supercharger pulley, high-flow lower crankshaft pulley, HPE engine management software, and stainless steel long tube headers with high-flow catalytic converters – the Demon produces 1,056 hp and 967 lb-ft of torque. The bump in power results in a 0.17-second improvement on the ¼-mile. Still not impressed? Well, 0-62 mph takes 1.93 seconds – consider the HPE1000 Demon a true monster.
Whilst Hennessey may have summoned the mother of all Demons, it also created something to combat it. The Chevrolet Camaro Exorcist is an appropriately named Demon-fighter from Hennessey that can be ordered directly from your nearest dealership. What started out as a 650-hp Camaro ZL1 receives a larger supercharger and highly reworked engine to produce 1,000 horsepower and 966 lb-ft of torque. It’s available with both the 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic gearbox, and Hennessey claims performance figures of less than 3 seconds to 62mph, with a top speed of 217mph and a ¼-mile run of less than 10 seconds. Exact figures haven’t been tested yet, but we’re willing to bet this will give the Demon a good scare.
Of course, no Hennessey Performance top ten would be complete without the Venom GT – arguably the heaviest hitting sledgehammer in the HPE toolbox, at least until the Venom F5 arrives on the streets. Based on the Lotus Elise/Exige chassis, the Venom GT was then heavily modified – though still registered for road use as a modified Exige. A twin-turbocharged 7.0-liter Chevrolet LSX engine finds its home at the rear of the Venom GT, producing maximum outputs of 1,244-hp and 1,155 lb-ft. The resultant performance was, of course, monumental, besting a Bugatti Veyron in the top-speed stakes by posting 270.49mph. Due to limited production volumes, it never officially held the record the Bug did, but the fact that it could reach that speed is impressive enough, with or without a certificate.
You liked the idea of that 1,000-hp Challenger Demon, but you’re a family man or woman and need space for the kids. Hennessey Performance has you covered with this HPE1000 Charger Hellcat upgrade. The kit features a 4.5-liter supercharger, high-flow air induction system, and HPE engine management upgrade amongst other tweaks, which results in 1,012-hp and 969 lb-ft being delivered to the rear wheels. Hennessey claims a 2.8-second 0-60m ph time and a ¼-mile run of 9.9-seconds. OK, so it won’t beat even a standard Challenger Demon, but you can take the kids along for the ride of their life.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is already one of the thirstiest vehicles on sale in the United States, packing 707-hp of Hellcat power into a family SUV. But when Hennessey is asked to equip the HPE1000 package to the Trackhawk, it bestows upon it the same suite of upgrades as the Charger Hellcat HPE1000 to give it even more power than you’d likely dreamed of. It gets the same 1,012-hp and 969 lb-ft, but due to the all-wheel-drive system, it runs 0-60 mph in a marginally quicker 2.7 seconds, before completing the ¼-mile in 10.7 seconds. Of course, those figures are recorded on drag radial rear tires – but that doesn’t make them any less impressive.
The BMW M5 might have created the segment, but that doesn’t mean others haven’t been able to match its capabilities. Cadillac has, in recent years, matched the Germans when it comes to performance variants with its V models, and the CTS-V is no exception. But when you don’t want to match an M5, but decimate it, you take the CTS-V to Hennessey Performance and order the HPE1000 package. It gets you a high-flow supercharger system, fabricated intake manifold, custom camshaft, ported cylinder heads, and a range of other upgrades. The final power output rests at an even 1,000-hp, with torque at 966 lb-ft. Performance is equally as impressive – 0-60 mph takes 2.9 seconds and the ¼-mile is dispatched in 10.5 seconds.
The Dodge Viper is already a dauntingly impressive performance icon – with a huge 8.4-liter V10 developing up to 650 hp. Hennessey will gladly give you more bang for your buck though, equipping a twin-turbo setup to the Viper and tuning it to 1,120-hp and 1,092 lb-ft of torque. Forged pistons, forged steel rods, thermal coated rod bearings, and a front-mounted air-to-air intercooler are just some of the upgrades that enable the performance to take a big leap. While traction is still constrained, even with optional drag radials, 0-60 mph at 2.7 seconds and a 9.7-second ¼-mile run are nothing to scoff at.
The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is already impressive in standard trim, pushing out 755 hp and 715 lb-ft from its 6.2-liter Eaton supercharged LT5 V8. It offers more cooling, more downforce, and more performance than any other Corvette in existence – co-developed with Pratt & Miller’s Corvette racing team. Hennessey thinks 755 hp isn’t enough, though, offering not one, but two 1,000-hp+ packages.
The HPE1000 package nets figures of 1,000 hp and 966 lb-ft for a top speed in excess of 220 mph and a 9.7-second quarter-mile run. But if you opt for the HPE1200 package, Hennessey will increase displacement to 7.0-liters, fiddle with the supercharger and the engine internals, and give you 1,200 hp and 1,066 lb-ft of torque. The HPE1200 package drops the 0-60mph sprint time to just 2.2 seconds, the ¼-mile time to 9.2 seconds, and increases the top speed to north of 230 mph.
Though Hennessey might be best known for its work on American machinery, the tuner has played with a couple of European exotics too. One of its most impressive is the twin-turbo Huracan conversion. With twin ball bearing turbochargers, dual inlet pipes, and a high-flow air induction system, power leaps from 600 to 1,000 hp. The all-wheel-drive system remains in place, so putting the power down shouldn’t be an issue. Performance figures haven’t been disclosed, but considering the setup runs so hot the rear bumpers had to be removed, we’re sure they’re equally as hot.
This one hasn’t been built yet, but as the fully in-house built successor to the Venom GT, the Venom F5 deserves a place on this list. 24 units are slated for production, each featuring carbon fiber in the chassis and body, and active aerodynamics. An all-new aluminum V8 has been developed, 7.6-liters in displacement and equipped with twin-turbochargers to develop 1,600-hp and 1,300 lb-ft of torque. Standard performance figures aren’t yet available, but 0-186 mph is expected to take less than 10 seconds, 0-249 mph will take less than 30 seconds, and if Hennessey is to be believed, the Venom F5 will top 301 mph. A new record-breaker is coming, and it wears a Hennessey badge.