Even without a tune, the C8 puts down some impressive power.
It didn't take long after the first 2020 Chevrolet Corvette started shipping for Hennessey Performance Engineering to start fiddling with the mid-engine sports car, installing a pair of turbos as the tuning company works on developing a 1,200-horsepower package first announced late last year. The car is already up and running, although it might be some time before we see it reach anything like 1,200 horsepower; Hennessey revealed in a Facebook live stream Monday that the powertrain control software is still locked, and there's no knowing when the tuning firm will be able to get access.
At issue is the security of GM's newest powertrain control module, which has been made virtually unhackable. As a result, Hennessey will need OEM support in order to tune the car to take full advantage of its new twin-turbo setup. The best the firm can do for now is run the C8 with only modest boost, so that the extra intake air is within what the factory calibration can account for.
It turns out the factory calibration can allow for a surprising amount of more power. Running just 5 psi of boost, Hennessey strapped its "world's first" twin-turbo C8 Corvette to a dynamometer on Monday and recorded 643 wheel horsepower - roughly 180 more than the stock car's 466.
That's a tremendous amount of grunt for relatively little boost, and it makes us excited for what's to come as Hennessey works toward getting factory tuning support from General Motors.
Of course, Hennessey isn't the only group out there looking to add a big dose of extra performance to the new C8 Corvette, and they certainly won't be the last. There's already at least one 2020 Corvette running around with nitrous injection, although the last we'd heard of that car, it had suffered a broken half-axle at TX2K and had to be towed off the dragstrip. Power doesn't come without a cost.