Are you actually surprised Hennessey Performance Engineering will offer performance upgrades for the 2020 Chevy Corvette? You shouldn't be. This is the tuning company that's pushed over 1,000 horsepower from C7-generation Corvettes for years now.
Nevertheless, HPE let it be known that it will, indeed, work with the mid-engine sports car. In a Tuesday announcement, the Texas-based tuner said it plans for upgrades that will give 2020 Corvette drivers up to 1,200 hp, thanks to a twin-turbo system in development alongside a "specially built" 6.2-liter LT2 V8. This 1,200-hp package will also come with an upgraded dual-clutch transmission, to obviously handle the major power spike.
A separate package targets 700 hp, thanks to a supercharger system the company is also working on.
The tuner was upfront and said these big power numbers won't be available until HPE cracks into the C8's computer for tuning. Rather infamously, GM boasted the mid-engine Corvette would be pretty difficult to work with for the aftermarket, thanks to hardened ECU encryption.
Hennessey shows off planned 2020 Chevy Corvette upgradesSee all photos
HPE founder, John Hennessey, told Roadshow these power figures today are based on its know-how working with General Motors' LT engine family and its experience tuning Corvettes and Camaros. When asked about a timeframe for when computer tuning will be available, the CEO said availability "is unknown at this point." However, he added, "[we] are confident that we will be able to offer a wide range of upgrades for the new C8 in 2020."
The tuner will begin working with the 2020 Corvette as soon as it arrives next year, and in the meantime, it's hard at work on the supercharger and twin-turbo system. They'll be ready to go once HPE hashes out the ECU side of things. In the meantime, less potent upgrades will be available next year.
There will be a stainless steel exhaust upgrade next year to push power slightly higher, and a boatload of carbon-fiber body parts, wheel and brake packages and suspension upgrades are all planned.