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These Claims Are Completely Unsubstantiated

Hennessey C8 Corvette

Hennessey, which claims it can tune the Porsche Taycan electric vehicle, says that it will offer a C8 Corvette with up to 1,200 horsepower.

And the internet went: “Ooh! Ahh!” before scrolling to the next meme.

This is marketing in 2019. Other companies like Tesla have embraced this far-reaching hype game with unstable, unfinished foundations to their claims, and it’s going to lead to nowhere good.

If you read our manifesto, you know that we exist to be something beyond low-rent clickbait and malnourishing word salad. We’re not here to tell you that a crossover might get a third vent in the second row, or fart out three hundred words about different colored brake calipers. As automotive media Jedi Knights, we have the skills to build you a better story.

So here it is: the Hennessey Corvette C8 is Texas snake oil. We’re not going to bother to write about what sort of rundown of specs it might have, or what sort of kit it will feature to produce its claimed 1,200 horsepower. Never mind that upcoming versions from the factory will likely produce somewhere around that figure, with full validation and a better warranty. See: E-Ray, Z06, ZR1 and Zora.

Never mind that for now. If you have followed us from the get-go, you know that we have said this again and again, the C8 Corvette will be next to impossible to crack without the help of General Motors itself. And they don’t have to play along if they don’t want to.

Hennessey C8 Corvette
What exactly is the roof scoop doing here? And where are the turbos?

ECU hacking has so far been the only way to get around GM’s fortified defenses, with HP Tuners and other companies providing solutions for the aftermarket to get around this electronic barrier. They have so far gotten through GM’s Global A electronics architecture, which has coding that dates back to the 1990’s.

The upcoming Global B electronics architecture is a completely different monster.

While we have yet to make sense of the computer science behind Global B, it’s understood that the architecture is five times more powerful than Global A, can process 4.5 terabytes of data per hour, will allow for OTA updates, and can handle the many systems needed to keep autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles operational. Because of its capabilities, cybersecurity was priority number one. General Motors contracted hackers, defense companies, aerospace manufacturers, researchers, and even held a “bug bounty” program to uncover any possible flaws.

Hennessey Performance will have to overcome this if it plans on offering a C8 Corvette with anything more than an approved exhaust kit, as will the rest of the tuning industry. Anybody claiming they can do otherwise at this point is carrying reckless hope at best, and outright lying at worst.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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