In their most recent product unveil, Hennessey Performance Engineering revealed dubious claims about their upcoming kits for the C8 Corvette, and we’ve elaborated heavily on why that is. In short, the GM Global B electrical architecture that will control the brain of the mid-engined Chevy is not meant to be tampered with. And in a recent interview with Hagerty, HPE attempted to clear the air, although we’re left with little answers.
Back in December, Hennessey Performance announced that they would be putting two kits for the C8 Corvette out on the market this year: a 700 horsepower supercharger kit with a price of $25,000 attached, as well as a twin-turbo kit with upwards of 1,200 horsepower for the ripe price of $75,000 installed. Thats certainly a lot of money, but it is important to remember that for the time being the Z51-equipped C8 Stingray’s 495 horsepower is the range topping model, which is surely not enough for the endlessly straight highways of the Lone Star state.
The media scrutiny surrounding the Hennessey kits had nothing to do with the price, but rather the actual validity of these kits claimed figures. You see, Hennessey has yet to even lay a hand on the C8 Corvette, and as a result they haven’t gotten to do any fabrication or testing. While that might not be that big of a deal when it comes to an updated platform, the C8 is a dramatic departure from the C7 Corvette that it replaces. Sure the LT2 V8 engine found behind the driver in the C8 shares a substantial amount with the previous LT1 motor, except for a key aspect: the E99 ECU paired with Global B.
Like the C7 Corvette ZR1 and its LT5 V8, the C8 Corvette is fitted with the E99 ECU, which has already been confirmed as a challenge when it comes to aftermarket tinkering, requiring a special control unit from the likes of HP Tuners.
The problem with this is the fact that there is no guarantee that HP Tuners will be able to crack the E99 ECU.
As a safety net, a representative from the Texas tuning company further stated that they are also looking into other options, including a supposed tuning software provided by General Motors themselves.
MC&T was first to report that GM has been looking into a solution for tuning companies to access their future performance cars, lest they further endanger the performance aftermarket industry. This will likely be the route that tuning shops are forced to take, if the Detroit automaker does actually decide to go through with this program.
It is quite possible that Hennessey will be able to produce cars with their claimed levels of power output, but it is only fair to say that their estimates are based on a previously executed project. Beyond the ECU challenges, Hennessey will have to figure out what to do about things such as the fuel system and the Tremec dual-clutch transmission.