The American government’s bailout loan to General Motors will have come as fantastic news to anyone wanting to bag one of the few Chevrolet Camaros due in the UK in 2010.
The chances of getting hold of a Hennessey HPE700 through official channels however – probably the ultimate tuned version of the Camaro, and what must become one of the hottest muscle cars of 2009 – will be slimmer than the General’s 2009 profit margins. But given the rather apocalyptic makeover this car’s been through, perhaps that’s for the best.
Houston tuner Hennessey announced this new, limited edition coupe yesterday. It will build the fettled Chevy using the 400bhp range-topping Camaro SS as a basis, but by removing that car’s engine and strapping the supercharged 6.2-litre V8 from the Corvette ZR1 into its place. The transplanted motor will be tuned to produce some 700bhp and 717lb ft of torque, and should turn the Camaro into a car capable of acceleration from 0-100mph in less than seven seconds.
Hennessey will also strap the hottest Corvette’s 15in carbon-ceramic brakes to the HPE700, as well as its translucent plastic engine cover. It will overhaul the car’s chassis and body too, the latter getting an extended carbonfibre bodykit including a spoiler, rocker panels, a front splitter and a new grille. And though this may be the most bombastic piece of Americana we’ll see all year, its new panels were designed by a Brit – Hennessey’s Steve Everitt.
The HPE700 Camaro will go on sale to the public later this month, from $109,500. Buy one and you’ll get a day’s performance driving tuition free, although interestingly it’s carried out on a dragstrip, rather than a circuit with, err, corners.