It takes a Texas-sized ambition — some might say ego — to grab the world's hottest sports cars, tinker with their innards and then plaster your name across the windshield. Fortunately for John Hennessey, that tinkering often produces a car that's wilder and wickedly more powerful, so much so that when Hennessey wanted to get his twin-turbo Cadillac CTS-V up to 220 mph, he had to borrow an unopened stretch of new Texas toll road.
Last week, Hennessey and the Texas state troopers were back at it — this time with a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray bumped up to 700 hp, proving once again that the Lone Star State can properly track cars traveling 200 mph.
Hennessey's first stab at tweaking the Stingray for more power has been fairly mild by his standards; of the 240-hp step up from the stock machine, 100 hp came from a nitrous system, with the rest provided by enlarged headers, exhausts and other deep-breathing changes. Hennessey plans to sell a different setup with a supercharger instead of nitrous providing the 700-hp tune, for $22,500 on top of the price of the Vette itself.
Hitting 200 mph requires not just brute force, but a lot of road. Luckily for Hennessey, Texas authorities are not only building copious amounts of new toll roads like the stretch outside Houston shown below, but generally take a pro-business outlook towards letting a tuner do high-speed testing. Since the road carries no traffic yet, the state patrol was there mostly as spectators and to test their radar guns on a 200-mph target. Hennessey also took the opportunity to test out a supercharged Chevy SS that, while not as powerful as the Stingray, still hit 164 mph.