First appearing in the 2017 model year, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE was built with a singular purpose - to be the hardest accelerating, best handling, highest top-end, track monster extraordinaire in the Camaro line-up. I would go even further stacking the ZL1 1LE up against every Chevrolet performance car with the exception of the C7 Corvette ZR1. The C7 Corvette Z06 seems to be an even match with both going back and forth in the win column. I mean they do have the same motor after all. Many independent tests bear this out. The ZL1 1LE is simply that good.
Yet no sooner had the ink dried on 2017 Camaro brochures than Hennessey Performance got to work making the already bonkers ZL1 1LE even nuttier. They seriously have their hands in everything. Building upon the solid GM Alpha platform shared by the Cadillac ATS and CTS, Hennessey made some big changes under the hood with subtle aesthetic additions to the interior and exterior in the HPE 850 package. Fast forward to 2020 and Hennessey is still cranking out versions of the ZL1 1LE. A recently released video shows Hennessey Performance putting an orange colored car - Chevy calls it "Crush" - through its paces.
The HPE 850 engine upgrade is more than just a few bolt-on bits and a fresh tank of gas. What's great about Hennessey Performance is that they've been in the performance car modification business for almost 30 years and have considerable experience and R&D know-how. They not only design, engineer, custom pick components, and manufacture others, but they integrate them all into a complete package with comprehensive tuning backed by a 2-year/24,000 mile limited warranty.
The modifications start with a lower pulley upgrade, high-flow cylinder heads, upgraded valves and springs, upgraded lifters and pushrods, high-flow induction system, long-tube headers and cats, and custom ground cam to Hennessey's own specs. The bottom-end is untouched as it is stout enough to handle a couple hundred extra ponies. After the modifications are complete it's fitted with fresh gaskets, seals, and fluids and treated to an HPE Engine Management calibration. Finally, it goes through extensive road and dyno-tuning before it's returned to the customer. That's Hennessey's magic. Dialing-in all these various components into a unified whole so they enhance rather than detract from the already great foundation of the Camaro ZL1 1LE. Any grease monkey can slap some bolt-ons together and call it a day after all.
Inside the car, and affixed to the motor, Hennessey adds a Limited Production 1 of 100 plaque. HPE 850 custom floor mats on the floor and exterior emblems on the fenders let everyone know that this isn't an ordinary ZL1 1LE. As if it's ordinary to begin with!
Check out a brief review of the 2018 model below. Buckle up.
(via Hennessey Performance)