The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette comes with the Stingray nameplate, a sleek new design, and a healthy 460 hp V-8 engine. For some, however, this all-American sports car leaves something to be desired in the performance department: The outgoing 2013 Corvette ZR1 still holds the title of “most powerful Corvette ever produced,” with its 638 hp V-8 engine. For those looking to outdo last year’s ZR1, Callaway Cars and Hennessey Performance each have an answer.
Callaway Cars (not to be mistaken for the golf brand bearing the same family name)—which is headquartered in Connecticut and also has facilities in Southern California and Germany—has been designing style and performance upgrades to Corvettes for over 25 years. The 2014 Callaway Corvette offers up a new supercharger that provides additional heat-transfer capability for more power; an innovative triple-element intercooler system for a cooler, denser intake charge; and a muffler designed with a single acoustic chamber for minimum restriction and the signature Callaway sound. Currently still in developmental testing, this Callaway-tuned ’Vette promises to deliver over 620 hp and 600 ft lbs of torque when it becomes available to the public in late May after durability testing and validation, performance and driving testing, and emissions-compliance testing are completed. The Callaway treatment is priced at $22,995 over the roughly $53,000 factory price of the 2014 Corvette Stingray, and it comes with a standard 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.
Hennessey Performance, located outside of Houston, puts even more power into the 2014 Corvette. Known for producing 1,000 hp Dodge Vipers, Hennessey has turned its focus to another U.S. standard to produce the HPE700 Twin-Turbo Corvette. As the name implies, a twin-turbo system is at the heart of this Hennessey-tuned car. Producing 7 pounds per square inch of boost pressure, this modification increases the stock Corvette’s output to over 700 hp and 661 ft lbs of torque, enabling the car to hit 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds. In testing on Hennessey’s own quarter-mile track, the HPE700 broke the 200 mph mark on its way to an estimated top speed of 210 mph. Hennessey offers a turnkey price tag of $120,000 for the HPE700 Stingray, which includes the base Corvette with 3LT and Z51 factory options. John Hennessey, the company’s founder, sums it up best: “We’ve taken America’s sports car and transformed it into America’s supercar.” (860.434.9002, www.callawaycars.com; 979.885.1300, www.hennesseyperformance.com)