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Dodge Demon Be Gone: Hennessey’s Exorcist Looks to Expel the Competition

The 1,000 hp Camaro conversion recently reached 217 mph at a test track in Texas.

The Hennessey Exorcist. Photo: Courtesy Hennessey Performance.

Hennessey Performance Engineering—the speed-obsessed supercar builder and tuning shop based out of Texas—has recently forged one hell of a muscle machine. The 1,000 hp Exorcist is a souped-up 2018 ZL1 Chevrolet Camaro that recently cast out any doubt as to its competitive prowess when, at the Continental Tire Proving Grounds, it reached a top speed of 217 mph.

Its name is no mere marketing gimmick but a devilish shot across the bow of the Challenger SRT Demon. Dodge introduced that 808 hp, V-8 adolescent fantasy in 2017 at the New York International Auto Show, and it was welcomed by well-deserved praise from driving enthusiasts mourning the slow death of eight cylinders, superchargers, and rear-wheel drive. The Demon, however, is limited to a top speed of 168 mph, and Hennessey’s Exorcist was ordained to banish it from the ranks of the swiftest.

The Hennessey Exorcist.

The 1,000 hp Exorcist recently topped out at 217 mph.  Photo: Courtesy Hennessey Performance.

Along the way, the Camaro easily surpassed the 213 mph top speed of the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, making the Exorcist among the fastest consumer production muscle cars ever built. Company founder John Hennessey says he wanted the Demon to have a rival, and the Camaro ZL1 was the perfect choice.

“It’s more of an athletic vehicle. Not only can it go fast in a straight line like the Demon, it can also handle the curves and braking necessary for road course racing.”

The Hennessey design and engineering team added an astounding 350 hp to the standard ZL1’s factory-supercharged LT4 V-8 engine. They did so by greatly increasing airflow through the engine and upgrading the 1.7-liter supercharger to a new 2.9-liter system.


The Hennessey Exorcist.

The Camaro conversion’s bolstered power comes from increased airflow through the engine and a supercharger upgrade.  Photo: Courtesy Hennessey Performance.

“We have proven experience with this Chevrolet engine,” Hennessey adds. “It was a no-brainer to squeeze all the power possible out of it.”

A larger intercooler, upgraded cylinder heads, a retooled camshaft, improved engine management recalibration, and chassis dyno tuning completed the Exorcist’s unholy transformation. Features retained from the standard issue include the 10-speed automatic transmission, the wheels and tires, and the car’s interior comfort and entertainment amenities.

Hennessey will build 100 examples of the Exorcist, each dressed in Jesuit black and available at a starting price of $119,950.

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