These days, it seems like the barrier to entry, or rather to get noticed, is the 1,000 rear-wheel horsepower mark. Understandable, since this represents a massive automotive barrier that is being smashed repeatedly these days. However, even as little as 10 years ago, those numbers were nigh on unheard of–especially on the street. But we’re not ones to live in the past and neither are the guys over at Vengeance Racing, where making unheard of power numbers has become the norm. Enter the world’s first 1,000+ rwhp Camaro ZL1, which they’ve conveniently made into a package that anyone can buy.
It Doesn’t Hurt to Start with Good Bones Though
Since the guys at Vengeance started with a car capable of pumping 650 horsepower out of its 6.2-liter LT4, it’s no surprise the the numbers took a quick turn north when they started throwing parts at the build. But cracking the 1,000 horsepower barrier takes a lot more than just throwing parts at a car. No, for that you need the expertise of someone that has been doing this for a while—in this case, Vengeance.
This particular brute started life as a 2017 Camaro ZL1 backed by the coveted 10-speed automatic transmission—a gear box GM claims will shift faster than a PDK. But since being brought to Vengeance, the car has been fitted with what they refer to as their VR1100 package. Obviously the “1100” in VR1100 most likely denotes the crank horsepower—though with numbers like this, it is closer to 1,200 horsepower, but who’s counting?
How To Get There
As we mentioned before, breaking the 1,000-horsepower mark may seem common place these days, but it is anything but easy. Starting with the capable LT4, Vengeance knew they had to make the right upgrades in the right places to set this thing to “Demon kill.” The first decision was on boost, and how to make it in particular.
For that, they turned to ProCharger, who provided one of their massive F-1A-94 head units to cram 19 pounds of boost down the LT4’s throat—with boost pressures like that, you can be sure they’re not messing around. Obviously, the LT4’s stock 1.7-liter roots style supercharger has been given the boot and ProCharger’s efficient centrifugal unit has been added. Most know that the 1.7-liter supercharger is a bit undersized and thus is known for producing a lot of heat even at lower boost pressures. By replacing it with the ProCharger, Vengeance added a lot more efficiency to the setup as well as horsepower.
To more efficiently funnel the incoming boost pressures, they selected a billet intake manifold from the guess over at Late Model Engines. Now that they had more flow from the intake, something had to be done about the stock LT4 cylinder heads. They received some in-house port work to open them up and allow them to support the power. Next, a Vengeance Racing Stage II bumpstick was given the nod to tickle the valves and provide added capacity to the LT4’s fuel system.
To help stretch the taxed fuel system, Vengeance went with an AlkyControl dual nozzle water/meth kit and upgraded the low-side of the fuel system with improved pumps. 2-inch Kooks headers in stainless steel direct spent exhaust gases and funnel them into a Kooks 3-inch X-pipe and axle-back muffler—giving the ZL1 a nasty exhaust note. The car finally received a custom PCM calibration and a little C16 fuel. Yes, the numbers were made on race gas, but considering the stock LT4 has a 10:1 compression ratio and is being force fed 19 psi, it needed it.
Luckily, the Gen V mill’s internals are virtually all forged and up to the task of taking the increased brutality. A seemingly simple combo, but deadly in real-life execution. While this isn’t the first ZL1 to hit 1,000 horsepower at the crank—that distinction goes to the Hennessey Exorcist—it is the first to do it at the wheel, where it counts. What’s more impressive is that it is still backed by all of the stock components that came with the ZL1 i.e. transmission, torque convert, rear end, etc.
Vengeance claims that track times are coming soon. We can’t wait to see what the 10-speed auto is capable of in an application like this, but only time will tell. Stay tuned for more updates.