Hennessey Exorcist Camaro Hits 217mph

There aren't that many cars in the world that can reach 217mph, and of those that can there's none less expensive than the Hennessey Exorcist.

Created just to beat Dodge's celebrated Demon special edition – Exorcist slaying the Demon – the 1000bhp pony car is the latest model from a brand obsessed with speed.

The Exorcist starts out life as a $60,000 (£43,000) Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. This standard car is no slouch; a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 produces 641bhp and helps the ZL1 hit 202mph right from the showroom.

Hennessey replaces the supercharger with a larger displacement item, adds a new stainless steel exhaust system with high-flow catalytic convertors, fits new heads, camshafts and valvetrain and upgrades the intercooler.

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This tuning package costs almost as much as the original vehicle, at $55,000 (£39,500). Hennessey will also supply an additional drag package, with drag radial tyres on 20-inch wheels and an upgraded drivershaft for another $9,000 (£6,500). All in, that's an £89,000 car, good for 1000bhp and well over 200mph.

To test the car's actual top speed, Hennessey took the car to Continental's proving grounds in Uvalde, Texas. The 8.5-mile oval there is perfect for high speed runs, and driver Brian Smith managed to hit a verified 217mph – although with more room to play the Exorcist has even more to give.

Although Hennessey is better known as a vehicle tuner, it's also made its own vehicles in pursuit of the outright production car speed record. Its Venom GT set an unofficial world record of 270mph in 2014, not qualifying as an official record due to the small production volumes and the fact the venue – the Kennedy Space Center – wouldn't allow a run in the opposite direction. Hennessey is developing a successor, the Venom F5, to hit 300mph next year.

By Andrew Evans

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