With minimal effort, Hennessey keeps the Viper ahead in the ‘Mine’s Bigger’ race.
|PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICH CHENET AND THE MANUFACTURERS,||December 2007|
Consider that, in the 16 years since the launch of the Dodge Viper and the already numerous face-offs between it and the king of American performance icons, the Chevrolet Corvette, the Viper has always held the upper hand in the horsepower battle. With the upcoming 2009 Corvette ZR1 promising more than the 2008 Viper’s 600 horsepower, John Hennessey is here to reassure the Viper community that they can maintain the advantage they have grown so accustomed to.
For $11,500 (including installation), Hennessey Performance Engineering in Sealy, Texas, will upgrade any 2008 Viper, coupe or roadster, to Venom 650R spec. The name is slightly misleading because the final horsepower count is in fact 678, but who would want Venom 678R plastered on the car’s flanks?
When you start with 8.4 liters and 600 horsepower, an increase of 78 demands only a K&N air filter and a tweaked exhaust featuring custom headers, aftermarket catalytic converters, and high-flow mufflers. That’s it. The only other performance upgrade is two-piece brake rotors, which save eight pounds per corner. Otherwise, the price of entry nets buyers a laundry list of “look at me!” features: “Powered by Hennessey” valve-cover badges, Hennessey and Venom 650R exterior badges, a Hennessey windshield banner, “Hennessey Venom Power” floor mats, and serial-numbered plaques on the dash and in the engine bay.