800-Horsepower Yenko Corvette Unveiled Ahead of Barrett-Jackson
Is This Limited-Edition Yenko Corvette a Case of What the Z06 Should Have Been?
Behold the 2017 Yenko Corvette. Based off the Grand Sport, this 800-horsepower tire-destroyer is the biggest bragging-rights C7 Corvette ever, and you can buy one from your Chevrolet dealer. Simply specify that you want the Yenko package, have an extra $46,000 to spend on top of the Corvette Grand Sport’s price, and you’ll own one of the rarest Corvettes ever built. Specialty Vehicle Engineering (SVE), the company that will turn your Grand Sport into a Yenko, is only planning on building 50 of these special-edition cars.
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Perhaps you’re thinking, “An 800-horsepower Corvette you can buy from your Chevy dealer? The Z06 already has its share of heat issues at 650 hp.”
According to David Hamburger, Vice President of SVE, the Yenko Corvette will not have those overheating issues. This is because compared with the Z06’s under-hood bits, the Yenko Corvette takes a different approach.
Instead of using an LT4, SVE takes the Grand Sport’s LT1 and increases its displacement from 6.2 to 6.8 liters, or 376 to 416 cubic inches. SVE then pairs that increased swept volume with a 2.9-liter twin-screw supercharger. Recall the Z06’s supercharger, at 1.7 liters, is about half the size of the SVE unit.
After that, SVE upgrades internals by installing a forged 4340 steel crankshaft, H-beam rods, forged aluminum pistons, and then SVE rounds things out with a set of CNC-ported-and-polished cylinder heads. The only significant powertrain components borrowed from the Z06 are the LT4’s fuel system and injectors. In addition to the 800 horsepower mentioned earlier, the Viagra-fied LT1 makes 750 lb-ft of torque. The rest of the conversion involves exterior appearance flourishes like Yenko logos and vinyl Yenko striping along the sides of the car, as well as painted striping down the car’s center section.
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It takes about five days to convert a Grand Sport into a Yenko Corvette, but the engineering development took six months. Interestingly, while simultaneously engineering the car’s various components, the folks at SVE spent five months perfecting the quad exhaust finisher casting you see below.
Everything else is pretty much Corvette Grand Sport. That means you can have your pick of coupe or convertible with either a 7-speed manual (the way God intended) or an 8-speed automatic that, according to SVE, gets a special tune to handle the dramatically increased power.
We were able to get an exclusive sneak peek of the 2017 Yenko Corvette at the headquarters of Classic Industries in Huntington Beach, California. Ironically, this car can’t be sold in California because it isn’t CARB-certified. The reason for the SoCal unveiling, however, traces back to the sister company of Classic Industries, General Marketing Capital Incorporated. GMCI owns the Yenko trademark under license.
The Yenko Corvette will get its public unveiling at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auctions happening Jan. 14 to 22.
With only 50 Yenko Corvettes slated for production, it’s unlikely one of these will show up at a track day to prove itself literally cooler than a Z06. The Yenko name and rarity go hand-in-hand. Chances are most owners will relegate these cars to life in the garage with no possibility of parole. Though if one of you potential owners is daring enough to put your Yenko/SC Corvette through its paces on a hot track day, we’ll be here to tell your story.