In this week’s episode of J-Turn on the Motor Trend YouTube channel, host Jessi Lang finds herself at the famous Texas Mile to test drive a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 tuned by Hennessey Performance. Jessi’s mission: to push the ZL1 to reach John Hennessey’s projected speed of 180 mph on the mile-long track.
The Texas Mile, a straightaway once used by the United States Navy, has since become the location for record-breaking speeds and pushing all breeds of cars to the limit.
The Hennessey-tuned Camaro ZL1 in question is a monster—and that’s putting it lightly. With a supercharged 6.2 liter V8 under the hood, the ZL1 was tuned to about 750 horsepower and 616 lb-ft of torque, while the stock ZL1 lays down about 580 horsepower and 556 lb-ft of torque.
John Hennessey turned the keys over to Jessi and she jumped in the ZL1 to try her hand at the mile track. Her first runs were controlled and calculated. She needed a near-160 mph run to qualify for a Class B license and a shot at bringing the car to top speed. Shifting at 5,000 rpm as Hennessey instructed her, Jessi finished the mile at 156.7 mph.
The second time around, Jessi shifted at 6,000 rpm and reached 180 mph at the end of the mile. Pushing the ZL1 as far as she could the following morning, Jessi managed to pull an impressive 186.6 mph run in the cooler air.
“We thought with the cool air, a little bit of a tail wind, we might see 183, 185 would be awesome and 186.6 mph for the standing mile is really impressive for a car you can drive every day that runs on pump gas,” John explained after all was said and done. “Awesome job Chevy with the ZL1, and awesome job to the guys at Hennessey for giving it a little extra horsepower."