Yenko Camaros are part of muscle car royalty. Originally devised surreptitiously more than 50 years ago by Don Yenko and Yenko Chevrolet, circumventing Chevy rules about engines by dropping a Corvette 7.0-litre in a Camaro, the rarity and performance has ensured reverential status ever since. There was one in 2Fast 2Furious and everything.
Now there's a new Yenko, again taking the Camaro to another extreme of performance. Built by Specialty Vehicle Engineering (SVE) in New Jersey, which now owns the Yenko brand and has a line in silly Chevys, this Yenko makes 1000hp. One thousand horsepower. Stroked from the standard 6.2 to 6.8 litres, the V8 now also features a forged crank, forged pistons, ported heads, new fuel system, a honking great supercharger, bigger throttle body, bespoke headers... the whole kit and kaboodle. It's manual only, and there's a 36,000-mile warranty on it as well - perfect.
Marking the Yenko out, beyond the fantastic array of 12 colour combos - from white on Rally Green Metallic to Flat Black on Crush - are new five-spoke wheels (with Michelin PS4 tyres), a hood scoop, Yenko badges, the stripes and a build plaque. All things being relative it's a pretty modest overhaul for the power, given a Camaro is pretty imposing as standard.
In fact, such is the unrelenting focus on huge power that not much else has been touched at all. Arguably that's in keeping with the true muscle car tradition of straight-line performance at the expense of everything else, but to see not a single suspension upgrade and a caliper colour change as the only brake change is a little concerning. The Camaro is better dynamically that it's ever been, though that is a heck of a lot more power than standard.
Still, limited chassis mods make the Yenko more affordable - for 1,000hp, that is. MotorAuthority says the SVE pack costs $68,995 on top of a Camaro 1SS or 2SS with 1LE package. Given a 1SS 1LE is less than $40k retail, that means a 1,000hp Camaro in the US for the price of a 911 cabriolet. There's only going to be 50 made, too. PHers of the US, your Chevrolet dealer is waiting for you...