25 of the Most Powerful Chevy Models Ever Produced

2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible | James Derek Sapienza/Autos Cheat Sheet

There’s nothing like some good American muscle, and for over half a century, Chevrolet has been at the forefront of producing cars with a wicked amount of power. Cars like the Chevy Corvette or the Camaro have long been the benchmark for speed freaks, but the American automaker has had plenty of other models that packed obscene horsepower under the hood, too. Most Chevys may be focused on efficient and effective transportation, but the company certainly hasn’t forgotten about the intoxicating effects of a powerful car or truck.

When you think of powerful Chevys, you probably think back to the late 1960s and early 1970s — when the muscle car era was going strong. But some of its most powerful models have only just come out, meaning there’s plenty to love about its current performance lineup. Here are 25 of the most powerful Chevys to ever hit the road.

25. 1966 Chevy II Nova L-79

1966 Chevy II L-79
Chevy II L-79 | Hemmings

Horsepower: 350

Back in the mid- to late-1960s, the horsepower wars raged. While the real thirst for power wouldn’t take hold until the tail end of the decade, in 1966 the Chevy II L-79 came out with a 350 horsepower V8 engine. While that might not seem like a wild amount for a modern performance car, at the time it was quite a lot.

24. 2017 Tahoe

2016 Chevrolet Tahoe
Tahoe | General Motors

Horsepower: 355

Chevrolet doesn’t just put powerful engines in its performance cars. The company does a good job of providing shoppers for all types of its vehicles with plenty of power to get where they need to be comfortably. The Tahoe is a perfect example of a vehicle you might not think of as having a lot of power, but it does. The vehicle boasts 355 horsepower from its 6.2 liter V8.

23. 2017 Suburban

2017 Chevrolet Suburban
Chevrolet Suburban | Chevrolet

Horsepower: 355

The Suburban is the oldest nameplate in the American auto industry. And while many years of this venerable SUV are worth appreciating, the latest version will excite anyone looking for a full-size SUV with plenty of power. Like the Tahoe, the Suburban’s V8 engine produces 355 horsepower. That means this big ride is more than happy to go anywhere and tackle just about anything.

22. 1969 Nova SS

1969 Nova SS
1969 Nova SS | Mecum

Horsepower: 375

The Chevrolet Nova SS is the muscle car that many Baby Boomers remember fondly. With an available 375 horsepower V8, the Nova SS more than able to smoke the rear tires. Nowadays, these cars are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. It’s no wonder why: The Nova SS looks great and has the performance credentials to back it up.

21. 1987 Corvette Callaway Twin-Turbo

1987 Corvette Callaway Twin-Turbo
1987 Corvette Callaway Twin-Turbo | Callaway

Horsepower: 390

Callaway is a performance engineering company that works closely with Chevrolet to turn its already impressive performance cars into crazy machines. In 1987, Callaway created a twin-turbocharged Corvette that shocked just about everyone out there. The car produced 390 horsepower and was wickedly fast. In short, the tuning company took an already fast car and made it even faster.

20. 1996 Callaway Impala SS

1996 Callaway Impala SS
1996 Callaway Impala SS | Mecum

Horsepower: 404

Just like it did with the Corvette, Callaway had a little fun with the already sporty mid-’90s Impala. Callaway took the 260 horsepower full-size sedan, turbocharged it, and transformed it into a 404 horsepower rocket. On top of making the engine more powerful, it also updated the car’s brakes and suspension to handle all that extra grunt.

19. 2017 SS

Chevrolet SS Sedan
Chevrolet SS Sedan | Chevrolet

Horsepower: 415

The Chevrolet SS is the car to get if you need five seats, four doors, and a V8 with a lot of horsepower. The SS’ engine cranks out 415 horses, and with an available six-speed manual found in the Camaro SS, it’s it a dream car for anyone who needs to buy a family car, but still wants to have some fun. While you can still snatch up one up for now, Chevrolet has decided to kill it off after 2017, so you better act fast if you want one.

18. 2017 Chevrolet Silverado

Chevy Silverado 2017
Chevrolet Silverado | General Motors

Horsepower: 420

Chevy trucks have always been built to haul, and that means, you guessed it, a lot of power. The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado has an available 420 horsepower V8, meaning there isn’t much it can’t handle. And if you’re not towing anything, the pickup offers enough get up and go that you can have a little fun when you’re off the clock.

17. 2009 Corvette Z06 GT1 Championship Edition

2009 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT1 Championship Edition
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT1 Championship Edition | American Muscle Car Museum

Horsepower: 430

This limited edition of Chevrolet’s supercar was developed to commemorate the success of Corvette’s endurance racing program. Coincidentally, this 2009 model also marked 70 years of Chevrolet’s car doing its thing on the racetrack. While it was nominally a street car, this special edition’s 430 horsepower V8 made it quite a monster on the track too.

16. 1967 Corvette L71

1967 Corvette L71
1967 Corvette L71 | Mecum

Horsepower: 435

Everyone knows the Corvette is a powerful car, but back in 1967, the Corvette L71 took things to a new level. The 435 horsepower V8 made this already svelte car fly down the road at speeds that matched more exotic cars from Ferrari and Porsche. As beautiful as it was fast, ’67 was arguably one of the best years for the Corvette.

15. 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD | Chevrolet

Horsepower: 445

Big pickup trucks need huge engines to move them down the road and tow and haul like they’re meant to. The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD equipped with the Duramax diesel V8 has more than enough power to do everything you’ll need. This engine puts out 455 horsepower and 910 pound feet of torque.

14. 1970 Chevelle SS LS6

chevrolet SS
Chevelle SS | Chevrolet

Horsepower: 450

The car pictured above is many a Chevy fan-boy’s dream car. Not only is the SS LS6 one of the best looking muscle cars ever built, it also packs a 450 horsepower V8 under the hood. While there are quite a few other legendary Chevys from the muscle car era, the big block Chevelle is one of the most sought after.  

13. 2017 Camaro SS

Camaro 1SS
Camaro 1SS | Micah Wright/Autos Cheat Sheet

Horsepower: 455

The 2017 Camaro is available with a few different engine options, but if you really want to have fun in this car you should get the 455 horsepower, V8-powered Camaro SS. There are two different SS trim levels and while the 2SS trim offers more amenities and options, both of them come with this seriously powerful engine.

12. 2017 Corvette Stingray

Corvette Stingray
Corvette Stingray | Chevrolet

Horsepower: 460

The Stingray is a legendary nameplate in Corvette history, and after disappearing for decades, came back in 2014 and has been making up for lost time. Even though it’s relegated to being the ‘Vette’s “base model,” it still cranks out 460 horsepower from its 6.2 liter V8. 


11. 2017 Corvette Grand Sport

2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport | Chevrolet

Horsepower: 460

The Corvette Z06 may be the most powerful car in Chevy’s lineup right now, but if you want a truly balanced sports car, you may like the Grand Sport better. Sure it doesn’t have 650 horsepower, but the car’s 460 horsepower V8 engine is more than enough in just about every situation, while suspension upgrades make it a serious threat on the track.

10. 2015 Camaro Z28

2015 Camaro Z28
Camaro Z28 | Chevy

Horsepower: 505

The Z28 name is legendary among fans of fast cars everywhere. When most people think of the car, they think of the ’60s or ’80s versions. But if it’s power you’re really after, you want the 2015 model. The latest version of the venerable car was tuned for the track and has 505 horsepower at its disposal. We can’t wait for the new model, which could debut as early as 2018.

9. 2013 Corvette 427

2013 corvette 427
Corvette 427 | Chevrolet

Horsepower: 505

The Corvette is a wonderful car that has capabilities beyond what most drivers can actually do. Still, that doesn’t mean you don’t want as much horsepower as possible, right? The Corvette 427 sure had plenty. The 427 was basically the convertible version of the racetrack-ready Corvette Z06. With 505 horsepower on tap, it put plenty of wind in your hair.  

8. 2017 Silverado 1500 Callaway SC560

Silverado 1500 Callaway SC560
Silverado 1500 Callaway SC560 | Callaway

Horsepower: 560

Callaway’s still working away to make fast Chevys even faster. Case in point is the Silverado 1500 Callaway SC560. The truck has 560 horsepower, which means it can travel at speeds most pickups couldn’t come close too. Don’t mistake this thing for your typical work truck: It’ll blow the doors off most performance cars out there.

7. 2011 Corvette Callaway SC606

Callaway SC606
Callaway SC606 | Callaway

Horsepower: 606

Callaway loves tinkering with the Corvette, and one of its best creations is the 2011 Corvette SC606. The car has a whopping 606 horsepower on tap, as well as a performance suspension and other component upgrades to manage all that power. While this isn’t the most powerful Callaway car out there, it’s still worth drooling over.

6. 2017 Camaro Callaway SC630

Camaro SC630
Camaro SC630 | Callaway

Horsepower: 630

 When the 2016 all-new Camaro came out in 2016, it didn’t take Callaway long to turn it into one demonic ride. The SC630 produces — surprise! — 630 horsepower. While the new Camaro ZL1 beats this car in terms of power and looks, if you can’t get the ZL1, the Callaway SC630 is the next best thing.

5. 2013 Corvette ZR1

Corvette ZR1 | Source: GM

Horsepower: 638

The Corvette ZR1 is often seen as the pinnacle of the Corvette vehicle line. A new ZR1 is in the works and may appear in 2018, but until then, let’s look back and appreciate the supercharged V8-powered beast that was the 2013 ZR1. Cranking out 638 horses, it was right up there with the Dodge Viper in terms of wild and crazy power.  

4. 2017 Camaro ZL1

2017 Camaro ZL1
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 | Chevrolet

Horsepower: 650

In the past, the Camaro was never allowed to have as much power as the Corvette. Luckily, things change, and now the Camaro ZL1 packs a whopping 650 horsepower, which ties its performance car sibling. If you love power but need to have it in a muscle car, the Camaro ZL1 is the way to go.

3. 2017 Corvette Z06

2016 Chevrolet Z06
Corvette Z06 C7.R | Chevrolet

Horsepower: 650

The latest Corvette Z06 is the fastest new car you can buy with Chevy’s name on it. The car features 650 horsepower and race ready suspension components. And while some will argue that the new Corvette Grand Sport is the better overall driver’s car, it’s hard to say no to the supercar-slaying Z06

2. 2011 Corvette Hennessey ZR750

Horsepower: 755

Hennessey Performance Engineering connected with Chevrolet to take a Corvette ZR1 and turn it into a high-horsepower monster. The ZR750 blasted out 750 horsepower thanks to the Texas tuning company’s wild performance upgrades. That meant it was good for a claimed 244 miles per hour.

1. 1988 Corvette Callaway SledgeHammer

1988 Callaway Sledgehammer Corvette
Callaway Sledgehammer | Mecum

Horsepower: 898

The most powerful Corvette on this list, the Callaway SledgeHammer is the 898 horsepower monster that the tuning company built with Chevy’s blessing in the late 1980s. Not only did the SledgeHammer put up supercar-killing power, its suspension system, wheels and just about everything else were beefed up to handle it all.