Today, Hennessey is one of the most prominent names in tuning Chevrolets, along with Lingenfelter. Together, they’re a match for Ford tuners like Shelby as well as Roush. But in the 60s and 70s, there was another prominent Chevy tuner: Yenko. Specialty Vehicle Engineering, the New Jersey-based shop behind the 750-hp Syclone remake, has used the Yenko name a few times so far. And now, it’s on the back of a special Chevy Silverado.
The 2021 SVE Chevy Yenko/SC Silverado
From the factory, the Chevy Silverado’s most powerful is its 6.2-liter V8, which it shares with the Corvette. In the 2020 Silverado, it develops 420 hp and 460 lb-ft.
The 2021 Yenko/SC Silverado also has a 6.2-liter V8, Autoblog reports. However, SVE gave it a supercharger, a water-to-air intercooler, a new fuel pump and injectors, and some beefed-up internal components. Thanks to these mods, as well as high-flow catalytic converters, a cat-back exhaust, and SVE’s stainless-steel headers, it now develops 800 hp and 720 lb-ft.
The higher output required a few other changes, Motor1 reports. Instead of the standard 10-speed automatic, the 2021 Yenko Chevy Silverado has a 6-speed automatic, with upgraded clutch packs and torque converter. To provide enough air and cooling, the truck has a new composite grille and hood inserts.
In addition, SVE’s new Yenko Chevy Silverado comes with a few handling upgrades. For one, it has thicker sway bars, as well as new springs and shocks, Road & Track reports. Also, it’s lower by 2” in the front and 5” in the back. Plus, it rides on lighter-than-stock 22” machined-aluminum wheels and comes with larger-than-stock Brembo front brakes.
SVE rounds out the 2021 Yenko Chevy Silverado with some internal and external mods. In addition to the composite hood and grille, the truck also has a composite tailgate and bumpers, and some Yenko badging. Inside, while embroidered headrests and floor mats are standard, customers can also spec their truck with leather-trimmed seats. And the signature Yenko houndstooth seat inserts are also an option.
SVE’s other Yenko Chevrolets
The 2021 Yenko/SC Chevy Silverado isn’t actually SVE’s first Yenko-branded Silverado. The tuner released one for the 2018 model year, Motor Trend reports, which also had 800 hp. But, instead of a 6.2-liter V8, it featured a customized 6.8-liter V8.
However, the 2018 Yenko Silverado was only available in one form, that of the short bed/standard cab Z71 4×4. In contrast, the 2021 model uses the cheaper Custom trim as the starting point. Also, it can be ordered in 2WD or 4WD form, with either the standard or double cab.
But the Chevy Silverado isn’t the only Chevrolet that SVE applies the Yenko treatment to. The tuner has several Yenko/SC Camaros available as well. The 2020 Stage I Yenko/SC Camaro is based on the SS model but comes with several features from the ZL1 model. These include Brembo brakes, magnetic performance suspension, and upgraded engine, transmission, and differential coolers.
Under the new carbon-fiber hood, though, is a heavily-upgraded supercharged 6.8-liter version of the Camaro’s standard V8. And it’s rated at 1000 hp and 875 lb-ft. Which is why it comes with a heavy-duty version of GM’s 10-speed automatic. And also why it rides on new wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S performance tires. But the Stage 1 Yenko Camaro is available as a coupe or convertible.
But, if you do want to row your own gears, there is a solution: the Stage II Camaro. It has the same 1000-hp engine as the Stage 1, with the same handling and performance features. But instead of the 10-speed, it has a 6-speed manual.
Pricing and availability
If you want SVE’s Yenko Chevy models, you’ll have to act quickly. The shop is only making 50 Silverados, and 50 of each Camaro. That’s actually double the production run of the 2018 model.
As of this writing, Silverado pricing has not been announced. The 2018 model, though, added $46,995 to the donor truck’s base price. That’ll roughly double the cost of a 2020 Chevy Silverado Custom 4×4. However, the parts do come with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.
The Camaro, though, is even pricier. The Drive reports the Yenko Camaro convertible costs $77,995; R&T reports the coupe starts at $70,000. Including the cost of the donor 1SS car, which works out to roughly $108,000 for the coupe.
Hennessey offers an alternative Silverado build in the form of the Goliath 700. For just under $30k, the Texas-based tuner installs a full supercharger kit which boosts the 6.2-liter V8 to 700 hp. Plus, it’s easier to get than SVE’s truck; Hennessey makes 100 Goliath 700s each year.
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