Hennessey Performance has the best way of showing off how its products are superior to the competition. While the aftermarket tuning company made its name modifying sports cars, the company offers a wide range of upgrades for pickup trucks and SUVs, too. One such upgrade – the HPE800 – is available for the 2018 Chevy Tahoe RST. The RST is the most potent Tahoe ever, yet Chevy was apprehensive to add the legendary SS badging. The RST’s 6.2-liter V8 – the same engine in the Corvette Stingray and Camaro SS – produces a 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. That’s plenty of power for getting organic kale chips, but underwhelming if you’re in Texas looking for good ribs.
Hennessey’s HPE800 package added a host of performance upgrades to help crank out 805 hp and 812 lb-ft of torque from the Tahoe RST’s 6.2-liter V8. First, the tuner added a 2.9-liter supercharger running 10 psi of boost. There’s a high-flow air-to-water intercooler system, custom forged aluminum pistons, billet steel H-beam connecting rods, long-time headers, upgraded exhaust and much, much more. It’s enough power to rocket the SUV from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds while running a quarter-mile race in 12.3 seconds at 112 mph.
To prove the Tahoe RST’s performance prowess, Hennessey pitted it against a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody with a manual transmission. When you drag race such behemoths, weight does come into play. The Hellcat tips the scale at around 4,498 pounds, while the Tahoe RST weighs in at over 5,356. But even with the weight advantage, the Challenger is no match for the Tahoe’s sheer power. The Hellcat produces 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8. It’s just not enough to compete with the Tahoe. The Tahoe gets a lead off the starting line and continues to pull away, leaving the Challenger in the dust.
It’s unlikely someone will pick the Hellcat over the Tahoe when shopping for a new vehicle. However, if an SUV is a necessity and you want performance, too, Hennessey has you covered.