Friends, we've become horsepower blind. What does that mean? In short, if a performance car doesn't have at least 500 hp these days, it's not a big deal. Perhaps this 2000 Chevrolet Corvette can help us reset our definitions, because it zips down the autobahn at 172 mph using less hp than many pickup trucks these days.
This is the latest AutoTopNL video, featuring a "modified" C5 Corvette with upgraded exhaust and a claimed output of 344 hp. That's actually one hp less than these cars had at the factory, so we suspect the video lists the stock output of the 'Vette's 5.7-liter V8. In any case, it sounds mean as hell – raspy and burbly with pops, backfires, and yes, flames. It's certainly modified, but if the changes are only to the exhaust, it won't have much more juice than a stock C5.
Seeing the car in action supports this theory. Back in 2000, Chevrolet listed the standard Corvette as having a top speed of 175 mph. That seems a bit off these days as we watch cars with considerably more horsepower struggling to reach that mark. But this is a 3,300-pound two-seater with pop-up headlights and a sleek profile. It doesn't take quite as big a punch to send it through the air, and at full throttle we see this particular Corvette charge right up to that 175-mph mark.
Actually, we see it go beyond per the speedometer. 295 kph shows up on the needle before the driver lifts, though it could be an optimistic achievement. 277 kph appears on the digital readout to the left, which is 172 mph. Any way you slice it, that's fast for a car with under 400 hp. And that brings us back to the "modified" bit, because this car doesn't appear to have much left beyond that speed. It lines up with Chevy's official stats for 2000, so you're likely looking at a near-stock 23-year-old Corvette hanging with a plethora of modern-day machines from Mercedes-AMG and BMW M.
If an old Corvette with under 400 hp can do this, what might the new ZR1 do with double the power? We can't wait to see that top speed video.