The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE is already a high-performance vehicle in its own right, producing 650 hp from its supercharged LT4 V8 engine it shares with the ZL1, albeit in a track-focused package. There is a certain attraction with a four-figure horsepower number, though, and that is exactly what the Camaro gets with the Yenko SC Stage 2 treatment from Specialty Vehicle Engineering.

The heart, soul and centrepiece of the Yenko SC Stage 2 Camaro is undoubtedly the the engine, which in this case is Specialty Vehicle Engineering’s custom-built 6.8 litre supercharged V8 engine, producing 1,000 hp and 1,186 Nm of torque; a coupe with manual transmission is the sole configuration available.

The build starts with the LT1 engine block from the Camaro SS as a base, which is blueprinted and installed with computer-balanced rotating assemblies including a forged 4340 steel crankshaft, H-beam steel connecting rods, forged aluminium pistons, CNC-ported LT4 cylinder heads, a custom high-output supercharger, and an uprgraded fuel system and injectors.

Powertrain cooling includes an engine oil cooler, dual outboard radiators, transmission cooler and a rear differential cooler for the electronic LSD. On the chassis side, Magnetic Ride Control features alongside ‘performance-tuned suspension’ with unique bushings, springs and stabiliser bars. Rolling stock is a set of 20-inch wheels with gloss black spokes and machined rims, mounted with Michelin PS4S tyres.

Looks are part of the set, too, and the Yenko SC Stage 2 includes exterior and interior features to distinguish it from lesser Camaros. These include a body colour-painted carbon-fibre bonnet (hood, in American parlance) with non-functional scoop and grille, ‘1000HP’ hood cowl badging, Yenko crest badges plus hood and side stripes.

Inside, occupants get Recaro performance seats, while Yenko branding features on embroidered floormats, headrests and on a badge crest with vehicle build number – production is limited to a run of 25 units. As for exterior paint finishes, there are 10 colours available for the Yenko SC Stage 2 Camaro, with seven colours available for the hood stripe and side graphics.

Pricing for the mega-horsepower car isn’t stated, though Specialty Vehicle Engineering offers a three-year, 60,000 km limited warranty for the engine and supercharger assembly, as well as for non-powertrain components.

The name originated from race car driver Don Yenko, who was best known for creating high-performance versions of GM cars such as the Yenko Camaro. The first of Yenko’s aftermarket conversions was a modified version of the Chevrolet Corvair, featuring an upgraded differential, transmission, suspension, steering and of course engine upgrades.

The first Camaro to bear the name was the 1967 Yenko Super Camaro, powered by a 450 hp version of the Corvette’s 7.0 litre V8. Yenko embarked on this direction as he saw the Camaro to be at a serious disdvantage against rivals such as the Ford Mustang and Plymouth Barracuda, which did not have to deal with corporate mandates such as Chevrolet’s, limiting the Camaro to engines no larger than 6.6 litres.

The 2018 Yenko SC Stage 2 is a homage to the first-generation original. Specialty Vehicle Engineering was founded by Ed Hamburger, a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Hall of Fame inductee. Hamburger started much like Yenko, selling performance components for small block-equipped Chrysler race cars.

Hamburger formed Street Legal Performance (SLP) in 1987 before selling his Chrysler performance parts business in 1988, and has gone on to produce specialty vehicles for GM ever since. Street Legal Performance underwent a name change to become Specialty Vehicle Engineering in 2014.