Watch the Hennessey GMC Yukon Denali Sprint to 60 Faster Than Most Sports Cars - Video
665hp Supercharged Motor Gives the SUV Legs
One gigantic benefit of owning a vehicle with a small-block General Motors engine is the relative ease of modifying it. For proof, look no further than this: a 2015 GMC Yukon Denali equipped with the Hennessey HPE650 supercharger package. For once, the name underrates the vehicle because the HPE650 actually makes 665 hp from its 6.2L General Motors V-8.
As equipped, Hennessey claims it goes from a dead stop to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. That’s faster than a Range Rover Sport Supercharged, to say nothing of more pedigreed, yet slower, sports cars like the Porsche Boxster and Lotus Evora. Still not impressed? The Hennessey Denali will cover a quarter-mile in 13.1 seconds at 110 mph, if you’re feeling adventurous (and you’re on a racetrack, obviously).
Hennessey released a video of the Yukon performing standing-start acceleration runs, and it’s very strange hearing a truck as stately and elegant as the Yukon Denali make the noises it does. The classic small-block burble is accompanied by a sexy supercharger whine, and the luxury SUV jumps off the line like an Olympic sprinter springing from the starting blocks.
We’re a little bit jaded about performance SUVs. While they were something of a novelty back in the days of the GMC Typhoon, today, it seems like most manufacturers offer a racetrack-oriented utility vehicle (read: useless off-road). However, in something like the Hennessey Yukon Denali, it looks like you could still probably tow a boat or drive up a muddy two-lane road without having to make a deal with God to ensure your safety. While this particular truck might not be as fast around corners as the BMW X6 M or Porsche Cayenne Turbo, it’s probably much more practical, especially given its three rows of seating.
Owners of the 6.2L GM engine are treated to three different supercharger packages, making between 557 hp and 665 hp. Hennessey didn’t neglect the 5.3L direct-injected V-8 in lesser GM SUVs and trucks either, as those can be supercharged to produce 508 hp. We’d bet that any one of them would make for a great family SUV, with just enough extra oomph to make them interesting. Also, it’s worth noting that Hennessey covers its supercharger kits with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.
Tuners like Callaway and Lingenfelter have long offered various options for the small-block Chevy engine, but Hennessey is a relative newcomer to the field. The Texas-based company became most famous for its turbocharged Dodge Vipers and Japanese sports cars of the 1990s, but since then, Hennessey has branched into many fields of the automotive aftermarket, including performance products for Chevrolet, Ford, and even Bentley, among others.