These days, you never know what’s going to pull up beside you at a stoplight. It could be a stock resto C3, a mildly modified C5, or a twin-turbo Z06 with custom, carbon-inlaid wheels and a solid-roller, 457ci engine. When the light changes, assuming there’s, say, half a mile to the next one, one of those cars might accelerate to 60, the other to 100, and the Z06? Well, how does 192 mph sound? From a dead stop, with the radio blaring, the A/C blowing, and the engine running cool. Like we said, these days, you just never know, but if you happen to pull up next to William Thomas in his Vengeance Racing–built Z, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

And when we say, “pull up beside you at a stoplight,” we really mean it, since this is a genuine, street-driven car that Thomas commissioned to “enjoy amongst his friends and family…because that’s what real Vette enthusiasts do!” In fact, every aspect of this car was carefully weighed and optimized for the purposes of going fast, turning heads, and having blast.

Of course, if you’re going to build a Corvette that makes nearly 1,500 crank hp in daily traffic, you’ve got to expect a couple of hiccups along the way. Fortunately Vengeance had already built several 1,000-hp LS-powered Vettes for other customers, so Thomas knew that the project, while sure to prove challenging, was well within the realm of possibility.

To begin, almost everything in the Z was removed—including the engine, transmission, rearend, suspension, wheels and tires, interior, and even the fuel system—as it all had to be replaced to make the kind of power Thomas was after. The entire LS7, from the cylinder heads to the crankshaft, was tossed in favor of a fresh aluminum block from Racing Head Service (RHS). The alloy unit featured a “tall deck” design, allowing Vengeance to stuff big cubic inches into a relatively compact package.

With 4.135-inch cylinder bores and a 4.250-inch Callies billet crankshaft, the combination spec’d out at 457 cubic inches. It was filled with a set of double-hard-anodized Diamond pistons and Callies Ultra 6.460-inch connecting rods. “Big” being the name of the game on this build, Vengeance topped the low-compression 457 with a set of 305cc LS7 cylinder heads from Mast Motorsports. Those massive ports came with big flow, so a gigantic solid roller camshaft was ground to take advantage of them. Just how big? How about 0.714-inches of lift on both the intake and exhaust lobes, and 248/252 degrees of duration? (For comparison’s sake, consider that the factory LS7 cam specs out at 0.591/0.591 and 211/230, respectively.)

While the resulting 457 would have been more than enough to scare most people, Thomas isn’t most people, and the Vengeance crew knew it would take a couple hundred more CFM of intake charge to meet his goals. With that in mind, Vengeance lead fabricator Jey Clegg got to work building a custom twin-turbo system for the beast. Starting with a set of Precision 67/66 billet wheel turbochargers, Clegg was tasked with cutting, fitting, and welding the rest of the system from scratch, using nothing more than some stainless steel tubing and a TIG machine.

Bucking design convention, Vengeance chose to build a set of 4-2-1 turbo manifolds out of 17⁄8-inch stainless; this setup would flow enough exhaust to keep backpressure in check while helping to produce a healthy torque curve. Three-inch downpipes channel exhaust gasses away from the turbos, while aluminum charge piping links to a 30x10x4.5-inch intercooler stuffed in front of the Z’s radiator. Set at 22 pounds of boost, the turbo system enabled the 457 to pump out 1,250 rwhp and more than 1,000 rwtq, scandalously high numbers for a street car.

All of that power flows through an RPM Transmissions Level 6 TR6060 six-speed manual and an RPS triple-disc carbon-fiber clutch. Out back, the Z relies on an RPM Stage 4 differential, which was stuffed with a set of turbo-friendly 3.42:1 gears. Driveshaft Shop axles spin those meaty 360 Forged rear wheels, which were wrapped in Nitto NT05 tires in an attempt to keep the Z06 hooked up.

Believe it or not, traction isn’t that hard to come by, thanks to quality tuning and a serious boost-control system calibrated by the Vengeance team. Want proof? How about the fact that the Thomas’ Z06 ran 192 mph in a standing-start half-mile competition held in Chicago last spring, taking home Top MPH/Two-Wheel Drive Domestic honors in the process. Better yet, Thomas still had a couple psi—and a couple hundred hp—left in the boost controller, meaning the vaunted 200-mph mark (which most supercars struggle to achieve in the full mile) is well within reach.

Of course, having that much thrust on tap tends to make hitting big top speeds a pretty simple challenge. So make sure you’re paying attention the next time an Atomic Orange Z06 rolls up next to you: You just never know what might be lurking under the hood.

every aspect of this car was carefully weighed and optimized for the purposes of going fast, turning heads, and having a blast

Spec Sheet
’07 Z06
Owner William Thomas; Morton, IL
Block RHS tall-deck aluminum
Displacement 457 ci
Heads Mast Motorsports LS7 305cc (12-deg, 6-bolt)
Valves Mast Motorsports 2.250/1.600-in
Camshaft Vengeance Racing custom solid roller (248/252-deg duration at 0.050, 0.714/0.714-in lift, 116 LSA)
Pistons Diamond forged aluminum
Compression 9.5:1
Crankshaft Callies billet steel
Rods Callies Ultra forged steel
Oil System Stock dry-sump
Fuel Pump Triple 300-lph DeatschWerks in-tank
Fuel Injection Bosch 1,200cc injectors, Aeromotive regulator, billet rails
Power Adder Vengeance Racing twin-turbo system with Precision 67/66 turbochargers
Intake Manifold Ported stock composite
Ignition Stock coil-near-plug
Engine Management Haltech Sport 2000, tuned by Mike Carnahan
Exhaust 17⁄8-in 4-2-1 turbo manifolds, 3-in downpipes, B&B Fusion mufflers
Transmission RPM Transmissions Level 6 TR6060 six-speed manual
Clutch RPS triple-disc carbon
Rearend RPM Transmissions Level 4 with Quaife differential and 3.42 gears
Suspension Stock Z06
Brakes Stock Z06
Wheels 360 Forged; 19x10-in (front), 19x12.5-in (rear)
Tires Nitto NT05; 275/30ZR19 (front), 345/30ZR19 (rear)
Current Mileage 7,000

Fifteen-hundred crank horsepower, and Will Thomas’ ’07 Z06 still looks like a top-quality show car.