In 1967, the very first Yenko Camaro made its way onto the streets of the United States. Having had a similar face to the standard Chevrolet Camaro, one would suspect not much differs between the two variants. However, you immediately knew the car meant business once you popped the hood and saw its big V8. On the 2023 Yenko Camaro, not much has changed in that regard. One look under its hood, and you know it’s ready to party.
Whereas a 396 cubic-inch 6.5-liter V8 powered a standard Camaro SS of the time, the Yenko Camaro borrowed its engine from its big brother — the Corvette. Boasting a 427 cubic-inch 7.0-liter L72, it had a factory rated 450 horsepower on tap (although real-world numbers were said to be even higher), putting it on par with some rarer-optioned Mustangs like the Shelby cars.
This decision resulted from GM’s restrictions on the size of the engine allowed in the Camaro, thus, putting it behind rivals such as the Ford Mustang and Dodge Dart. However, Don Yenko, dealership owner and racing driver, was not satisfied with GM’s decision, and the Yenko Super Camaro was born.
Fast forward to 2010, and the Yenko name was reimagined via the fifth-gen Camaro at SEMA, boasting a supercharged LS3. Using the sixth-gen Camaro platform, the Yenko name was reinstated again in 2016. Built by Speciality Vehicle Engineering (SVE), this new generation of Yenkos features the Gen V LT1 making anywhere between 750 and 1,000 horsepower, depending on the options chosen. These latest Yenko Camaros remain faithful to the high-power nature that went hand-in-hand with the Yenko nameplate.
A lot has changed between the time of the original SVE fifth-gen Yenkos and now. We’ve had to face a worldwide pandemic and are seeing a global move from internal combustion cars to an electric-only future. Thankfully, the team at SVE isn’t finished yet, announcing two new Yenko Camaros based on the latest Chevrolet Camaro platform for 2023.
Starting with the 750 horsepower package, 1SS and 2SS Camaro owners can opt for a Yenko/SC 3.0-liter twin-screw supercharger. This package is available for coupe and convertible top Camaros with either an automatic or manual transmission. Even while producing that high power figure, the Yenko is still emission legal in all 50 states!
Do you want something with even more horsepower and rarity? Never fear — Yenko offers a 1,100 horsepower Stage-I package and a 1,150 horsepower Stage-II package, making them the most powerful Yenko Camaros ever. However, unlike the 750-horsepower package, these Yenko/SC Camaros will only be available as a coupe, with a manual transmission for the Stage-II variant and an automatic for the Stage-I. SVE will only build 50 Stage-Is and 50 Stage-IIs.
How exactly are these power figures being achieved with the 2023 Yenko Camaro? SVE has developed its very own 6.8-liter supercharged V8, based on GM’s 6.2-liter LT1 powerplant. Apart from the larger displacement, these Yenko Camaros will feature forged aluminum pistons, high-flow LT4 cylinder heads, a custom dedicated 10-rib-belt-drive supercharger, a custom exhaust system to hear those extra ponies, and a forged steel crankshaft — among other goodies.
While the driver sits comfortably in their Recaro racing seats, they’ll feel confident on the track thanks to Magnetic Ride Control, a limited-slip differential, racing suspension specially tuned for the cars, stabilizer bars, and a heavy-duty cooling system to keep your SVE muscle car chilled on track. The package also features a working 1LE front splitter to reduce nose lift and increase cornering ability working hand-in-hand with a functional spoiler at the rear. All these upgrades give you the confidence and performance you need to chase down Hellcats and GT500s!
These monstrous Yenkos will be available at official GM dealers throughout America and Canada, and we cannot wait to see people ripping up the streets and the track!