The C8 Corvette has been a head-turner since it broke cover, and as the late-model Corvette market has seen plenty of enthusiasts hotrodding LS- and LT-powered Corvettes over the past decade or more, it should come as no surprise that people are modifying Chevrolet’s latest incarnation of America’s sports car. YouTuber Emelia Hartford is one such individual, and along with Alex Peitz of Peitz Performance, has created a 1,022hp version that is sure to put the mid-engine’d machine in supercar territory.
Peitz was introduced to Hartford through a mutual friend at the tuning software company HP Tuners.
“We started working with Emelia around April-May of 2020,” explained Peitz. “She picked up the car in Kentucky and before she got it home to California, I gave her a call and said, ‘Let’s put some nitrous on it.’”
Hartford stopped by Peitz Performance Tune’s Cypress, Texas, location just outside of Houston on her way back to the West Coast, and Peitz installed a ZEX nitrous oxide injection system on the car that offered up an additional 100 hp.
Additional changes included a drag-racing-spec wheel and tire package that featured Weld Racing skinny front-runners and Camaro Z28 wheels shod with Nitto NT05R tires.
“It was like 95 percent humidity, and not ideal conditions at all,” Peitz said of the track test that produced a 10.73 at 127.16 mph elapsed time while letting off of the nitrous button during shifts.
Once the fabrication was complete, Hartford returned with her C8 to have the system installed. Since her last visit, she had Texas Speed and Performance build a fortified engine that included new connecting rods and pistons, as well as new valve springs with higher open pressures to prevent valve float.
The new Peitz Performance turbo system consists of a pair of 6266 Precision Turbo & Engine turbochargers, as well as a water-to-air charger cooler.
“The coolest thing is the intercooler design,” Peitz said. “It has an enormous core—we probably have 25-30 revisions on it. It fits like a glove where the stock air box used to be.”
“At that point, we started testing the functionality of it,” Peitz explained of the newly fabricated twin-turbo system. “We didn’t have much for tuning other than we had just started down the path of developing an external controller, which we developed out of necessity because we needed a means to recalibrate the mass air/flow sensor. We developed that pretty rapidly and tested it on Emelia’s car.”
With the controller still in its infancy, the C8 once again returned home, and Peitz continued to work on the unit’s software, which would offer an ignition cut for upshifts, a timing controller, a mass-air-based ignition retard, and live data streaming, with flex-fuel compatibility will be coming at a later date.
“My controller will be a Stage 1 kit, making 600-750 rwhp and then we’ll be going to MoTeC standalone for the higher horsepower cars,” Peitz told us.
While development of the external controller continues, Peitz turned to Holley EFI and installed one of the company’s Dominator EFI systems to operate the auxiliary fuel system a well as the methanol injection system—Peitz was extra cautious, using the methanol to cool the intake charge and VP Racing Fuels C16 race gas to stave off any potential detonation.
Sensing the new TREMEC transmission would be next in line for some upgrades to accommodate the additional horsepower, Peitz contacted Nathan Cicio at Cicio Performance Parts to come up with better Dodson clutches, in fact, Hartford’s car received the first set in the United States thanks to Cicio.
“We’ll be offering our own clutches, around April or May of this year,” Peitz noted.
“It made 1,022 horsepower at 19 psi of boost, and the intake air temp never went above 115-120 degrees. We want to run low 9s with it, and are hoping to take it to the track in the next two weeks and dial in the transmission shifting.”
It’s not uncommon to see these kinds of horsepower numbers out of modern powerplants no matter if it is an LT, LS, HEMI, or Coyote 5.0-liter engine. The real mountain to climb is finding the workarounds to unleash the power.
“Our Stage 1 package will have a direct-port methanol setup and the C8 Tuner will offer progressive control and mass-airflow- and throttle-based thresholds to enable and ramp in the meth—it can also be used to control nitrous,” Peitz explained. “Even when traditional tuning becomes available, it will be a great way to control meth or nitrous.”
Peitz said that the Stage 1 Bravo kit will make around 650-700 rwhp and will retail for approximately $22,000. The Stage 2 Alpha kit, will retail for about $50K, and will include the installation of the transmission clutches (a $6,000 upgrade). It will support 850-1,100 rwhp.