Texas-based Hennessey Performance Engineering has formally introduced the world to the car it claims can break the production automotive speed record, as well as the 300 MPH threshold. The company’s much-anticipated, very limited Venom F5 was formally unveiled at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, and Hennessey is even going one better: 301 MPH.
Hennessey’s debut of their groundbreaking model at SEMA was supported by specs that enthusiasts have been waiting for since the company first unveiled it in 2014 as a working draft. The prototype version from three years ago was, like the Venom GT that preceded it, built on a Lotus platform.
The Venom F5 in its final version breaks from the confines of the Exige platform, and proudly goes its own way. There’s more than a little influence of the Prancing Horse in the design, but at heart it’s all Hennessey, with numbers to support the contention: how does 1,600 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet of torque sound, for starters? How about in the context of a car that weighs in at under 3,000 pounds?
The Venom F5’s engine is a bi-turbo V8 that displaces a whopping 7400 ccs; the Bugatti Chiron—whose mantle the Venom has firmly in its sights—packs more power, but the Chiron is far heavier, tipping the scales with nearly 50% additional poundage over the svelte, upstart Texan. The Venom F5’s gearbox is a seven-speed paddle-shift.
In the rarified upper atmosphere populated by Hennessey, Bugatti, Koenigsegg and others, a spirit of mostly friendly competition appears to be the unspoken rule; such competition makes for fascinating spectating.
Just 24 Venom F5 examples have been slated for production. John Hennessey plans to personally select the distinguished future owners allowed to pony up the $1.6 million to purchase a piece of his latest chapter of automotive history.