Chiron-baiting Venom F5 to be first model from Hennessey Special Vehicles

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The Hennessey name has been recognized in performance circles for decades, but the launch in 2010 of the Venom GT put the Texan tuner and then nascent performance car manufacturer on the world map.

The car had more power than a Bugatti Veyron but weighed significantly less, and in 2014 it was clocked hitting a top speed of 270.49 mph. The speed isn’t considered official since only one run was made, and so few Venom GTs were actually built.

Production came to an end in January, with just 13 cars—six coupes and seven Spyder convertibles—in existence. Considering the performance on offer and the amount of engineering required to develop the car, building so few Venom GTs almost seems tragic.

2016 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder, Naval Air Station Lemoore

2016 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder, Naval Air Station Lemoore

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But it turns out Hennessey plans to use the lessons learned in the Venom GT’s development for a successor model due later in 2017. The new car is called the Venom F5, and it will be the first model from the new division Hennessey Special Vehicles which was set up to design, develop, build and market the car, and any successors.

We first learned of the Venom F5 in 2014, when Hennessey released some computer-generated renderings. Now we have new teasers of the production model which so far looks very much like the car in the renderings. One of the main criticisms of the Venom GT that the Venom F5 will address is the predecessor model’s similarities to the Lotus Exige, from which it was derived. We’re glad to report that the Venom F5 so far appears to have a distinct look to it.

And this time Hennessey is using a bespoke chassis designed and manufactured at the company’s headquarters in Sealy, Texas. No details on the powertrain have been revealed but expect a twin-turbocharged V-8 of some sort. Hennessey is boasting more power than the Venom GT coupled with improved aerodynamics and less weight. The most powerful Venom GT came with 1,451 horsepower.

So what kind of performance can we expect? Hennessey hints at a top speed approaching 300 mph. The “F5” in the name is taken from the Fujita scale that measures wind speeds. F5, which is usually reserved for the fastest tornadoes, indicates a speed between 261 and 318 mph.

Bugatti’s Chiron has 1,480 hp on tap and right now has its top speed capped at 261 mph. Bugatti plans to unleash the full potential of the car in 2018 and we hear that a top speed of 288 mph is possible. The current production car speed record is the 267.8 mph set by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in 2010.

Stay tuned.

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