Wake up Bugatti and Koenigsegg because Hennessey Performance Engineering sounded an alarm.
On Wednesday at the 2017 SEMA show, the performance company out of Sealy, Texas revealed the Venom F5 hypercar with over 1,600 horsepower and a strong desire to reach a 301 mph top speed. Production is due to start next year and just 24 are planned, each with a starting price of $ 1.6 million.
The Venom F5 follows the similarly potent Venom GT, but the F5 dials every attribute up. The car starts with a completely new chassis and carbon fiber body to achieve a 2,950-pound curb weight, plus it gets additional active aerodynamic functions that together yield a coefficient of drag of 0.33. Hennessey originally targeted a coefficient under 0.40.
Accompanying the chassis and body, Hennessey developed a new twin-turbocharged V-8 producing the aforementioned monster output. The engine is paired to a 7-speed single-clutch automatic transmission. The company claims acceleration from 0-186 mph happens in less than 10 seconds; zero to 249 mph and back will supposedly take less than 30 seconds, per Hennessey. Koenigsegg’s Agera RS needed 36.44 seconds for the feat, and Bugatti’s Chiron 41.96 seconds.
Finally, the big news Hennessey teased. The company believes the Venom F5 will achieve a 301 mph top speed, something no production car has managed. Recall, the Bugatti Chiron is limited to 261 mph, primarily because no tire can handle the forces beyond that. How will Hennessey accomplish such a speed?
The company plans to carry out top-speed tests with Michelin tires wrapping the Venom F5’s wheels, but if they are unsuccessful, Hennessey may develop its own tires, presumably with Michelin or another company. The performance company said it will determine if the current Michelins or any other tire will suit the Venom F5’s capability, but it believes the car is poised for success thanks to its much lighter weight versus the Chiron which weighs some 4,400 pounds.
We’ll have to wait and see if Hennessey succeeds in validating the Venom F5’s claims, but it knows a thing or two about building fast cars. The Venom GT threw down with the Bugatti Veyron years ago and clocked a 270.49 mph top speed, which is actually higher than the current production car land speed record of 267.8 mph that was achieved by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in 2010.
For the record, a car needs to make two runs in opposite directions and the Venom GT could only make a single run due to poor weather. Nevertheless, the Venom GT showed it’s capable of challenging the best. Perhaps John Hennessey and his team at Hennessey Performance are ready to deliver a one-two punch. We look forward to finding out.
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