Hennessey is one of our favorite supercar builders of all times. Its engineers take cars that are already exciting, like the Lotus Elise, and turn them into monsters, like the Venom GT. Hennessey has again broken its own mold by taking a Cadillac CTS-V, an already bad-ass ride, and converting it into the VR1200 Twin Turbo Coupe.
This monster is fresh off of the press too, as Hennessey has just revealed all of its features and specifications. As expected from Hennessey, it produces incredible horsepower, torque, and speed numbers, plus it boasts extreme body modifications.
The real test is whether this VR1200 Twin Turbo Coupe really belongs in the Hennessey lineup and if it’s prepared to slay the likes of the Bugatti Veyron, Lamborghini Aventador, and the rest of the top supercars.
Click past the jump to read all about this CTS-V turned hypercar and find out if it lives up to its billing.
On the outside, we have what looks to be a 2013 Cadillac CTS-V that Hennessey injected with some serious attitude – not that the CTS-V didn’t have attitude to begin. Starting up front, there’s a carbon-fiber front splitter to help get a little downforce on the front end. Hennessey also eliminated the CTS-V’s front fog lamps, leaving air-intake vents.
Gone is the CTS-V’s fancy-pants silver grating on the upper and lower grilles and in comes a more stealthy matte-black coating to give it a more sinister appearance. The small bump in the center of the 2013 CTS-V’s hood is drastically exaggerated on the VR1200 with a carbon-fiber heat extractor to keep its massively powerful engine’s heat in check.
Hennessey went to an extreme on the sides of this one-time CTS-V, by ripping out its front and rear fender flares and replacing them with much larger carbon-fiber units. This gives the VR1200 the room to tuck the massive 20 x 10 inch rims under the front and 20 x 13 inch rims on the rear, then wrap them in 275/40YR20 and 345/30YR20 Michelin Pilot Super Sports, respectively. In addition, this gives the VR1200 a stout stance that just screams “I’m not messing around.”
Around the backside of this former Caddy, Hennessey slapped a carbon-fiber diffuser to help control the airflow off of the back end. Also added in is a small, yet effective, carbon-fiber lip spoiler on the trunk lid.
The entire exterior, sans the carbon-fiber pieces, is draped in a gloss black that helps accent the natural shape of the CTS-V and the additions that Hennessey added to the body. Simply amazing is all we can say about it.
Hennessey didn’t forget about modding up the interior a little bit. The headliner was pulled out and replaced with a more luxurious alcantara one and Hennessey also upgraded all of the leather and its stitching. Also gone are the factory front seats, replaced with racing models with diamond-tufted center sections and the obligatory 6-point harnesses. Stitched into the headrests of the front seats is “Hennessey” so you can’t forget who provided you with this fantastic machine.
The door panel inserts have the same diamond-tufted pattern as the seats, giving it an almost factory look. Carbon-fiber inserts enhance the dashboard, center stack, center console, and door sills, giving it a more modified appearance. You also get a set of premium Hennessey floor mats.
The final modification on the inside is the installation of a roll cage to keep you and your passengers safe. The roll cage also helps strengthen the rigidity of the entire chassis.
Engine and Transmissions
The 6.2-liter V-8 engine that cranks out 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque simply wasn’t enough for the folks at Hennessey. Out came that engine and in came a 7.0-liter V-8 engine. Hennessey then strapped a pair of turbochargers with an air-to-water intercooler on it. Inside the 7.0-liter V-8, Hennessey installed forged aluminum pitons that ride on forged steel connecting rods spun by a forged steel crankshaft.
The rotating assembly was fully balanced and blueprinted to prevent excessive and avoidable vibration, allowing this engine to handle massive power and rpm. ARP main studs and head bolts keep everything held together and a set of high-flow heads allow for efficient inhaling and exhaling of the engine. A modified camshaft and high-flow intake system also help with the engine’s healthy breathing, and a set of high-flow fuel injectors and upgraded fuel delivery system (lines, rails, regulator and pump) help with the efficient delivery of petrol to this engine – fuel economy is an afterthought.
An adjustable boost controller allows you to adjust the horsepower between three settings - 800, 1,000, and 1,226 - but who wants lower horsepower anyway? Stainless steel downpipes and full exhaust help direct exhaust around the turbochargers’ impellers, creating the boost, then out of the center-mounted dual exhaust on the rear of the car. Lastly, an HPE engine management calibration is performed to tweak the CTS-V’s stock computer for this extra power and a serial number is slapped on the engine.
For transmissions, you get two options. The base transmission is a 6-speed manual with a dual-friction-clutch upgrade to help the clutch better transfer the ponies to the rear wheels. The optional transmission is a performance-built automatic with an upgraded torque converter, which all runs an additional $20,000 on top of the base price.
On the rear end, Hennessey added in a pair of extreme-duty CV shafts to help handle all of that power. Speaking of power, this whole conversion gives the Hennessey VR1200 a massive 1,226 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 1,109 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. This zips the VR1200 to 60 mph in only 2.9 seconds, down a quarter-mile-long track in 10.2 seconds at 141 mph and gives it an astounding 242 mph top speed. Yeah, it’s fast...
Hennessey then caps it all off with an impressive 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty. That’s not bad at all for a performance car like this.
Braking and Handling
With all of that power, you need a little bit of control and Hennessey obliged by slapping a set of 15.1-inch carbon-ceramic rotors on the front and rear of the VR1200. A pair of 8-piston calipers squeeze the front rotors and a set of 6-piston calipers embrace the rear rotors.
As for the suspension, Hennessey brought John Heinricy – noted engineer and retired director of the GM Performance Division – to re-tune the CTS-V’s standard magnetic ride control. The front and rear suspension was also dropped by 1 inch each, and the front and rear sway bars were also upgraded.
Pricing and Availability
Hennessey will only be producing 12 units of the VR1200 Twin Turbo Coupe for the 2013 model year, so getting your hands on one may be a little difficult. A price has yet to be released, but we have reached out to Hennessey to get some details on the pricing and any waiting period to get your hands on one of these beasts. We anticipate a price nearing the $500,000 mark, maybe even more, but we need to wait for confirmation.
Very few cars ever reach the area that the VR1200 has, but we can put it up against its closest competitor, the Bugatti Veyron. Both cars are sporty and luxurious at the same time. The Bugatti Veyron boats a massive 16-cylinder engine with 1,001 horsepower. Bugatti claims a 0 to 60 time of 2.5 seconds, but most tests show it closer to the 2.8-second mark. Even with the reduction, the Bugatti still comes in a tick faster than the Hennessey VR1200, but the $1.5 million price tag puts it well above the Hennessey – at least by our estimate.
Oh baby, we love this one. Hennessey has done it once again by taking an already impressive ride and turning it into an absolute freak of the automotive world. We think this one comes in even better than the Venom GT, thanks to the fact that it’s a freaking Cadillac.
1,200 horsepower Caddy, yes!!!
2.9 seconds to 60 puts it right on Bugatti’s watch list
Likely a bargain for the power it produces
The hood’s a little extreme
We want to see it on the track
No pricing given yet