You know that saying "when you’re at the top, there’s no other place to go but down?" Yeah, try telling that to Hennessey . The company that already has the fastest production car in the world (Guinness fails to certify it due to its crafty rules) in its stable is shooting for the stars with plans to develop evil in a vehicular form. The Texas-based company calls this evil on wheels the Venom F5.
Hennessey boss John Hennessey broke the news to Top Gear, gushing about the possibility of the Venom F5 hitting a top speed no other production car in the world has been able to attain. "I think something in the 290-mph range will be possible," Hennessey said.
The man apparently didn’t misspeak when he said "290 mph," which is all the indication you need to know that Mr. Hennessey has either lost his mind or he is determined to drive Bugatti insane with constant pressure from Texas. The Venom F5 name pretty much says it all. That "F5" nomenclature is a reference to the most powerful classification given to tornadoes, or in the case of the Venom, a destructive output of around 1,400 horsepower.
All these horses are reigned in by a single-clutch, paddle-shift transmission, not the Ricardo, six-speed manual found in the Venom GT. You can, however, opt for the manual, if you like.
Start quivering in your boots, Bugatti . It’s better to embrace the inevitable than continue fighting for your cause.
Updated 08/05/2014: Hennessey unveiled a handful of official details on the Venom F5. Check them out after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Hennessey Venom F5.
Hennessey Venom F5 In Detail
Hennessey is planning a whole new set of upgrades for the F5, including all-carbon-fiber bodywork to help keep the curb weight under 2,866 pounds to help enhance its power-to-weight ratio. By comparison, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport only returns 630 horsepower per tonne, whereas it appears Hennessey is shooting for 1000 horsepower per tonne.
Though the Venom F5 will share a Lotus platform with the Venom GT, they will have different looks. The F5 looks more like the lovechild of the Nissan GT-R and Ferrari LaFerrari . Additionally, Hennessey will add aerodynamic components to drop the F5’s coefficient of drag to 0.40 — the Venom GT’s coefficient of drag checks in at 0.44. Sure, it’s a small change, but enough to help the F5 maintain its speed in a down-and-back run at the Kennedy Space Center.
Once Hennessey has successfully evolved the Venom GT into the F5, the latter should be able to take the reigns from its cousin as the true kingpin of the supercar world, despite what the Guinness Book of World Records believes. Achieving a top speed of 290 mph is quite literally the fastest way to do that.
The company plans to produce 30 examples of the Venom F5, which is just enough to satisfy Guinness’ requirement for the record. Each example will come with a price of somewhere north of the $1.2 million sticker of the Venom GT.
Customers lucky enough to secure one of these 30 models should expect to receive their new babies sometime in 2016.
Just when it seemed that it was safe for the Bugatti Veyron SS to come outside and play in the park again, Hennessey comes strolling back in the neighborhood with an even scarier supercar in its hands.
It’s not fair to the might of the Veyron SS, which according to Guinness, still holds the record for being the fastest production car in the world, even if it’s grounded on a few technicalities.
But don’t sleep on the Veyron SS just yet. It didn’t earn its status in the supercar world by being a pushover. That Veyron SS was capable of reaching a top speed of just a shade under 267 mph, a record that still stands according to Guinness.
Gallery Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
In terms of straight-up exclusivity, the Koenigsegg One:1 is probably the only hypercar in the world that’s as rare as the destructive Venom F5.
The Swedish superstar is as charming as it is hellacious to drive. It features a a 5.0-liter, V-8 engine that’s produces an ungodly output of 1,341 horsepower and 1,011 pound-feet of torque.
Gallery Koenigsegg One:1
Gallery Hennessey Venom F5
Here at last, the Venom F5, successor to the Venom GT. If you remember from Meteorology 101, the Fujita scale pegs the strongest tornado as an F5, with winds of 261 to 318 mph, so it’s a fitting name for this next-generation Venom that’s the very definition of power and speed. The F5’s bold, lower-drag shape, additional power and enhanced technology will push this Texas-built hypercar to velocities previously unimagined for a road-legal, series-produced vehicle.
“We are very excited about this next chapter of the Venom, which brings forth an all-new design that is not only a powerful and unique statement that our clients are looking for, but a vehicle that will achieve even higher performance through improved aerodynamics,” said company president and founder John Hennessey. “We learned a great deal during the development of the Venom GT in breaking the 270-mph barrier, and we bring that experience to this new design as we look toward raising the performance bar even higher.”
The laws of physics are immutable, so the step up from the Venom GT’s 270.49-mph world record speed will come from both an increase in power and a reduction in drag from the clean-sheet carbon-fiber body. The drag coefficient drops from 0.44 to below 0.40 while still generating significant downforce through both the upper body shape and underbody venturis, a rear diffuser beneath the rear bumper and a retractable rear wing.
The next-generation twin-turbo powertrain is still under development, but turbo size for the longitudinally mounted V8 is increased, and the fuel system and intercooler capacity are upgraded to handle the demands of increased boost. Hard numbers for power are not yet available, but it’s conceivable that output could exceed 1400 bhp. Pennzoil will continue as a key technology partner, and its Ultra Platinum full synthetic oil—the factory fill for both the Venom and every Hennessey-built vehicle—will ensure the performance and reliability of the F5’s engine under the most extreme conditions.
With extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum, weight will remain under 1300 kg (2866 lb.), just slightly more than the Venom GT’s 1244-kg curb weight. So it’s highly probable the F5 will eclipse the Venom GT’s current acceleration records too, which stand at 14.51 seconds to 200 mph, and 13.63 seconds to 186 mph (300 km/h).
Several new technologies will be introduced, the most transformative being single clutch paddle-shift transmission (a standard H-pattern manual transmission will still be offered for purists), whose reduction in shift speeds will enable the F5 to accelerate even more quickly. And a GPS-based stability/traction control system will help to channel the F5’s immense power and provide an increased margin of safety, whether on a racetrack or back road. “Of course, the Venom F5 retains the raw, explosive edge that makes the Venom GT such a thrill ride,” said Hennessey partner Don Goldman, “but these changes will make the F5 easier and more satisfying to drive, day in and day out.”
The Venom F5 will be unveiled in 2015 with deliveries to customers in late 2016. At least 30 Venom F5s will be produced for sale worldwide, at a price higher than that of the Venom GT, which currently sells for $1.2 million. The Venom GT will continue to be offered; at present, 16 cars of the 29-car total production run have been sold.