Hennessey smashes Bugatti’s world record for fastest drop-top

In 2014, the Hennessey Venom GT became the world’s fastest production car, reaching a top speed of 270.4 mph at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Unfortunately for the Texas-based firm, Guinness World Records refused to acknowledge the achievement as Hennessey didn’t manage to do the mandatory two-way run and production of the car was less than the required 30 units. As a result, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport remained the fastest production car at 267.7 mph. Two years have passed and Hennessey has set yet another record with its already iconic Venom GT. This time around, John Hennessey’s company made the Venom GT Spyder the world’s fastest roadster.

The new record sits at 265.6 mph, about 11.5 mph faster than the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, and was achieved at the U.S. Navy’s 2.9-mile long runway in Lemoore, California. The record run was certified by Racelogic technical director, Jim Lau, and witnessed by Commander Darren Fouts, Air Operations Officer. The Venom GT roadster was driven by Brian Smith, director of the Ford Performance Racing School.

“2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Hennessey Performance”, said company founder, John Hennessey. “I thought that this would be a special way to celebrate 25 years of making fast cars faster. I’ve wanted to test the top speed of our Venom GT Spyder, without the roof, ever since our coupe ran 270.4 mph on the Space Shuttle landing runway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in 2014. This was a great way to validate the technical excellence of our car which includes high-speed stability with an open roof.”

To celebrate the new record and the company’s 25th anniversary, Hennessey will offer a limited run of three "World Record Edition" Venom GT Spyders. This series will be similar to the Venom GT "World’s Fastest Edition" that was launched following the 2014 record. Each of the three supercars will cost $1.3 million plus tax, and chances are that they’re already sold out.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Hennessey Venom GT Spyder Becomes The World's Fastest Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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This is a great new achievement for Hennessey, despite the fact that the record won’t be submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records. The Texas-based firm wants to keep the Venom GT’s production under 30 units and that’s exactly what will prevent Hennessey from stealing the record away from Bugatti the official way. Depending on where you stand, this could be good or bad. As far as I’m concerned, Hennessey is doing the right thing. Guinness World Records might be the "supreme court" when it comes to such achievements, but the record remains even without an inclusion in the famous book. Increasing production wouldn’t be a big issue given that Hennessey has already built close to 30 Venom GTs, but John’s refusal to so is solid proof that the company’s records are more than just a way to show off.

Making this benchmark more impressive is the fact that the GT Spyder was 11 mph faster than the Grand Sport Vitesse. Sure, Bugatti launched a more powerful and faster Chiron, and a roadster version is likely to follow, but setting a new world record will be easier said than done. Guinness World Records might not agree, but until the Chiron attempts a new record, the Hennessey Venom GT remains the fastest supercar on the planet, in both coupe and roadster guises. ’Murica!

Hennessey Venom GT Spyder

2016 Hennessey Venom GT High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder here.

Press Release

The world’s fastest convertible is officially from Texas. On March 25, 2016 the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder has set a new world record for open-top sports cars at Naval Air Station Lemoore where Racelogic, the renowned independent speed testing firm, has officially confirmed that a top speed of 265.6 mph was achieved. The record run was certified by Racelogic technical director, Jim Lau, and witnessed by Commander Darren Fouts, Air Operations Officer. The Venom GT roadster was driven by Brian Smith, director of the Ford Performance Racing School.

Hennessey Venom GT Spyder Becomes The World's Fastest Convertible High Resolution Exterior
- image 672241

Following the spectacular record-breaking speed of the Hennessey Venom GT in 2014, during which the hardtop coupe achieved a top speed of 270.4 mph (435.3 km/h) at the Kennedy Space Center, a record speed that remains unparalleled to this day, Hennessey has added yet another milestone. The open top version, the Venom GT Spyder, now also officially holds the world record. The open-top super sports car reached a maximum speed of 265.6 mph (427.4 km/h) at the US Navy’s 2.9 mile long runway in Lemoore, California, making it the fastest convertible sports car in the world – beating the previous record held by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Vitesse by over 11 mph.

“2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Hennessey Performance”, said company founder, John Hennessey. “I thought that this would be a special way to celebrate 25 years of making fast cars faster. I’ve wanted to test the top speed of our Venom GT Spyder, without the roof, ever since our coupe ran 270.4 mph on the Space Shuttle landing runway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in 2014. This was a great way to validate the technical excellence of our car which includes high-speed stability with an open roof.”

The Venom GT is powered by a twin-turbo 7.0L V8 engine producing 1,451 bhp @ 7,200 rpm and 1,287 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm and puts its power down to the rear Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires via a 6-speed manual gearbox by Ricardo. The Venom GT is capable of 0-60 mph in less than 2.4 seconds and has been tested from 0-200 mph in less than 13 seconds.

Hennessey Venom GT Spyder Becomes The World's Fastest Convertible High Resolution Exterior
- image 672242

Hennessey plans to offer a limited run of 3 “World Record Edition” Venom GT Spyder’s to commemorate the record run and as a tribute to the company’s 25th Anniversary. The cost is $1.3 million each plus tax.

“We are grateful to have the help of so many friends, family, employees, customers and partners over the past 25 years. We look forward to the next chapter of the Venom with the F5 as we keep making fast cars faster for the next 25 years”, said John Hennessey.

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