Many brands have joined the super car battle royale in the hopes of beating Bugatti. Some, like Koenigsegg and Shelby Super Cars (SSC), are credible contenders. Others like Devel, Weber, and Vector would impress merely by producing a car, let alone one worth the price. One of the proven competitors is a manufacturer whose vehicle upstaged not only the Bugatti of the hour but also the contender that had just outstripped it. That manufacturer, Hennessey Performance Engineering, has a new car in the works.
This is everything we know about Hennessey’s upcoming Venom F5.
Instead of the much-publicized 7.4-liter aluminum-block engine, the Venom F5 will be powered by a 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged LS-derived iron-block pushrod V8. The stroke has been shortened to allow higher revs, and the exhaust valves are made from lightweight Inconel. CNET points out that the engine “boasts a manifold design that positions the intercooler between the plenum and cylinder heads,” which cools hot turbocharger air immediately before it enters the combustion chamber, for more potent combustion. Last we heard, the Venom F5 could be had with a seven-speed single-clutch paddle-shifted gearbox or a six-speed manual.
Hennessey claims this “Fury” engine will make roughly 1800 hp and 1200 lb-ft of torque. The company aims for a top speed of roughly 310 mph, which so far they believe can be done with 1500 hp. In principle, the car’s full power should propel it beyond that. These calculations have not yet been tested to anyone’s knowledge. SSC’s Ultimate Aero was claimed to be capable of 273 mph before it was built and put on a track.
That said, the F5’s acceleration should be impressive. The engine makes its maximum power at 8000 RPM, but 1000 lb-ft of torque will be available from as low as 2000 rpm. CEO John Hennessey himself (the famous Mopar tuner) has gone on record as saying that electric motors have rendered 0-60 acceleration stats irrelevant, but the company released other acceleration claims; the car can do 0-186 mph in under 10 seconds and get to 249 mph in under 30.
The Engine Receptacle
Hennessey’s previous car, the Venom GT, was an Anglo-American lightweight with a British chassis and engine from the US – as is the Venom F5. The car weighs in at 2987 lbs, with an all-carbon-fiber construction built by Delta Motorsports in the UK. The extremely rigid tub only weighs 190lbs, a fact with which the company seems extremely pleased because they have no less than seven high-res pictures of the thing on their website. The current tested drag coefficient is 0.33.
Its interior is an exercise in carbon fiber, aluminum, leather, and Alcantara. It has racing proportions; the seats are surprisingly close together and pull cords may be used instead of door handles. Two steering wheels can be had, one relatively normal and the other with an instrument cluster mounted on it.
What Kind Of Car Is It?
We have not heard anything about what kind of car the F5 will try to be. As with SSC’s output, the hype mainly seems to revolve around its top speed more than anything else. In fact, Hennessey has specifically said he dislikes the idea of aiming for track times and his customers don’t care either. He commented in a Top Gear interview: “You can’t argue against a v-max run. It’s the absolute fastest, and I don’t like qualifiers: the fastest at such-and-such track, or the fastest- accelerating to such-and-such speed. I don’t want to be the fastest at the Nürburgring; I just want to be the absolute fastest. That’s what matters to me and my clients.”
Like the Venom GT, the Venom F5 will be extremely expensive. A new base-trim Venom F5 will put you back a good $1.8 million, assuming Hennessey himself approves your application for purchase. That’s enough money for a Veyron and an Ultimate Aero if you and a friend want to go racing. It may even be more when the car is released. So far, 11 of the 12 US models have been spoken for, and the first three are currently in production. Hennessey is mulling a convertible, but will only seriously consider that idea after concluding production of their current 24-car run.
Hennessey’s biggest challenge will be adjusting to the new benchmark. The SSC Tuatara may well have exceeded all single-direction speed records; even with the huge controversy about their allegedly fake numbers the car still appears to have done roughly 311 mph, handily beating the Chiron Super Sport 300+ record of ~305 mph and hitting Hennessey’s claimed target. Hennessey is very pleased with its 0.33 drag coefficient for the F5 – but the Tuatara has a coefficient of 0.28 and is lighter by 200 lbs with only 50 less horsepower.
Virtually all of Hennessey’s competitors have priorities other than breaking 300mph. Bugatti wants comfort and class, Koenigsegg wants hybrid tech and SSC wants handling. We know the Venom F5 will be fast, and that it will be built by a company only interested in top speed, to a customer base only interested in top speed. We look forward to seeing how this mindset affects the final result.
sources: Auto Evolution, Auto Express, Autoblog, Automobile, Car and Driver, CNET, Driving.ca, Hagrety’s, Hennessey Performance Motor Authority, Motor Trend, Motor1, Muscle Cars & Trucks, Top Gear, Top Speed
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