The speed wars are hotting up again, and Hennessey is looking to win some battles with the Venom F5.
It wasn’t so long ago that the world’s most expensive carmakers were vying to be the first to crack 400 km/h.
We all know that Bugatti got there first, with the Veyron, but in 2014, the Hennessey Venom GT went faster still. Then Bugatti reclaimed the top-speed record with a Super Sports version of the Veyron (and now the Chiron). And then Koenigsegg came along with the Agera RS, and ran to a record top speed of 445 km/h.
Bugatti still hasn’t done a proper top-speed run with the Chiron – its current top end is limited to 420 km/h. But the French hypercar maker needs to get in quick, because Hennessey is back on the scene with its Venom F5.
Now, this car was announced in November, and it’s named after an F5 tornado. That should give you some clue as to its intent. Hennessey hardly released any details at the time, apart from a wishlist of performance figures. Now, though, we know a few more things about the Venom F5.
It’ll do ‘minimum’ 480 km/h
According to John Hennessey, the founder of the company, the Venom F5 is designed to go as fast as humanly possible. That means starting with 480 km/h as a baseline, and then seeing where the car can go from there.
The twin-turbo V8 will have ‘at least’ 1,600 bhp
Okay, we knew this in November. But now Hennessey has said that its engineers have tested the 7.6-litre, twin-turbo V8 to over 2,000 bhp. That won’t necessarily be the power output of the production car, but the idea is to offer as much power as is needed to crack 480 km/h.
The main things holding the F5 back are tyres and testing facilities
In case you didn’t know, it’s really difficult to do a top speed run these days. You can’t do it on public roads, obviously, and the vast majority of normal racetracks don’t feature long-enough straights for these cars to reach their top ends. There are, however, a few places around the world where a top speed run might be possible, and Hennessey is hoping that it might have found one in his home state of Texas.
Tyres is another story entirely. The tyre technology that can handle the stress and heat of 480 km/h just doesn’t really exist anywhere. Tyres are the main reason why the Chiron is limited to 420 km/h. Hennessey is hoping to get around this issue over the next year of testing.
Only 24 Venom F5s will be built
And Hennessey has already sold 15. There are 12 earmarked for the US (of which 10 have been sold), and 12 for the rest of the world – of which five have already gone.
They’ll cost a lot to buy, too
Naturally, the fastest car in the world is going to come at quite a price – $1.6 million (AED 5.88 million), to be precise. But, if we’re honest, that looks like quite good value compared to the AED 10.6 million that the Bugatti Chiron costs.