• Nov 19th 2007 at 2:16AM
  • 21
Evidently not satisfied with having trounced the Bugatti Veyron in Road & Track's 0-200 mph showdown with its twin-turbo Viper, those tuners on speed over at Hennessey Performance Engineering are preparing a mid-engined supercar of their own. We brought you initial news, coupled with a teaser image, back at this year's SEMA show, but the company has now released additional information and the conceptual sketch you see above, which was penned by British auto designer Steve Everitt, who evidently likes the Lotus Elise/Exige, but thought it could use more oomph.

Built around the company's thousand-horsepower twin-turbocharged Dodge Viper V10 engine, the Venom GT would benefit from the immense power in a lighter-weight package weighing in around 2700 lbs. Carry the zeros and we're looking at 2.7 lbs per hp, giving the special Hennessey a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time estimated at less than 2.5 seconds, en route to an anticipated 300 km/h in about 14 seconds.

If it built the Venom GT, Hennessey would follow along the path of Saleen, who built the S7 supercar after years of tuning Mustangs. According to John Hennessey, existing owners of the firm's tuned Vipers would give the company a customer base to draw upon. Hennessey plans to have a pair of concept cars to show in 2009, which will help them gauge interest in potentially building the Venom GT at their factory in Houston. We're looking forward to it already. Press release after the jump.

[Source: Hennessey Performance Engineering]


Concept Car

1000 BHP + 2700 lb Mid-Engine Chassis = New Benchmark of Sports Car Performance

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 20, 2007) - Hennessey Performance Engineering today announced that it is introducing the company's first concept car - The Venom GT.

Penned by British auto designer, Steve Everitt, the Venom GT would incorporate Hennessey's potent Venom 1000 Twin Turbo Viper V10 powerplant into a light weight mid-engine chassis weighing "under 2,700 lbs". Power would be run through a 6-speed transmission or optional sequential gearbox.

With a power to weight ratio of just 2.7 lbs per bhp Hennessey estimates that the Venom GT could attain 0 to 100 km/h times in less than 2.5 sec. and a 0-300 km/h time of around 14 seconds. Company founder, John Hennessey, is careful to point out that the Venom GT is not being built as a "Veyron Slayer". Hennessey point out, saying, "The Veyron is an ultra fast and ultra luxurious grand touring car which also happens to be quicker and faster than any other road car, except for our Venom 1000 Twin Turbo SRT which beat the Veyron earlier this year from 0-200 mph. The Venom GT will be a much more engaging sports car to drive by challenging the driver with 1000+ HP in a chassis that is nearly 1500 lbs lighter than the Veyron."

Hennessey said, "The company already has existing Venom 1000 Twin Turbo clients interested in ordering the lighter, mid-engined Venom GT. "Right now are taking a serious look at building 2 concept cars that could be shown to the public sometime in 2009. If there is enough demand we may consider doing a very limited production run of the Venom GT."

If the Venom GT goes into production, it would be built at the company's facility at Lonestar Motorsports Park which is located just west of Houston, Texas.

About Hennessey Performance Engineering
Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE) specializes in designing, testing, manufacturing and selling high-performance parts and services for the Dodge Viper SRT10, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, Chrysler 300C SRT8 and Dodge Magnum SRT8 as well as other high performance and exotic brands such as Bentley, AMG Mercedes and Porsche. HPE is completing the construction of the company's new 30,000 square foot engineering and manufacturing facility at the company's Lonestar Motorosports Park - a 1/4 mile dragstrip located 45 minutes west of Houston, Texas. HPE is the only aftermarket tuning firm in North America that owns and operates its own vehicle testing track / proving grounds. The company will move to its new facility at the end of 2007.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      That is such an Elise copy - I have done multiple photo shoots with Elise's, and this is SO elise. Lotus will be Peeved.

      Though a Lotus with that much power would be insane - I have done some mountain roads in Elise's, and they stick like....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yep, this is simply a Lotus Exige crossed with a Carrera GT. It's no better than the equally pathetic Camaro Supra thing from Vector. At least the S7 doesn't look like anything else, even if it is one of the ugliest cars on the planet.

      And yeah, the Viper would have been slower in that test if the Veyron was run correctly, and if the Viper didn't get special cooling done before it ran, while all the other cars simply ran as they came, without having engineers put ice packs or whatever it was on the intakes to stop a poorly modifed engine from blowing up.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It also serves to mention they ran the thing sans the catalytic converter. While the Veyron was bone stock.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's one mean looking Lotus Exige...
      • 7 Years Ago
      "existing owners of the firm's tuned Vipers would give the company a customer base to draw upon"

      ... For parts to steal.
        • 7 Years Ago
        yea, thats what i was wondering.
        The only people who go to him just go to him because they dont know any better.
        But he cant steal parts when he is building the car from scratch.

        he will probably make you give him a Viper to start with so he can sell it
      • 7 Years Ago
      so its a 1000 hp lotus elise
      • 7 Years Ago
      ok, first of all.....

      douche bags who think John Hennessey is still a fraud need to read up on some stuff....

      that whole thing happened more than 5 years ago and the lawsuit was settled. Hennessey doesn't do this kind of crap anymore, so stop with the retarded comments on how he's stealing crap. Hennessey WAS a crook. was being the keyword.

      and another thing, the whole standing mile competition......

      the Viper beat the Veyron in top speed, not in how much time it took to get to that mile. thats to whomever said that in the first page of comments.
        • 7 Years Ago

        Ok, first of all, before calling people doucebags, you should check your facts. The test in question WAS a 0-200 mph test: http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=31&article_id=5680.
        Second of all, 60 seconds on google will provide a less than stellar picture of his reputation. Anyone who rips off a customer for ANY amount, much less over $100k, to say nothing of having a customer trying to get satisfaction from a situation arrested and changing the name of your business to avoid further prosecution deserves all the bashing he gets: http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/2844/the-steering-column.html
        Take YOUR Viper to him, and let us know how it turns out, why don't you?
        • 7 Years Ago
        "[...] which beat the Veyron earlier this year from 0-200 mph."

        While I haven't seen the test myself, this would seem to indicate that the bragging point they're latching on to is the time it took to get to 200mph, not the top speed achieved. Again, not saying you're wrong, but the sound-bite certainly appears to back up the earlier comments.

        Again, though, I didn't much care about the test, because it really doesn't prove anything. Okay, great, you've got a 1000+ horsepower Viper that will take on a Veyron. I'm impressed, but my next response is... aaaaand so? 800+ horsepower last-gen Skylines are out there everywhere, and they will easily take on a Lambo. I am duly impressed by that as well. Still sure wouldn't want one. The Lambo and the Veyron are DESIGNED to do those amazing things. The Skyline and the Viper have been MADE to do those things. I've seen a '64 four-door Impala do a 10-second quarter mile. I was impressed, but I wondered how many times it could do that before something broke. I wonder the same about Hennessey's Viper.

        The thing that's truly amazing about a Veyron is that it is a supercar that anyone can drive. There have been lots of high-strung performance cars (either factory-built or owner-modified) out there, but if you don't have Schumacher's driving skills and Jay Leno's garage, good luck really using them. The Stig could make Hennessey's Viper stand up and sing. I wouldn't even try, but I'd love to take a Veyron out for a spin.

        Hennessey is a glorified engine tuner with a marketing department. I admire his accomplishments; not many other people out there are even trying to develop a twin-turbo 1000+ horsepower Viper engine. But to compare his accomplishments to the accomplishments of Bugatti and the VAG with the Veyron is silly. It's like saying a Grand Caravan is a much better vehicle than a Porsche 911 because the Porsche can't carry 8 passengers. Come on.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't get it, is Hennessey one of those Chinese car companies that counterfeits car designs?

      It sure looks like it. Their "Venom GT" looks nearly identical to the 2005 Lotus Sport Exige:
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's one unique design!
      Lotus Exige Long-Wheel-Base. Its like a Carrera GT and a Lotus had an affair.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This car would be amazing but probably will never get off the ground, it is interesting to read comments from people who would never own anything like the car. They should stick to pumping up Vipers and making them better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How is this man still in business? Don't people go to jail for theft? What happened here?
      • 7 Years Ago
      2009 Lotus Exige 'Barry Bonds Edition'.
      This 1000hp 'Hybrid' will operate on a combination of Hi-octane gas and Human Growth Hormone.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the point is that they are starting with the Elise/Exige platform.

      That said, there's not gonna be much left of it once you chop it up in order to fit the V10.

      I call this Dead on Arrival
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