• Dec 9th 2009 at 1:00PM
  • 43
Hennessey Venom GT - Click above for image gallery

Hennessey Performance is on a roll. First we got a Cadillac CTS-V that accelerates so violently it sets off its OnStar system. Then we get a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1-powered pony car that handily won our Best Camaro of SEMA. Now this: The first shots of the Hennessey Venom GT, a lightweight, LS9-powered ICBM aimed directly at the world's hypercar elite.

Originally teased way back in November of 2007, the House That Hennessey Built has been working overtime to create this Lotus Elise-based, mid-engine masterpiece for the Geneva Motor Show this March, and judging by these first shots from the shop, things are looking downright diabolical.

According to Hennessey, the final weight – with fuel, but no driver – should come in under 2,400 pounds, and with the "mildly tweaked" LS9 putting out between 650 and 700 horsepower, that puts the Venom in contention with the Bugatti Veyron for power-to-weight bragging rights. But naturally, Hennessey isn't stopping there. After the bugs are worked out, the supercharger will be dispatched in favor of a duo of turbos, netting output somewhere north of 1,000 hp. 0-60 times? Less than 2.5 seconds. Top speed? An estimated 262 mph.

Putting that grunt to the ground is a Ricardo six-speed manual gearbox – the same transmission the tuning firm used on its 1,000+ hp twin-turbocharged Ford GTs – with carbon fiber Dymag wheels fitted at all four corners, each shod in Michelin PS2 tires. Fifteen-inch carbon ceramic discs with eight piston Brembo calipers are mounted up front, while 14-inch rotors with six piston calipers reside in the rear, and although we haven't gotten confirmation, the shot above suggests the driver sits front and center. Nope, the Venom will be available in traditional left- or right-hand drive, according to Hennessey.

That's all for now, but look for more details to be released in the coming weeks and get an exclusive eyeful in the gallery below.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      welded tubular swing arms............kinda old fashioned & low budget..........
      • 5 Years Ago
      Vette Racer,

      This must be John Ro**er? I can't imagine anyone else that could be as mis-informed and believe it other than him.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am a customer to Hennessey performance from 5 years now,and I am always satisfied.all the parts and job he do for me are very professional.thank John for all and good luck with the Venom GT. happy customer.Michel
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hope they ordered a bunch of those wheels, Dymag has just gone bust (the motorcycle division at least).
      • 5 Years Ago
      All I can say is that Hennessey is obviously not a good person to do business with. Considering HPE has been bought out, that may change, but I would still never drive anything with his name on it.

      And Dave - you are only making things worse. You sound just as immature as Hennessey himself, minus the colorful word choice. I don't care who did or didn't crash a car, I have less specific things on my mind. For example, how you can support someone as unbelievably disrespectful as John Hennessey?

      And Autoblog, I would love to know why you continue to post this Hennessey propaganda when clearly the large majority of your readers don't appreciate seeing it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow i'm pretty impressed with the design and craftsmanship...it looks like these guys have been doing their homework. Those uprights are hot...
      • 5 Years Ago

      Someone please pass the popcorn!! This is getting interesting!!!

      All in all, I read the threads on the 300C forum, and for John to come on there and call potential customers "c**ksuckers" is downright childish, idiotic, and obviously wrong!! Talk about a baby when someone talks bad about him!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dave@Hennessey your spinning again as the norm

      The first BB ORR was in 1998 and that was the year the JH gang crashed and took out the ranchers fence and in fact town was so mad they pulled the permit from CARS and Wayne Meinert and Bill Hielscher founded the American Road Rally Association and took over the BB ORR where in 1999 JH again acting like the punk he is was caught by cops and arrested.
      Sherrie would have no clue as they were no longer hosting the BB, nor would Denise and of course Roger.

      He promised to return for court date and never showed and in the 2000 ARRA BB ORR the cops were all over the park were we were wanting to know where JH was for outstanding arrest warrants.

      Your playing the normal game, JH was involved as the Viper was being worked on and sold by JH when the car was raced without owners knowledge.

      What you always do is have so many cars to work on you live on blogs and forums looking for more suckers.
      You'll never find JH in winning results as the puke either crashed or broke down.

      My viewpoint stands, the JH gang are crooks and con artists. What they pay for to get the press content is 180 degrees of the real world facts and proof was when the Viper base 86'd his business and then he began the same con job on us Corvette owners.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Vette Racer,

        Bill Helshier crashed during practice for the event he and Wayne put on in a Vette. Again please show me in the results where it says John Hennessey had a DNF. He was not there!

        Again please feel free to take my money I am willing to wager any amount you like. All the DNF and DSQ's show up there.....Where was John is those results? Again you have spread a rumor for so long you take it as a fact. It is fiction. Only Viper EVER there to crash was Todd in 1999. period....I have been there every year....I know it was Todd because I stopped to help him. You are wrong....period and I will put my money where my mouth is. Deal?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Arumage is wrong. If someone is using libel against you, or your business, it is in your best interest to defend yourself. Squash the rumors with facts.

        The internet is no longer the realm of just geeks and nerds. Its a part of everyday life, and allowing someone to defame you is something that just shouldn't happen.

        My take on Hennessey is that if he were "that" bad, he would be dead or in prison. Since he is neither, I guess he is not that bad.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Exclusive? So are you confirming that Autoblog is in bed with this crook despite repeated complaints from your readership?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Stop stating the obvious!
        • 5 Years Ago
        It cracks me up every time I see an article on this guy here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        More obviousness:

        (From a Hennessey customer): Hey is that mine engine in that picture over there?
        (From another Hennessey customer): Meh that's not so bad, that's my chassis in that photo.
      • 5 Years Ago
      2:27PM (12/09/2009)
      Vette Racer,

      I was at that open road race in Fort Stockton in 1998 and sorry that was not John who crashed a Viper it was a guy named Todd Carpenter and while the car did belong to one of Todd's customers, the customer DID know about it.

      Another non-firsthand story that people with no knowledge assume is fact.

      Your a bigger BS artist then JH is as I was there and it was a customer of JH and in fact I talked to the Viper owner weeks later and he did not know that the damage was painted over until much later and it was a fact a arrest warrant for JH was outstanding and the Big Bend ORR the following year the cops were all over the place looking for JH to arrest him.

      As the norm you guys try to twist the story to your liking as the Viper was in the middle of being sold at the time and it was not just 1 Viper they showed up with but 2 and both crashed.
      Do not forget to mention how JH in the middle of the night was doing burnouts and spins in the middle of Ft Stockton getting the town pissed at all of us racers.

      So tell us again about 1st hand knowledge of customer's C5 Covettes being stripped of hoods, wheels, etc being sold by JH and work he was paid for never being done ?

      To show what BS artists you are Todd was not driving a Viper in 1998
      Anyone know of any other vendor then a slug like JH who lives on forums and spews the crap, guess they have nothing better to do with their time.

      Scored Length 118.30

      ===== Target Speed 155.000 (45:47.613

      6.175- 23:54.111 @ 148.482 23:47.509 @ 149.169
      2 64 PAUL HOLCOMB, AUSTIN, TX '87
      Did Not Finish Did Not Start
      Did Not Start Did Not Start

        • 5 Years Ago
        I started paying attention to Hennessey when the yellow Venom 650R first hit the cover of Motor Trend back in, what, '96? I was 11 years old. Now I sell new Porsche's, Jags, Benz's and a couple other luxury brands and I've continued to follow this dirt all along....

        If 2% of Hennessey's customers are pissed....they're doing GREAT! My dealership is a Porsche Premier Dealer (1 of 25 in North America) and I don't think we do that well.

        Virtually everything else seems to be hear-say, and while I can't and wouldn't put my faith in Hennessey's group until meeting them, I will certainly say this: the loud-mouths that speak up against him sound like morons. I mean, is this supposed to be a sentence?::
        "Your a bigger BS artist then JH is as I was there and it was a customer of JH and in fact I talked to the Viper owner weeks later and he did not know that the damage was painted over until much later and it was a fact a arrest warrant for JH was outstanding and the Big Bend ORR the following year the cops were all over the place looking for JH to arrest him."

        I find all this entertaining, but really, guys, what good does it do you to slam and defame the dude's business here? Especially on the internet where virtually everything is anonymous and there can be no definitive evidence for either innocence OR guilt?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Vette Racer,

        Sorry it was April of 1999.
        Big Bend Open Road Race
        Fort Stockton to Sanderson, Texas
        April 17, 1999

        look at the 155 class...there is no DNF for John in 1998 is there? Again total BS and rumor.

        Look at who finished first... I did.....look who did not finish in 4th Todd in a Viper.....

        I ran almost EVERY open road race between 1991 and 2002. I do know the facts and you are incorrect. Call Kenda who runs the race and ask if John crashed there...ask if there is an arrest warrant. Call Sherri Ward as Rodger has passed. I was at his funeral were you? I have her # if you need it. You are 100% wrong. I will stake any amount of money on it.....You know how to get a hold of me......

        1 12 David Golder, Montgomery Mark Humphries '96 Viper 2.134- 23:07.991 @ 153.416 23:17.986 @ 152.319
        2 180 Terry Chall, Fremont, NE John Macklin '90 Corvette 13.508- 25:15.355 @ 140.522 24:54.576 @ 142.475
        3 94 John Rovner, Santa Clara George Stepan '94 Corvette 21.273- 25:54.716 @ 136.964 27:09.990 @ 130.639
        4 24 Todd Carpenter, Lincoln, NE Patrick Combs '98 Viper DNF Did not finish Did not start
        5 96 Jack Herrick, Syosset, NY Sal Russo '95 Corvette DNS Did not start Did not start
        • 5 Years Ago
        um... pwnage?

        Seriously, none of these claims seem to hold up when challenged...
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Hennessey has tried something no one has done by making a vehicle with 100% stolen parts!"
      • 5 Years Ago

      Can you guys make a tag like TUAW did to remove iphone posts? That way we don't have to see your henny nut swinging posts
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