UPDATE: Hennessey has released official renderings and verbiage on its forthcoming Venom F5, which we've incorporated into this story.

Hennessey Performance had good reason to fly the star-spangled banner with pride when it recorded a top speed of over 270 miles per hour at the Kennedy Space Center this past February. That was, after all, faster than the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport ever recorded. Unfortunately, the run wasn't official enough to take the crown away (at least to the Guinness Book of World Records people), but instead of simply trying again, or squeezing a bit of extra power out of the existing Venom GT, Hennessey is reportedly going back to the drawing board with a comprehensive list of upgrades.

According to Hennessey, the project has been dubbed F5, not after the Northrop fighter jet but after the tornado classification. That might seem like a bit much for most any other car, but Hennessey plans on backing it up. For starters, the 7.0-liter twin-turbo V8 is being reworked to deliver as much as (if not more than) 1,400 horsepower, and a new single-clutch paddle-shift gearbox is being developed (a manual will still be offered). New bodywork is being designed atop the Lotus Elise-based chassis to further cut the Venom's drag coefficient while delivering all the downforce it'll need to stay on the road. It's also set to get a new GPS-based traction control system that will be programmable for specific racing circuits.

All that and more is giving Hennessey a target of topping 290 miles per hour, potentially to be achieved at Bonneville. The Texas-based company reportedly plans on making 30 examples, each with a price tag expected to exceed the existing Venom GT's $1.2-million MSRP.
Show full PR text
Hennessey Venom F5: The Next Generation
With the fury of a Texas tornado, 290 mph is within reach


August 4, 2014-For immediate release

Sealy, Texas-Here at last, the Venom F5, successor to the Venom GT. If you remember from Meteorology 101, the Fujita scale pegs the strongest tornado as an F5, with winds of 261 to 318 mph, so it's a fitting name for this next-generation Venom that's the very definition of power and speed. The F5's bold, lower-drag shape, additional power and enhanced technology will push this Texas-built hypercar to velocities previously unimagined for a road-legal, series-produced vehicle.

"We are very excited about this next chapter of the Venom, which brings forth an all-new design that is not only a powerful and unique statement that our clients are looking for, but a vehicle that will achieve even higher performance through improved aerodynamics," said company president and founder John Hennessey. "We learned a great deal during the development of the Venom GT in breaking the 270-mph barrier, and we bring that experience to this new design as we look toward raising the performance bar even higher."

The laws of physics are immutable, so the step up from the Venom GT's 270.49-mph world record speed will come from both an increase in power and a reduction in drag from the clean-sheet carbon-fiber body. The drag coefficient drops from 0.44 to below 0.40 while still generating significant downforce through both the upper body shape and underbody venturis, a rear diffuser beneath the rear bumper and a retractable rear wing.

The next-generation twin-turbo powertrain is still under development, but turbo size for the longitudinally mounted V8 is increased, and the fuel system and intercooler capacity are upgraded to handle the demands of increased boost. Hard numbers for power are not yet available, but it's conceivable that output could exceed 1400 bhp. Pennzoil will continue as a key technology partner, and its Ultra Platinum full synthetic oil-the factory fill for both the Venom and every Hennessey-built vehicle-will ensure the performance and reliability of the F5's engine under the most extreme conditions.

With extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum, weight will remain under 1300 kg (2866 lb.), just slightly more than the Venom GT's 1244-kg curb weight. So it's highly probable the F5 will eclipse the Venom GT's current acceleration records too, which stand at 14.51 seconds to 200 mph, and 13.63 seconds to 186 mph (300 km/h).

Several new technologies will be introduced, the most transformative being single clutch paddle-shift transmission (a standard H-pattern manual transmission will still be offered for purists), whose reduction in shift speeds will enable the F5 to accelerate even more quickly. And a GPS-based stability/traction control system will help to channel the F5's immense power and provide an increased margin of safety, whether on a racetrack or back road. "Of course, the Venom F5 retains the raw, explosive edge that makes the Venom GT such a thrill ride," said Hennessey partner Don Goldman, "but these changes will make the F5 easier and more satisfying to drive, day in and day out."

The Venom F5 will be unveiled in 2015 with deliveries to customers in late 2016. At least 30 Venom F5s will be produced for sale worldwide, at a price higher than that of the Venom GT, which currently sells for $1.2 million. The Venom GT will continue to be offered; at present, 16 cars of the 29-car total production run have been sold.

###

About Hennessey® Performance
Established in 1991, Hennessey® Performance (HPE) now operates from a new facility comprised of a 36,000 square foot building that is located adjacent to Lonestar Motorsports Park, the company's test track and IHRA sanctioned ¼ mile dragstrip. The 143-acre complex is located about 45 minutes west of Houston, Texas along Interstate 10. Hennessey® offer a wide variety of dyno-proven, track-tested parts for modern performance vehicles. In addition, Hennessey® operates Tuner School, the world's first fully state-licensed school dedicated to teaching and training future performance vehicle tuners.

About Pennzoil®
At Pennzoil®, we're car people. We love cars and the role they play in our lives. That's why we tirelessly strive to produce the most technologically advanced, highest performing motor oils on the market. Our Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology deliver Complete Protection. Pennzoil Platinum motor oils start with something different: natural gas. PurePlus Technology is a patented, revolutionary process that converts pure natural gas into the first-of-its-kind, high quality full synthetic base oil. It's Motor Oil Reimagined. For more information about the full line of Pennzoil lubricating products, motor oils and filters, please visit www.pennzoil.com. Not just oil. Pennzoil.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      Ben Towery
      • 4 Months Ago
      I love it! I really don't know why the peanut gallery keeps giving this guy a hard time. Business practices aside, Hennessey does things the old fashioned way...an American V8 with $hit tons of HP. In a world of further complicated technology for achieving performance (even CUV's lap the 'ring at ridiculous times) the auto world doesn't get more enthusiast oriented than this.
      wtrmlnjuc
      • 4 Months Ago
      Looks like the Bahar era Lotus concepts. Can't complain.
      Dump
      • 4 Months Ago
      Sweet! I like how Hennessey has over-used the Lotus chassis to make amazing vehicles. Are they using the GM 7.0L V8?
      poopoohead100
      • 4 Months Ago
      MURICA
      graphikzking
      • 4 Months Ago
      I haev to admit, the guy has balls and really walks the walk when he puts his mind to something. I still don't trust him. Also, something that goes 290mph and stays road legal, I'd be really scared to push something that fast with so little in terms of R&D. VW has literally billions of dollars and 100's of years of R&D between VW, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bently etc. to make the Bugatti travel at 250+ mph. Hennessey has what? 5 years of R&D with this car and maybe 1 million at most to work on this project? The car doesn't look like it has the down force required to go 290+ mph to be honest but who knows what is underneath etc.
        Autoblogist
        • 4 Months Ago
        @graphikzking
        How the hell can you determine the amount of downforce a car has by looking it? It's not exactly an elongated sphere with some wheels. Putting a bunch of wings and scopes on the bodywork doesn't give give away whether modern car can go 200mph or 300mph.
          graphikzking
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Autoblogist
          "Generally" any car that has an excessive amount of speed you will see small downforce lips here and there. The photos above are NOT what was originally posted btw. I don't want to generalize too much, but look at all the cars that run pikes peak, all the F1 cars, Drag cars etc. They have spoilers, lips and different scopes. I realize each car is infinitely different but I just was surprised at how tame the car looked. Now the photos above look much more menacing and more scoops, wings and lips than previously shown.
        nitrostreet
        • 4 Months Ago
        @graphikzking
        @graphikzking; The Kugel 1992 Pontiac Firebird ran over 300 mph at Bonneville in 1999 with one of their exit speeds topping out at 307.468mph and I believe this still holds the worlds fastest stock bodied vehicle record. Kugel did this on way less of a budget than Hennessey has. http://www.kugelkomponents.com/bonneville/bonneville_300mph.php
        Essende
        • 4 Months Ago
        @graphikzking
        And after all those years of experience, most German manufacturers still can't produce reliable vehicles... Just throwing money at R&D does not mean that the final product will not have any defects/problems. To build a sports car you need people with passion/experience/imagination/paying close attention to details. Most of the greatest inventions came from the "little" people, not multibillion dollar corporations.
      BipDBo
      • 4 Months Ago
      Meh. I cruised across the country this weekend at over 500 mph in a Boeing 737, which first came out in 1967. What's the big deal? jk
        BipDBo
        • 4 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        BTW, "jk" stands for "just kidding." I think a big, insanely powered American V8 stuffed into a tiny lightweight British car to be awesome. Long live the legacy of Carroll Shelby and his infamously deadly Cobra Supersnake.
      Pheonix
      • 4 Months Ago
      Its just freakin Insane...But still looks like a hungry beast who want to surpass 290mph mark ...http://www.worldofautomobile.com/hennessey-venom-f5-1400bhp-290mph-car/
      KaiserWilhelm
      • 4 Months Ago
      From the rear this looks like a Mclaren P1 Rip off.
      mbukukanyau
      • 4 Months Ago
      The issue will be motor reliability. Anyone can make power, but for how long?
        Chris O.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        A properly built and maintained SBC is reliable, even at high power levels. I have a SC'd 455ci LSX in one of my vehicles that makes a little north of 950hp. I change my engine oil changed after performance driving, or every 6000 miles (whichever is first). I change my valve springs every 15k miles. Assuming that you have your cooling and fuel management squared away, there's not much else to worry about. In my case, nothing else is any different than any other LS motor, and I've got over 50,000 on the engine.
          Chris O.
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Chris O.
          To be perfectly honest, I had no idea, either. In my youth, I was all about small displacement engines, more often than not with FI. When I got out of school, I was able to purchase the cars I wanted (FD RX-7s, Supras, Z32s, a 3000GT VR-4, etc.). Turning up the wick, performance-wise, seemed pretty easy. It wasn't until I got a C5 with an LS1 that I finally had a car that wasn't so high-strung. Granted, going beyond headers and a cam to FI is pretty expensive, but the headroom is so much greater. The greater dispacement does allow you to get so much more out of the engine without worrying about it grenading at any moment. Making monster power out of a 2JZ-GTE or VR38DETT is pretty easy, but it's much less expensive and much more reliable to do it with a built LS motor (especially LSX, if weight isn't a primary concern).
          mbukukanyau
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Chris O.
          Thanks for the info. I had no idea
      Koenigsegg
      • 4 Months Ago
      You see, this is what really need, a stretched elise that can go 290 that costs over $1,000,000. Why isn't every car company trying to achieve this? ROFL
      i.own.your.ass
      • 4 Months Ago
      still a kir car.....lmao
      MotionDesigner
      • 4 Months Ago
      As long as Lotus is putting their wonderful design concepts to use somewhere, I can't complain.
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