EXCLUSIVE: First shots of the Hennessey Performance Venom GT

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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