Cars and Trucks

Hennessey’s Chief Engineer Updates Us on the Venom F5

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  • Hennessey has previously stated that its upcoming Venom F5 will surpass the Bugatti Chiron’s record for fastest production car in the world, by reaching 310 mph.
  • The Venom F5, the company claims, will eventually make 1817 horsepower from its twin-turbo V-8 engine.
  • The specialist’s chief engineer said progress looks good but that the company is also working on making it a more well-rounded performance car beyond top speed.

    We’ve previously told you about Hennessey’s ambition to prove that the forthcoming Venom F5 is the fastest production car in the world. That milestone is still a way off, presuming the Hennessey manages to beat the Bugatti Chiron’s 304-mph record. But the Texas company has announced that the F5 has already passed the 200-mph mark during testing, and with its 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 making just half of what will be its eventual 1817-hp output.

    “We have been working up to the full output,” John Heinricy, Hennessey Performance’s chief engineer, explained. “It’s much easier to do the basics at a lower output to get the learnings in, and we can then build on that . . . But if you look at 900 horsepower and the [3053-pound] weight of the car, there’s no lack of performance.”

    Hennessey

    Development work has been done both at Hennessey’s HQ in Texas and also on a 2.2-mile runway of a one-time U.S. Air Force base in Arkansas. Last year John Hennessey told us the F5 will make top speed runs on the 3.2-mile runway of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, but also on public roads if this proves insufficiently long to validate the car’s aimed-for 311-mph top speed.

    Although working toward the same ultimate performance goal, Heinricy is equally determined that the finished F5 will perform at lower speeds, with development work set to include both roads and technical race courses including Circuit of the Americas near Austin.

    “Sure, we’re focusing on top speed and being the fastest on the racetrack, but we’re also looking at the whole balance,” he said. “If you just look at top speed, you’re not going to make a car that is capable of everyday driving, we’re not going after just a single area . . . and if you get the basics together it’s going to be a lot easier to get the ultimate performance.”

    When asked to nominate a rival he particularly wants to beat, Heinricy said, “All of them.” He elaborated: “Sure, we want to make a car that can be compared to a Bugatti or the Konigsegg, but not just on top speed. We want to create a decathlete.”

    Heinricy was previously development chief for the Chevrolet Corvette, and he told us the F5 will offer similar usability. “I’ve spent my career trying to make cars accessible for regular customers,” he said. “It’s very much my focus here to make sure the car has that capability.”

    We look forward to testing both sides of the Venom F5’s character.

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