Some exciting news came to fruition on Monday: Hennessey Performance, known mainly as the prolific customizer and creator of fast SUVs, pickups, tweaked Corvettes and Vipers, and the unofficial fastest car record holder, is putting forth another effort to secure the latter title for good, and perhaps putting a hearty nail into the coffin of the Bugatti Veyron. Its weapon of choice will be the Venom F5 (named after the category of tornado), a heavily reworked version of its Venom GT that reached a terminal speed of 270 miles per hour.
The F5, Hennessey says, will be capable of approaching 290.
“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 founder and President John Hennessey in a press release. “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.”
Naturally, power in the Venom F5 will be upped — this time to 1,400 horsepower, about 200 more than the 1,244 found in the GT. That immense power, which even exceeds the 1,360 horsepower produced by Koenigsegg’s mental One:1, is coupled to a projected curb weight of under 1,300 kilograms (2,866 pounds). “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),” Hennessey said.
It’s unclear if the F5 will, like the GT, will be based on a Lotus-sourced platform, albeit a heavily modified one. And why not? Lotus cars are renowned for their agility and lightweight nature, and since Hennessey is sourcing the engine from elsewhere, those are some very desirable traits to have in a car such as this.
The F5 will offer a single clutch paddle-shift transmission to reduce shift speeds that “will enable the F5 to accelerate even more quickly.” 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,” the company said. A manual option will still be available on any one of the 30 models that will be produced, it added.
The 7.0-liter V8 that’s used in the GT will remain a constant, but the turbos will be larger, and the fuel system and intercooler capacity are upgraded to handle the demands of increased boost.
The company also warned — not surprisingly — that the F5 will cost more than the GT’s already eye-popping price of $1.2 million. Of the 29 GTs built, 16 have been sold. The GT will also continue to be available alongside the F5 until its 29-unit production run has been exhausted; the F5 will be formally unveiled in person next year, and deliveries will begin in late 2016.