Skip to main content

Texas-based niche automaker Hennessey is all about speed, underscored by the brand once holding the title of world’s fastest production car. The Hennessey Venom GT earned that designation a decade ago with a speed of 270.94 mph. Hennessey is now setting its sights even higher. The company aims for its Hennessey Venom F5 to reach 300 mph in 2024. But first, the company needs to find a road suitable for such staggeringly fast runs.

Hennessey announced Feb. 20 it has “set out plans” for the Venom F5 to exceed the 300-mph barrier this year. Its specs show it certainly appears to have the capability. The Venom F5 is powered by a 6.6-liter, twin-turbo V8 developing 1,817 horsepower without the benefit of an electric motor/hybrid system. The Venom F5 weighs in at under 3,000 pounds with lightweight engine components and other weight-saving measures.

“Our hypercar has a simulated theoretical top speed of 328 mph, but we’re certainly not chasing that number,” John Hennessey, the company’s founder, said in a statement. “Breaking 300 mph in two directions is this year’s goal, while hitting 500km/h (310.8mph) in one direction would be the ultimate way of celebrating the internal combustion engine!”

But there remains the issue of finding a road that can allow the Venom F5 to fully stretch its legs.

The company said “the search is on for a runway or public road with a sufficiently long straight” to allow the Venom F5 break the 300-mph barrier and stop safely. It’s apparently been a struggle. Hennessey told Top Gear in January 2023 the 300-mph test could come that year. It didn’t, perhaps highlighting the search for a suitable road has so far been fruitless.

John Hennessey pictured with the Hennessey Venom F5
John Hennessey and the Hennessey Venom F5 | Hennessey

The company’s previous record run in the Venom GT was conducted at the former NASA Shuttle Landing Facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Venom GT reached 270.94 mph in February of 2014. It broke the previous production car speed record of 268.86 mph held by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

To note, Hennessey is aiming to break the 300-mph mark in a two-direction average test. This figure is achieved with high-speed runs in opposite directions in quick succession. The average speed from the two runs determines its world-record prospects.

Other cars have achieved a 300-mph speed, or close to it, in a one-direction test. The Bugatti Chiron achieved 304 mph.

Hennessey said Bugatti’s quest for speed, and Koenigsegg’s upcoming, 1,600 horsepower Jesko Absolut hypercar, has reignited the company’s quest to break records.

“I love that Koenigsegg is gearing up for big speed, I hope that Bugatti joins the party too – it’s rivalries like this that fuel our passion, and drive us to go faster, innovate more, and push harder,” Hennessey said.

Hennessey recently recruited former AMG ONE Chief Engineer Brian Jones for its efforts. The AMG One is effectively an F1-inspired road-legal race car with a claimed 0-124 mph acceleration time of seven seconds. Driver David Donahue also joins Hennessey as its test driver. Donahue is a Pikes Peak Hill Climb record holder and 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner. He is the son of racing legend Mark Donahue