Hennessey drummed up a lot of hype with its Venom F5 supercar, but at its debut during the 2017 SEMA show, we walked away mighty disappointed. The company’s teaser images and proposed 300 mph top speed gave many the expectation the car was ready to roll with the world’s best supercars.
Except, the Venom F5 is merely a 1:1, $1.6 million idea—a toy car at the moment.
Upon inspection, the car shown at the show is made from plastic. It does not feature an interior; there is no engine; it doesn’t run. To quote an iconic line from a cult-classic racing film, “What do they plan on racing with, hopes and dreams?” It’s simply what the car could look like and feature if and when it comes to life.
Hennessey says the Venom F5 will boast an all-new in-house engine, which doesn’t exist yet as far as we know, with 1,600 horsepower and its curb weight of 2,950 pounds will help break the 300 mph barrier. In fact, HPE thinks it’ll do 301 mph on today’s current tire technology. The Venom F5 currently wears Michelin tires that are unproven to handle the forces at 300-plus mph. Notably, Bugatti limits the Chiron’s top speed at 261 mph because no tire can handle the forces beyond said speed. HPE added it will develop its own tires if today’s tires won’t do. Add that to the list of very important things needing validation.
What we’re trying to say is many of Hennessey’s bold claims rest on important facets that don’t even exist today. We want to give Hennessey the benefit of the doubt, but without an engine and tires proven to actually carry out the bold claims, the Venom F5 is something of a pipedream at this point in time.