The new Hennessey Venom F5 made its official production debut this week, just as the American company begins series production of the near-2,000 horsepower hypercar.
The Hennessey Venom F5 is one of the most impressive performance cars to debut in recent years, so we won’t waste any time getting to the good stuff. Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged 6.6L V8 engine based on the pushrod General Motors LS V8 engine design, which doles out a head-spinning 1,817 horsepower and 1,193 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the massive 345mm wide rear tires through a semi-automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.
Thanks to a bespoke carbon fiber tub developed by Hennessey’s engineering partners in the UK, the Venom F5 tips the scales at just 2,998 lbs dry and 3,053 lbs with fluids. That means that it weighs about as much as the current VW Golf GTI, despite having nearly ten times the power. As such, Hennessey claims the F5 will hustle from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds and from 0 to 249 mph in 15.5 seconds. It will keep on accelerating until reaching a top speed of 311 mph – a claim that company founder John Hennessey hopes to put to the test in the not-too-distant future. The 311 mph is just a target for Hennessey, it’s worth noting. If given enough road, the Texas-based manufacturer says the Venom F5 could hit a theoretical top speed of around 340 mph.
Some sophisticated electronics are required to ensure customers can properly use a car this absurdly powerful all-American hypercar. The Venom F5 comes with five drive modes, three of which are fairly self explanatory: Wet, Sport and Track. Then there’s Drag mode, which was developed specifically for putting the power to the ground effectively. In this mode, the vehicle’s hydraulic nose lift system will actuate, tipping more weight onto the rear tires for maximum grip. The final mode, VMax, unlocks all 1,817 horsepower from the Venom F5’s engine and will be the only mode where the vehicle can reach its 300+ mph top speed.
John Heinricy, the former director of high-performance-vehicle operations at GM, also lent his expertise to the Venom F5, helping the team hone the vehicle’s driving dynamics during the development process. Heinricy was directly involved in the development of several notable GM performance vehicles, including the Corvette and Cadillac CTS-V, among others.
A hypercar like this is expected to run short on creature comforts, but the Venom F5 actually has a fairly tidy interior, all things considered. Above the carbon fiber center stack sits a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Car Play, Android Auto and satellite navigation, while the carbon fiber bucket seats are adorned in high-quality leather. The blue car pictured here is the first customer car and features a “Butterscotch” leather interior with black leather and Alcantara accents.
Just 24 examples of the Hennessey Venom F5 will be produced, each costing $2.1 million. Hennessey intends to build 12 cars for customer in the United States and another 12 for buyers located abroad.