At 483km/h, John Hennessey’s Venom F5 will cover the length of a football field in less than a second. To punch it to that speed, his £1.2 million (according to current exchange rates) hypercar gets a new 7.6-litre twin-turbo V8 delivering 1200kW. But can the famed Texas tuner beat Koenigsegg to surpass the current production-car speed record of 447.1km/h? “Heck yeah,” says the force behind Hennessey Performance Engineering. Here’s why.
How confident are you that the Venom F5 can reach 300 mph?
Totally. With 1200kW, we know we have the power to achieve it. We also have the right aero, and we feel good about the Michelin tires we’re using. Remember, our Venom GT did 435.3km/h with 928kW.
Where in the world can you drive it to that speed?
That’s the challenge. It would be great to find a highway in Texas. Last year, Koenigsegg used a 16-kilometre section of Nevada’s Route 160 to do nearly 448km/h in an Agera RS.
Is it worth all the headaches to build just 24 cars?
Absolutely. We are a performance brand known for making fast cars go faster. It’s our mission to be the fastest. And this car makes a sound business case. Right now, all 12 US-spec cars are sold, as are five of the 12 overseas cars.
What’s your timetable?
We’ll have a drivable prototype to show customers by the middle of next year. And around that time we’ll start finding out how fast the car will go. The target is to pull in some meaningful numbers by the end of 2019.
Do you plan to be behind the wheel for the Venom F5’s record attempt?
My wife, five kids, employees, customers, and bankers all say to stay out of the car and use a pro. Would I love to drive the car to 480km/h-plus? Without a doubt. I took our Venom GT to 435km/h and it was amazing.