While electric cars offer independence from the gas pump and autonomous vehicles promise to improve safety, perhaps the most American influence on transportation will always be finding ways to manufacture speed.
That’s definitely the case at Sealy, TX-based Hennessey Performance. Started in 1991 by John Hennessey, the custom and tuner car engineering shop has gained international fame with its work on Venom Vipers. Hennessey has built 13 custom GTs – one of which beat the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport’s production car speed record by reaching 270.49 mph.
It then literally took the top of the car and set the convertible speed record of 265 mph with a Venom GT. That was supposed to be Hennessey’s final chapter with the Venom.
However, the Hennessey team recently announced that they would be unveiling the Venom F5 at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas on November 1. The vehicle has been dubbed the F5 in homage to the tornado wind speed scale that registers wind speeds over 261 mph as F5.
That mark shouldn’t be a problem for the 1,400-horsepower, 7.0-liter V8 or the lightweight carbon fiber chassis that John Hennessey told Top Gear will enable the F5 to approach speeds of 290 mph.
Just to offer some perspective, the fastest speed ever recorded on a NASCAR track is just under 213 mph by Bill Elliott. On an F1 track, Juan Pablo Montoya came in at just under 232 mph, with a car that weighs about half as much as the F5.
Hennessey reportedly plans on making about 30 of the vehicles, which is ironic as Dodge announced earlier this year that 2017 would be the last production year for the Viper. While prices aren’t currently available, it’s assumed that Venom Viper GT F5s will sell for north of $1.2M.