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Hennessey Venom F5 revealed

Hennessey has released pictures of its Venom GT successor, the Venom F5 – it’s expected to become the world’s fastest road-legal production car.

EARLIER THIS YEAR (February), Hennessey recorded a record-breaking 270.9mph (433km/h) run in its Venom GT at the Kennedy Space Centre. While that was faster than the Bugatti Veyrom Super Sport, the record wasn’t considered ‘official enough’ by the boffins at the Guinness Book of World Records to take the crown from the Bugatti. But, says, Hennessey, the Venom F5 isn’t just about squeezing a little extra grunt from the Venom GT, it’s about re-imagining the performance of a road-legal car.

“We are very excited about this next chapter of the Venom, which brings forth an all-new design that is not only a powerful and unique statement that our clients are looking for, but a vehicle that will achieve even higher performance through improved aerodynamics,” said company president and founder John Hennessey. “We learned a great deal during the development of the Venom GT in breaking the 270-mph (432km/h) barrier, and we bring that experience to this new design as we look toward raising the performance bar even higher.”

Hennessey Venom F5 - tipped to become the world's fastest car

You can’t change physics, so, Hennessey has said it has made the Venom F5 slipperier than the GT (also more powerful, but reducing wind resistance is critical if you want to go quicker), thanks to a clean-sheet carbon-fibre body, “The drag coefficient drops from 0.44 to below 0.40 while still generating significant downforce through both the upper body shape and underbody venturis, a rear diffuser beneath the rear bumper and a retractable rear wing.

The engine is still being worked on, but we know it will be the next-generation twin-turbo V8 from the Venom GT. The fuel system and intercooler capacity are being upgraded to handle the demands of increased boost – Hennessey is fitting a bigger turbo. Power figures aren’t yet available.

Thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre and aluminum, weight for the Venom F5 will remain under 1300 kg, just slightly more than the Venom GT’s 1244kg kerb weight. So it’s highly probable the F5 will eclipse the Venom GT’s current acceleration records too, which stand at 14.51 seconds to 200mph (320km/h), and 13.63 seconds to 186mph (300km/h).

Hennessey Venom F5 - tipped to become the world's fastest car

Hennessey said it’s intriducing several new technologies, including a single clutch paddle-shift transmission (a standard H-pattern manual transmission will also be available), whose reduction in shift speeds will enable the F5 to accelerate even more quickly. A GPS-based stability/traction control system will help to channel the F5’s immense power and provide an increased margin of safety, whether on a racetrack or back road. “Of course, the Venom F5 retains the raw, explosive edge that makes the Venom GT such a thrill ride,” said Hennessey partner Don Goldman, “but these changes will make the F5 easier and more satisfying to drive, day in and day out.”

The Venom F5 will be unveiled in 2015 with deliveries to customers in late 2016. At least 30 Venom F5s will be produced for sale worldwide, at a price higher than that of the Venom GT, which currently sells for US$1.2 million. The Venom GT will continue to be offered; at present, 16 cars of the 29-car total production run have been sold.

Oh, and why is it called the Venom F5? Well, in meteorology, the Fujita scale has been used to classify the strongest tornado as an F5, with winds between 261-318mph (417-508km/h). And with the Venom F5 tipped to go faster than 433km/h, well, that’s why it’s called the Venom F5.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober