The CEO says Hennessey has to solve this issue before the Venom F5 can beat the speed record

The CEO says Hennessey has to solve this issue before the Venom F5 can beat the speed record


John Hennessey is one of the true heroes of the motoring world, up there with the likes of Peter Wheeler and Enzo Ferrari when it comes to crazy and ambitious ideas that somehow keep coming. His latest effort involves breaking the speed record for a production car again. This time, Hennessey would like to do it in a car that his company has designed from the ground up.

That car is the Venom F5, and it’s designed to do more than go fast in a straight line. Hennessey bills it as the “decathlete of hypercars,” so you can expect to see it set the standard in all kinds of events. Most recently, it set the lap record for a production car at COTA – beating the time set by the Czinger C21 and completing a lap seven seconds faster than the McLaren P1.

But the lap record is still great, and there is one major challenge between Hennessey and the title. The Texas-based CEO recently spoke with The Manual, and the upcoming recording attempt was definitely one of the topics we discussed. It’s been a decade since Hennessey’s previous creation, the Venom GT, achieved the same goal, and the company intends to commemorate the anniversary by doing it all again.

During our conversation, Hennessey told us exactly what’s left. It has nothing to do with the car itself; he believes it is already the fastest producing car in the world. Instead, it’s a matter of scheduling.

Finding a place for a record test is very difficult

Venom F5 Revolution Coupe on the track

“Where can we go and basically make it a test drive that averages over 300 MPH?” Hennessey says.

The automaker believes its car needs five or six miles to gain enough speed to achieve the speed record and still have enough room to stop safely afterwards. Hennessey goes on to explain how traditional options in the US may not be enough.

“There are long runways. There’s a runway where we set a record with the Venom GT 10 years ago at NASA in Florida, where they were landing a space shuttle. From end to end, it’s 3.2 miles. So you can speed up only maybe 2.4 two and a half miles. Then you need that seven or eight-tenths of a mile to slow down.”

Hennessey also told The Manual how some of his closest rivals could have an advantage when it comes to venues, saying: “(While) Bugatti ran the 304, Ehra-Lessien is 5.5 to six miles long. And then you have this kind of high-speed oval at both ends of the runway where you can accelerate before you even get into the long run at once.

I think the bug hits that one time at 180 miles an hour. So, they’re already… under 200 miles per hour, and then they have… 5.6 miles to accelerate. NASA, the car must be stopped at the end of the runway because after that, it’s just grass and a crocodile-infested swamp.”

Alternatives may be availableVenom F5 Revolution Coupe

While it may be difficult to find a track long enough to safely break the world speed record, Hennessey is hopeful that a solution will be found this year. One promising alternative would see the record potentially broken in the company’s home state of Texas.

Hennessey says: “We are looking for other alternatives. We are looking at the possibility of a Texas highway, possibly later this year and we are talking to the state about it. They seem open to that but it just takes time to sort that out and sort that out. In fact, having something longer than the runway would be better for having room to move on.

So the next few months could see the car tearing down the Texas highway at over 300 miles per hour. Even if the record is set, there is a question of how long it will last. Bugatti has announced its next car will be powered by a V16 hybrid engine. The French manufacturer has yet to reveal the car that the electric powertrain will go into – but whatever it will be, it’s sure to be fast. One thing is certain, though. With 1817 horsepower and enough grunt to beat anything at the moment, the Hennessey Venom GT might just be the fastest ICE-powered car we’ve ever seen.

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