The title of 'world's fastest production car' has long been the Holy Grail for many automotive manufacturers. Notable names at the top of the table are the incredible 243mph McLaren F1 and the 267mph Bugatti Veyron Supersport; both from established supercar manufacturers.
In the chase of this prestigious accolade, it would be very easy to take the claims of a small automotive company as just noise. This isn't the case, however, when it comes to small Texan tuning company 'Hennessey'.
Hennessey are a sports and supercar tuning house who specialise in 'making fast cars faster'. Using their incredible expertise and extensive facilities they've created cars such as the 700bhp, twin turbo, Ferrari 458 and 1000bhp Ford Mustang.
It was in 2012 that Hennessey decided to chase the elusive title. Their creation was the astonishingly quick Venom GT; a car that managed a top speed of 270mph and a 0-186mph time of just 13.63 seconds. Even though it's unofficially the fastest car in the world it cannot qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records title of world's fastest production car due to its very small production run; only 16 Venom GT's have been made to date.
Now, however, Hennessey have announced new plans to create an even faster Venom with a production run of at least 30 – the qualifying amount for the Guinness Book of World Records. Aptly named after the strongest tornado on the Fujita scale, the Hennessey Venom F5 aims to reach a speed of 290mph.
Built upon a modified Lotus Exige chassis the Hennessey Venom F5 will utilise the same 7.0-Litre Twin Turbo V8 as the Venom GT but will now create approximately 1,400bhp. The increase of power will be achieved through the use of a new Hennessey turbo system that is still in development at Hennessey home in Texas. Helping the Venom F5 to handle the larger turbo's will be a new fuel system, upgraded intercooler capacity and Hennessey's token Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic oil.
The incredible power is combined with a superlight, fully carbon fibre, body which should weigh under 1,300kg and makes for a power-to-weight ratio of about 1000bhp per tonne; the Bugatti Veyron SS produces 630bhp per tonne.
The body has been reworked since the original Venom and is now more aerodynamic, reducing the Venoms drag coefficient from 0.44 to 0.40. A car that sends this much power solely through the back wheels risks becoming uncontrollable if downforce isn't sufficient; therefore the Venom F5's body has been designed to create downforce and aids the retractable rear wing in keeping the Venom's massive output under control.
The Venom F5 will come with a choice of two gearboxes – a H-pattern manual transmission and a single-clutch paddle shift gearbox, the latter will reduce shift times and increase acceleration. Hennessey have decided on a single-clutch box in order to keep weight down, double-clutch systems add a lot of additional parts and would lower the Venom F5's power-to-weight ratio.
Hennessey are looking to launch the Venom F5 in 2015 with worldwide deliveries starting late 2016. John Hennessey says that they will definitely look to validate the Venom F5 as the world's fastest production car, with the possibility of testing on the Bonneville Salt Flats.