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Can This Hypercar Break the Speed Record? Famed Tuner John Hennessey Has No Doubt

Why the Founder of Hennessey Performance Engineering is confident that he can beat the barrier.

At 300 mph, 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 $1.6 million hypercar gets a new 7.6-liter twin-turbo V-8 delivering 1,600 hp. But can the famed Texas tuner beat Koenigsegg to surpass the current production-car speed record of 277.87 mph? “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 1,600 hp, 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 270.49 mph with 1,244 hp.

The Venom F5 from Hennessey Performance Engineering.

Hennessey’s Venom F5.  Photo: Courtesy of Hennessey Performance Engineering.

Where in the world can you drive it to that speed?

That’s the challenge. It would be great to find a highway here in Texas. Last year, Koenigsegg used a 10-mile section of Nevada’s Route 160 to do nearly 278 mph 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 U.S.-spec cars are sold, as are five of the 12 overseas cars.

The Venom F5 from Hennessey Performance Engineering.

Only 24 examples will be made.  Photo: Courtesy of Hennessey Performance Engineering.

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 300 mph? Without a doubt. I took our Venom GT to 243 mph and it was amazing.

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