Texas-based tuners Hennessey Performance Engineering return to the forefront of automotive engineering with their first model built fully in-house, the Venom F5. Named after the most powerful hurricane on the Fujita scale, the Venom F5 has one goal in mind: breaking every speed record for production vehicles. Every design detail, from its massive twin-turbo engine to its sleek, futuristic exterior, points towards Hennessey’s passion for power, speed, and performance.
Hennessey Performance specifically designed the Venom F5’s exterior to create as much downforce as possible without sacrificing aerodynamic efficiency or style. The F5’s exterior is low and decidedly futuristic, with more sharp edges than its Venom GT predecessor. The overall setup follows the principles displayed by many mid-engined hypercars, with a raked front end highlighted by plenty of venting, a minimally bulging passenger compartment, enormous side scoops, and a rear end dominated by aggressive haunches and both an integrated and raised rear spoiler.
But the Venom F5 still stands out from its competition, with almost Viper-esque fenders and vents behind the front wheels, a trio of exhaust tips that reside above its massive rear diffuser, and antenna-stalk rearview mirrors color matched to its Gurney bubble roof. Of course, the design is one where form almost entirely follows function, and Hennessey boasts of an impressively low drag coefficient of just 0.33, with active aero functions optimizing airflow depending on speed.
The Venom F5’s headlights stand out with a row of LEDs, while monster wheels house enormous brakes and are shod in low-profile tires snugged in tight below the fenders.
Drivetrain & Mechanicals
The Venom F5 represents Hennessey’s first attempt at building their own car from the ground up rather than modifying existing production vehicles, as was the case with the Venom GT which was based on a modified Lotus Exige platform and featured a GM LSX V8 for motivation. The heart and soul of the Venom F5 is its “bespoke and proprietary” 7.6-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine, developed in coordination with Pennzoil and Shell.
Hennessey claims the billet aluminum-machined powerplant will deliver north of 1,600 horsepower at 7,200 RPM and 1,300 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 RPM, which will be routed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed single-clutch transmission with paddle shifters. The engine utilizes steel cylinder sleeves to help handle up to 24 psi of pressure generated by the duo of ball bearing turbos, with billet aluminum compressor wheels, stainless steel headers, and a dry sump oil system contributing to boost levels.
Almost every piece of the Venom F5’s chassis and body is constructed out of carbon fiber, and Hennessey claims it will tip the scales at only 2,950 pounds with fluids included. With braking courtesy of Brembo and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, Hennessey’s goal to reach an outright top speed of 301 miles per hour is matched by blistering acceleration stats: sub-10 seconds for a sprint to 186 miles per hour, and under 20 seconds to reach 249 mph. Those massive brakes also give Hennessey the confidence to boast of a 0-249-0 mph time under 30 seconds.
Interior & Tech
With performance that bests Formula 1 cars, the Venom F5’s interior is a spartan display of carbon fiber and Alcantara, with little to distract the driver other than a multifunction steering wheel and a minimal display cluster. Creature comforts also best Formula 1 standards, but the true spirit of the Venom F5 comes through in its interior: lightweight carbon fiber seats are complemented by aluminum trim on switchgear and climate vents, while the doors feature strong handles for passengers to grab ahold of while enjoying some of the most intense acceleration and braking that a car can possibly offer.
Pricing & Buying
Hennessey has stated the Venom F5 starts at a base price of $1.6 million, though as with all hypercars, an options checklist should quickly ramp up potential costs. The Texas-based company plans to build just 24 examples, enough to satisfy production requirements for record-setting cars, and the first 15 have already been claimed.
The Venom F5 joins a select group of the world’s most insane hypercars, with potential competition coming from a very short list of current and future models. Of course, Hennessey has their sights set on the Koenigsegg Agera RS, which currently holds the record for fastest production vehicle with a two-way average speed of 277.9 miles per hour. However, the final two Ageras left Koenigsegg early this summer, and the Swedish manufacturer is expected to announce a successor early next year.
Other challengers will include the Bugatti Chiron, a subtle redesign of the former world-record holding Veyron, as well as SSC’s Tuatara, which also officially debuted at Monterey Car Week and claims to feature an even more powerful engine (up to 1,750 horsepower on E85 fuel) as well as a lower drag coefficient. Only time will tell which brand’s product will reign supreme, but at the very least, automotive fans will get to enjoy the competition.