Hennessey’s “bespoke” and “new” engine for the upcoming F5 hypercar might not be as unique as initially advertised.
Last week, we got our first good look at the F5’s engine at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering as part of Monterey Car Week. There were tons of reporters on hand to take snapshots of the newly unveiled engine, and even John Hennessey himself was there to oversee the proceedings.
In case you haven’t heard already, the F5’s engine is a 7.6-L twin-turbo V8 that is reported to produce 1,600 hp and 1,300 lb-ft of torque. That puts it up with Koenigseggs and Bugatti’s in terms of power.
Previously, the F5’s engine was said to be an 8.0-L twin-turbo, but apparently, it lost a few cc’s on its way to production. And, according to Jalopnik, that might not be the only thing that’s fishy about this engine.
In Hennessey’s press release, Shell president Carlos Maurer said that the engine was a “new” design “unique” to the F5. That might be a little overselling it, since some very smart people at Jalopnik are saying it looks very much like an off-the-shelf GM LS small block with some additional parts, and we’re inclined to believe them.
The biggest and most damning piece of evidence produced was a small thunderbolt logo spotted on the engine. It turns out that logo is for Noonan Race Engineering, an Australian race engine builder with facilities in South Carolina. They sell a 462 cubic inch (7.6-L) LS block called the "LS-Edge" that looks an awful lot like Hennessey’s offering.
Monterey Car Week is a wrap. Thank you to all of our friends and fans who came out to see our Venom F5. Special thanks to our @shell_ontheroad @pennzoil family and thank you to our other technical partners including: Michelin, Brembo, Delta Motorsport, Forgeline, Noonan Race Engineering, Precision Turbos, LME, Cima, Motec and KS Composites.
Jalopnik went on to describe how the rest of the engine seemed to also feature off-the-shelf parts: "The cylinder heads look a lot like polished GM LS7 ones. The dry sump oil pump and pan look to be from Dailey Engineering. The damper out front looks like an ATI Super Damper with a Hennessey sticker on it, the intake manifold looks to be one from Late Model Engines, and that valley cover is also a Noonan part, which you can see in pictures of this billet-Noonan LS engine-powered car."
After reaching out for comment, Hennessey confirmed that Noonan was indeed a partner in creating the F5’s engine, but declined to confirm whether the engine was entirely custom ordered or made with some off-the-shelf components.
Shortly after its unveiling, Hennessey also posted a “thank you” to Instagram naming a bunch of other partners, some of whom were mentioned above.
It seems odd to try and take all the credit that seems like a collaborative effort on the F5. Here’s hoping that nothing else about the upcoming hypercar turns out to be smoke and mirrors.