Speed and Performance
Texas-based Hennessey Performance continues to build its reputation on speed and commensurate performance, taking fast cars — and trucks — and making them faster. Next year marks the company’s 30th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate the milestone than by building a car faster than nearly everything else on the road? Today Hennessey Performance introduces the production version of the all-new Venom F5 — a monstrously powerful lightweight hypercar designed for extreme performance.
311 MPH Goal
Named for the most powerful tornado category — F5 on the Fujita scale — the Venom F5 debuted in concept form about three years ago. At that time John Hennessey, founder and CEO of Hennessey Performance, promised that the F5 would not only be one of the most powerful production cars on the road, it would also be capable of speeds exceeding 300 mph. This rear-wheel-drive hypercar has the specs to do the job, and — after testing in the first half of 2021 — the Venom F5 aims to exceed the 500 kph (311 mph) mark.
Venom GT Successor
As Hennessey’s first purpose-built car, the Venom GT debuted in 2010. Built on a modified Lotus Exige chassis, the 1244-horsepower GT set a production-car world record in 2014 at a top speed of 270.49 mph. That record has since been broken, so Hennessey plans on taking bragging rights back to Texas via the Venom F5.
A Hennessey Original
The design and creation of the Venom F5 has been the brainchild of company owner John Hennessey. “Our customers love speed, so we’re fired-up to push the boundaries of what’s possible to attempt the world’s fastest production car record, but the Venom F5 is about more than just speed and power,” said Hennessey. “This car will handle superbly, quality is exceptional, there are more than 3,000 bespoke parts, materials are exquisite, everything is a fitting tribute to 30 years of the Hennessey brand,” the founder of the eponymous company noted.
To become one of the fastest cars in the world, the limited-edition Venom F5 sports car requires some massive motivation. A rear mid-mounted 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged Fury V8 engine powers the F5 and produces 1817 horsepower and 1193 lb-ft of torque, making it the most potent gas-powered sports car in the world. With so much torque on tap, engine-to-driveline options are extremely limited. Ultimately engineers chose a specially designed semi-automatic single-clutch 7-speed gearbox with paddle shifters on the steering column.
“Our team built the Venom F5’s Fury V8 motor with one vision — to deliver a unique and unparalleled driving experience,” enthused Hennessey. “The engine commands complete respect. It’s intimidating — in a good way. It totally dominates the driving experience and keeps goading you to unleash its power and challenge you to tame it. The F5 resets the balance, having been designed from the ground up to be the antithesis of the everyday hypercar — it will always be an occasion to drive,” the owner also noted.
Although power is important, so is weight savings. Hennessey developed an all-new carbon fiber monocoque weighing a mere 190 pounds yet exhibiting excellent torsional rigidity. “Our all-new carbon fiber chassis is an engineering marvel and to see it in person is like looking at a piece of artwork. It’s like a piece of automotive jewelry that’s built to run 500+ km/h,” said Hennessey. Body panels are also built from carbon fiber. Thanks to all that woven carbon, the Venom F5 has a dry weight of 2,998 pounds — about the same as a Honda Civic (but with 10 times the horsepower).
With its impressive power to weight ratio, the Hennessey Venom F5 has some equally impressive performance stats. Acceleration to 62 mph (100 kph) takes 2.6 seconds; 124 mph (200 kph) comes up in 4.7 seconds; 186 mph (300 kph) in 8.4 seconds; and 249 mph (400 kph) in less than 16 seconds. As mentioned previously, top speed should exceed 311 mph (500 kph).
The Hennessey Venom F5 sits low and wide, which is as much about function as it is about styling. Up front, large air intakes sit low at the car’s outer edges, with a carbon fiber splitter connecting to the clamshell hood like a pair of fangs. Bodywork channels air under the flat floor to the rear diffuser. Front and center, an all-new Hennessey logo heralds the car’s origins.
The sleek shape of the Hennessey Venom F5 is most noticeable from the side, where it sits as low as 3 inches off the ground. (Ride height can be automatically adjusted to navigate speed bumps or other obstacles). The drag coefficient is only .39 Cd. The 19-inch front / 20-inch rear wheels blend beautifully with the F5’s menacing looks.
A subtle spoiler perches above the bodywork at the rear of the Hennessey Venom F5, allowing airflow above and below to provide stability at high speeds along with boosted downforce during regular driving. The LED taillights offer distinctive styling — the center of each taillight incorporates a carbon fiber tunnel pulling heat from the engine bay. Four large exhaust outlets get integrated into the rear bodywork above the carbon fiber diffuser.
The engine bay of the Hennessey Venom F5 is lined with gold leaf to help reflect heat, while vents in the engine cover create a venturi effect for increased cooling. At the heart of the F5 lurks the powerful V8 engine finished in polished aluminum, with the Venom F5 moniker machined on both sides.
Tires and Brakes
This rear-drive Hennessey Venom F5 features Michelin Pilot Cup Sport 2 tires with large 345/30ZR20 at the rear to provide needed traction for acceleration and cornering, along with 265/35ZR19 tires up front. The rubber gets fitted to forged aluminum alloy wheels. The carbon ceramic brakes have 6-piston calipers in front and 4-piston binders at the rear.
Reflecting both simplicity and elegance, the interior of the Venom F5 is more cockpit than cabin — designed to remove distraction and save weight. As Hennessey’s Director of Design Nathan Malinick explained, “At 500 kph, you’re more of a pilot than a driver. This guiding principle informed our approach to the interior functionality, layout and mood of the F5. Our instrumentation is inspired by fighter jets and NASA rockets, our dash features no buttons to ensure absolute driver focus, and our materials are of the highest quality to ensure the interior echoes the engineering integrity and performance capabilities of the car,” Malinick noted.
The Hennessey Venom F5’s two bucket seats are constructed of carbon fiber and cushioned with leather-clad pads. Also designed more for function than luxury, the seats should provide excellent support during enthusiastic driving.
Leather and Carbon Fiber
The interior of the Hennessey Venom F5 is a combination of satin-finish carbon fiber and leather sourced from Muirhead, one of the oldest tanneries in Europe. Large circular buttons indicating N, D and R are centrally located below a single-knob climate control. A centrally located 9-inch Alpine touchscreen infotainment system can be operated via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Bespoke Steering Wheel
The otherworldly carbon fiber steering wheel of the Hennessey F5 looks akin to a Formula One-derived wheel merged with an airplane yoke. Designers eliminated the top of the control unit, which not only provides better visibility of the 7-inch driver display screen and the road ahead, it also subtly trains the driver for proper hand placement. Controls for wipers, headlights and turn signals are integrated, as is changing of drive modes via a centrally located green switch.
A car as exotic as the Hennessey Venom F5 simply cannot possess typical front-hinged doors. The F5 features butterfly doors that open up, out and away from the body.
Nod to Origins
Interior door handles have aluminum inserts adorned with Texas and American flags.
Only 24 Venom F5s will be built, with half expected to remain in America. Priced at $2.1 million, each unique Venom F5 will be custom built for its owner. Deliveries are anticipated to begin next year.