Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster
John Hennessey built his reputation taking fast cars and making them faster, and last year his eponymous company Hennessey Performance Vehicles introduced its first bespoke hypercar, the Venom F5. This amazing car is one tough act to follow — taking a sexy 300+ mph sports car like the Venom F5 and going one better — but Hennessey has done that with the Venom F5 Roadster. Touting more than 1,800 horsepower on tap, the Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster gets promoted by the Texas-based company as the fastest, most powerful roadster in the world.
“We created the Venom F5 to be the ultimate expression of a hypercar,” said John Hennessey, company founder and CEO. “The Roadster version takes the Coupe’s speed, exhilaration, and awe, plus a sprinkling of respect-inducing fear, to a new, truly visceral level that brings owners closer to the Venom F5’s extreme performance. Our 1,817 bhp ‘Fury’ engine screams behind the exposed cockpit, with its roar unobstructed by a roof — it is an unmatched automotive experience,” Hennessey enthused.
Lurking behind the cabin is Hennessey’s monstrous 6.6-liter twin turbo Fury V8 engine that generates 1,817 horsepower and 1,193 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 7-speed single-clutch automated transmission. Power ratings remains the same for the roadster as originally introduced for the coupe, making the Venom F5 the most powerful production roadster on the planet.
Coming in at just over 3,000 pounds, the power-to-weight ratio of the Venom F5 Roadster is an outstanding .59 — considerably better than the Bugatti Chiron that comes in at .33. Acceleration figures for the F5 coupe are also outrageous: a sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) takes a mere 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. Top speed is expected to exceed 311 mph (500 kph). Hennessey estimates the Roadster figures to be slightly slower than these — barely. Perhaps the most impressive stat is an expected quarter-mile time of less than 9 seconds at a speed exceeding 170 mph.
Engineered as a Roadster
Hennessey also noted that right from the Venom F5’s inception the company had plans to create an open-top version, so engineers created the coupe with a roadster in mind. Only a few minor adjustments to the Roadster were needed to maintain the same rigidity and stiffness required for the expected driving characteristics, with or without the roof in place.
The most obvious difference between the F5 Roadster and its hard-top sibling is the removable top. The panel is built from rigid carbon fiber composites, fully insulated and lined with soft Alcantara. Attached with four quick-release bolts and two strong latches engineered to withstand the forces brought about by the car’s extreme performance, the roof weighs 18 pounds and is easily removed or installed by one person.
Put On a Pedestal
When not in use, the roof can be stored in a special Merino wool travel bag, although some owners may prefer to put it on display as if it were a piece of art. Hennessey even has a solution for that — the company designed and produces a custom pedestal crafted from carbon fiber. The pedestal carries several design cues from the car and features Venom F5 Roadster script on the base.
Engine Under Glass
Unlike the coupe, the new Venom F5 Roadster gets fitted with a tempered glass engine cover so the big V8 can be viewed and admired up close. The glass panel is built to jet aircraft standards and is designed to withstand airflow exceeding 300 mph and temperatures exceeding 1,000 degrees. Mounted within the carbon fiber engine cover, the glass features heat extraction apertures designed to mimic the those in the rear bumper.
Further differentiation from the F5 coupe includes special wheels designed specifically for the F5 Roadster. The lightweight forged aluminum alloy wheels have seven dual spokes, each designed to look like an elongated H from the Hennessey logo. Milled into the edges of the wheels on one side is “Roadster” and on the other side “Hennessey” — both in script that matches the logos on the vehicle. Wheels are secured with titanium lug nuts, of course.
The stylish wheels of the Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster are shod with Michelin Pilot Cup Sport 2 tires with large 345/30ZR20 rubber at the rear to provide needed traction for acceleration and cornering. Up front the tire size is a stout 265/35ZR19. The hypercar’s brakes are carbon ceramic with 6-piston calipers at the front and 4-piston units at the rear.
Designed to be simple and elegant, the interior of the Venom F5 Roadster is more cockpit than cabin, which removes distraction and saves weight. As Hennessey’s director of design explained, “At 500kph, 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.”
The Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster’s two bucket seats are constructed of carbon fiber and cushioned with leather-clad pads. Designed more for function than luxury, the seats provide excellent support during high-intensity driving.
Leather and Carbon Fiber
The interior gets trimmed in 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 9-inch Alpine touchscreen infotainment system is centrally located and operates with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Bespoke Steering Wheel
The steering wheel of the F5 Roadster is unlike any other we’ve seen. This carbon fiber wheel looks like an F1 racing steering wheel merged with an airplane yoke. Designers eliminated the top of the wheel, which not only provides better visibility of the7-inch driver display screen and the road ahead, it also better trains the driver for proper hand placement. Controls for wipers, headlights and turn signals are all integrated, as is changing of drive modes via a central green switch.
A car as exotic as the Venom F5 Roadster simply cannot sport standard doors. The F5 features butterfly doors that open up and out from the body. Inside, the door handles are accented with aluminum inserts featuring Texas and American flags.
The Hennessey Venom F5 coupe sold out all 24 units shortly after its introduction in Monterey last year. Hennessey plans to build 30 Venom F5 Roadsters at a price of $3 million, and every buyer will be able to personalize their F5, so it is highly unlikely that any two will look alike. Production will take place in Texas beginning later this year, with final high-speed testing to take place in 2023.