Here’s the real star of the 2017 edition of SEMA – a vehicle produced and developed from the beginning by an aftermarket specialist, the crazy engineers over at Hennessey.
Teasers, leaks and renders have accompanied the road to birth of the Hennessey Venom F5, a model that unlike its predecessor is ditching the Lotus base and goes for a complete in-house platform build. The Venom F5 arrives with major promises – speeds up to 300 miles per hour (482 kilometers per hour), meaning it would snatch a new record. Just 24 examples of the Venom F5 will be produced, each costing $1.6 million, but before that happens the worldwide audience of the SEMA show in Las Vegas get the first taste.
Gone is the Venom GT Lotus chassis – the new one is a custom carbon fiber tub, the body is also wrapped in carbon fiber and there’s also a completely new, extraterrestrial design. The new F5 arrives with a drag coefficient of just 0.33Cd – for reference the Chiron stands at 0.38Cd and the predecessor Venom GT had a coefficient of 0.44 Cd. Power resides under the hood in the form of an old-school and unique 7.4-liter aluminum biturbo V8 good for a major heart attack – 1,600 horsepower (1,193 kilowatts) and 1,300 pound-feet (1,762 Newton-meters) of torque. Everything is sent towards the rear via a seven-speed single-clutch paddle-shift gearbox – even a manual gearbox is available, though Hennessey says that will bring you fights with the GPS-based traction control all the way up to 140 mph (225 kph)!
Go for the special Vmax mode and the F5 is going to lower the rear wing and close the ducts to improve aerodynamic efficiency – sprinting towards 186 mph (300 kph) in just 10 seconds, 249 mph (400 kph) in under 20 seconds, and on to a top speed of 301 mph (484 kph)… though the latter remains to be tested. Inside the tuner offers leather, carbon fiber, and Alcantara, and even Apple iPad interface. Hennessey’s Sealy, Texas facility will take care of the build for the 24 examples, which cost $1.6 million – but there are also $600,000 worth of options…