by Karl Furlong
With 1,817 horsepower and a claimed top speed of over 300 mph, this is the most powerful and fastest roadster on the planet. The Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster is the roofless version of the F5 that arrived earlier, a car designed to accommodate an open-top configuration from the start. For that reason, the F5 Roadster isn't much heavier than the coupe, and no major changes were needed for the structure to withstand top-down driving. A name derived from the most destructive tornado (F5) and a 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V8 nicknamed "Fury" tells you all you need to know about the F5 Roadster, a car that can hit 62 mph in well under three seconds. Fixed-roof rivals like the Bugatti Chiron and Koenigsegg Jesko have been two of the hypercar speed kings that have made headlines over the last few years, but the ability of the F5 to lower its roof sets it apart. Unfortunately, at around $3 million and with an extremely restricted production run, this is a car that most will never get to drive.
An all-new arrival for the 2023 model year, the Venom F5 Roadster builds upon the recipe of its fixed-roof sibling. Starting at $3 million, the price of a new Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster is much higher than that of the coupe, and just 30 examples will be produced. The roof panel weighs just 18 pounds and removing it is a one-person job; the convertible doesn't weigh much more than 3,000 pounds.
Limited to 30 examples and with a massive $3 million price tag in the USA, the 2023 Venom F5 Roadster takes everything great about the coupe but adds the drama of a roofless experience. As with the coupe, the roadster was conceived to break top speed records, and this could end up being verified as the fastest drop-top in the world thanks to the immensely powerful V8 and slippery aerodynamics.
There aren't multiple trims for the Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster, but that's fine since the default car is mind-bogglingly good. Performance specs are remarkable, with the 6.6-liter twin-turbo V8 engine making 1,817 hp and 1,193 lb-ft of torque. It should get close to the coupe's 0-62 mph time of 2.6 seconds since the drop-top's power-to-weight ratio is only marginally inferior. This rear-wheel-drive monster has been engineered to exceed 300 mph.
Inside, the Venom F5 Roadster has an F1-style cockpit with digital displays and many controls scattered across the steering wheel. Carbon fiber trim is found everywhere, and the seats are carbon fiber buckets with leather pads. The nine-inch Alpine touchscreen allows access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and there is a separate touchscreen for the climate control, but this is not a car loaded with luxury equipment. Hennessey has confirmed that a track package is on the way, while options include almost any color you can think of and a satin finish for the front splitter and rear diffuser.
If Hennessey's goal was to design a car that looks like it can hit 300 mph, it has achieved that with the exterior of the Venom F5 Roadster. It sits low to the ground and has the flourishes expected of a hypercar, such as the huge front intakes and aggressive rear diffuser. Elongated LED headlights follow the curves of the front fender, while there are intakes on the low hood. Butterfly doors make every journey an event, and that's before you remove the lightweight roof panel made from carbon fiber composites. This piece weighs 18 pounds and is secured with four quick-release bolts. A sculptural pedestal has been designed to store the roof panel since it can't be accommodated in the car itself. At the rear, the 90-degree V8 is visible through a tempered glass viewing window. The rear fascia is impactful with its large diffuser that can be highlighted in various colors and the high-mounted quad-exit tailpipes. The forged aluminum wheels measure 19 inches in front and 20 inches at the back.
The new Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster shares its dimensions with the fixed-roof version. It comes in at a length of 183.7 inches, a low 44.5 inches in height, and 77.6 inches in width. The wheelbase measures 110.2 inches.
In its transition to a convertible, Hennessey has managed to keep the weight gain relatively low. The Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster has a dry weight of under 3,100 pounds, around 100 lbs more than the coupe. The carbon fiber monocoque weighs just 190 lbs and the roof panel is 18 lbs, which is why the roadster doesn't weigh much more than the coupe.
Hennessey says that colors for the Venom F5 Roadster are virtually unlimited, with customers able to customize the car as they see fit. This isn't a surprise considering what the car will cost. Of the 30 examples, we've seen builds in white with blue stripes and another in dark blue with red stripes. There have also been yellow and red cars that have already rolled off the production line, while you can also select the color of the brake calipers. No two examples of the roadster are expected to be identical.
Although the manufacturer hasn't made specific claims for the Venom F5 Roadster, we expect it to be a fraction off the pace of the coupe, which would still make it one of the quickest cars in the world. The Venom F5 coupe can complete the 0-62 mph run in 2.6 seconds and it doesn't run out of steam after that. The 0-124 mph sprint takes 4.7 seconds, and it needs just 8.4 seconds to go from 0-186 mph (300 km/h). We do know that the roadster has been engineered to reach over 300 mph. If verified, it would become the fastest roadster on earth.
The staggering performance is made possible by the 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that makes 1,817 horsepower and 1,193 lb-ft of torque. Sending power to the rear wheels only, it's remarkable that the F5 can get off the line so quickly. The engine can be stretched all the way to 8,500 rpm, and you need to hook up F5 mode to get the most out of the roadster. The noise coming from the engine bay and exhausts is thunderous, and the absence of sound deadening means that this is anything but a sanitized driving experience.
The double wishbone independent front/rear suspension comes with adjustable coilover Penske dampers, and besides F5, you can also choose from Sport, Wet, Drag, and Track modes. The steering is accurate, and the traction is mind-blowing; this is not just a straight-line performer. While the ride is firm, it's surprisingly compliant for a car of this nature.
The 90-degree V8 engine in the RWD Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster displaces 6.6 liters. With twin turbocharging, it's nicknamed Fury, an apt description for the mill that pumps out 1,817 hp and 1,193 lb-ft of torque. This pushrod V8 has canted titanium intake valves and Inconel exhaust valves, and it pretty much cancels out the small weight gain of the drop-top.
A seven-speed single-clutch semi-automated transmission handles upshifts well when pushing on, but it's less refined when pottering around town, as is often the case with these single-clutch units.
There are no EPA gas mileage ratings for the Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster. We estimate around 12-15 mpg based on the engine size - and even less if the car is driven in anger. Hennessey has not published the fuel tank capacity of the Venom F5, so we can't estimate its range. However, it's worth noting that the peak power is produced only when using E85 gas.
You may momentarily think you've stepped into a gaming simulator when climbing into the Venom F5 Roadster - until you feel the wind in your hair and the scenery turns into a blur. The driver faces a yoke-style steering wheel without a top rim, allowing for a clear view of the digital driver's display. This steering wheel houses controls for everything from the ignition to the indicators and drive mode settings. The transmission has a button-selector setup, and there is another screen for the infotainment. Acres of exposed carbon fiber and racy bucket seats scream performance, and the sparse environment can be brightened up with some truly eye-popping colors.
With seating for just the driver and one passenger, this isn't a practical car, not that it was ever meant to be. Although the one-piece carbon fiber bucket seats appear thin, the leather pads provide just enough cushioning. These seats can be configured to support people with smaller or larger frames, and a racing harness can be attached. Legroom is sufficient for six-footers, and headroom is fine with the roof on and limitless when it's removed.
The dominant material inside the Venom F5 Roadster is carbon fiber. Besides the exposed carbon fiber tub, the lightweight material is found on areas like the door panels, dashboard, and center console. This is contrasted by leather on the seats, aluminum paddle shifters, machined aluminum pedals, and more leather for the grips on the steering wheel.
The complete list of interior colors for the Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster is unknown, but the manufacturer will finish the cabin in almost any hue chosen by the customer. The one seen here has a reddish-orange color for the seats and door panels, contrasted by a blue dashboard.
No cargo space specs have been published for the Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster. There is an interior storage space that accommodates a tool kit in the passenger footwell, and this space can be customized depending on each customer's needs, but it's hardly a replacement for a proper trunk.
You can also squeeze some smaller items behind the seats, and a narrow slot next to the seats will be enough for your phone, but that's about it. Door pockets aren't possible because the doors open upwards, and a cupholder is an option.
If you want a long list of comfort features, you'll be better off buying a Bentley. It's all about performance in the Venom F5 Roadster, so you get items like dual digital displays, paddle shifters, and several drive modes. There is a climate control system managed by a clever circular dial, push-button ignition, and a vehicle-lift function to clear steeper driveways. Don't expect advanced driver-assistance gear like adaptive cruise control or lane departure warning.
A seven-inch interactive driver's display is complemented by a nine-inch Alpine touchscreen. The Venom F5 comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth, but Hennessey hasn't specified the speaker count for the sound system. Devices can also be connected via USB, and there is navigation. It's hardly the most comprehensive setup around, but infotainment won't be a major concern in a car such as this.
We can't tell you what to expect from the Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster reliability-wise since no data exists and because the car is still new. We expect that if any issues do pop up, Hennessey will be quick to resolve them with the limited pool of customers. At the time of writing, there were no recalls on record for this car.
A four-year warranty accompanies the purchase of a new Venom F5 Roadster.
No crash-safety review has been done for the Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster, and this will likely never change due to the car's price and rarity. In 2023, a genuinely unsafe car is difficult to find, so we expect that a solid crash structure will absorb an impact well in the event of a collision.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
The Hennessey doesn't even come with airbags, which means it can only be sold under the Show and Display title. To reduce the possibility of it all going wrong on the track, the car comes with powerful carbon ceramic brakes, traction control, and electronic stability control.
The Hennessey magic that has elevated so many other manufacturers' high-performance models through the years has been dialed up to 11 in the Venom F5 Roadster. This brilliant drop-top delivers a visceral driving experience that very few others can match. It is staggeringly quick, and it may yet be crowned the fastest convertible in the world in the near future thanks to the stupendous power from its V8. It's hopelessly impractical - storage space is almost non-existent and you'll need a place to store the roof - and it doesn't even have airbags, but these aspects show that Hennessey wasn't willing to compromise on performance in any aspect. With low production volumes and unlimited customization potential, every F5 Roadster will likely increase in value as the years go by. It's a phenomenal machine.
At $3 million, the price of the 2023 Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster places it alongside the Bugattis and Koenigseggs of the world. Depending on how it's specified, expect the Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster's MSRP to fluctuate wildly - Michael Jordan bought one for $3.5 million, after all. You'll need to remember that the Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster can only be driven for 2,500 miles per year, since it isn't fully homologated, but that's not likely to scare off anyone who genuinely wants one of these.
Hennessey hasn't made a long list of predetermined packages available, but it will consult each customer for individual tailoring of their cars. This process will include the size of the seats, materials, and the limitless color options.
There is only a single Venom F5 Roadster trim. Mechanically, all versions are identical, so you need only choose your favorite colors and materials if you're lucky enough to get your hands on one. Only 30 units are planned for production.
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