Sandbagging, as in intentionally going slower.
John Hennessey told us last March at Geneva he wants for his upcoming Venom F5 hypercar to hit a top speed of 311 mph (500 kmh). If this happens, then it’ll beat out the Koenigsegg Agera RS (277 mph) as the world’s fastest road car. But what about the Bugatti Chiron? How fast can it go, really? Bugatti electronically limits the 1,500 hp Chiron to a top speed of 261 mph due to the tires, claiming the rubber can’t handle the stress beyond that speed. Koenigsegg has proven a better tire exists. Given that, why doesn’t Bugatti aim higher with the Chiron? Hennessey thinks he knows why.
The Texan told Motor Authority he thinks “Bugatti’s sandbagging’,” meaning it is intentionally claiming the Chiron is slower. How fast can it really go?
Hennessey believes 280-285 mph sounds about right. He also thinks it’s only a matter of time until Bugatti makes a move towards beating that top speed record. But what about the new Bugatti Divo? It’s powered by the same quad turbo 8.0-liter W16 with 1,479 hp as the Chiron but is more agile, nimble, and satisfying to drive thanks to optimized aerodynamics and improved suspension tuning and chassis.
Unlike the Bugattis, the Hennessey Venom F5 (expected output: 1,600 hp) will make use of a twin-turbo setup because of it weighs less and it’s a simpler setup overall. This decision was made after Hennessey claims he considered a quad-turbo setup.
Chances are Bugatti will go for the record with at least one of its two models. In fact, Hennessey says he wouldn’t be surprised to see Bugatti build a dedicated model specifically for a 300 mph+ attempt. Of course, this is all a friendly competition between the companies and Hennessey firmly believes it’s because of this the cars will be even better. But in true Texas spirit, Hennessey is not afraid of that competition and is totally game for what’s about to come. “Bring it on,” he says.