Has Hennessey gone past the point of being too extreme?
It’s only telling that Hennessey chose to reveal the Venom F5 at the 2017 SEMA auto show because the tuner-turned automaker seems to pride itself on breaking the rules - modifying Ferraris (which Maranello is sure to hate) and stuffing Lotus chassis with so much horsepower they can outgun a Bugatti. And now, the Venom F5 story that began at SEMA seems to be coming to life since Hennessey has just announced that it has begun building the first Venom F5 coupe. And despite the hypercar putting up extreme numbers in the horsepower, weight, and price departments, Hennessey seems unsure about whether people will want to buy a potential roadster variant of the Venom F5.
If Lotus’ guiding philosophy is to "simplify, then add lightness,” then Hennessey’s builds on that with "simplify, then add lightness, and then a whole lotta horsepower.” It’s why the Venom F5 is expected to make 1,600 horsepower by means of a 7.4-liter twin-turbo V8 despite the entire car weighing only 2,992 pounds. Low weight and a lot of power only mean one thing: lots and lots of speed. Hennessey wants to break the Venom GT’s 270 mph record with the Venom F5, which it could do in a big way if it hits the automaker's goal of 311 mph. To make sure that happens, the Texas carmaker is doing things a little differently this time around.
Rather than source its chassis from an existing Lotus, Hennessey designed its own carbon fiber tub and is building it with Delta Motorsport based in Silverstone, England. The tub is designed to be used as both a coupe and a roadster, giving Hennessey the ability to build a roofless F5 if it so desires. That's a move the company seems unsure of because it's once again taken to the web to gauge buyers' interest.
What is known is that Hennessey will produce 24 Venom F5 Coupes in 2020, starting a little after the first prototype begins testing later this year. Though the coupe starts at a cool $1.6 million, Hennessey said it would get started on building the more expensive F5 Roadster in 2021 if demand for the coupe is strong enough. If all goes well, the Venom F5 could claim the spot as the world’s new top speed king, which should definitely kick up demand for the roadster.