You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Venom F5 had been and (very quickly after) gone already, given that Hennessey announced in 2014 that it was building a car as fast as the world’s most ferocious tornados, classed as F5s on the Fujita scale. That speed, for those that don’t know, is anywhere between 261 and 318mph. At the upper reaches of that threshold sits a very significant milestone, as 311mph translates to 500 km/h – and while testing might’ve trundled along at a rather more pedestrian pace, that target is now apparently coming into view.
The car is said to have completed the first of three “phases of intense development”, with 200mph reached by an F5 at a USAF base in Arkansas. Interestingly that runway is just 2.2 miles long, and the speed was reached with half power from the 6.6-litre twin turbo V8 that it’ll be handed over to customers with, or 900hp. Which gives some idea of how fiercely fast the finished car will be. Phase two will work on road and track – including Laguna Seca and Circuit of The Americas – to focus on agility, poise and feedback, with stage three turning attention to full power acceleration, high-speed stability and braking. Then, and only then, according to Hennessey, will an attempt be made on the big 500.
John Heinricy, Hennessey’s Chief Engineer, has been in charge of F5 testing. He’s said of the car: “For more than 40 years I’ve been developing high-performance vehicles, yet nothing compares to the Venom F5. We’re making excellent headway in our mission to deliver a world-class hypercar to our customers that handles superbly, while managing its phenomenal power and speed with finesse.” Which sounds nothing if not encouraging.
The next step will be a debut of what must, by now, be a production-ready car, the Venom F5 set to be shown at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance next month. With all the testing on course to wrap up in the next few months, Hennessey reckons deliveries will commence before 2021 is out. And you know what they say – good things come to those who wait…