200mph used to be a huge deal for a road car. But these days, a lot of German super saloons will happily hit that figure if you take off their electronic top speed limiters. For a hypercar like the Venom F5, meanwhile, reaching that speed looks like no trouble at all.
Hennessey has released footage and details of the first of three rounds of testing. The first phase focuses on signing off the aero side of the equation, initially at the tuning company’s own facility in Sealy, Texas, and then at an old 2.2-mile US Air Force runway in Arkansas. Unfortunately, Hennessey hasn’t released uninterrupted on-board footage of any of the runs, but in the cut embedded above, we can see the see the digital speedometer reach the magic number.
It seemed to easily reach the ‘double tonne’ despite the car’s 1782bhp ‘Fury’ V8 being capped at ‘just’ 900bhp. As a reminder, this unit uses the rough outline of the General Motors LS7, but with a new cast-iron block and aluminium cylinder heads. The piston stroke is reduced, lowering the capacity to 6.6 litres and raising the redline to 8500rpm. The top end and internals feature a blend of aluminium, titanium and Inconel parts, while on boost duties are two partially 3D-printed ball bearing turbochargers.
That engine sits in a carbon fibre monocoque developed by UK firm KS Composites. The body panels are carbon fibre too, making for a dry weight of just 1360kg. The F5 is a far cry from its predecessor, the Venom GT, which is best thought of as a bastardised Lotus Exige.
With this initial testing round over, Hennessey is looking to phase II, which will concentrate on driving dynamics. This will be done on various public roads in Texas, and circuits including Laguna Seca and US Grand Prix host track Circuit of The Americas.
Although Hennessey insists great handling will be a big part of the car, going awfully fast in a straight line seems to be the main goal. On that front, the F5’s seventh gear gives it a theoretical top speed of 334mph, although Hennessey’s target is 311mph. SSC is also hoping to breach the 300mph barrier with the Tuatara after it turned out there were serious data-logging issues with its claimed 331mph run in Nevada last year.