Hennessey Venom F5: world's first 1200kW, 482km/h production car
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Weathermen and weatherladies sometimes use the Fujita scale to describe storm levels. The highest point on the Fujita scale is F5, which refers to wind speeds of between 261mph and 318mph.
Why do you need to know this? Because it explains the Venom F5 name chosen by American fast car specialists Hennessey for their latest madness machine.
How mad is it? Well, it has a claimed top speed of 482km/h-plus (300mph). All this from a road-legal car with number plates and indicators.
Reaching speeds of 482km/h sounds like a task requiring a length of Tarmac normally used by returning space shuttles, but that's not quite the case here.
Texan firm Hennessey claims that this latest creation will blaze from zero to 300km/h in under 10 seconds.
Launched at the SEMA show that's presently running in Las Vegas, the Venom F5 has been three years in the making after being teased in 2014.
Back then Hennessey was only claiming that it would exceed the frankly feeble 434km/h that had already been achieved by its then-current GT.
So, how is the F5 now good for 482km/h?
Well, as you might expect, it’s down to power (as much as possible) and weight (as little as possible).
In this case, the power comes from a twin-turbocharged V8 generating more than 1193kW (1600bhp). Don’t doubt that number either. This company has a long history of hitting its claimed power figures.
That thunderous powerplant sits in an in-house-developed carbonfibre low-drag body weighing in at a Ford Fiesta-rivalling 1338kg.
A paddle-shift, single-clutch seven-speed transmission puts all the power through the rear wheels - let's hope it's a strong gearbox to rein that incredible grunt, and it will need fairly special tyres to plant all those horses into the road, too.
Hennessey hasn’t flagged up a 0-100km/h time yet, but given the claimed 0-300km/h time and the company’s confidence in its ability to smash the 0-to-400-to-0kph record briefly held by Bugatti’s Chiron (under 42 seconds) and now by Koenigsegg at 36.44 seconds, it’s going to be a very small number.
Hennessey is talking about under 30 seconds for the standstill-to-400km/h-to-standstill time, which would be eyeball-looseningly quick.
Get your order in just as quickly as only 24 F5s will be made, at US1.6 million (NZ$2.32 million) each.
Considering the new Bugatti Chiron costs twice that, this Hennessey looks like a performance bargain in comparison.