Is The Hennessey Venom GT The Best American Supercar Ever?
The Venom GT has already secured its place in history. It became the fastest car in the world back in 2013 and then again in 2014, although its record has since been broken. And the Venom GT was the first full production model released by the American car manufacturer, who previously spent the past 25 years “making fast cars faster”!
The Venom GT is based heavily on the design of the Lotus Elise / Exige, even borrowing certain components from its British brother. Despite this Hennessey Performance are not associated with Lotus. Although when the cars are registered for road use they are technically listed as a heavily modified Lotus Elise.
To look at, the Venom GT still resembles its donor car, the Elise. Although the chassis has been elongated and changed to accommodate the huge powertrain. It looks slightly ungainly due to all of the extra cooling vents and isn’t what many would call a great looking car.
The interior two-seater cabin is also rather tight and cramped, and certainly isn’t built for luxury. This is understandable as this hypercar is built solely for performing supremely well on the track. You wont see may of these on the road even though they are road legal. That is because only 29 Venom GT cars were ever made.
How Much Performance Does The Hennessey Venom GT Have?
To become the fastest car in the world, you need to boast a lot of performance… And the Hennessey Venom GT does exactly that.
Under the bodywork, the Venom GT houses a seven-litre V8 engine which is mounted 90 degrees to the chassis. The V8 is equipped with twin turbochargers to take the power output up to 1,244 bhp with 1,155 lb-ft of torque. Getting that power to the wheels is a manual six-speed gearbox.
All of this power translates to a 0-60 time of 2.7 seconds, and an official top speed of 270.49mph. Although during this top speed run the Venom GT was apparently still pulling and only had to stop because it ran out of runway. Hennessy claim the Venom GT would be able to achieve a top speed of 278mph flat out.
Hennessey Venom GT Performance
- Twin-turbocharged 7.0-litre V8 engine
- Power: 1451 HP
- Torque: 1155 pound-feet
- Top speed: 270 mph
- 0-62 mph: 2.7 seconds
- 0-100 mph: 5.6 seconds
- 0-200 mph: 14.51 seconds
- Standing half mile: 9.92 seconds @ 163 mph
- Standing mile: 206 mph
- Kerb weight: 2743 lbs
So is Hennessey Venom GT the fastest car in the world?
When it was first manufactured back in 2011, the Hennessey Venom GT became the fastest car in the world. It broke the record by 2.63mph, which was previously held by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.
The Hennessey Venom GT achieved a top speed of 270.49mph. The single direction top speed run was performed at the Kennedy Space Center on the 3.2-mile Space Shuttle landing runway after attaining special permission from NASA.
The run took place on a flat straight, rather than an oval track and was a demonstration of flat-out acceleration from a still launch.
The Venom GT reached the end of the run way and had to brake before it had reached its estimated top speed, avoiding a rather expensive crash if it didn’t stop in time!
The Venom GT could have gone faster!
Michelin tire test engineer, race driver, and Director of Miller Motorsport Brian Smith was the lucky individual who was driving the Venom GT that day. And the Guinness Book of World Records were in attendance to officially recognise the world record attempt.
Smith had said that the Venom GT was “still pulling” at the end of the run way when he was forced to brake. And Smith went on to say that “If we could run on an 8-mile oval we could go faster than that. On the very top end there was a little wandering but, hey, we’re going 270 mph! The Venom GT didn’t require any big corrections, and the Michelins held traction really well.”
Since that famous run, numerous cars have outperformed the Venom GT, including the Bugatti Chiron with a run of 271mph. The Koenigsegg Agera RS then put in a speed of 278mph, before the Hennessey Venom F5 came along and became the fastest car in the world with a speed of 301mph. To date the Hennessey Venom F5 is the only production car to break the 300mph barrier.
How much does the Hennessey Venom GT cost?
Being one of the most exclusive and fastest supercars in the world, you can expect the price of the Hennessey Venom GT to be rather hefty. And you would be correct!
The Hennessey Venom GT price is $1.2 million US dollars. Each car is custom built to order and takes six months to build from start to end. This long build time means Hennessey only manufacture 5 Venom GT cars every year.
Hennessey employ a small team of skilled craftsmen to work on each vehicle, with manufacturing facilities based in Sealy, Texas, Lake forest, California and Silverstone, England.
The Hennessey Venom GT went out of production in 2017 after making a large splash in the supercar world with its numerous world record attempts.
Now Hennessey have released prototypes of the Venom GT’s successor, the Venom F5. The F5 hasn’t entered full production yet as far as we are aware, and is scheduled for some time in 2019, with first delivery to customers in 2020.
The American performance company plan to produce only 24 Venom F5 vehicles, with 15 of them already being sold.
The Hennessey Venom F5 engine is capable of over 2,000bhp
The Hennessey Venom F5 has one goal, other than producing a successful supercar. And that goal is to break the 300mph barrier in a road legal production car.
Unlike many modern day hypercars, Hennessey have confirmed that the Venom F5 wont embrace electrification. Instead, the engine powering the Venom F5 will be a 7.6-litre engine, and John Hennessey, the company CEO claimed they have successfully tested the power-plant “at over 2,000 horsepower”. John Hennessey went on to say, “Do we plan to deliver that power level to our clients? No, but we’ll deliver as much power as we need to break 300 miles per hour.”
The old Venom GT was based heavily on a Lotus Elise, even using the same body panels throughout the build.
However this Venom F5 will be built entirely from the ground up. It will weigh only 1,360 kilograms thanks to its carbon fibre body.
How much does a Hennessey Venom F5 cost?
Over 50% of the allocated Venom F5 cars have already been purchased, leaving a few still ripe for the taking. However the cost of the new American hypercar is an eye-watering $1.6 million.
Although we don’t have tested performance figures, Hennessey themselves have claimed the below statistics.
Hennessey Venom F5 Performance
- Twin-turbocharged 7.6-litre V8 Engine
- Top speed: 301 mph
- 0-186 mph: < 10 sec
- 0-249 mph-0: < 30 sec
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Chevrolet produced the ZR1 for one purpose, pure performance.
Utilising a mixture of carbon fibre throughout the bodywork for weight saving, Chevrolet have built the most powerful, most advanced Corvette ever.
The ZR1 takes the already successful Corvette C7 formula and re-engineered it. The huge supercharger that has been fitted to the V8 engine allows this Corvette ZR1 to compete with hypercars that cost over ten times as much.
The Hennessey tuned ZR1
Strangely, for an article which is putting forward the case of the Hennessey Venom GT as the greatest American supercar… Hennessey themselves have taken a Corvette ZR1 and applied their performance mindset to it to produce an even crazier version.
Hennessey took their HPE1200 package and fitted it to the ZR1, boosting the power output to 1,200 bhp with 1,066 lb-ft of torque. This crazy upgrade package allows the ZR1 to beat the infamous Challenger Demon in a quarter-mile race.
Watch the amazing quarter-mile run below.
How much does a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 cost?
Forgetting about the crazy Hennessey upgrade package for a while. The stock Corvette ZR1 costs from $123,000.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Performance
- Supercharged 6.2-litre V8 Engine
- Top speed: 212 mph
- 0-60 mph: 2.85 sec
Similar to Hennessey, Saleen started out as an aftermarket business. Originally turning Mustangs into much faster machines, Steve Saleen then decided to produce his own supercar.
The Saleen S7 started life as a discarded Aston Martin racing project. Saleen picked up where Aston Martin left off and built a naturally-aspirated 7-litre V8 engine before introducing a twin-turbocharged model in 2005.
The turbo varient produces 750 horsepower with 700 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to get to 0-60 mph in just over 3 seconds. Saleen boast that the S7 can reach a top speed of 298mph if allowed, however that figure has never been officially achieved.
One of the great aspects of the S7 is the classic body design, reminiscent of classic supercars of the 80’s and 90’s. It is even equipped with Lamborghini style scissor doors allowing you to arrive in true style.
How much does a Saleen S7 cost?
On launch, the Saleen S7 was priced at $375,000, however since then the S7 has appreciated nicely. A recent model was sold on eBay for $449,800.
Saleen S7 Performance
- Twin-turbocharged 7-litre V8 Engine
- Top speed: 298 mph
- 0-60 mph: 3.3 sec
So what is the fastest American Supercar?
Officially, the fastest ever American supercar is the Hennessey Venom F5 with a top speed of 301 mph.
What American supercar do you think deserves the top spot of the greatest of all time? Let us know in the comments below and on our social media.