Remember Hennessey’s barnstorming, 1,200 hp (895 kW) Venom GT? Well its back and the journalistic titans at Road & Track have driven it. And there’s a video, to boot. Weighing in at a lithe 2,685 lbs (1,218 kg), the phenomenal Venom GT builds on Hennessey’s experience with tuning the Viper, 5th generation Camaro and various Cadillacs, among many others. It’s a simple formula, really. Big power + light weight = big fun.
Hennessey first takes a Lotus Elise, arguably one of the best mass produced, lightweight track cars ever made. They strip it down the chassis, lengthen it and rebuild it with a slippery, restyled body that offers the right mix of down force and engine cooling. Then they swap out the Elise’s 1.8 L turbocharged four-pot for a twin-turbo variant of Chevrolet’s 6.9 L LS9 V8, add carbon ceramic brakes and a KW adjustable suspension setup and et voila, the Hennessey Venom GT.
So what’s the verdict? Well, you’ll have to watch the video and make up your own mind. A small hint, but that’s all I’m giving away: the GT is capable of doing 135 mph (217 km/h) in 3rd gear. If that doesn’t make your automotive blood boil, then nothing will.
Hennessey intends to build just 29 of the cars over three years, with a price topping US$600,000 (€455,373). If this were any other car by any other tuner, I’d call that outrageous, but this is a Hennessey and the culmination of all their engineering knowhow. Believe the hype: there’s a new king and his name is Venom GT.
By Tristan Hankins