John Hennessey’s American-built Venom GT has long fought Bugatti for the title as the world’s fastest production car. Despite arguments with Guinness and technicalities aplenty (from both manufacturers) the Hennessey is the only one to crest 270 mph, achieving the feat at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center last year.
Now, however, it’s even faster.
Upping power by 207 horsepower, thanks to its ability to now run on E85 Flexfuel which enabled engineers to increase boost pressure on its twin-turbo 7.0-liter V-8 from 19 psi to 26 psi, the new Venom GT—which will debut at SEMA—boasts a staggering 1,451 horsepower. With a weight of just 2,743 lbs., it’s pretty evident why this machine is so fast—hitting 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, 100 mph in 4.4 seconds, 200 mph in 12.8 seconds, the quarter-mile in 9.4 seconds at 167 mph, and a top speed in excess of 280 mph (comfortably quicker, according to Hennessey, than the 270.4 mph outgoing Venom GT).
In the process it’s also lost a roof; the 2016 Venom GT is now a Spyder. Beyond that, not much else has changed, which is to be expected as Hennessey readies to finish its Venom F5—a car the company hopes will crest 290 mph.
“Being the fastest matters,” said company founder and president, John Hennessey. “We are intent on keeping the Venom as the fastest, best performing and most exciting hypercar on the road.”
And it’ll need all the speed it can get to retain the unofficial top spot as world’s fastest; Bugatti’s new Veyron replacement, the Chiron, is imminent, with its team carrying on development unfazed despite VW’s dieselgate.
So the battle will continue to rage, just as it has for years. This latest Venom GT, with which only a handful will be built at more than $1.2 million a piece, should help keep the Texas tuning company’s nose ahead. For now, at least.