Koenigsegg may be the one pushing the idea of a 1 hp/1 kg car, but Hennessey beat it there by a few years with the 1,200-kg (2,646 lb), 1,200-hp Venom GT. That car set an unofficial world speed record a hair under 270.5 mph (435.3 km/h) in 2014. And it's still not good enough for John Hennessey, who has stuffed another 207 horses into his supercar in a bid to ensure it remains one of the world's most powerful cars. Gotta keep up with the Koenigseggs and Bugattis, after all. It's all part of the 2,875 horses that Hennessey will storm SEMA with next week.
We thought we had to wait for the new Venom F5 to see a 1,400-hp Hennessey, but a very select group of 2016 Venom GT buyers will get the opportunity to play with 1,451 bhp at 7,200 rpm. That's up from the 1,244 hp in the current version of the Venom GT, the same spec that topped 270 mph.
Hennessey explains that the power bump comes from the car's ability to run E85 flex fuel, allowing the 7.0-liter twin-turbo V8 to increase boost pressure from 19 psi to 26 psi. Since that doesn't add any bulk to the car's 1,244-kg (2,743 lb) curb weight, it's now a 1.17 hp/1 kg super-coupe.
With help from the GPS-based traction control system and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, the upgraded Venom will shoot to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in an estimated 2.4 seconds, 100 mph (161 km/h) in 4.4 seconds, and 200 mph (322 km/h) in a mere 12.8 seconds.
If you don't already realize how cheek-ripplingly quick those times are, consider that the 1,244-hp Venom GT, which has a listed 2.7-second 0-60 mph time, set a 14.51-second unofficial world record for 0-200 mph back in 2013, slicing more than 3 seconds off of the Koenigsegg Agera R's 2011 record of 17.68 seconds. That was before Koenigsegg came back with an unofficial One:1 record of 14.33.
Hennessey lists the new Venom GT's 1/4 mile at 9.4 seconds at 167 mph (269 km/h) and believes that the car can hit 280 mph (451 km/h) or so before it runs out of acceleration steam. If that proves correct, it'll be a nice, round milestone on the way to the potential 290+ mph of the Venom F5.
"We only plan to produce a handful of Venom GTs in 2016, as we are also preparing for our next evolution, the Venom F5," says John Hennessey. "We plan to demonstrate our improved power and performance both in terms of straight line acceleration as well as road course handling and lap time performance. We are intent on keeping the Venom as the fastest, best performing and most exciting hypercar on the road."
So don't be surprised if a couple new Guinness certificates find their way to Hennessey's wall in 2016. Before then, Hennessey will show the new Venom GT in Spyder trim at next week's SEMA show, along with the 774-hp 2016 HPE750 Supercharged Ford Mustang Convertible and the 650-hp 2016 VelociRaptor 650 Supercharged Ford F-150.
Given the number of extreme builds that strut their way through SEMA every year, we can't guarantee that Hennessey will have the most horsepower on show, but it'll definitely have one of the must-see exhibits. The show starts on Tuesday, and we look forward to bringing you news of all the moto madness this year's installment has on offer.