Hennessey Performance is testing the aerodynamic properties of the Venom F5 hypercar in real-world conditions, and it recently finished the first of three evaluation stages, reaching 200 mph.
The testing began in February at Hennessey's Texas facilities before transferring to a former the United States Air Force facility in Arkansas. Hennessey Performance Chief Engineer John Heinricy was able to hit the landmark without any recorded problems from the long-awaited F5 by using a 2.2-mile runway.
The twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V8 engine was reduced to 900 horsepower, which is roughly half of its standard 1,817 hp output.
According to Hennessey Results, the first process was completed successfully. The strategy for phase two is to visit many race circuits, including prominent venues such as Laguna Seca and Circuit of the Americas, to focus on handling and driver input. The research will also take place on a variety of public roads in order to collect results, and while Hennessey will "unleash" the powerful V8 engine, its full capacity will not be tested until the fall in the final testing process. Acceleration, high-speed stability, and braking will be checked at this time. It's also when top speed runs are expected to take place.
"Every part of our development program is focused on making the Venom F5 the best it can be before customer deliveries start towards the end of this year, Our next phase is the most intense, concentrating on the car’s driving characteristics. We’ll split our testing between race tracks and Texas roads as we harvest data, refine every element, and perfect this monster of hypercars,"
Both Bugatti and SSC have surpassed Hennessey's 300-mph record, but with controversy accompanying each attempt. The Chiron Super Sport 300+ was the first to reach 304 mph in concept Longtail form. However, the speed was unofficial since it only flew in one direction, which meant that possible impacts from elevation variations and wind levels could not be canceled out. The development version will also be electronically limited to a maximum speed of 273 mph.
In terms of SSC, the Tuatara stunned the automotive world in October 2020 when it claimed an official top speed of 316 mph, including a pass that saw the hypercar cross a whopping 331 mph on its return run. However, it was later discovered that the video of the run was not completely correct, and the company that provided the speed-measuring equipment did not validate the results, throwing doubt on the attempt's authenticity. SSC then completed a sprint on a much shorter stretch of tarmac, achieving a maximum speed of 282.9 mph to unambiguously claim the distinction of the world's fastest production car. SSC is actively preparing new runs that would exceed 300 mph.
Hennessey is aiming with 311 mph for the Venom F5, which could happen this fall if anything goes as planned.