VENOM GT: THIS TIME IT'S OFFICIAL
Full details of the world's first Anglo-Texan supercar
We were told that tomorrow would be the big date, but it seems that Friday's exclusive PH spy pics of the Venom GT may have caused HPE owner John Hennessey to shoot the bolt early on the release of his new baby.
The Venom GT will start at around $600k (£400k). For that you'll get a 6.2-litre supercharged LS9 GM V8 bolted into a stretched, twisted, tweaked and strengthened Lotus Elise tub. Power is 715bhp, with 741lb ft of torque available at just 3200rpm. This is all is transmitted to the rear-wheels via a British-built (go Blighty, etc) Ricardo gearbox.
And that's just the base model. For a commensurate hike in price, HPE will sell you a twin-turbocharged version with either 986bhp and 900lb ft, or 1184bhp and 1100lb ft. Gulp.
There is also fully adjustable suspension, an adjustable rear wing, and a clever traction control system that allows the Venom GT to launch itself to 60mph in less than three seconds (although no doubt steamroller-section Michelin PS2 tyres will also help out here).
The engines are built by HPE in Texas, while the chassis is made at a production facility in Silverstone. HPE expects to produce no more than 10 Venom GTs a year.
You can find out more about World's Fastest Elise (is that too cruel a moniker?), including how John Hennessey compares it to a P51 Mustang fighter plane (seriously) by perusing the press release below...
A PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND HORSEPOWER
Introducing the Hennessey Venom GT
SEALY, TEXAS & SILVERSTONE, ENGLAND, March 29, 2010 - Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE) is pleased to introduce the first official images of its Venom GT supercar. Based upon the Lotus Elise, the Venom GT combines a high-tech, lightweight British chassis with a powerful American V8.
"This is not the first time that Britain and America have joined forces to produce a weapon of mass propulsion", said company founder and president, John Hennessey. "Over fifty years ago the American-built P51 Mustang fighter aircraft was flown into history powered by a British Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Today the Hennessey Venom GT promises to set a new standard of power to weight ratio in the rarified air of today's supercar market."
SOMETIMES LESS EQUALS MORE
In the case of the Venom GT, less weight means more performance. The Venom GT will have a production curb weight of less than 2,400 lbs (1,071 kilos) aided by its lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and carbon fiber wheels. Stopping power is delivered via Brembo brakes with 6-piston calipers up front and 4-piston calipers in rear clamping down on 15-inch carbon ceramic rotors.
SOMETIMES MORE EQUALS MORE
The Venom GT's base power plant is the supercharged 6.2 liter LS9 V8 (the same as in the Corvette ZR1) tweaked by HPE to 725 bhp. The company will also be offering 1000 bhp and 1200 bhp twin turbo V8 engine variants. The mid-engine V8 will transmit its power to the rear tires via a Ricardo 6-speed gearbox.
POWER WITH CONTROL
Hennessey plans to manage power output by using a programmable traction control system. CFD (computational fluid dynamic) tested bodywork and down force will also help keep the Venom stable at speed. An active aero system with adjustable rear wing will deploy under varying conditions on both the road and racetrack. An adjustable suspension system will allow ride height adjustments according to speed and driving conditions. Finally, power will be put to the ground via massive Michelin PS2 tires at all four corners.
POWERED BY THE USA, BUILT IN THE UK
Hennessey will be building the power plants at its Texas facility. The engines will then be air freighted to the company's assembly facility near Silverstone, England where the Venom GT is built and tested. Venom GT buyer will be offered a 1-day driver orientation and instruction program by a Hennessey factory test driver, at a track in the UK or USA prior to delivery.
The company plans to establish a network of Venom GT dealers and distributors in the Middle East, Europe, Russia, Australia and Asia. Production is limited to just 10 vehicles per year and the company already has orders for 4 Venom GT's.
About Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE)
Hennessey Performance has been making fast cars go faster since 1991. HPE operates at its 30,000 square foot workshop and showroom facility situated on 143 acres near Sealy, Texas (about 45 minutes west of Houston). The company also has a showroom and installation facility located in Lake Forest, California. HPE offers a wide variety of dyno proven, track tested parts and upgrades for a variety of modern performance vehicles. Hennessey Performance is also the only tuner in North America that operates its own test track - Lonestar Motorsports Park.