Hennessey Venom GT

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By Robert Harland

Motoring

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


LAST week I featured the all-new Toyota Yaris - a terrific subcompact which many of us can afford. This week I'm going to the other end of the spectrum as I'm featuring an exotic supercar that only the richest can afford - the Hennessey Performance (HPE) Venom GT.

Never heard of the marque? Me neither, until I saw a news item last month that a Hennessey Venom GT clocked 270.49 mph (435.31kph) on the Space Shuttle runway at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, thereby setting a new world speed record for a two-seater production sports car.

Its run eclipses the v-max of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which clocked 269.86mph (434.23kph) in 2010.

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But the Venom's record is unofficial as the car only did one run. To qualify for a Guinness speed record, a car must make two runs, one in either direction, with the two top speeds averaged out for the official time.

"We wanted to run in both directions, but prickly NASA officials wouldn't let us," said an HPE spokesman.

To commemorate the 435kph run, as well as snatching a Guinness World Record by doing 0 to 300 kph in 13.63 seconds, Texas-based HPE is rolling out a very limited-run of World’s Fastest Edition (WFE) Venom GT with a special livery that has an American patriotic flair.

Said HPE founder John Hennessey, “The Venom GT is America’s supercar and it broke 270 mph on the same runway where the Space Shuttle landed at the Kennedy Space Center.

We wanted to offer a special paint scheme that would incorporate the colors of the American flag – the same flag we flew on the Space Shuttle runway. Thus, our special livery package includes a body in white with red and blue stripes.”

The Venom GT is powered by a 7.0-liter twin-turbo GM-sourced V8 engine cranking 1,244 bhp (928 kW) mounted in a car weighing only 2,743 lb (1,244 kg) for a power to weight ratio of 1 bhp/kg.

It uses a highly modified British-made Lotus Exige chassis and the light weight of the body is due to its aluminum construction, carbon-fiber bodywork and featherweight carbon-ceramic brakes.

Oh I forgot to mention the price of the limited edition - it's a cool US$1.25 million (P55.75 million).

But if you're reaching for your checkbook, you're already too late. Only three are being built and they've all been sold. Sorry about that. Better luck next time.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 16, 2014.

Lifestyle

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