Sealy, Texas - This, says speed junkie John Hennessey, is the even faster successor to the Hennessey Venom GT - the Venom F5. Which, considering that the GT was timed at 435.31km/h at the Kennedy Space Centre in February this year, is saying something.
(For the anoraks among us, Hennessey says the name has nothing to do with Northrop's brilliant lightweight jet fighter of the 1960s but is derived from the Fujita scale of wind strength for tornadoes, signifying a twister of 420-510km/h, which is even more appropriate.)
As was the previous Venom, the new F5 is based on the Lotus Exige, re-engined with a seven-litre biturbo V8, and fitted with even bigger hair-dryers, and uprated fuel-injectors and intercoolers, to boost output from the GT's 928kW to well in excess of 1000kW.
GPS-BASED STABILITY CONTROL
It will drive the rear wheels through a new, single-clutch, six-speed paddle-shift transmission; a conventional H-gate set-up will also be available for purists. According to Hennessey, a dual-clutch self-shifter was considered, but was dropped due to issues of weight and durability.
As with the latest Bentleys, a GPS-based stability and traction control programme will 'see' the road (or track) ahead and automatically set up the suspension for the next change in direction, camber or surface.
TOP SPEED ‘IN THE 470KM/H RANGE’
An all-new, sleeker carbon-fibre body reduces the car's drag coefficient from 0.44 to less than 0.40, while generating the necessary downforce with underbody venturis, a diffuser below the rear bumper and a retractable rear wing - and keeping the F5's kerb weight under 1300kg, just slightly more than the Venom GT's 1244kg.
That, according to Hennessy, should be enough to push the F5 from 0-300km/h in significantly less than the GT's 13.63 seconds, and on to a top speed "in the 470km/h range" - and this, we remind you, will be a fully street-legal car.
The Venom F5 will be unveiled in 2015 with deliveries to customers late in 2016. At least 30 will be built for sale worldwide, at a price higher than that of the Venom GT, which currently sells for the equivalent of R12.7 million.
You can still buy a GT, though; even at that price Hennessey has already sold 16 of them, but has parts to assemble another 13.