IMAGINE NO MORE: Watch Hennessey's promo video for the 895kW Venom.

Hennessey Performance has unveiled the Venom GT - a twin-turbocharged V8 supercar based on the Lotus Exige

The combination of a British chassis and American engine(from the Corvette ZR1) instantly brings to mind the AC Cobra and the Venom certainly has the figures to live up to such a billing.

The Exige chassis has been modified and strengthened to accept GM's 6.2-litre V8 and even in its base form the car produces a claimed 540kW and 0-100 time of less than three seconds.

For those who prefer their performance on the brutal side of scary, Hennessey will produce two more variants, developing 745 and 895kW respectively. The top speed of each version will be more than 320km/h.

As on the the standard Exige, the power will reach the road through the rear wheels, albeit through a new six-speed gearbox. Hennessey is promising a programmable traction control system to keep the Venom on the road, along with fully-adjustable suspension and an active rear wing.

Despite the car's awesome performance, the Venom isn't a track-day special. Company boss John Hennessey explained the thinking behind this modern-day Cobra.

''I wanted a road-legal car with aircon and audio but with a power-to-weight ratio better than any racing car short of Formula 1," he said.

"I wanted a car that could be taken to the coffee shop and parked between a Pagani Zonda and a Bugatti Veyron and the whole crowd of car guys would be looking at my car.''

Rumour has it that the Anglo-American bruiser could make its UK debut at the Goodwood festival - but prices will start at the equivalent of about R5-million and only 10 will be made each year.