John Hennessey Details How The Venom F5 Will Take The Hypercar World By Storm

Take a good look around the world and it’s easy to see that we are in a golden age of hypercars. Gone are the days of worrying that electrification would be the death of speed. Manufacturers all over the globe are coming with new and innovative ways to go faster than ever before. Each new entry into the pantheon of passionate drivers’ cars seems to have some new gimmick for lack of a better word. Then there’s the Hennessey Venom F5, which aims to douse all the hype surrounding these cars with good ol’ American engineering and horsepower.


Taking the hypercar world by storm is no easy feat. It requires intensive knowledge and expertise, the capital and passion to complete the job, and overall, a distinct unflappable confidence in your abilities. All things that John Hennessey has.

To find out what makes the Venom F5 truly a force of nature we spent some time picking his brain about the new car and here’s what we had to tell us.

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The Engine Of The Venom F5 Is Overbuilt

Hennessey says that the Venom F5 is going to make 1,817 horsepower. That’s a bit of an irregular number compared to some of its competition so we asked what it was about that number that made them settle on it. Here’s what John had to say…


Our original horsepower goal was something over 1,600 hp. When we dyno tested our first ‘Fury’ engine we discovered that we had exceeded our goal by quite a bit! We made 1,817hp on just 21psi of boost.

To put that in perspective, 21psi isn’t a much higher boost pressure than many stock performance cars already leverage to create the horsepower that they do. It’s a great indication of just how powerful the 6.6-liter in-house-built Fury V8 is all by itself.

Next, we asked Mr.Hennessey about how exactly the team has managed to put all that power to the ground. What he told us was pretty shocking…

We certainly can’t just dump all the power at launch. To keep it manageable, the full 1,817hp isn’t available until you’re doing more than 140mph.

So keep that in mind Venom F5 owners, you’ll need to be north of 140 before you’re experiencing the full force of this beast. John went on to tell us how important it is for the team to make the F5 a totally competent streetcar too.

Alongside the car’s extreme speed capabilities, our Chief Engineer, John ‘Heinrocket’ Heinricy, is developing the car to be just as usable and manageable as a daily driver while performing like nothing else at high speed or on the racetrack.

Drivers of the Venom GT have reported how easy it is to drive in everyday traffic and we can only imagine that the F5 will take that skill to the next level as well.

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The Venom F5 Is A Whole New Force Of Nature For Hennessey

The Venom F5 signifies a whole new direction for a company that’s often used the natural world to inspire its nomenclature. We wanted to know what caused the shift from the simple and straightforward GT to F5. Here’s what John said…

F5 is the most powerful category of wind in the Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity, which identifies the greatest wind speeds as being between 420 and 512kph (261 to 318mph). That intensity of tornado is extremely rare, just like our hypercar – when one strikes, they are officially described as having ‘incredible’ power, you get the picture. When we saw that the wind speed included our target +311mph (+500kph), we knew the name was perfect.

That remarkable and what would be a world-shattering top speed is clearly at the heart of the Venom F5. With that in mind, we turned our attention to the process of deciding how Hennessey would build the Venom F5. How much does that intended top speed benchmark influence the design and will it keep it from dominating once the Venom F5 sees a corner or two?

It is in the team’s nature to always climb the next mountain in search of the next challenge, so outright speed is the marker by which we judge our engineering efforts. However, with the Venom F5 we wanted to create a true ‘decathlete’, a car that is about so much more than speed. So, under the guidance of legendary racing driver and engineer John Heinrich, our team is focused on producing a driving experience that matches the car’s performance credentials. So, not only will the F5 excel when it comes to outright speed, but it will perform strongly at a circuit such as the Nürburgring, and will lead in other areas such as 0-200kph, 0-300kph, 0-400kph too!

John Hennessey Reveals Just A Few Details That Make The Venom F5 So Capable

Considering that no company has broken 290mph it seems like a really serious jump to think that the Venom F5 will manage 311 but after asking John Hennessey what it is that really sets the car apart you might be more convinced.

the Whole Venom F5 is a treasure trove of innovation. The Hennessey 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine is certainly an area where our engineers pushed the boundaries of what’s possible. Creating an engine that can reliably handle the power we have on tap is a significant challenge and a huge achievement for our company. Alongside reinforcing a tone of engine components, we’ve done things like creating a unique intake manifold design, which positions the intercooler between the intake plenum and cylinder heads.

That’s right folks, that shiny silver thing under the intake plenum here is the air to water intercooler. As far as we can tell at HotCars, this is the first time that’s ever been done, at the very least, on a road car. Mr. Hennessey wasn’t done though.

elsewhere, our exhaust and engine bay is treated with Cerakote, a ceramic-polymer treatment that is often applied to the inside of gun barrels to protect from heat and wear. By coating the underside of the engine bay cover, rear deck, and the entire exhaust system, the impact of heat on each part can be reduced significantly. Inside, our design director Nathan Malinick introduced a host of ‘Easter eggs’ such as F5 logos on the door hinges, the Texas flag on the seat, and even the Texan phrase ‘come and take it’ etched in the side window glass.

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Will This Be The Only Version Of The F5?

Seeing as other hypercar manufacturers around the world are building incredible track-only variants now, will Hennessey follow that lead and do the same with the F5? We asked John and he made it clear that if Venom F5 was ever to get another version, it would lead there too.

We achieved a super-low dry weight of just 2,998lb by using advanced materials throughout the F5. At the core of the car is a carbon fiber monocoque and every body panel is carbon fiber. Of course, further weight could be shed from the F5 as the car is designed to be comfortable and is packed with technology and luxury fittings befitting of a $2+ million car. However, as the car has so much power, enhancing its performance for track use would see more significance dedicated to enhancing downforce, rather than focusing on stripping out weight. With this in mind, we are offering our customers a special track pack that includes a more aggressive front splitter and a rear mounted wing, which replaces the rear spoiler to deliver greater downforce.

So for now, it sounds there’s no plan for a Venom F5+ or anything of the sort. Ultimately though, that’s fine since so few of the humans alive on Earth could handle it properly anyway. HotCars wants to thank John Hennessey and his entire team at Hennessey Performance for their collaboration on this interview. We just hope one day we get to drive the thing for real. Stay tuned!

Source: Hennessey Performance

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