The first examples of the 1,817-horsepower Hennessey Venom F5 recently started making deliveries to customers. To commemorate the occasion, the Texas-based carmaker and tuning company has announced something even more outlandish. It’s named Project Deep Space, and in typical Hennessey fashion, it makes all its contemporaries look tame. On paper, at least.
That caveat is down to the fact that the Deep Space is all but a sketch at the moment, one attached to some eye-watering numbers. It’ll supposedly have six wheels, each with its own 400-HP, Cosworth-sourced electric motor, for a sum total of 2,400 HP. It’ll seat four people, one of which will get a special reclining throne behind all the other occupants. (That’s dubbed the VVIP Seat — “VVIP” standing for ‘”Very Very Important Person.”) Oh, and Hennessey says you’ll be able to fit four sets of golf clubs in the back other four sets of carry-on luggage in the frunk.
Hennessey plans to build 105 of these luxo-barges, with an eye toward 2026 for the first cars to reach buyers. They’ll be priced at $3 million each.
John Hennessey, the company’s founder, explained the motivation behind the Deep Space to Robb report:
“I just thought that if four electric motors are good, maybe six are better,” founder John Hennessey told Robb report. “I guess it will get to 60 mph in under 2 seconds, but this isn’t intended to be a pure zero-to-60 mph or standing-quarter missile. Hennessey mentions that he has a “great respect for cars like the Rimac Nevera, but it’s hard to make a driver’s car from something that weighs 5,000 pounds.” Instead, his solution is “to go to a completely different category of car—the hyper GT—and make a virtue out of the long, low battery you need to deliver a range of over 600 miles.”
I appreciate the idea to recognize what the Nevera is trying to do — and what Hennessey’s focused on in the past — and go hard in a different direction. Electric cars are very heavy but accelerate very quickly in a straight line. You may as well double down on that, rather than trying to create something targeting the lightweight, agile race car ethos.
I’ll hand it to Hennessey’s design director Nathan Malinick too; the Deep Space carves a very tidy profile, essentially looking like a lengthened McLaren Speedtail with some extra wheels. That’s not a bad resemblance to draw by any means.
But in the year 2021, when the world’s most celebrated automotive luminaries regularly make the news with absurd claims, it’s easy to be skeptical. It’s also easy to be skeptical because this is Hennessey, a company that has an unfortunate track record of making big promises and delivering on some of them. It’s publicized a 311-mph top speed for the Venom F5 in the past, but hasn’t yet independently validated that estimate in testing.
So, yeah — there’s every reason to take an undertaking of this magnitude with helpings of sodium chloride. I’m going to do as much, but if Hennessey makes me look like a fool in five years, I’ll be ok with that.