Friday 14th February 2014
The Hennessey Venom GT on the Kennedy Space Center’s 3.22-mile (5.2 km) shuttle landing strip in Florida, the Hennessey team recorded a top speed of 270.49 mph (435.31 km/h) with Director of Miller Motorsport Park, Brian Smith, driving. As the run was in a single direction, and only 16 cars had been sold (to qualify Hennessey must build 30), it did not qualify as the world’s fastest production car in the Guinness Book of Records.
The Venom GT utilized a heavily modified Lotus Exige chassis. The manufacturer, Hennessey Performance Engineering, stated the modified chassis uses components from the Lotus Exige, including the roof, doors, side glass, windscreen, cockpit, floorpan, HVAC system, wiper and head lamps. Hennessey Performance and the Venom GT are not associated with Lotus Cars. For road use, the car is registered as a Lotus Exige (modified) and is not a series production car. The Venom GT has a curb weight of 2,743 lb (1,244 kg) aided by carbon fiber bodywork and carbon fiber wheels. The brakes use Brembo 6-piston calipers in the front and 4-piston calipers in the rear. The rotors are 15 inches (380 mm) carbon ceramic units provided by Surface Transforms.
Hennessey claimed a top speed of 278mph for the Hennessey Venom GT.
The Venom GT was powered by a twin turbocharged 427 cu in (7.0 L) GM LSX engine sometimes incorrectly thought to be a variant of GM LS7 engine with which it shares some mechanical similarities. The LSX architecture incorporated specific design features such as reinforced internal components and additional head bolts with aluminum heads including twin Precision dual ball bearing turbochargers. The engine produced 1,244 bhp (928 kW; 1,261 PS) of power at 6,600 rpm and 1,155 lb·ft (1,566 N·m) of torque at 4,400 rpm. Engine power output is adjustable by three settings: 800 bhp (597 kW; 811 PS), 1,000 bhp (746 kW; 1,014 PS) and 1,200 bhp (895 kW; 1,217 PS). The engine revs to 7,200 rpm.
The mid-engine V8 was mated to the rear wheels with a Ricardo 6-speed manual transmission, which was also used in the Ford GT.
A programmable traction control system managed power output. Computational fluid dynamics tested bodywork and downforce also helped to keep the Venom GT stable. Under varying conditions on both the road and racetrack, an active aero system with adjustable rear wing could be deployed. An adjustable suspension system allowed ride height adjustments by 2.4 inches (61 mm) according to speed and driving conditions.