Hennessey is aiming to exceed the 270mph achieved by its Venom GT supercar with a new version called the Venom F5.
The Venom F5, which adopts the name of the most powerful tornado in the Fujita scale, benefits from lower-drag bodywork, upgraded technology and more power.
According to the Fujita scale, an F5 tornado produces wind speeds between 261mph and 318mph. Hennessey's current GT can reach 270.49mph; given the new name it seems likely that the F5 may be capable of somewhere in the region of 290mph – similar to that of the upcoming Bugatti Veyron successor.
Company president and founder John Hennessey said: “We learned a great deal during the development of the Venom GT in breaking the 270mph barrier, and we bring that experience to this new design as we look toward raising the performance bar even higher.”
Differentiating the F5 from the Lotus Exige-based GT is an all-new carbonfibre body, which delivers a drag coefficient of 0.40 compared to the GT's 0.44. Significant downforce is still claimed to be offered though, thanks to the body's design, a rear diffuser, underbody venturis and a retractable rear wing.
Hennessey is predicting a kerb weight of less than 1300kg for the F5, with carbonfibre and aluminium being used extensively to help keep the weight down. Consequently the F5 will weigh slightly more than the 1244kg Venom GT but its additional power means it should be able to accelerate faster.
Power will most likely come from a revised version of the 7.0-litre twin-turbo LSX V8 used in the GT. Full technical details have yet to be released but Hennessey does say that the new car features larger turbochargers and uprated fuel and intercooling systems, which could result in a power output exceeding 1400bhp.
Transmission options for the F5 will comprise a single-clutch robotised manual and a conventional manual gearbox, most likely a six-speed unit from Ricardo.
Other technological upgrades include a GPS-based stability control system that will help drivers maintain control of the supercar.
“The Venom F5 retains the raw, explosive edge that makes the Venom GT such a thrill ride,” said Hennessey partner Don Goldman, “but these changes will make the F5 easier and more satisfying to drive, day in and day out.”
The Venom GT, Hennessey's current production supercar, produces 1244bhp and 1155lb ft. According to manufacturer's claims, the GT is capable of 0-62mph in 2.7sec, 0-200mph in 14.51sec, and has a verified top speed of 270.49mph.
Pricing for the new Venom F5 has yet to be announced but it is likely to be higher than the current GT, which costs around £713,000.
The F5 will be revealed in full in 2015, and deliveries to customers will start in late 2016. Hennessey says it will produce 30 Venom F5s, which will be offered worldwide.
The company will continue to offer the Venom GT as well; a total of 29 will be built, 16 of which have already been sold.
Hennessey was established in 1991 and provides performance parts and upgrade packs for a wide range of cars, including the Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray, as well as specialist tuning and production facilities.