It feels like only yesterday when automakers were fighting to break the 200-mph mark, and now, a new hypercar is attempting to reach the 300 mph mark.
Hennessey Special Vehicles unveiled the Venom F5 hypercar at the 2017 SEMA aftermarket trade show. It's a spiritual successor to the previous Hennessey Venom GT, but while the last one was Lotus-based, the F5 is brand new from the ground up.
The whole goal of the Venom T5 is to be the fastest car on the planet, and its specs certainly make it seem like that goal is not just achievable, but inevitable. Under its hood is a twin-turbocharged V8 engine that will put out an estimated 1,600 horsepower, all of which is sent to the rear wheels by way of a seven-speed, single-clutch transmission. Its carbon fiber body keeps the weight under 3,000 pounds, but only barely so.
Its drag coefficient is a decent 0.33, or about the same as a 1998 Ford Escort ZX2, but when you're pushing that much power through the wheels, you don't work with the air, you beat the living snot out of it and shove it aside. Active aerodynamics will also help channel air where it's needed (e.g., keeping the car from taking flight).
Hennessey estimates that it will only take 10 seconds to accelerate the Venom F5 from 0 to 186 mph, which would make it quicker than the current slate of Formula 1 racers. The top speed is "projected to exceed" 300 mph, but it'll need one seriously stout set of tires to handle the forces in play at those speeds. Even the Bugatti Chiron's tires can't top 280 mph, so unless a breakthrough is in the cards, Hennessey will have quite the uphill battle ahead of it.
As you might expect, power like this doesn't come cheap. The Venom F5 will start at $1.6 million, and the company will only build 24 examples, so you'd better start cashing in those IRAs today.