XCAR visited Hennessey's Southern California workshop on our three-week tour of the US.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne

There were many special cars there...

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...including the Venom GT.

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And not just one Venom GT.

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Which was pretty exciting.

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The Venom GT is one of the most powerful cars in the world.

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It's based on a Lotus Exige, but it's heavily modified.

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Its wheelbase has been extended...

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...body widened...

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...and pretty much everything else has been changed too.

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It's powered by a 7.0-litre twin turbo V8.

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In all, it kicks out 1,244 horsepower.

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Handy -- because it weighs 1,244kg.

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Meaning it's 1:1 bhp:kg. In comparison, Koenigsegg is late to the party.

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0-60 mph takes 2.7 seconds.

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Hennessey doesn't only make the Venom GT. That's a 1,000bhp Ford GT.

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The guys at Hennessey added turbos to the already crazy engine.

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Photo by: Drew Stearne

They didn't change the outside, though.

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Big power is kinda Hennessey's thing...

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John Hennessey, the company's founder, is a sucker for big numbers.

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He wants to be the fastest around.

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Hence the Venom.

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The Venom GT holds two world records: 0-186mph and 0-200mph.

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This GT is a company favourite.

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The Venom's top speed is 270.49mph.

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Though they reckon it'll go faster.

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In fact, it's not fast enough for Hennessey.

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No, they're making a more powerful car -- the F5.

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Hennessey tunes a number of cars -- there's a Ferrari 599 under that cover.

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The Venom's interior is still very much Lotus.

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No bad thing.

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Though it can be rather cramped. Perhaps the Venom isn't for long distance cruises?

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The acceleration is said to be "vicious".

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Manual 'box. Sweet.

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Just in case you forget what it is.

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Red is a... powerful colour choice.

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The small Hennessey badge will let the unenlightened know just what this thing is.

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Big engine is big.

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It's rare to see two of these together.

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This is quite a bonnet...

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