Hennessey Performance is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016. And what better way to party than by breaking the world record for fastest convertible? The Hennessey Venom GT Spyder broke the record by reaching a top speed of 427km – 265.6 mph – on a 2.9 mile runway at the Naval Air Station Lemoore in California.
Under the hood is a twin turbocharged 427cubic inch 7-liter V8 GM LS7 engine with an iron block and aluminum heads. The engine produces 1,244 bhp of power at 6,600 rpm and 1,155 lb·ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. There are three adjustable engine power settings, 800 bhp, 1,000 bhp, and 1,200 bhp. The engine revs to 7,200 rpm.
The Hennessey Venom GT was unveiled in 2010, as a heavily modified Lotus Exige. The modified chassis uses components from the Exige, including the roof, doors, side glass, windscreen,cockpit, floorpan, HVAC system, wiper and head lamps.
The Texas tuning company is expert at supercharging cars and getting them to reach new heights. In
2010, they debuted Hennessey Venom GT. The convertible was inspired by Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, who purchased a Venom GT roadster and asked if the tuner could make a topless version. Hennessey agreed and made at least five of the cars. Shaving off the roof added some structural weight, about 30 pounds.
This wasn’t the first speed record set by Hennessey. In 2013, it set the Guinness World Record for the fastest production car from 0–300 km per hour (0–186 mph) with an average acceleration time of 13.63 seconds. In 2014, the GT was tested on the Kennedy Space Center’s 3.22-mile (5.18 km) shuttle landing strip in Florida, where it recorded a top speed of 435.31kmh. Since the car only only ran in a single direction, when the Guinness requires both directions, it was not an official record.
This time around, the Spyder broke the topless speed record of Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, which went 409kmh in 2013. Bugatti’s record remains the official version for purposes of Guinness, since again the Venom GT Sypder only ran in one direction. Still, only nitpickers will truly care when they watch video of the car on the track:
“I’ve wanted to test the top speed of our Venom GT Spyder, without the roof, ever since our coupe ran 270.4 mph on the Space Shuttle landing runway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in 2014,” said company founder John Hennessey via a news release. “This was a great way to validate the technical excellence of our car which includes high-speed stability with an open roof.”
There are now three World Record Edition Venom GT Spyders on sale for more than $1.3 million each. But Hennessey’s record may not last long. Bugatti’s new 1,500 hp Chiron is considered to have record breaking potential, despite its a 418km/h electronic restrictor. Hennessey too will try to up the ante. It has announced plans for its next-generation Venom, called the F5, which derives its name from the top speed of a tornado. The company’s goal is to reach speeds of 466km/h.