Can the Hennessey Venom F5 blow away the competition?

Unveiled at SEMA 2017 as the first hypercar built completely from the ground up by Texan tuner extraordinaire John Hennessey and his crack team, the Venom F5 arrives with a claimed top speed in excess of 300mph and a twin turbo V8 engine, also developed in hose that sends 1600hp solely to the rear wheels.

And if the car can deliver on those statistical claims then it will have earned the right to call itself the F5 — a nod to the highest possible wind speed category according to the Fujita (F-Scale) scale. “[We expect the F5] to be the first road car capable of achieving more than 300mph and have worked closely with Pennzoil to get us across the finish line,” said John Hennessey of the new car.

But if it really is to set a new record — don’t forget, for the moment, the performance is theoretical — it is going to have to beat some very tough competition.

Bugatti Chiron
The biggest automotive obstacle to overcome will be the Bugatti Chiron. Like the Venom, it has yet to make a run at setting an ultimate top speed but in early tests the car, which has a 16-cylinder, 8-litre 1500hp engine, can comfortably hit 261mph. What’s more, the VW-owned brand has an ace up its sleeve. It has access to VW’s testing track, one of the few places on earth with a long enough straight to actually attempt to set top speed records.

Koenigsegg Regera
The latest piece of carbon fibre physics defying machinery from Swedish engineering genius Christian Von Koenigsegg is also waiting for the right conditions to set its ultimate top speed. But the twin-turbo V8 powered, transmission free (it is the first car to ditch a gearbox altogether in favour of a hybrid battery coupling) can go from 0-400km/h (roughly 250mph) in under 20 seconds.

Aston Martin Valkyrie 
A Formula 1 technology-derived hypercar developed in partnership with Red Bull racing, this Aston’s figures have yet to be independently verified. However, the company says that thanks to its ultra-lightweight build, its 6.5-litre Cosworth-built V12 and the same extremely quick and extremely robust dual clutch transmission system found in the Bugatti, this car will comfortably hit 250mph.

Zenvo TS1
Denmark’s only supercar company is still going strong after launching ten years ago. The latest iteration of its sole model, the Zenvo TS1 Anniversary edition — unveiled in Geneva this year — can go from 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds and on to an electronically limited speed of 233mph, thanks to a 1163hp 5.8-litre turbocharged V8. And like the Venom, production for the car will be capped at 25 examples.

Designed as a visual homage to the Porsche 911s of the mid 1980s, the CTR is thoroughly modern once you get past the retro aesthetics. It uses an in-house developed and built 700hp flat-six engine mounted in the rear, and can go from a standstill to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds and on to a 223mph (360km/h) top speed.
However, even if the Venom can’t quite come up with the goods against Bugatti or Koenigsegg, it will still be able to lay claim to being the world’s only hypercar designed and built in the US. The Ford GT was an international project and the car, though American, is assembled in Canada.

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