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Hennessey’s Venom F5 breaks COTA lap record — CEO tells us why it’s ‘America’s hypercar’

It turns out 1,817 horsepower is hard to beat


Hennessey’s Venom F5 has set a speed record, though it isn’t quite the record the company is hoping will be the highlight of its year. The hypercar, which may be recognized as the world’s fastest at some point in the near future, now holds the production car lap record at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The track is globally significant, having hosted the U.S. Grand Prix for several years now, but also holds a special place in Hennessey’s heart. It’s the Texas-based company’s home circuit, so it’s fitting that it has gone out and established itself as the biggest dog in its own backyard before setting off to take on the world.

Speaking to The Manual, CEO and Founder John Hennessey explained what a significant milestone this is. He says: “I kicked off 2024 by saying that the Venom F5 will deliver on its potential this year. With 22 customer cars delivered and a newly expanded engineering team in place, we refocused our team on fine-tuning our hypercar to achieve significant speed milestones. The first we went after was a track record – and where better to set a fastest lap than our home circuit – COTA!”

The Venom F5 maxed out at 193.1 mph while blasting around the 3.41-mile-long track. In total, the lap took 2:10.9 seconds, edging out the previous record holder, a Czinger C21, by just under half a second. It was also a staggering seven seconds faster than one of the more famous road-legal cars to lap COTA — the McLaren P1. The lap time was verified by the RACELOGIC telemetry system.

Hennessey’s creation aims to become the “Decathlete of Hypercars”

Hennessey Venom F5 Revolution | COTA Production Car Lap Record | 2:10.90

While it isn’t the display of straight line speed everyone is waiting for, the record-breaking lap adds validity to Hennessey’s claims that his flagship vehicle is the “Decathlete of Hypercars” that he set out to create when the vehicle was announced several years ago. Not only was the car street-legal, but the tires used for the lap were, too. Test driver David Donohue broke the record on a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires.

When talking about how it achieved the record, it’s hard to look past the 1,817-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, 6.6-liter V8 making it all move. But while the motor is a major point of discussion, there’s a lot more to the Venom F5 than that — including driving modes. Hennessey explained:

“In ‘F5 mode’ our car can make full use of its 1,817 horsepower. It’s a totally raw and visceral experience to be in the cockpit when that power kicks in! As the car weighs less than 3,000 pounds, the power-to-weight ratio is unmatched. We knew on paper that we had the recipe for speed, but demonstrating that we have the chassis control, suspension setup, aerodynamics, power delivery, and braking ability shows that the Venom F5 is a complete package that can compete with the world’s finest hypercars—it is America’s Hypercar!”

There is still no word on when the Venom F5 will attempt to snatch the title of fastest production car, or whether it will be able to fend off competition from the likes of Bugatti for long. But what we can say is, this may be the most exciting hypercar scene we’ve had for a while.

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