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John Hennessey reveals the Venom F5’s weirdest engineering challenge

The Venom F5's oddest engineering challenge has to do with Michael Jordan

Venom F5 group shot

During our recent chat with John Hennessey, the founder and CEO of Hennessey Performance, we mentioned one of the more unique engineering accomplishments of the company’s flagship hypercar—the Venom F5. Unlike many high-performance vehicles, the hypercar is built to accommodate larger people, including basketball legend and Venom F5 owner Michael Jordan.

Hennessey says: “Michael is one of our clients. He fits in his F5 like a glove, even with the roof on. He has an F5 Revolution Roadster—so just one of 12. He has just one of two with completely exposed carbon fiber.”

Although fast vehicles are known for their low profiles, uncomfortable bucket seats, and cramped cockpits, Hennessey’s record-breaking vehicle seems to have avoided all of that. Instead, it can comfortably accommodate 6’6 tall, former athletes with room to spare. As Hennessey explains, it wasn’t a case of Jordan just fitting.

“When we first met Michael a couple of years ago, we brought a car to his house to let him see it and sit in it. He fit perfectly; his knees didn’t touch the dash. His head didn’t touch the headliner. He’s a super fit guy and got in and out of the car very easily. For as tall and as big as he is, he actually fits well. And that was by design.”

The Venom F5 was designed to accommodate bigger drivers

Venom F5 interior

The spaciousness seems to be one of the many lessons the company learned from their previous record-breaking hypercar — the Venom GT. Hennessey describes the GT as “very tight to get in and out of” and seems to have rectified that problem with his latest ultra-fast vehicle. “We wanted to make sure we could fit the tallest, widest, biggest guys we could,” Hennessey explained.

Hennessey has achieved that goal, and the Venom F5 is designed in such a way that it can accommodate the likes of Michael Jordan could hop in without a problem. While Jordan is undoubtedly tall, the F5 can actually fit even bigger people in it without an issue. As with other features, the Texas-based company may have benefited from the personal expertise of its design team. Hennessey singled out one particularly fitting engineer when asked about how accommodating the vehicle was.

“We had an engineer who worked for us for a period of time and was a rugby player in college. He was 6’7” and almost 300 pounds. He could also fit in, so it wasn’t a surprise to me when Michael did.”

Another famously large athlete may fit too

Venom F5 roadster revolution

As mentioned, many other rare, high-end, high-performance cars can be a bit of a tight fit. This led to problems for WWE’s John Cena, who sold his Ford GT several years ago because he allegedly couldn’t comfortably fit into it. Unfortunately for Cena, an anti-flipping clause in the contract he signed when he bought the Ford GT forbade the car’s reselling within a certain period. Once word of the sale got out, Ford sued, and Cena wound up apologizing and paying an undisclosed amount to settle the matter. Ford donated the payout to charity.

The WWE superstar may have had a better time in a Venom F5. As Hennessey mentions, that could still happen — even if the wrestler is trying to avoid it: “I met John on the set of the Fast and Furious a little over a year ago. He’s a big guy, he’s definitely wide. I offered to have him sit in the F5, and he said he didn’t want to. He said he was too afraid he’d want to buy one, and I said, ‘oh that’s exactly why I want you to sit in it.”

Despite some initial concerns about the impact falling in love with the vehicle could have on his bank balance, Hennessey claims Cena did like the F5. In fact, he liked it so much that we may end up seeing it in future movies.

“He really liked the car a lot. We had a cameo appearance in the last Fast and Furious, and he was very kind. He was like, ‘Man, I really love everything about this car. I really want to advocate for this to the director and producer to have it in future films.’ So, we’ll see how that works out. He really seems to genuinely like the F5.”

So, if you have the money for a Venom F5 but are worried it may be a tight squeeze, you can relax a bit. The vehicle’s extremely limited numbers may prevent you from getting one, but the car’s frame won’t.

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