Hennessey celebrates 30 years of making fast cars faster
The car that started three decades of making fast cars even faster was a Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4, back in 1991 John Hennessey modified his own car to compete in the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb and Nevada Open Road Challenge races, he would later set a class record at the Bonneville Salt Flats and win the Unlimited Class at the Silver State Classic open road race in Nevada that same year.
He also founded Hennessey Performance together with his wife Hope in 1991, with a single principle in mind, too much horsepower is never enough, from building cars for international rock stars and world-famous athletes to claiming countless speed records, including the “World’s Fastest Car” title, the business ethos has always been to seek out the next challenge.
Shortly after founding the company, John Hennessey turned his attention to boosting the performance of the now-iconic Dodge Viper. By 1997 he achieved an important accolade with his 650hp Hennessey Viper Venom GTS being the first to break 200mph. Since 2006, the company’s recently extended 51,000 sq-ft HQ has been next to its own test track enabling the acceleration of its R&D, engineering, and tuning business with cars like the 234mph, twin-turbo 1000hp Ford GT, and 200mph HPE 600 Corvette C7 produced by the experienced team of Hennessey engineers.
By 2010, the business had built its own hypercar, the Hennessey Venom GT. Based on the chassis of a Lotus Exige, the 1244hp monster weighed just 2743lb and was powered by a turbocharged Hennessey V8 that enabled 0-200mph in just 14.51 seconds. The Venom GT set a production car Guinness World Record for the fastest 0-300kph time (13.63 seconds) in 2013, then followed that in 2014 with another world record, becoming the fastest production car in the world with a 270.49mph top speed.
Truck tuning emerged as a new customer-led trend in 2012 with the 600hp Hennessey Velociraptor beginning a generation of ‘hypertrucks’ from 1000hp supercar slayers to 6×6 conversions. Alongside these monsters of the road, the Hennessey team continued its muscle car work with models like its 1000hp ZL1 Camaro – named The Exorcist – raising the profile of the business further still.
Today, alongside producing upwards of 500 customer cars a year, the Hennessey team is focused on the all-new 100% bespoke Hennessey Venom F5 hypercar. This ‘decathlete of hypercars’ boasts 1817hp from its Hennessey-built 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine and targets a top speed exceeding 311mph (500kph).
In its 30th year, Hennessey sees the launch of the F5 as a rebirth for the brand and the beginning of an exciting new future. Looking ahead, Hennessey plans a series of exciting models, built on the same 100% bespoke basis as the F5