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SUPERcar: The Hennessy Venom GT

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On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 5:00PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

SUPERcar: The Hennessy Venom GT

Growing up, I read comic books all the time. I had an account at the local store and a ‘mailbox’ of sorts that allowed me to pick up my subscriptions every week. I read, read, and read some more, but always the same types of comics. I was more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan, only because outside of Batman and Superman, DC characters seemed to lack a certain … Edge. But aside from that, I focused on the strong, fierce characters, Wolverine (before the stupid movies and Hugh Jackman made him a pop culture icon), Gambit, Cable, Bishop, Venom, Colossus, and the list goes on and on. The reason I liked these certain characters slightly more than others was simple:  They looked, and in most cases were bigger, stronger, and/or faster than most of the other superheros, who were already bigger stronger and faster than any human on the planet. They were the elite of the elite.  

The same feeling transcended my affinity for automobiles. Sure, I like most fast cars. I might prefer one company over the other, but for the most part I pick and choose what my favorites are based on their individual abilities. I like Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, the occasional Maserati, and most things that have a prefix or suffix of AMG or M. But, there is a special place in my automotive heart for those extra special supercars that play in the rarified air of 200 miles per hour and up. These are the cars that put up 0-100 numbers that usually are impressive 0-60 numbers for your average fast car.

Although it appears as a Lotus, the only parts of the car that Hennessey actually kept from the original car are the roof, dashboard, windshield, doors, and the cockpit structure itself, along with little trim moldings here and there. The rest of the car is custom Hennessey, and built with a singular purpose: Speed. The front and rear suspension is all new, along with the front air splitter, rear air diffuser, is an active suspension that can adjust ride height. Though it doesn’t come with a cap, the Venom GT is capped off with a carbon fiber adjustable wing that can create as much as 1500lbs of downforce at 150mph to ensure this road rocket doesn’t try to take off.

Much like the expanding spandex on the bicep of Spiderman, the wheelbase of the Venom GT has been widened by 20 inches, while the track has broadened by seven inches up front and six inches in the rear. The body itself is three feet longer and half a foot wider. More musculature shows up by way of the huge 335/30/20 rear Michelin PS2 tires (235/30/20s up front), that house superhuman 15-inch ceramic rotors that are clamped down by six piston Brembo calipers. Those brakes may sound excessive, but when you’re done rowing through all six gears in the Ricardo transmission, Hennessey claims you can hit a top speed of 267mph.

John Hennessey apparently must have read the same comics I did as a child, because he has developed one of the most impressive cars on the planet. Based on the Lotus Exige, the Hennessey Venom GT is just wrong. It is a car that won’t just embarrass other elite street fighters, it will outright humiliate them. Just look at the numbers: A 6.2 liter supercharged LS9 V8 that produces a sickening 725 horsepower as its base engine, and can be optioned up to a twin-turbo version that produces 1,000 or 1,200 horsepower that runs on 93 octane, and oh, by the way, weighs just over 2600 pounds. Like we said, this car is just wrong.

In full on 1200 horse turbo mode, the Venom GT is more powerful than a locomotive, putting down an apocalyptic 1,155 lb-ft of torque and may just be faster than a speeding bullet. 60mph comes and goes in 2.5 seconds. The quarter mile breaks into the single digit club, taking merely 9.9 seconds rocketing through at 162mph. 200mph comes up in 15.9 seconds if your brain can process a silly thing like time at that speed.

Hennessey says that he expects about ten of these monsters will be produced every year, starting around $600,000 for the “base” model, which can be viewed one of two ways. The first is that the Hennessey Venom GT is nothing more than an overpriced kit-car, and the second is that this car is an other-worldly Bugatti Veyron-fighter at a $400,000 discount. Either way, one thing is for certain: All of us automotive enthusiasts are about to witness a street fight of epic proportions when the Venon GT finally hits the streets and begins to show the world how super a supercar can be.

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