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First Look: Hennessey Venom GT

By KBB.com Editors on April 2, 2010 1:39 PM
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Melding the aluminum monocoque of a Lotus Elise with the awesome might of a supercharged Chevy 6.2-liter V8, the new Hennessey Venom GT promises to shake up the world of supercars in a most dramatic manner. This mid-engine road rocket was created by Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE), one of the world's premier performance tuners. Located in Sealy, Texas just outside of Houston, HPE has been working its go-fast magic on less-exotic vehicles since 1991. But the new Venom GT is in a class by itself.

Although HPE has not released any formal performance numbers for the new Venom GT, the rest of its stat sheet looks pretty spectacular. While the "base" version of its LS9 V8 -- which makes 620 horses when motivating the Corvette ZR1 -- is tuned to make 725 horsepower in this application, HPE also plans to offer both 1,000 and 1,200 horsepower turbocharged versions of the engine. It will be assembled in Sealy, and then shipped to the company's facility new Silverstone, England for installation in the completed chassis.

Power will be shipped to the Venom GT's rear wheels via a custom Ricardo six-speed gearbox. And given the car's 2,400-pound curb weight, acceleration for this carbon-fiber bodied bullet should be stunning to say the least. Stopping power will be equally intense, courtesy of huge, carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes with six-piston front calipers and four-pot rears squeezing on 15-inch rotors. The Venom GT will be shod with equally massive Michelin Pilot PS2 performance tires wrapped around ultra-light carbon-fiber wheels to help keep unsprung weight at an absolute minimum.

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Hennessey plans to build just ten Venom GTs each year, with pricing expected to start around $600,000. Only formal testing will determine whether it can snare "official" laurels as being the world's fastest or quickest vehicle. But there's no question that the Hennessey Venom GT will certainly go down as being one of the world's coolest.

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