All Ahmad Ali wanted was a Chevrolet Corvette souped up to have enough horsepower to defibrillate God. To realize this dream, the Qatari went to one of the most famous names in the car tuning business: John Hennessey. But three years later, he is still fighting Hennessey Performance Engineering for more than $70,000…
While the Hennessey Venom GT hit 270.49 mph, John Hennessey thinks "something in the 290mph range will be possible" so he's building an even more powerful car called the Venom F5 after the strongest tornados on the Fujita scale. Red meat. We crave sustenance.
I'm against modifying supercars. I always have been. If they wanted it to have more power, different wheels, or a different suspension, it would have come that way from the factory. Hennessey just turbocharged the Ferrari 458 Italia and let me drive it before anyone else. Can a Ferrari with Texan blood change my mind?
The Hennessey Venom GT, if you haven't heard, is fast. It's an extended Lotus Elise with a twin-turbocharged GM V8 stuffed in the middle. It has 1,244 horsepower to and weighs a mere 2,743 pounds. We like to bandy about words like "crazy" and "insane" here, but with this car, we really mean it.
Everyone has been hearing that the Hennessey Venom GT would be the fastest production car in the world before one was even built... perhaps to the point of annoyance. But with 1,244 horsepower to carry just 2,743 pounds, there was little reason to doubt that the car would be very, very fast.
John Hennessey's life isn't special. Get up in the morning. Take the family wagon for a little drive. Come home. Granted, the family wagon is a 700-hp Hennessey CTS-V "Hammer Wagon" and the little drive includes a 189.7 mph standing-mile CTS-V world record. But he did drive it home.
Say hello to the Hennessey V650, a Cadillac CTS-V Coupe fluffed up to produce a satisfying 650-hp at the flywheel. This dyno run shows the wheels deliver a very adequate 544 hp and and 562 lb-ft of torque.
The addition of a Hennessey Performance stainless steel exhaust bumps power on the Porsche Panamera Turbo up to 550 HP and makes the German sled sound like Tom Waits gargling when mom drops the hammer outside the PTA meeting.
When one of the ways for employees to get out of the Hennessey Performance compound in Sealy, Texas is by driving down a drag strip, you begin to see why people perceive them as mad-for-power. However, after spending a day with the people at Hennessey Performance, I can say they're just like anyone else. Anyone else…