John Hennessey of Venom GT fame, among other accomplishments, stopped by today to answer some of your most pressing questions. Many of those had to do with how terrifying the Venom is to drive quickly, and what he thinks of a certain VW product.
Here are some of your questions he answered:
Taken into consideration that the most potential Venom customers have never owned a car that powerful, what expressions do they normally have from the passenger seat during a ride-along?
A: The "Stoooooooooop"
B: The "Please sir"
(See "Travis Okulski meets Jeff Gordon" to fully understand the image above)
Well it depends on the power setting, driver and course. Matt Farah's Venom GT test drive of Steven Tyler's car was on 800 hp. Check out his expressions on his Tuned video on Drive. Same thing for Bill Caswell when he rode with former GM Performance boss and racer, John Heinricy at Goodwood FoS a few years ago. They were running up the hill on about 800 hp. Heinrocket can drive and went pretty quick up Lord March's driveway. Watch Caswell just about piss himself on the video. It is on our YouTube page: HPEDesign
1000 hp is really quick and you better pay attention. Wherever you look is where you will be in a blink of an eye. 1244 bhp and 2743 lbs is time to strap in and be completely focused. The Venom will only go as fast as you dare push the pedal. Drive her easy and she goes easy. Mash the gas and she goes. Floor it and you will have traction control protecting you up through the top of 3 gear (135) and into 4th gear on a cold day (150). Above that it pulls and sticks to the road like no other road car that I have experienced. The Venom produces an incredible amount of downforce as well. At NASA our driver made a test pass to 253 mph with a 25 mph direct cross wind. We did not know what would happen. He said the car was totally stable up to 240 and moved a little bit above that. On the same runway I was driving a minivan at a quarter of that speed and the wind was blowing me all over the place. To me that is what is most impressive about the car. Its ability to put the power down and stay stuck to the road or track.
Does it make you as happy as we all think it should that you can do something a huge car company like Volkswagen can't - namely build the fastest car possible and manage to sell it for a profit?
I am a huge Veyron fan. And the entire car guy world should be thankful to the guys at Bugatti / VW for building this "Concorde" of the road. They lose money on every one that they build and they still built it. Why? I can't answer for them, but my guess would be so that they could demonstrate their capability of building a car that is not only the fastest in many categories but also very comfortable.
The Venom was much more purpose built. And to be very honest, our dreams and passions combined with divine blessing and intervention, were the only reasons we were successful. I will not say we were lucky. But I am just saying that our car and project stood a much greater chance at failing than succeeding. And I am grateful that it turned out so well with the hard work of our team, suppliers and with God's help.
Congrats on achieving the 270 mark...man does that car look scary. Other than your own creations is there any car that has totally frightened you behind the wheel?
I've driven 7 and 8 second race cars. Venom GT still feels more exciting to me personally. 80% exciting, 20% scary which is enough to thrill me every time I drive one. Never gets old.
I rode with John Morris at Spring Mountain Motorsports park in his 540 hp V8 Radical. That is the wildest ride I have ever had.
More exciting than scary. That's probably in the brochure, too.
John Hennessey answered more questions in the original post.