Texas-based tuner Hennessey is back at it again, pushing the performance envelope with its twin-turbocharged Venom GT Spyder.
It took the 1451bhp convertible brute to Naval Air Station Lemoore in California where, with its roof off, it stormed to a whopping 265.6mph – a speed verified by data-logging company Racelogic.
‘2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Hennessey Performance’, said company founder, John Hennessey. ‘I thought that this would be a special way to celebrate 25 years of making fast cars faster.
‘I’ve wanted to test the top speed of our Venom GT Spyder, without the roof, ever since our coupe ran 270.4 mph on the Space Shuttle landing runway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in 2014. This was a great way to validate the technical excellence of our car which includes high-speed stability with an open roof.’
The speed achieved by the Spyder, the company claims, makes it the fastest convertible in the world – exceeding the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Vitesse’s record by 11mph. The Hennessey may well be the fastest street-legal convertible in the world, but it won’t be the fastest production one any time soon – not enough are made, for one thing, to qualify for production status.
If you’re thinking that the Venom looks a little familiar, that’s because it’s based on the Lotus Exige and Elise, albeit ones that have been lengthened and comprehensively upgraded. This also exempts the Venom from holding any production car-related records.
Power comes from a twin-turbo 7.0-litre V8 that thunders out 1451bhp at 7200rpm and 1287lb ft at 4200rpm, and all of that is sent to the rear by a six-speed manual gearbox. Hennessey claims a 0-60mph time of less than 2.4 seconds and a 0-200mph time of less than 13 seconds.
You’ll have to be similarly quick if you want one, though; only three ‘World Record Edition’ GT Spyders will be built and each will cost $1.3 million (£909,000) plus taxes.
Perhaps the Venom’s not fast enough for you, though. Not to worry, Hennessey’s already working on a solution to that – its 290mph Venom F5.