Hennessey: 0-60 irrelevant, Bugatti sandbaggin’

Hennessey Venom F5

Hennessey Performance Engineering in Texas is focused on building speed machines, and its latest goal is hitting the 300-mph mark with the F5 Venom, then flying past it. With such otherworldly numbers on his mind, company founder and CEO John Hennessey said 0-60 mph times are basically irrelevant.

“How many cars, most of them electric, can go 0-60 in under three seconds now? What’s the big deal?” Hennessey said.

Hennessey has another performance measure in mind. “In my book…within the realm of hypercars, what does the car do from 60 to 260?” Hennessey said.

Still, Hennessey said the F5 Venom will be able to run from 0 to 60 mph in less than two seconds without electric motors or direct drive. All that’s needed is traction.

Hennessey considered running a quad-turbo setup in the F5 Venom to hit the 300 mph mark, similar to Bugatti’s Chiron and Veyron. Tests and analysis determined a twin-turbo setup would be better for packaging and performance because it’s simpler and weighs less.

The competition to hit 300 mph includes Koenigsegg, SSC, and Hennessey. Bugatti held the top-speed record when it ran 267.8 mph with the Veyron Super Sport in 2010. The Hennessey Venom GT grabbed the record with a run of 270.49 in 2014. Then, in 2017, the Koenigsegg Agera RS swiped the top-speed record when it set the current mark of 277.9 mph.

Since it’s record-setting run, Bugatti has introduced the 1,480-horsepower Chiron, but it has yet to attempt a run at the current record. Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann first said the Chiron couldn’t hit 300 mph because no tire can handle it, then changed course and said he just isn’t interested in the car’s top speed.

But for a company that was resurrected to be the best and the fastest, that seems like quite an about face to Hennessey. “Bugatti’s sandbaggin’,” Hennessey told .

Hennessey said the Chiron is probably capable of 280-285 mph, and he thinks Bugatti will make an attempt at a big number. After seeing the Divo, the Texan wouldn’t be surprised if Bugatti builds a dedicated top-speed model to throw down in the 300-mph race.

Hennessey said with so many players in the bid for the 300 mph, the competition will ultimately make all the cars better.

“Bing it on,” Hennessey said.

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