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Hennessey celebrates 25 years with a 265.6mph Venom GT convertible run

Forget jelly and ice cream, American car tuner Hennessey celebrated 25 years of making things go fast with the world’s fastest convertible speed run.

In the YouTube video we can see the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder at the 2.9-mile long US Navy’s Lemoore runway in California, with pro driver Brian Smith – a director at the Ford Performance Racing School – behind the wheel.

It’s fairly obvious what happens next. Hennessey makes use of the long stretch of tarmac to give the Venom GT space to blast up to an obscenely fast speed ─ 265.6mph, in fact, bettering the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse’s record of 254mph.

The run was witnessed by US Navy Air Ops Officer Darren Fouls and certified by Racelogic technical director Jim Lau, according to the Top Gear report.

Even though the Venom GT looks like a Lotus Exige, it’s a very different car underneath. For starters, it has a 7.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that outputs 1,451hp with the right fuel, giving it a 0-60mph sprint of 2.4 seconds, 0-100mph in 4.4 seconds and 0-200mph in 12.8 seconds. Torque is 1,287lb/ft.

No wonder, then, the hard-top Venom GT recorded an unofficial time of 270.4mph, which would be enough to knock the Veyron Super Sport of its perch. Sadly Hennessey was unable to complete two speed runs to make it a Guinness World Record, but the damage was done.

Speaking to Top Gear, John Hennessey said: “I’ve wanted to test the top speed of our Venom GT Spyder even since our coupe ran 270.4mph on the Space Shuttle landing runway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in 2014.”

He added: “This was a great way to validate the technical excellence of our car which includes high-speed stability with an open roof.”

Those who want a convertible like no other will be able to buy one of three cars being made, but only if you have a spare US$1.3 million lying around plus extra for taxes. Probably better off aiming for a Mazda MX-5, to be honest.

Alternatively, you could wait for the Venom F5, which promises to reach 290mph. From virtually all other manufacturers, we would laugh at that lofty aim. But watch the video below and try telling us Hennessey won’t make it happen.

Video: World’s fastest convertible ─ 265.6mph Venom GT Spyder


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