Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster aiming for 480km/h record

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Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster gunning to be the world’s fastest convertible.

Hennessey has created an open-top variant of its Venom F5, fitted with the same 1354kW Fury V8 engine and expected to become the world’s fastest convertible, with a claimed top speed over 480km/h.

Created after an outcry from fans, the Venom F5 Roadster is nearly identical to its coupe sibling, bar the removable 8kg roof – which Hennessey calls a “work of art” and expects owners to display in their “art galleries” – and a glass window for viewing the engine.

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The 6.6-litre V8 returns, mid-mounted in the same carbonfibre tub and connected to a seven-speed single-clutch automatic transmission, which sends power to the rear wheels.

With that power, Hennessey expects the F5 Roadster to surpass its own ‘world’s fastest convertible’ record of 265.6 mph (427.4km/h), currently held by the Venom GT Spyder, its last convertible, released 12 years ago.

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The American firm, notable for its speed-centric approach to car design, said the hypercar has been built to exceed 300mph, although it’s limited to a currently unspecified speed when the roof is removed.

A 0-100km/h time has also not yet been specified, but expect it to be slightly slower than the coupe’s 2.6sec due to the roadster’s added 20kg of weight (now 1405kg) come about from the need for a more rigid chassis.

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“If you go out and do 100mph (160km/h) in a fast car, then you go and get in a boat with the open top and go 100mph, you feel like you’re going 300mph (482km/h),” boss John Hennessey told Automotive Daily Network partner Autocar.

“I’ve been wanting to build the F5 Roadster because I just felt like the visceral feel, the sensation, the sound, hearing Fury [the engine] unleash all 1817bhp (1354kW) sitting right behind your ears, with the wind and just the overall sensory overload, [is something] which I personally enjoy and know some of our customers do and will as well.”

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Speaking about the roof, he added: “I wanted something that’s not just going to be tilted up against the wall in your garage but something that’s like a sculptured piece of artwork, that would sit in [a client’s] art gallery or in their living room. It really is a beautiful piece of artwork. Little details like that really matter to our clients.”

The car also has a number of “easter eggs”, Hennessey said, which include reverse naca ducts built into the taillights that push out hot air from the engine and the F-shaped keyfobs that each contain a piece of the space shuttle Endeavour – the second-to-last one that left Earth.

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“We didn’t set out to build those [things] in the car; its purpose was always to be the absolute fastest,” said Hennessey. “But Covid slowed down the supply chain, so our designers had more time to build in these little easter eggs.”

Just 30 Venom F5 Roadsters will be made, each priced at $3 million (AUD$2.9m), and they’re already sold out.

Roadster production will begin later this year, with deliveries expected from early 2023.

Will Rimell

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