2011 Hennessey Venom GT

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hennessey-venom-gt.jpg


Autoblog
Evidently not satisfied with having trounced the Bugatti Veyron in Road & Track's 0-200 mph showdown with its twin-turbo Viper, those tuners on speed over at Hennessey Performance Engineering are preparing a mid-engined supercar of their own. We brought you initial news, coupled with a teaser image, back at this year's SEMA show, but the company has now released additional information and the conceptual sketch you see above, which was penned by British auto designer Steve Everitt, who evidently likes the Lotus Elise/Exige, but thought it could use more oomph.

Built around the company's thousand-horsepower twin-turbocharged Dodge Viper V10 engine, the Venom GT would benefit from the immense power in a lighter-weight package weighing in around 2700 lbs. Carry the zeros and we're looking at 2.7 lbs per hp, giving the special Hennessey a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time estimated at less than 2.5 seconds, en route to an anticipated 300 km/h in about 14 seconds.

If it built the Venom GT, Hennessey would follow along the path of Saleen, who built the S7 supercar after years of tuning Mustangs. According to John Hennessey, existing owners of the firm's tuned Vipers would give the company a customer base to draw upon. Hennessey plans to have a pair of concept cars to show in 2009, which will help them gauge interest in potentially building the Venom GT at their factory in Houston. We're looking forward to it already.

Press Release

It's unclear whether they will be molesting an Elise chassis to fit a Viper motor, or just ripping off the styling. Either way, it seems really stupid to put a thousand horses into something that small. The chassis was never built to deal with so much power and weight, no matter how big of a subframe you slap onto the back.
 
4,735
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If the chassis is indeed an exige, it could be good news. One could always put a lighter, less powerful engine in place of the monster V10 and have a rocketship with perfect handling.

It is overkill. Hennessey is going a little overboard with this one. At least they are making a car that handles somewhat civilly. :D
 

Philly

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It looks like they have their work cut out for them. It is a shame they are messing with something so perfect as an Elise/Exige.

I'll believe it when I see it.
 

Dave A

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Just because it might be based on an Exige chassis that doesn't mean the car will be as small as an Exige, the Exige actually doesn't have a traditional chassis, it's a tub and as long as they can mount the engine they can buid a car around the tub bigger than the Elise. I lookk forwards to seeing where they're going to get with this, if it is based on Elise/Exige styling it should look pretty cool.
 

Sting

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I'm all for it, though I wonder if more Viper inspired styling would have looked better, although its not a bad looker.
 

Kent

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I didn't see any mention of using Lotus parts so I wouldn't be so quick to assume parts will be shared.
In fact, it's the designer of the elise and there is no other connection to Lotus, that's no reason to suspect an Elise chassis.
My first thought is that the Elise designer is simply doing a design that looks like the Elise. I doubt people like those in charge of the Hennessey company would ever consider an engine like their's in a car the size of an Elise. You just can't do that and expect the results to be as good as what you would get with a larger car.

All that aside... Tuned properly an Elise running 1,000hp is a great way to create a car too fast for most drivers. :mischievous: :lol:
 

Dave A

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Thats true, we could be reading too much into the design, but that design is uncannily close to the Sport Exige.
sportexige4.jpg
 

Sharky.

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Dave, you just got pwnt by your picture ;)

Looks like the lovechild of a Lotus M250 and Carrera GT. :D

Although I like the car, I most certainly wouldn't drive it... 1000+ horsepower in a car little bigger than an Exige :scared:
 

Dave A

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I'm not following you, everything from the headlights to the front arches and the side intakes are almost the same shape. It doesn't look much like the M250 imo which was much flatter at the front and had more angular side intakes. I don't think it looks much like the Carrear GT either other than is has side intakes and the centre of the bonnet sits lower than the top of the headlights. Which it does on the Sport Exige, only on that the headlights are nearer the same shape.
 

Sharky.

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Roof, rear spoiler, side intakes = reek of CGT.
Front headlights, front "grill" (if you can call it that) = reminds me of the M250.

I'm actually quite surprised that Hennessey aren't basing this off a Viper. Regardless, it'll be bloody fast!
 

Dave A

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The headlights on the M250 are much more flat, they don't curve up and over the bonnet nearly as much, but shape wise they're not that different to this or the Sport Exige, hint, or the Sport Exige.
Lotus_M250_2.jpg


The roof on the Carrera GT is raised on each side, I think for head room, this isn't. The Carrera GT also doesn't have an intake on it.
overhead-porsche-carrera-gt.jpg

The side intakes are closer, but there's a lof of cars like this with big gaping side intakes, and I still maintain the shape wise, the Spot Exiges are closer.
carreragt06.jpg



Besides that, I've posted a picture of one car that looks close, your blending features of two cars to try and get closer ;).
 
Kent - this Steve Everitt character had no hand in the design of the S2 Elise. I've never heard of him.

And while on the topic, has anyone read up on Hennessy's reputation? It's a dodgy enterprise, to say the least. Other than putting together fast, reliable Supervipers, they do their share of scamming and crooked dealings.
 

MistaX

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This car will never be built because John Hennessey never gets around to doing anything he says he's going to do. When 2009 comes around, he's going to say "Oh, did I say 2009? I meant 2012, sorry for the confusion. Here's the new catalog of the same turbo kits we've been offering for the past 10 years."

If you ship him a Viper to be fitted with one of their kits to his shop, you're going to be walking for at least 6 months.

Not because of the install time, just because he's too busy eating sandwiches and counting his money, than to work on your car.
 

Muzaffar

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This car will never be built because John Hennessey never gets around to doing anything he says he's going to do. When 2009 comes around, he's going to say "Oh, did I say 2009? I meant 2012, sorry for the confusion. Here's the new catalog of the same turbo kits we've been offering for the past 10 years."

If you ship him a Viper to be fitted with one of their kits to his shop, you're going to be walking for at least 6 months.

Not because of the install time, just because he's too busy eating sandwiches and counting his money, than to work on your car.

Okay, that is harsh....but then again, i don't even know what am i saying :dunce:

As for the car, i mean wow! Its going to be one heck of a job to do. Putting a big Viper engine inside an Elise definitely hard work (how are they goinna fit that bloody engine?) But they didn't say it would be the same chassis or use a different chassis and build a body on top of it and make it look like an Elise. There is another option though....

800px-LotusExigeGT3.JPG


(but this is going to be way overboard.....)
 
Okay, that is harsh....but then again, i don't even know what am i saying :dunce:

There have been horror stories of people sending in their cars to him, promising completion in 10 weeks. 10 months later, the car was collecting dust in the corner without hood or wheels because they were sold. The 145,000$ was cashed when taken delivery too. That wasn't an isolated incident, either.
 
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the conceptual sketch you see above, which was penned by British auto designer Steve Everitt, who evidently likes the Lotus Elise/Exige, but thought it could use more oomph

damn you guys dont read. where does it say that it'll use an elise/exige chasis? This is obviously a reference to the styling, which looks similar to the lotus. If you've seen a viper engine and an elise in person, you'd see there is no way it would fit without major stretchage (i think i made up a word)
 
damn you guys dont read. where does it say that it'll use an elise/exige chasis? This is obviously a reference to the styling, which looks similar to the lotus. If you've seen a viper engine and an elise in person, you'd see there is no way it would fit without major stretchage (i think i made up a word)

The Elise chassis is quite compatible with different engines. With a decent budget, a new rear subframe can be designed to accommodate bigger engines. It is possible.
 
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The Elise chassis is quite compatible with different engines. With a decent budget, a new rear subframe can be designed to accommodate bigger engines. It is possible.

2004_Lotus_Elise111R3.jpg


that's an elise engine bay. if you think your getting 6 more, much bigger cylinders, 2 turbos, intercooler, piping, etc in an elise without rebuilding the entire back half of the car, you're crazy.
 
Okay, now take out that motor and strip everything down to bare chassis. You'll be left with a tight subframe, which houses the 2ZZ, which is attached to the original Elise chassis, seen here in the same view as your photo.

chassis.jpg


Remove the subframe and manufacture your own in place, and you have room for any powerplant.

It isn't what they are doing, anyways.
 
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still seems like a tight fit to me. But your right, they aren't doing it anyway so there is not reason to carry on about it.
 
I think they could get away with a TT V-6. A V-10 in a car a little bigger than a bug? Its overkill. Im not sure if they were aim for something like that, after all look at their current cars. They are stupid fast and blow everything else away. Thats the whole point of their cars and image. But I do think thare going to hit a few design foobars, seeing as this looks exactly like a gemballa CGT:

997GT3612.jpg
 
John Hennessey
Just to help clarify on this subject, if the Venom GT is built as a concept car or eventual production car, it is indeed within our plan to start by moddifying a perfectly good sports car - the Lotus Exige S. We have no desire to build a new car completely from scratch and have it look quite coincedentally like a Lotus!

Anyway, I hope that this clarification will help ease some concerns amongst the Piston Heads Nation.

So what do you say, is a Venom 1000 Twin Turbo powered Lotus Exige S an interesting concept or what?

Mating a V10 to an Elise chassis can and has been done successfully. Regardless of if Hennessey can pull it off or not, the man is still a criminal.
 

JohnBM01

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I just want to say that as a native Houstonian, I respect Houston's own Hennessey Performance. They can make some wicked speed demons. I'm usually all in with saying that there is a car company or performance group that can make awesome cars... and not even be in California. Not all amazing tuner or high-perofmrance tuners are based in California. It will be interesting to see what these Texas-based boys come up with.

I'm an art person. Sadly, I can't seriously visualize what this would be like if there were more Viper cues. Or maybe they want to just build their own supercar powered by a Dodge Viper V10. I'll tell you this. If they can pull it off and make an outstanding high-horsepower car, then more power to Hennessey (no pun intended). Just need to really imagine what this thing would be like if fully complete.
 
In the concept sketch, the car actually looked rather large... I think even Hennessey knows that cramming a V10 into a car that small is insanity. But a V6...

It looks more like the Lotus Elise GT1. As long as that car, if it exists, becomes a racer, I won't complain.
 

Jim Prower

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But it still needs a crossbar grille. I'm not driving around a Lotus Viper...

I mean, hell, RUF's CTR3 does a better job of keeping the Porsche cues than Hennessy's Vixige...

(Wait, Vixige is a pretty sexy sounding name...)