2013 Hennessey VR1200 is a Cadillac Heart Attack [w/ Video]

2013 Hennessey VR1200 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe front 3/4 view

The four-digit horsepower car club is, unsurprisingly, one of the most exclusive in all of auto-dom. Boot eligible racing cars like top fuel dragsters, Turbo Era F1 cars (with their “Offerings to the Gods of Speed” qualifying engines) and multi-engine Bonneville streamliners, leaving only street legal, production derived rides, and the membership roster gets really short. Cull the herd to include just unmodified cars and you can probably tally them on one hand.

One such pornographically peppy chicken bicuspid is the Hennessey Venom GT. To the uninitiated, it’s just a stretched and widened Lotus Elise with a big ol’ twin-turbocharged GM LS V8 stuffed into it to create a 1,200hp turducken. To the drinks-with-pinky-outstretched connoisseur, however, it’s a remarkable feat of Texas home-cooked ingenuity: Stay out of the boost and take corners like Miss Daisy is riding shotgun, and it’s remarkably placid. Put the spurs to it, though, and you’re suddenly five counties away from where you started. That’s what an engine that mighty and that flexible can do. Such a shame Hennessey hasn’t put it in another car…until now.

2013 Hennessey VR1200 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe rear 3/4 view

Say hello to…no, make that kneel before the 2013 Hennessey VR1200. We know what you’re thinking: “Great, another murdered out Cadillac CTS-V. Bah. Arf.” But there’s much more to this killer Caddy coupe than just the front splitter, flared fenders, rocker extensions, carbon fiber power dome hood, carbon fiber rear spoiler, and carbon fiber rear diffuser. The lowered ride height, retuned magnetic dampers (with input from former GM engineer and multi-time SCCA national champion John Heinricy), 15.1” carbon ceramic brake rotors, black HRE wheels and, in the inside, sport seats, six-point safety harnesses and partial roll cage that nixes the rear seats are also not the be all and end all of the upgrade department.

No, the big news is the aforementioned Venom GT power unit. The 93 octane pump gas slurping 7.0L twin-turbo V8 is installed in place of the stock 6.2L supercharged V8, and by the time the engine’s power passes through the 6-speed manual transmission and other driveline components, it’s spinning the rear wheels to the tune of 1,066hp and 964 lb.-ft of torque. Using the typical 15% drivetrain friction loss factor, the numbers at the flywheel come out to 1,226hp and 1,109 lb.-ft. Those figures are whack-a-doodle in any car, but in a Cadillac weighing more than two tons and features like air conditioning, a banging stereo system and GPS navigation, they’re crazy on a level comparable to a Terry Crews Old Spice commercial featuring a cameo from Britney Spears during her Telly Savalascoiffurephase.

2013 Hennessey VR1200 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe engine view

And of course, nutso power and torque figures tend to yield nutso performance figures, and the VR1200 doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Hennessey projects 0-60 mph blitzes will – if you can get the rear tires to hook up – take 2.9 seconds. The quarter mile should go by in 10.2 seconds with a trap speed of 141 mph. And the top speed, which is 189 mph for a stock manual CTS-V Coupe, leaps to 242 mph. For those keeping score, that’s 1 mph faster than a certain ‘90s supercar called the McLaren F1. Yeah, that was our reaction, too.

However, if you want a VR1200 (and don’t live in California; our state’s Air Resource Board, to quote the late Mr. Mellor, thinks it’s not kosher), you should give Hennessey a call pronto; the company will only be building 12 of them. No word on how much more you’ll have to spend on top of the stock CTS-V Coupe’s $64,515 base price, but we wouldn’t be surprised if you could buy another CTS-V Coupe for the same money. But let’s be honest: Having a car this exclusive, this stylish and this badass is worth its weight in gold, if not platinum.


Source: Hennessey Performance Engineering

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