2014 Hennessey Venom GT2 Gets New Face, Even More Insane Pace

Hennessey Venom GT2 orange front 3/4 view

Way back in 2007, it looked like the battle for the title of fastest, most outlandish street legal supercar on the planet was a two-horse race between Bugatti and Koenigsegg, with maybe occasional interference from Shelby Supercars. Then Texas-based tuning tycoon John Hennessey announced his company was joining the international hypercar arms race with a vehicle called the Venom GT. Based off a Lotus Exige with wider fenders and a stretched wheelbase (the former to accommodate immense wheels, tires and brakes, the latter to accommodate a twin-turbocharged, 7.0L GM LS-Series V8 producing 1,200hp), this monster is a credible alternative to its Franco-German and Swedish rivals.

However, with whispers of Bugatti developing a farewell edition super-duper Veyron, Koenigsegg seemingly rolling out two new models a year, and SSC hopefully beginning production of the Tuatara soon (not to mention new flagships from Ferrari and McLaren just over the horizon), Hennessey can’t really afford to leave the Venom GT alone. And the company definitely isn’t leaving the Venom GT alone. The company introduced a limited production Spyder version of the Venom GT (one of which was snapped up by Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler) earlier this year, and now it’s announcing a facelifted and upgraded version of the coupe set to enter production late next year: The Venom GT2.

Hennessey Venom GT2 white rear 3/4 view

Now, the GT2 name is not to be confused with GT racing; the “2” in GT2 simply denotes that this is the second evolution of the Venom GT. And it’s easy to tell that this is an evolution (which is good, because Hennessey will continue building and selling the original Venom GT for the foreseeable future). The reshaped front bodywork features a reshaped opening for the radiator and front brake ducts, and new composite headlamps with what appear to be LED turn signals and running lights. The current car’s rooftop airscoop for the engine has been discarded while the roof’s “double bubble” profile has become more pronounced for more headroom, and the slatted engine cover is replaced with a conventional clear window. These changes to the exterior drop the drag coefficient slightly, from 0.44 to 0.42.

Hennessey Venom GT2 orange front view

A Cd reduction of 0.02 will help the Venom GT2’s acceleration and top speed, certainly, but not as much as extra muscle in the engine room. Thanks to some unspecified tweaks, Hennessey expects the twin-turbo 7.0L V8 to produce a 31-flavors-of-psycho 1,500hp. And in addition to the carryover 6-speed manual transmission, the company says a 7-speed “paddle shift” transmission will be optional. As for who will supply the transmission and which engine-gearbox interface design it will utilize (Single-clutch? Double-clutch? Two hamsters playing tug-of-war with a churro?), Hennessey is remaining mum on both for the moment.

It’s also keeping performance figures close to the vest, though we’re guessing 0-60 mph times will be in the vicinity of 2.5 seconds (less if the sequential tranny includes a launch control mode), while top speed (if you ignore the limitations of the tires’ structural integrity) should be about 275 mph. Yeah, that’s not messing around. Nor are the prices: Hennessey says a base Venom GT2 will set you back $1.25 million, while the paddle-shift transmission will add (Are you sitting down?) $165,000 to that figure. Yeah…for that kind of bread you could (and should) probably just hire a Formula 1 driver to teach you to drive stick. It’s more fun that way (we’re assuming).

Hennessey Venom GT2 red front 3/4 view

Hennessey Venom GT2 red rear 3/4 view

Hennessey Venom GT2 white front 3/4 view

Hennessey Venom GT2 orange rear 3/4 view

Source: Hennessey

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