If there's one company that has a pathological need for speed, it has to be Hennessey. Bugatti might get all the attention for its utterly rapid Veyron, but you just know that Hennessey is beavering away in the background trying to best Bugatti with some 300 million horsepower (approx) creation.
While the normal Veyron chalks up a substantial 987bhp and the Veyron SS nigh on 1,200 ponies, Hennessey plans to squeeze 1,400bhp from its next model, the Lotus Exige-based Venom F5. The previous version of this twin-turbo Texan already chalked up 270.49mph in February, but the speed-hungry engineers at Hennessey have their sights set on getting much closer to the 300mph mark.
Talking to Top Gear about the new Venom F5, John Hennessey said: "I think something in the 290mph range will be possible". Unlike Bugatti's engineers who stuffed the Veyron with power-taming four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox to make the Veyron slightly less terrifying to drive, Hennessey is ditching this heavy kit left, right and centre.
Helping Hennessey in its quest for speed the Venom F5 is rear-wheel-drive only with a six-speed robotised manual gearbox. Power from the 7.0-litre twin-turbo V8 also swells from a meagre 1,244bhp to over 1,400bhp. With weight predicted to stay below 1,300kg this machine will boast more than 1,000bhp per tonne. Thanks to optimised aerodynamics the Venom F5 definitely has the grunt to destroy some records – provided it doesn't destroy its rear tyres before that point.
The Venom F5 is named after the most destructive tornadoes on the Fujita scale, and with so much power and so little weight, we expect it to to send huge shockwaves through Bugatti's corridors of power.
The F5 should be unveiled in 2015, with deliveries to power-crazed customers starting in 2016. Hennessey plans to build at least 30 cars – each costing at least $1.2 million before taxes.
Mr Hennessey, we salute you.