In 2019, the Bugatti Chiron was the first production vehicle to reach 300 mph, but the world still waits for the first convertible that finds its way to the 3-0-0. The Hennessey Venom F5 Roadster, which debuted at the Monterey Car Week this year, is the latest competitor in the race. The Roadster, with 1,817 horsepower and a top speed of over 300 mph, is as eager to set a world record as the Venom F5 coupe. But the new car will let the driver feel the rate rush through their hair while being deafened by its thunderous engine roar.
Texan tuner-turned-supercar manufacturer Hennessey previously set the world’s fastest convertible record at 265.6 mph (427.4 km/h) with the F5 Roadster’s predecessor, the Venom GT Spyder. Koenigsegg, who has a removable hardtop on its Agera RS car, set the all-out production vehicle speed record. This is a record that has been surpassed. Hennessey claims the convertible history, but prestigious judges, such as Autocar (but not Top Gear), put Koenigsegg at the top of the list.
The Agera RS set its record while its roof was on, whereas the Venom GT did it without one. Hennessey’s Venom F5 Roadster announcement notes that the top speed of the car will be restricted when the roof is removed. It sounds like the car will have to run its 300 mph (483 km/h) with the top on (or deactivate the limiter, which is a different can of worms ). If it wants to be credited for a lid on the run, then it needs to recognize the Agera RS right now as the fastest convertible in the world. It’s a muddy road indeed.
We’re not here arguing for either Hennessey or Koenigsegg. The Venom F5 Roadster is capable of putting an end to the whole discussion, eliminating all question marks and asterisks, and stamping in a bold black three-digit number if it starts with a 3, even better.
When the Venom F5 Roadster does decide to declare its speed officially, it will be backed by a 1,817 horsepower battalion. This is 1,817 horsepower and 1,193 lb.-ft. The torque is generated by the same mid-mounted 6.6-liter dual-turbo V8 “Fury” engine, which is also mounted amidships on the F5 Coupe. Fury’s seven-speed automated single-clutch transmission delivers maximum power at 8,000 revs and maximum torque at 5,000 revs.
Hennessey claims that both the Coupe & Roadster can reach 300 mph. We’ll just have to wait until they run. The coupe is usually a safe bet. However, if Hennessey wishes to take both the production car and convertible records, the F5 Roadster may be the one that gets the first shot.
Hennessey says that the Roadster’s projected top speed is not the only thing it shares with its older, hard-headed sibling. Both cars “are almost identical mechanically.” The differences are concentrated in the body. Starting with the most obvious: the central roof panel made from carbon composites. It is insulated against the cold and lined with velvety Alcantara. Two latches, four quick-release bolts, and a coupe-like overhead cover are separated from the blue skies by a pair of latches.
The 18-lb panel (8.1 kg) can be stored in a Merino travel bag or, if you are a pretentious douchebag, on a sculptural carbon fiber pedestal with matching design elements. We find that a bit gross, even for an incredibly expensive, superfluous supercar. But we aren’t in the market for one.
The F5 Roadster’s transparent engine cover is another distinguishing feature. It is made of jet aircraft-grade glass. The thick piece of tempered glass is designed to withstand temperatures of over 1,000 degrees and speeds of more than 300 mph. It puts the heart of the Roadster in full view.
According to Hennessey, the 3,098 lb (1 405 kg) Venom F5 Roadster is 100 lb more than its coupe counterpart. It also has a power-to-weight ratio of 0.59 horsepower/lb, 1,29 horsepower/kg, and 0.96 kW/kg. Hennessey designed the F5 Coupe carbon monocoque from the start with roadster handling in mind. It only needed to tweak it a little to compensate for the lack of a roof.
Hennessey will display the F5 Roadster this weekend at The Quail. Interested parties can purchase one of only 30 planned examples. Each model is expected to cost US$3,000,000 and be fully customized. Those who won’t be attending The Quail can also register interest at hennesseyspecialvehicles.com or by calling +1 979.885.1300. Hennessey warns that the 24 F5 Coupes sold out quickly after last year’s Monterey Car Week.