Hennessey Performance Engineering is making some rather bold claims. The Texas tuner recently revealed a new vehicle called the Venom F5. HPE says the Venom F5 will have 1,600 horsepower and be able to hit a top speed of 301 mph. We certainly believe Hennessey is capable of building a machine that produces that much power, but is 301 mph actually possible?
Our friend Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained is here to break it all down. He’s focusing on four main areas: aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance, drivetrain losses, and the effect of speed on the tires. He’s doing the math to shed some light on what’s possible with the Venom F5.
First, he looks at aerodynamic drag. More specifically, he examines if the car has the right aero setup to achieve its top speed goals. It has a coefficient of drag of 0.33 and a frontal area of 1.83 meters squared. Hennessey claims the car will run from 0-248-0 mph in less than 30 seconds. That would exceed the performance bar recently set by Koenigsegg and smash the number achieved by the team at Bugatti. Jason calculates that the Venom F5 will only need around 1,200 horsepower to hit its advertised speed based on its aerodynamic drag. So far, so good.
Next up is rolling resistance. According to Jason’s math, the Venom F5 needs a bit more than 35 horsepower to overcome the rolling resistance the car will face. Adding that to the above derived horsepower requirements of the aerodynamics, the total output needed is 1,231.9 horsepower to be exact.
Third, Jason looks at drivetrain losses, and Hennessey is still good to go based on the basic numbers being applied here. With 1,600 horsepower, Jason figures it has room for 23 percent drivetrain losses but says it should experience nearly that much.
Finally, Jason examines the effect of all of this on the tires. We’re dealing with a battle between high grip and low rolling resistance requirements. You need both a light tire and a stiff tire, and the tires will have to withstand high heat and high stress when pushed into the uncharted void that is a 300 mph top speed. Jason doesn’t come up with an answer for this final question because he doesn’t know the specs of the tires on the car.
Jason also notes that the car will need sufficient cooling to handle the rigors of 300 mph.
Regardless, the basic math being applied here shows that it’s quite possible for Hennessey to push its Venom F5 into the 300 mph club. Will the Michelin tires be able to handle those forces, and will the Venom F5 be able to achieve its goal in the real world? We can only wait and see.