The Fastest Convertible… In the World

Hennessey Venom GT Spyder

The astonishingly quick Lotus-based Hennessey Venom GT has spent the last two years as the fastest production car in the world, with a top speed of 435 km/h. Well just before the Venom GT bows out for the replacement Venom F5, Hennessey has raised the bar for convertibles, and is now calling the Venom GT Spyder the fastest convertible in the world.

The 1,451 hp 7.0L twin-turbo V8 Spyder tore through the air to reach a top speed of 427 km/h. That’s with the roof panel off. Sure it’s more of a targa top than a full convertible, but reaching that speed in a street car with a massive hole in the roof is quite the achievement. The record bests the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse by nearly 19 km/h.

John Hennessey, founder of Hennessey Performance Engineering said “I thought that this would be a special way to celebrate 25 years of making fast cars faster”. That’s quite the understatement. The driver was Brian Smith, Ford Performance Racing School director. The record breaking run was made on the 4.1 km runway at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California, and certified by Racelogic (maker of the data acquisition unit Vbox) technical director Jim Lau.

The run was made in a single direction only, which doesn’t qualify for a Guinness record, but since the Bugatti Vitesse run was also only a single direction, that should qualify it for record status in most books. In a cheeky nod to Bugatti’s record falling, Hennessey delayed announcing the record run until April 11th, exactly three years from the Vitesse’s previous record setting run.

Hennessey plans to make three Venom GT Spyder “World Record Edition” cars,  each selling for $1.3 million US. They’re probably already spoken for.

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Evan Williams

Evan Williams

Evan is based in Halifax, and has been a car nut for as long as anyone can remember. He autocrosses, does lapping days and TSD rallies, breaks cars and then fixes them again.