Open top Hennessey Venom GT Spyder crawls out

Despite being unconvinced about the morality of spending $1.1m (£700,000) on a tarted up Lotus Exige, when it looks like the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder, would, wouldn't you. The extra plastic bits do as good a job at hiding what's underneath as Lady Gaga's extra plastic bits do.

But this new Venom GT has had a significant bit of it removed - the roof. The Spyder will be produced from summer next year (2012), and frighteningly with no reduction in its 1,200bhp output.
That unbelievable, Bugatti Veyron-trumping power figure is, claims Hennessey, good for a 270mph-odd top speed. Of course, that's never been verified, otherwise we'd be looking at the fastest production car in the world right here.

The power comes from a twin-turbo 6.2-litre V8, stuffed behind the seats. It develops a tyre-obliterating 1,135lb ft, too. And remember, this is basically a Lotus Elise chassis.

The result is a 2.9-second sprint to 62mph from standstill, in the coupe at least, though we expect that chopping the roof off will have no degrading effect; the removal of such a small portion of the roof is unlikely to necessitate huge amounts of heavy chassis strengthening.

As you can see, it's a detachable hard top setup rather than a fancy pants full convertible, so there's no heavy electrical roof-raising mechanism to deal with. That also means, of course, that it offers full weather protection with the roof in place.

And it also means that, roof off, the driver can bask in the noise of the engine. If it starts to rain, there's always the option of joining the Porsche Boxster Spyder (below) in cowering under a bridge, like a couple of agoraphobic body builders.

So, fancy yourself a Venom GT Spyder? Tough. Only five are being made, two of them already sold, and the other Probably.
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