The battle for the fastest road car money can buy has been a two-horse race since 2011, when Texas-based tuner Hennessey unleashed the Venom GT to take on the Bugatti Veyron. Now, it's time for the next generations of both those cars to go toe-to-toe, as the might of the Bugatti Chiron is ready to be challenged by this – the Hennessey Venom F5.
When shooting for speed records, it's all about the numbers, and here are a few of the F5s. Underneath the skin lies a mid-mounted 7.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. It produces 1,600bhp and 1,763Nm of torque. And it's aiming for a top speed of 300mph.
Compare that to the Bugatti Chiron and you can see how close the battle will be – 7.4-litre meets 8.0-litre, 1,600bhp goes up against 1,479bhp in the Chiron, and Bugatti claims a theoretical top speed of 288mph.
Hennessey also predicts astronomical acceleration figures. The Chiron can hit 249mph in 32.6 seconds. But the brand predicts the F5 will do it in less than 20. That's helped by the F5s significant weight advantage over the Chiron – it weighs in more than 600kg lighter than the Bugatti.
Inside, the Venom F5 is much more luxurious than its GT predecessor. Where the old car was based on a Lotus chassis, limiting interior space and comfort, the new car is completely bespoke – and in true American fashion, is said to comfortably accommodate a 6ft 6in NFL player.
The Venom F5 will be on public display at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas, while two prototype models will begin testing in Texas next year. Hennessey has not set a date for the 300mph speed attempt, but Bugatti will shoot for its 288mph top speed sometime in 2018.