American supercar to get Lotus underpinnings, Corvette engine
Initially thought to be a far-fetched fantasy, Hennessey Performance Engineering has announced that it will debut its Venom GT supercar at the Geneva Auto Show next year and AutoGuide has learned some important chassis and powertrain info about the vehicle. In a chat with company founder and CEO John Hennessy at the SEMA Show last week, he informed us that rather than a more obvious twin-turbo Viper V10 powerplant, the Venom GT will be powered by a version of the supercharged Chevrolet LS9 motor – the same one found under the hood of the Corvette ZR1. This also happens to be the very same engine used in Hennessey’s new HPE700 Camaro where it makes 725-hp.
As for the chassis, as the photos suggest, the Venom is very much a Lotus underneath. The car will be based on a modified Lotus Exige S platform. Hennessey says that his company has always worked with existing platforms and so they chose to do the same with the Venom GT. This project will be far more involved than “just” building a high-performance engine, however, Hennessey says that by using an existing chassis with many existing parts, licensing the vehicle will be much easier and without a donor platform the project would take much longer.
Hennessey also told us that this “all-American” supercar won’t be built in the U.S. Instead, Hennessey has chosen to create the vehicle in the U.K., near Lotus and surrounded by the “cottage-industry” of specialized high-performance shops that exist there as a part of the U.K.’s Formula 1 hub.
In the past, Hennessey has said the Venom GT would make as much as 1,200-hp, weigh just 2,400 lbs, have a 0-60 mph time of 2.4 seconds and a top speed of 272 mph!
We’ll have to wait for the Geneva Auto Show in March to find out more.