As many of you probably already heard, the Hennessey Venom GT recently slipped the surly bonds of sanity and was piloted down a massive runway to a top speed of 270 miles per hour. That’s an astonishing figure. The photo above is properly patriotic and dramatic, and the video (which you can see below the jump) is even more fitting of the event.
Still, there’s a fair bit of belly-aching to be found around the ole Interwebs…
Some take the easy and oft-parroted route of looking to John Hennessey’s past as a tuner of many a Viper. The man had issues with some of the customer cars, tried to defend himself on the Internet, and things got ugly. The problem is, however, that the world has moved on from the past yet some feel the need to bring up this bit of ugly from yore at every chance they get. John himself has spoken about this, most notably on The Smoking Tire podcast, and explains what happened, where he went wrong, and how he’s moved forward. It’s worth a listen if you have the time.
Others turn to the car itself in an attempt to make this remarkable achievement, less so. The familiar cry is that it’s just a modified Lotus. At its core, yes, that is what this car is but it’s also much more than that. It utilizes an existing platform because building a platform from scratch is wildly expensive. This platform, however, has been transformed, transfixed, and probably even transmogrified, into an insanely powerful yet driveable land rocket.
I see so-called automotive enthusiasts getting riled up and occasionally even angry when the subject of this car is brought up. This is insanity in my eyes. A man and his team just put together a vehicle and then drove it 270 (two hundred and seventy) miles per hour down a runway designed for space shuttles. The added bonus is that it didn’t burst into flames at the end. It still works, and every report states that the car was still accelerating strongly before they had to back off.
It would be nice if, just for a moment, we could all take a breath… a man just drove a car 270. Even if you’re in the modified Lotus and nothing more camp, you have to admit that it’s one hell of a Lotus.