Hennessey Venom F5 Crashes at 250 MPH on Kennedy Space Center Runway

Owner John Hennessey says the test driver walked away without any injuries despite the scary high-speed incident.
Hennessey Performance

Speed records will always be chased. Bigger, stronger, lighter, and faster goes the mantra. Of course, if you build it, you need to test it. Because if an instrument test doesn’t confirm your claims then, well, they’re just claims. But with great speed comes great risk, especially in the realm of hypercars and supercars. Just ask Hennessey Performance.

The Texas-based manufacturer was conducting 0-to-250 mph tests of a new aerodynamic setup for its Venom F5 hypercar on Monday when things went awry. In a social media post, company founder and owner John Hennessey stated that the Venom F5 prototype was returning strong acceleration numbers when a downforce issue caused the test driver to lose control. Hennessey did not provide many details of the incident other than thanking first responders and onsite staff, and stating that the driver walked away “without injury.” 

The Venom F5 “Revolution” Coupe, the new track-focused variant of the standard coupe, is said to deliver more than 800 pounds of downforce at 186 mph and more than 1,400 pounds at 249 mph. Hennessey didn’t say which Venom F5 model was being tested, but the driver’s ability to walk away from anything remotely close to those downforce figures is a testament to the vehicle’s overall strength and safety. It was likely a harrowing experience, nonetheless.

Finding a location to test a vehicle at such high speeds was a test all its own. Hennessey Performance usually ends up at runways. For this particular test, the Hennessey team was at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

Hennessey Performance

Announced in 2017, the Venom F5 offered 1,600 horsepower for a $1.6-million price tag. When order books finally opened (and closed) in 2021, everything had gone up. The horsepower was now 1,817, and the price was $2.1 million. But in order to achieve its claimed 311-mph top speed, the production car would be shipped without airbags and with a “show and display” only tile for U.S. buyers.

The vehicle’s 24-unit allotment sold out, anyway.

Boasting a 6.6-liter twin-turbo “Fury” V8, the Venom F5 features a carbon fiber chassis and body, weighs less than 3,000 pounds, and can go from 0 to 124 mph in 4.7 seconds. Last year, a track-tuned version was announced. Also limited to just 24 cars, the Venom F5 “Revolution” Coupe recalibrates the standard coupe’s “Fury” engine and adds other mods such as aero enhancements, a retuned suspension, new wheels, and a roof-mounted airtake. The Revolution variant will set you back $2.7 million.

Hennessey said the team will “evaluate the aerodynamic data to determine the root cause” of the loss of downforce.