Hypercars

Hennessey Venom F5 hypercar tests at Eaker Air Force Base ahead of Amelia Island debut

The Hennessey Venom F5 was recently tested at the former Eaker Air Force Base.

Photo courtesy of Hennessey
The Hennessey Venom F5 hypercar topped 200 mph while tested at the decommissioned Eaker Air Force Base in Arkansas earlier this year. The testing day in the former Toothpick State market the end of the first stage of the car's development. Two additional stages are to be completed before the car is ready for customers.
Initial aerodynamic, speed, and driving dynamics testing for the Venom F5 took place at Hennessey's own track in Sealy, Texas, which is located due West of Houston. Then, Hennessey's engineering team took the car to the 2.2-mile runway at the former airbase.
Ahead of the Arkansas test, Hennessey restricted the engine to just 900 horsepower (half of its available output (1,817 horsepower)). With that power, the F5 topped 200 mph as part of its mid-speed refinement and coast-down program.

Hennessey Venom F5

Photo courtesy of Hennessey

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"For more than 40 years I've been developing high-performance vehicles, yet nothing compares to the Venom F5," said John Heinricy, Chief Engineer at Hennessey Performance. "We're making excellent headway in our mission to deliver a world-class hypercar to our customers that handles superbly, while managing its phenomenal power and speed with finesse.

"Every part of our development program is focused on making the Venom F5 the best it can be before customer deliveries start towards the end of this year. Our next phase is the most intense, concentrating on the car's driving characteristics. We'll split our testing between racetracks and Texas roads as we harvest data, refine every element and perfect this monster of hypercars."

The second phase of the F5's development will work on the car's agility, poise, and driver feedback using dynamic track and road driving. Hundreds of miles of driving are set to be undertaken to perfect these aspects of the vehicle's performance at venues including Laguna Seca and Circuit of The Americas (COTA).

While testing at COTA, Hennessey's engineers intended to unleash the power of the car's 6.6-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, which they've nicknamed 'Fury'.

The final testing phase will occur in the autumn and will work to refine the car's full-power acceleration, high-speed stability, and braking. Hennessey has its sights set on a top speed surpassing 311 mph.

The Hennessey Venom F5 global public debut is set for the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in May.

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The LEGO Speed Champions series is adding two new Dodge models to its lineup.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The new LEGO Speed Champions series is expanding by two. A 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A and Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster are being added to the growing collection. They are the first purple vehicle and first Top Fuel Dragster in the Speed Champion series.

"Owning, or aspiring to own, a Dodge muscle car is as much about the lifestyle of joining the Brotherhood of Muscle as it is about the vehicle purchase," said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. "As a result, our brand enthusiasts are passionate about all things Dodge, including the latest cool collectibles. So, following the success of the Dodge 2018 LEGO Speed Champion building set, fans will now be able to build and show off not only the first ever 8-inch-wide (8W) muscle car, but also the first ever Plum Crazy 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A, along with an incredibly detailed 13½-long Top Fuel Dragster."

LEGO Speed Champions Dodge box The 627-piece Challenger T/A and Dragster include box art of their Rea-life counterparts. Photo courtesy of Stellantis

LEGO has had the Challenger over two inches high, five inches long, and 2.5 inches wide. The Dragster is four inches high thanks to its wing, and has a body that is 13.5 inches long and 2.5 inches wide.

The set features a male Challenger driver in Dodge-branded clothing. The Dragster has a female driver in a Dodge race suit.

"In 2021, we are extremely excited to reteam with Dodge and expand the Speed Champions 8W Vehicle Collection even further by including new vehicle types and building experiences, for the first time, that appeal to vehicle fans of all ages," said Christopher Stamp, LEGO Design Lead.

LEGO Speed Champions Dodge The set includes two models.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The models will be released on June 1, 2021 at LEGO.com. Pricing for the models is not yet available.

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The Ford F-150 Lightning is the company’s first all-electric pickup truck

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The day is finally here. Ford has just taken the wraps off its hotly anticipated F-150 Lightning full-size electric pickup truck. The electrified pickup will be the most powerful F-150 ever made, and will offer buyers a unique set of features thanks to its battery packs and electric powertrain.

The Lightning will come packing 563 horsepower and 773 pound-feet of torque, which will provide a zero to 60 mph time in the mid-four-second range and standard four-wheel drive. Ford is targeting a payload capacity of 2,000 pounds in standard-range models with 18-inch wheels and a max tow rating of 10,000 pound for models with an extended-range battery and Max Trailer Tow Package. All of that in a truck that will have a 300-mile driving range on a single charge, a giant frunk (front trunk), and the ability to act as a generator with enough juice to power a home.

Inside, the F-150 Lightning will feature a 15.5-inch center touchscreen running Ford's SYNC 4A infotainment software. Beyond the staples such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the system is designed to adapt to driver behavior and can provide in-depth information on how the truck is performing at any given moment. Ford says that it will continue to improve the system and add new features via over-the-air (OTA) updates, which may prolong the new truck's lifecycle as new functions become available.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning The F-150 Lightning is designed to be able to handle worksite tasks.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Compay

Ford says it tested the new truck in punishing conditions for towing capability, hot and cold temperature resistance, and for safety in collisions. The F-150 Lightning carries a liquid cooling system, and its battery is contained within a waterproof casing that sits inside a crash-absorption protector. The truck's powertrain layout is designed to manage heat distribution across the vehicle to allow it to perform in harsh temperatures.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning There are a few differences between the interior of the Lightning and other F-150s, but not many.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When it's time to charge, the Lightning will feature an exclusive 80-amp charge station that uses the truck's dual onboard chargers to replenish battery power more quickly at home. Ford says the system will allow the Lightning to add an average of 30 miles of range per charging hour, and notes that an extended-range version of the truck can charge completely from 15 percent battery in around eight hours. Out in the wild, the F-150 Lightning's infotainment system will help drivers plan their routes to reach charging stations while taking weather, traffic, and payload into consideration. The Lightning, like the Ford Mustang Mach-E before it, can take advantage of the FordPass network, which includes over 16,000 charging stations across the country.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning The F-150 Lightning has the ability to tow 10,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford F-150 Lightning will begin hitting dealers' lots in spring 2022. The truck will be offered in four trim levels and two battery options, and will be sold at Ford's 2,300-plus EV-certified dealers in the U.S. The Blue Oval will offer a commercial version of the Lightning with a starting price of $39,974 and the more comfortable mid-range XLT model will start at $52,974. Both prices are before any federal or state incentives are applied.

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