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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Supercharged V8 pickup

Watch the Ram TRX Lap the Nürburgring

The TRX looked awkward but completed the lap.

BTGDale via YouTube

The Ram TRX is a cartoonish truck with specs that would make most people shy away. Its size, sound, and imposing appearance live up to the hype laid out on the spec sheet, and its Hellcat-derived powertrain demands attention. The truck is one heck of an off-roader, too, but a recent YouTube video proves it can dance on a racetrack, too, though not as gracefully as the low-slung cars it passes.



The YouTubers took the TRX to the imposing Nüburgring in Germany to test its mettle on track. Unsurprisingly, the big Ram rolls over kerbs and is able to blast past several cars on the track. The biggest problem for the truck is its brakes, which end up cooked halfway through the lap. In between a few blasts of NSFW language, we can hear the driver note that his brake pedal is "about halfway to the floor," though he did retain some functionality after letting things cool off. The 6,400-pound truck would likely cook all but the most hardcore motorsport brakes.

The truck appears unmodified and looks to have just over 1,000 miles on the clock for the lap. Of course, the TRX looks about as at home on a track as a Mini Cooper would rock crawling, but the truck's 4.5-second 0-60 mph and 702 horsepower from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 are more impressive than many sports cars.

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The Polaris Slingshot is one of the most unique vehicles on sale today.

Polaris

The Polaris Slingshot is an interesting beast. It is, by far, one of the most unique vehicles you can buy in the U.S. today, though depending on where you live, it may require a motorcycle license. However, in most states, you can buy and drive one just like a normal car, albeit one that should only be driven while wearing a full-face helmet.

I recently spent a week with a 2021 Polaris Slingshot R and came away from the experience more than a little conflicted. On one hand, it's too much for me on a personal level, as I think it's too wildly styled and costs too much money. On the other hand, it's impossible to ignore the charm of the thing. It's loud, too quick for its own good, and a totally crazy driving experience that lands somewhere between being a complete riot and terrifying, depending on how and where it's driven.


2021 Polaris Slingshot There's no ignoring this when it's next to you in traffic.Chris Teague


However, for many, the Slingshot remains a complete mystery, so here are three things you need to know.

It's Loud

No, I don't mean loud in the sense that you can hear it coming – though that's part of the deal, too. I mean loud in the visual sense. Like, 1990s ugly sweater loud. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the one thing that isn't up for debate is that the Slingshot is eye-catching. Add a couple of people wearing full-face helmets and it's nearly impossible to look away from the thing.

It's a Crazy Driving Experience

It's true that this isn't a motorcycle, but the way the Slingshot puts its passengers' rear ends just a couple of inches off the road surface and not all that far away from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine creates one lively experience. Every bump, crack, and sound can be felt and heard, though it's not unpleasant at all and adds to the experience. Couple that with the open-air driving experience and giant tires communicating it all into the steering wheel and the Slingshot is a wild ride.

It's Surprisingly Quick

I tested the Slingshot R, which is one of the flashier and more expensive models Polaris makes. Its in-house four-cylinder engine checks in at 2.0 liters and delivers 203 horsepower, 144 pound-feet of torque, and a whole lot of noise. The advertised 0-60 mph time for the R is 4.9 seconds, which is quicker than some sports sedans, though it feels much more violent and faster than that in person. The optional Autodrive five-speed gearbox is an automated manual, which means that it will shift itself when asked, but is happiest with the driver firing off shifts with the steering wheel-mounted paddles.



The Slingshot is one of the few vehicles that defies almost everything to be what it is. It doesn't make sense for people who want a motorcycle and it's not particularly appealing to someone wanting a convertible or roadster. You have to be in the market for a Slingshot to end up buying a Slingshot, and for those that are, they've never been better than they are now.

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