The Hennessey Venom F5 Has A Hidden Piece Of NASA History Where You'd Never Notice

The Hennessey Venom F5 is the definition of an epic supercar. First introduced at SEMA in 2017, Hennessey delivered its first production Venom F5 in December 2021. You won't see many Venom F5s on the road since Hennessey only makes 24 examples of the F5 Coupe. Despite starting at about $2 million each, HPE (Hennessey Performance Engineering) had no trouble selling all 24 build slots to speed-hungry and deep-pocketed enthusiasts. 

HPE is debuting the much-anticipated Venom F5 Roadster variant on August 9, 2022, and it'll be an open-top version of the F5 with the same predisposition to speed. Furthermore, it'll cost more than a sub-$2 million F5 Coupe, and you can bet the house that it'll be as exclusive as its hardtop brethren. HPE is a Texas-based tuner long renowned for crossing boundaries in the pursuit of speed. HPE's first car, the Lotus-based Venom GT, held the top speed record and became the world's fastest production car, averaging an unbelievable 270.49 mph (435.31 kph). However, the new Venom F5, HPE's first bespoke production car, could go faster.

Hennessey Venom F5: Like a rocketship (literally)

What could you expect from a car named after the highest rating on the Japanese Fujita tornado scale? Equipped with an extensively modified LSX small-block from General Motors, the all-new 6.6-liter V8 has twin turbochargers to pump out 1,817 horsepower and 1,193 lb-ft of torque. The gas-fed engine is so powerful that HPE christened it "Fury."

Equipped with a carbon-fiber tub and body panels, the Venom F5 has an impressive curb weight of under 3,000 pounds (1,360 kgs), equating to a power-to-weight ratio of 1.43 horsepower per kilo (1,298 horsepower per ton) – no wonder it scampers the tarmac like its nobody's business. HPE claims zero to 60 mph in under three seconds or 124 mph from a standstill in less than five seconds. Meanwhile, the Venom F5 has a projected 311 mph (500 kph) top speed. In early 2022, HPE tested the Venom F5, reaching 250 mph with almost zero effort from Fury.

The Venom F5 is as impressive as it gets. Given its theoretical 311 mph top speed, it could become the world's fastest production car to unseat speed demons like the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ or the SSC Tuatara.

Homage to NASA

As expected from a limited-edition megabuck hypercar, the Hennessey Venom F5 has no shortage of quirky features. For starters, HPE used gold in the engine bay for better heat dissipation, a trick we first saw in the mind-boggling McLaren F1. It also has a custom U-shape steering wheel or yoke, and the one-piece carbon-fiber seats are lighter than in a McLaren Senna. However, the Venom F5 has a few more quirks unbeknownst to you and me. But thanks to popular auto YouTuber Doug DeMuro, we discovered the Venom F5's key has a hidden piece of NASA history that you'll find hard to notice.

Every Venom F5 comes with what HPE calls a "treasure chest." Inside the treasure chest is a jewelry box containing the aluminum keyfob; under it is a battery tinder and a tow hook. The keyfob is more interesting since it is unlike any keyfob we've seen before. According to DeMuro, the Venom F5's headlights were the inspiration behind the keyfob's unusual shape, and behind the fob is an actual key that you pull out to open the gas filler cap. There's also an Allen key that you can use to remove the rear engine cover.

But the biggest quirk is the small piece of metal on the key fob that indicates the car's serial number. DeMuro claims the metal is from a supporting structure from the Space Shuttle, and HPE's founder John Hennessey got the pieces of metal from his astronaut buddy, who undertook numerous space missions. In other words, John Hennessey wanted a part of the Space Shuttle in his ultimate creation, and it's a fitting tribute to a car that scoots like an actual rocketship.