Hennessey, the Texas-based hypercar manufacturer and high-performance vehicle creator, has attained a new unofficial holiday record, having driven its Venom 1000 Mustang GT500 to a velocity of 192 mph with an illuminated Christmas tree strapped to the roof. The achievement occurred earlier this week at the Continental Tire Proving Grounds in Ulvade, Texas, under the impartial eye of jolly old Saint Nick.
Based on the most powerful factory-produced Mustang of all time, the stock Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 boasts a hand-built supercharged 5.2-liter V8 with a 2.65-liter Roots-type supercharger nestled on top. Hennessey’s Texas team upgrades the iconic pony car with a high-flow induction system, new fuel rails and injectors, and an air/oil separation system. In addition, fittings, lines, belts, and tensioners are upgraded, and the dual-clutch transmission is recalibrated for its high-output role. The result is the Venom 1000 Mustang GT500, which is rated at 1,000 bhp and 850 lb-ft of torque on 93 octane pump gas – all backed by a Hennessey 3-year / 36,000-mile warranty.
Piloted by professional race car driver Spencer Geswein under clear blue Texas skies with temperatures in the mid-50s, the road-legal Venom 1000 Mustang GT500 achieved the record speed on the closed circuit without drama. This is despite the significant additional drag (and holiday cheer) produced by a festal light-adorned evergreen. The vehicle was not altered explicitly for the run, except for removing the factory under hood ‘rain tray’ to improve airflow. The coupe, a desirable 2022 ‘Golden Ticket’ GT500, was finished in a very rare – yet seasonally festive – Eruption Green paint.
John Hennessey, company Founder and CEO: “Our annual ‘Christmas Tree Run’ serves two roles for our growing company. First, testing our performance at a proving grounds is a great opportunity to validate our engineering – the Venom 1000 delivers impressive numbers. Second, adding the seasonal twist allows our hard-working team to end the year with some high-speed fun before they slow down and enjoy their families for the holidays.”
The ‘Christmas Tree Run’ has become a Hennessey tradition, with the team carefully choosing the proper pairing between vehicle and evergreen – if nothing else than to ensure needle stripping speeds. In 2017, the company used a 2018 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody to take a tree to 174 mph – establishing a benchmark. The number was broken in 2019 when its HPE1000 Jeep Trackhawk hit 181 mph with a hapless Douglas Fir strapped on its roof rails. And last year, Hennessey cracked 183 mph with a tuned Audi RS 6 Avant (borrowed from John Hennessey’s wife!) with a fresh Christmas tree tied to its roof.