John Hennessey Believes Bugatti Is “Sandbagging” The Chiron’s Top Speed

Hennessey has been battling Bugatti and Koenigsegg for quite a while now for the title of the world’s fastest production car.

Bugatti took the record when the Veyron Super Sport reached 267.8 mph (430.9 km/h) in 2010. Hennessey replied in 2014 with the Venom GT and its 270.49 mph (435.31 km/h) run. Finally, in 2017 the Koenigsegg Agera RS set the current record of 277.9 mph (447.2 km/h).

Interestingly, Bugatti hasn’t attempted to set a new top-speed record since the launch of the 1,480-hp Chiron. What’s more, the VW-owned brand hasn’t even tried to beat the Veyron’s time. The company’s CEO Stephan Winkelmann said the new hypercar couldn’t reach 300 mph (483 km/h) since no tire could handle that speed. Later on, the executive said he simply wasn’t interested in the Chiron’s top speed.

John Hennessey, the CEO of Hennessey Performance Engineering, however, doesn’t buy that: “Bugatti’s sandbaggin’,” he told Motor Authority. He thinks the Chiron can probably reach 280-285 mph (450-458 km/h) and expects Bugatti to make a record attempt, most likely with a dedicated top-speed model.

In his opinion, the competition for the 300-mph race will make all the cars better- and we couldn’t agree more. Remember, we’re talking about a man whose ambition is to give the world a 300-mph (483-km/h) hypercar, the 1,600-hp Hennessey Venom F5.

Interestingly, he also believes we’re past the time when 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) were relevant for high-performance cars.

“How many cars, most of them electric, can go 0-60 in under three seconds now? What’s the big deal?”

What matters more for the boss of the Texas-based company is what a hypercar does from 60 to 260 mph (96-418 km/h). That’s not to say the Venom F5 won’t sprint like a bat out of hell from 0 to 60 mph. Hennessey estimates the hypercar will be able to cover that sprint in less than two seconds – and it will do that without electric motors or direct drive but with lots of traction.

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  • GobbleUp

    He’s right in that 0-60 has largely become irrelevant for higher performance buyers. But 200mph+ is not relevant either.

    The move towards visceral and emotional experiences while not being the fastest is going to emerge. Ferrari with the Speciale and Pista, Porsche with GT3 as opposed to Mclaren with the 720s which is near hypercar but lacking emotion.

    • Sounds like Top Gear BS, have you seen the 720S review by publications like Evo or Car?

      About experience, it’s been there for a while but the thing is that not all buyers of this car actually read reviews… so it’s hard to see which one is better and don’t.

  • MIL1234

    that’s what defines Hennesey”s cars

    • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

      If anyone’s vehicles are overpriced, it would be those coming from Volkswagen Group.

      • Not sure it applies to Seat or Skoda.

        • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

          Some SEAT and Skoda models look about as well thrown together as far cheaper Dacia cars.

          • Well they are not. And the tech integrated is way better. Dacia is based on older Renault tech, while Skoda and Seat uses the same as VW. Materials are cheaper, fewer options, no really powerful engines. But you still get a lot of car well built for your money. I can’t compare, or tell you how the latest Ferrari is against the latest Lambo. But I can tell you that a Skoda, or a Seat are more expensive than a Dacia, and it feels like it behind the wheel. I’m curious to know wich Skoda and Seat you refer to.

          • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

            Well built? Are you joking? Some of the recalls that Volkswagen Group have had recently are downright shocking, but then again Volkswagen Group are the biggest rogue trader in business. If they’re not dodging diesel emissions laws, they are falsifying VIN plates.

            Yes, SEAT and Skoda cars are more expensive than Dacia models, but it doesn’t feel like it, they all seem to use the same nasty scratchy plastics and the technology isn’t that new or exciting. “Top of the range” models from SEAT and Skoda are far too expensive for what they are! Many rivals do things better.

          • Aren’t you from America? Skoda is VW without a badge, with that price they are much better than Dacia.

          • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

            You uneducated VAG fans are stupider than I thought. I’m not American.
            Do you not recognise Lord Horatio Nelson?

  • Ruel Lewis

    How about we make 0-80 the standard lol.

    • KareKakk

      Or 0-60-0… stopping power is a forgotten measurement on most cars today.

  • Bo Hanan

    I’d rather hit 300MPH in the BUG than a modified Lotus Elise.

    • pcurve


    • Astonman

      That one is not based on the Lotus Elise. The original one was lengthened Elise.

  • karmat

    Well I hate cars that rev high on the highway, so if they’re gonna gear them for 300 they’ll probably purr along nicely just above idle at 70mph.

  • S3XY

    100% agreed. The highest legal top speed limit is 65 MPH on the freeway in my area.

    60 to 260 MPH is what really matters! 0-60 means nothing!

    Getting up to the speed limit the quickest is totally useless, not fun and legal!

    But going 200+ on an airport runway made for air planes in a 3 million dollar gas guzzler is what truly means something.

    • gambit gamboa

      You see, a fine gas guzzler is akin to that of a fine instrument, like a grand piano or a violin thats handcrafted. The electric motor in an electric car shares similarities with that the motor of your vibrator. Its actually quite the same concept, so do you really want to drop money on tech shared with a sex toy?

      You are still young I can tell, some men prefer Rolex, some little boys prefer Timex, dont worry though youll be older soon.

    • ace_9

      All your posts seem like you are a tesla representative paid to be obnoxious and partially blind to reasoning. I wonder if you realize how you sound. No car enthusiast would take you seriously when you compare supercars and hypercars with EVs, because you obviously don’t realize the difference. And you also won’t appeal to common people because they are not reading your comments and they are not fixated to acceleration and electricity so much anyway. So why are you doing it?

  • john1168

    I have no doubt the Chiron is sandbagging. I think it may be a liability thing. Of course the Chiron can do 270+ mph, maybe 285 but tires are still the limiting factor and I’m sure Bugatti’s lawyers and insurance companies are saying, increase the top speed when street tires can handle it.

  • Bash

    Its not a bad thing!!

  • john1168

    Zoom in on the on the front picture of the BUG. You can see the carbon fiber through the blue paint. AMAZING!

    • ace_9

      Well, it’s an expensive bug, so the least they can do is to show some carbon fiber to justify the price 😀

  • Vassilis

    I think 0-125 mph is more relevant for supercars nowadays.

  • Honestly it’s a bragging right, but when you are Bugatti, your customer aren’t exactly care about horsepower or who is the fastest, since you can’t even reach it anyway.

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