Hennessey Performance

Sealy, TX - 06.20.2024

Hennessey's Most Notorious Builds: More than 30 Years of Most Iconic Performance

Hennessey Performance has been a fan favorite for those who love high-performance vehicles. Over the years, the Texas-based auto manufacturer has constructed incredible hypercars and mind-blowing machines. Hennessey builds have established industry benchmarks for performance and craftsmanship and world records in several instances. Here’s a look at just a few of the company’s most iconic builds and performance milestones.

The Ford F-Series is the best-selling line of trucks, with over 750,000 units sold in 2023. The manufacturer has seen success with their off-road focused Raptor series which consists of the Ranger Raptor, Bronco Raptor, F-150 Raptor, and Raptor R. For more than 15 years, Hennessey has transformed Ford Raptor trucks and SUVs into even more capable and performance loaded off-road machines.  

In 2009, Hennessey introduced the first VelociRaptor – a 600 horsepower V8-powered, off-road ready, performance truck. The Hennessey upgraded Raptor has 108 more horsepower than the factory version, totaling 558 under the hood. The VelociRaptor 600 was excellent for off-roading due to more impressive engine performance and upgraded LED lights, bumpers, wheels, tires, and leveling kit. More than 15 years and nearly 5,000 Raptor trucks later, Hennessey Performance remains one of the market’s most prominent Ford Bronco, Raptor, and Raptor R performance brands.  

The MAMMOTH 6×6 stays true to its name because it’s the largest and most powerful truck in Hennessey history. This gigantic vehicle was introduced to the world with a 1,200 horsepower ‘Hellephant’ V8 and the addition of a fully functional second rear axle to help deliver the power to the ground while making traction off-road much less of a worry. The Hennessey MAMMOTH is built on the RAM TRX platform and helps the MOPAR truck reach new heights of performance and off-road capability. 

Only three of these remarkable behemoths were built globally, making it one of the most rare Hennessey builds on this list too.

The HPE1000 Dodge Demon is another Hennessey upgraded production vehicle under the Stellantis brand. When John Hennessey took delivery of his 2018 Dodge Demon, the brand set off to create the world’s fastest Demon. The H1000 Dodge Demon successfully ran a 9.14 at 152 mph on Hennessey’s private test track.  

This upgraded Dodge Demon gets much of its power from Hennessey’s proprietary engine calibration, a larger supercharger, and improved airflow to the engine. The HPE1000 also get a ported supercharger snout and stainless-steel long tube headers for every ounce of power possible.  

In 2009, Hennessey Performance unveiled the HPE 700 LS9 Camaro with 691 horsepower. How did the tuners level up the famous Chevy vehicle? They installed the legendary C6 Corvette ZR1 6.2L LS9 V8 engine in a fifth-generation Camaro SS.  

The 2010 Camaro marked the first time the company tuned General Motors (GM) vehicles, with the Cadillac CTS V and Corvette ZR1 joining the Hennessey club at the same time. Since the introduction of the LS9 Camaro, Hennessey Performance has become one of the premier Chevrolet and GM Performance modification brands in the world.  

When Ford introduced the 5.2L supercharged V8 powered Raptor R, Hennessey wasted no time making plans for the most powerful VelociRaptor ever. In 2022, the company announced the Ford Raptor R ‘VelociRaptoR 1000’ upgrade, instantly making it the premier supertruck on the market. The VelociRaptoR 1000 enhancements take the trucks 700 horsepower to a staggering 1,000 horsepower and more than 800 lb-ft of torque – a nearly 40% increase in power output. 

The VelociRaptoR 1000 entered production in May 2024, making it one of the most coveted and highly sought after trucks available today. Off-roading becomes a breeze with heavy-duty bumpers, large wheels, upgraded suspension and LED lighting.  

Production of the VelociRaptoR 1000 is limited to 200 trucks a year. With 2024 marketing the end of the V8-powered RAM TRX, these new 1,000-horsepower Ford super trucks are guaranteed to be a hit amongst enthusiasts.  

Hennessey Performance stole the spotlight once again in 2017 with their 1,000 horsepower ZL1 Camaro, better known as THE EXORCIST. This vehicle was designed and engineered to directly challenge the infamous Dodge SRT Demon. The EXORCIST received an upgraded supercharger, heat exchanger, lifters, push rods, intake valves and valve springs amongst many other modifications. The 1,000 HP sixth generation Camaro quickly became the halo car within   the modified car community.  

THE EXORCIST proved its strength in 2018 by reaching 217 mph at the Continental Tire Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas. This test session cemented the modified ZL1 Camaro as the fastest muscle car in the world.  

Hennessey Performance added power to the sophisticated Cadillac brand with the VR1200 CTS-V. The 7.0-liter V-8 engine boasts over 1,200 horsepower and turbochargers for enhanced performance. The modified Cadillac also has 1,100 pound-feet of torque, an air-to-water intercooler, forged aluminum pistons and powerful fuel injectors.   

In 2012, Hennessey Performance took the special VR1200 CTS-V to Texas Toll Road SH130 just outside of Austin. This route saw the VR1200 reach 221 mph. The full video of this high-speed run can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_0von_5SRk 

If you know Hennessey, you know the company originally found traction within the aftermarket industry when they began to modify the Dodge Viper in the early 2000’s. To this day, the Venom 1000 Viper remains one of the most iconic and powerful V10 production cars ever produced. This modified Dodge put the company on the map thanks to its incredible speed and power.  

This Viper receives the Hennessey treatment through an upgraded 8.5-liter V-10 engine and a lowered compression ratio. Turbochargers, an improved intercooler and a lowered suspension are just a few of the most notable features that made this vehicle unique.

The legendary Venom GT marked a significant milestone for Hennessey Performance when it became the world’s fastest open-top production car. Between 2009 and 2014, Hennessey produced 12 of these remarkable cars. The Venom GT formed the foundation of what has become Hennessey Special Vehicles. The ultra-bespoke, world-class performance and limited production nature of the Venom GT makes it one of the most popular cars in automotive history. 

In 2011, Hennessey Performance delivered the first production version of the Venom GT. Over the next few years, the company would commission Venom GT cars for A-list clientele. Most notably, Aerosmith frontman, Steven Tyler, was the first customer to take delivery of the Venom GT Spyder. His car would eventually be auctioned off at Barrett Jackson in support of the Janie’s Fund foundation.  

The Venom F5 has become an American icon since its introduction in 2017. In 2018, Hennessey Performance introduced the F5’s engine, ‘FURY’, producing over 1,800 horsepower from its 6.6-liter twin turbo V-8 engine. The first customer commission was delivered in 2020 and the company has now delivered more than 24 cars. 

Most recently, the hypercar made waves when it shattered the Production Car Lap Record at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. The Venom F5 Revolution ran a 2:10.90 lap, defeating the McLaren P1 hypercar’s mark previously set in 2015. David Donohue drove the Venom F5 and helped it cement its place in the track’s history.  

Commemorating Hennessey Performance History

Hennessey Performance has come a long way since its beginning in 1991. The company started as John Hennessey’s hobby but has grown to nearly 100,000 sq ft of manufacturing facilities and over 100 employees. Hennessey Performance’s future is bright as it continues to modify production vehicles and maximize their potential. 

Jack Shaw is a seasoned automotive writer and editor of Modded, a men’s lifestyle magazine. He combines his passion for cars, trucks and motor vehicle manufacturing with his expertise to deliver engaging content that resonates with automotive enthusiasts worldwide. Jack has been published by Car Mechanics Magazine, the National Motorists Association, EngineLabs and more. 

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