What's Wrong With This Picture: AC Cobra Redux Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
whats wrong with this picture ac cobra redux edition

Other, more enthusiast-oriented blogs have already cooed approvingly at the Hennessey Venom, which is set to debut in the next several months. We take note of it only because of how familiar its formula is. Take a lightweight British roadster, slap in a fire-breathing American V8 (in this case, a 1,000 hp twin-turbo version of the Corvette ZR1’s mill), destroying the donor car’s immaculate balance and creating something that rates higher on the gee-whiz-ain’t-it-cool meter than on any remotely utilitarian measure. Sound familiar? If it doesn’t now, it might in a few decades, when Hennessey unsuccessfully attempts to sue enthusiasts who build replicas of its entirely unoriginal supercar.

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  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Feb 19, 2010

    It's not a novel idea, even with the Elise. Way back in the mid 1990s, when the Lotus Elise was first introduced, I was on a mailing list for Lotus fans. The head of PR for Lotus at the time participated on the list. He said that to give Lotus flexibility in sourcing the powertrain, the engine bay was designed to accommodate all know front wheel drive powertrains in production at the time. I specifically asked about the Cadillac Northstar and the Ford modular V8 used in the FWD Lincolns and he said, yep, they'll fit. I'm sure you'd have to beef up the transmission, and I'm not sure if all the plumbing will fit on the FWD version, but the LC3 version of the Northstar in the STS-V had a supercharger and 440 HP. Not 1000, but about twice as much as the most powerful Elise.

    • Dr. Nguyen Van Falk Dr. Nguyen Van Falk on Feb 19, 2010

      Yeah, the engine bay was designed to accommodate larger engines. Was the chassis designed to handle the power? Just because it fits doesn't mean it can handle that kind of output elsewhere in the car. The point about the Bugatti above is great. Why does this thing even need this kind of power? Indy car engines don't even put out 1,000 hp. This is just stupid. This if for a man born without a brain or penis.

  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Feb 19, 2010

    @Ronnie, I'm sure one could make the case for a ~450HP Elise. And it would actually be drivable and usable. (and more reliable and enjoyable as well...) See, now THERE'S a good garage project. I didn't run into anybody from Hennessee at PRI this year or I woulda asked WTF they were doing building this thing. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I know the answer for 1000HP in a tiny car anyway - press and money. As much as we love cars, it is still a business.

  • Cardeveloper Cardeveloper on Feb 19, 2010

    Hennessey has such a wonderful reputation. Hard to believe they are still receiving press coverage???

  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Feb 20, 2010

    Not surprising that they are receiving press coverage. What IS surprising is that it is not coverage of one of the many Viper owners burning his shop to the ground, while dancing around with Hennessey's head on a pike. he has quite a rep in the Viper community, yet still he seems to find customers. Sorta like Lingrenades...