Hennessey unleashes 1,200hp from Shelby GT500

Fastest Mustang ever not fast enough? Hennessey has found another 400hp…

By Matt Bird / Thursday, 27 October 2022 / Loading comments

Once upon a time, it seemed that ever-increasing outputs from OEMs would put paid to a lot of aftermarket tuning. Who would need more when standard cars already had hundreds and hundreds of horsepower? Turns out that belief was nonsense; Hennessey, true to its mantra ‘making fast cars faster’ has turned its attention to the 760hp Shelby GT500. And made a 1,200hp one.

In fact, this Venom 1200 has a little more than advertised. Its 1,204 imperial horsepower rating is 1,220hp in metric, or twice the output of a Huracan RWD. This Mustang retains just two driven wheels, moreover, which will surely face something of a one-sided battle against 902lb ft. It’s a miracle they stopped spinning long enough to get the pictures, but it promises to be a good giggle if nothing else. Just take it easy leaving car meets.

Hennessey has conjured up these amazing numbers with extensive upgrades to the Voodoo 5.2 flat-plane-crank V8 found in an ordinary GT500. Naturally, the supercharged is bigger – now 3.8-litres – and the Venom also benefits from higher flow induction to feed that chunkier ‘charger, new fuel rails, beefier injectors and a host of heavy-duty ancillaries to contain 58 per cent more power than standard. Interestingly, the standard dual-clutch gearbox has been subjected to nothing more than a recalibration, which is impressive given how much more potent this 1200 is. According to Hennessey, in fact, Ford ‘leaves much of the vehicle’s potential untapped’ when it leaves the factory, so it’d almost be rude not to exploit it, really.

Hennessey plans to convert 66 Shelby GT500s into Venom 1200 spec; the Daytona homage livery seen here is $5k on top. But the package itself doesn’t seem an awful lot of money, at least in the grand scheme of 1,200hp cars: give Hennessey a Shelby and $60,000, and you’ll get a Venom 1200 in return. Given there are already GT500s for sale in the US for $85k, the potential is there for a 1,220hp Mustang just like this one for $150,000. Or less than £130k. This might be a tad disheartening, but there is hope: a GT500 has been imported to the UK, and it’s for sale on PH. It’ll take more hassle and more cash to give it Veyron Super Sport power, yes; but where there’s a will, there’s a way…

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