Following in the grandest of American supercar traditions, Hennessey takes a lightweight, fantastic-handling British sports car, modifies it to accept ridiculous amounts of American V-8 power and calls it something aggressive and snake-related: the Venom GT.  Carroll Shelby would be proud.

With 633 rear-wheel horsepower and 641 pound-feet of torque at the ground, the Hennessey Venom GT is a worthy spiritual successor to the Shelby Cobra, though it does throw a couple of twists on the original formula. Power comes from a Chevy-sourced LS9 supercharged 6.2-liter V-8--the same engine found in the ZR1--cranked up to 725 horsepower at the crank.

Considering the power at the wheels, that works out to drivetrain losses of about 12.7 percent. Not too shabby. Thanks to all that power, the Venom GT is estimated to clear 60 mph in just 2.4 seconds, 100 mph in 5.3 seconds, 200 mph in 20 seconds, and hit a top speed of at least 262 mph. Ludicrous, but awesome.

That level of performance doesn't come strictly from power, however: a serious focus on maintaining the Elise's light weight is at play, too, thanks to full carbon fiber body paneling and even carbon fiber wheels. Weighing in about 500 pounds heavier than the standard four-cylinder, naturally aspirated Elise, the sub-2,400-pound Venom GT should change direction as well as it accelerates.

For more on the Venom GT, hit up our preview here.

[Hennessey via YouTube]