Hennessey Performance Engineering is known for tuning internal combustion engines to make more and more power, and for special projects like the Hennessey Venom F5 supercar that aims to top 300 mph.
For HPE's next trick, the Texas tuner says it's going electric with Project Deep Space.
This isn't just any electric car. It's a $3 million, six-wheel, electric GT with a massive battery pack, and four-seat diamond interior arrangement. That may seem like a pie-in-the-sky promise, especially for a tuner known for drawing more power out of big V-8s, but company CEO John Hennessey said the car would be ready by 2026 in a Zoom call with Motor Authority.
Hennessey Project Deep Space sketch by Nathan Malinick
In 2019, Hennessey had Hennessey Special Vehicles (the division of Hennessey's company that's producing the Venom F5 vs. the modification division known as Hennessey Performance Engineering) director of design Nathan Malinick drop by his house. Hennessey recalled describing his vision for an electric GT and Malinick stopped to sketch what Hennessey had described. The above sketch is the result of that initial discussion, and was the beginning of Project Deep Space, which for now is simply the internal code name for this electric GT.
Hennessey wouldn't go into deep technical specifics at this early juncture, but the Texan said Project Deep Space will be powered by six electric motors, two per axle. It will have a total output of 2,000-plus hp, and the goal is to deliver more than 500 miles of driving range, though 621 miles would be even better, Hennessey quipped (noting the 1,000-km mark).
The long wheelbase will provide space for a large battery pack, though Hennessey wouldn't share the pack size. The executive also wouldn't discuss what type of battery cells the car will use or whether they would be solid-state, but he did say Delta Cosworth will engineer the batteries, electric motors, and powertrain systems. Shell Pennzoil will also be a partner for the project.
Hennessey Project Deep Space
Project Deep Space will ride on a new lightweight carbon-fiber chassis and feature carbon-fiber body panels. The shape has nods to the past with a hint of GM's EV1 and more recently, the McLaren Speedtail, but the simple teardrop shape gives way to dramatic gullwing doors. As it stands today Project Deep Space will be about 21 feet long, according to Hennessey.
Inside, Project Deep Space has four seats with a central driving position flanked by two outboard seats for passengers. Hennessey noted the outboard seating postions are staggered to allow even the tallest passengers stretch-out room. The fourth seat is mounted directly behind the centrally positioned driver and is being dubbed the VVIP (Very Very Important Person) seat. It will be similar to the lie-flat seats in a Gulf Stream jet.
The custom chassis and electric powertrain will allow the super GT to haul ample cargo, according to Hennessey. The frunk will be capable of holding up to four carry-on pieces of luggage, while the rear cargo area will hold up to four sets of golf clubs, Hennessey claimed.
Hennessey said some customers have already placed orders, though he didn't say how many of the Project Deep Space's 105 build slots have been spoken for to date. Each order requires a refundable $100,000 deposit. A full-scale model with an interior will be revealed in 2023, according to Hennessey. Around the same time, the team will be "pretty far along on engineering the battery, powertrain, and chassis," Hennessey said. The interior and electronics won't be locked in until much further in the future.
The car is currently early in the engineering phase.
Production of Project Deep Space will take place in the facility in Sealy, Texas that is currently producing the Venom F5.
Why exactly 105 cars? For exclusivity. "McLaren built 106 F1s, and so I'm building one less," Hennessey said.