As if they didn’t already produce wild enough cars, the newly-launched Hennessey Special Operations division is set to take the Texan tuning firm’s projects to a whole new level.
When the news emerged that Hennessey had launched a new specialist division for ‘high power’ vehicles, I must admit, I did raise an eyebrow or two. This is, after all, the same Hennessey that’s renowned for offering some of the most elite, high-power tuning kits for USDM cars on the planet. I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that we were talking about Hennessey building thousand-horsepower Caddies. So, if it deems its regular assignments to be a little on the tamer end of he spectrum, what on earth has it got in store for its HSO projects? Well, to begin to answer that question, Hennessey has given us a preview of the first of many insane builds to come in the future.
1700hp Dodge Demon
To kick this new venture off, company founder John Hennessey has turned his own personal Dodge Demon 170 into an unshackled monster (even more so than it was before).
The project is known as ‘Demon 1700 Twin-Turbo’, so no prizes for guessing its party piece. Indeed, a pair of vast turbochargers take the place of the engine’s regular superchargers. However, this isn’t just a simple bolt-on job. In fact, the powertrain for this Demon is a ground-up bespoke design, featuring forged internals made from ‘unique alloys’. Needless to say, particular attention has also been paid to the car’s cooling system. All in all, the alterations raise the car’s peak power output to 1700 horses, though there’s n word on torque yet. It’s safe to assume that that number will also be from out of this world, though.
In practice, and when run on E85 ethanol, Hennessey projects that the revitalized Demon will be able to sprint the quarter mile in just 7.9 seconds, hitting a top speed of 175mph. So, it’s as rapid as you’d expect it to be.
HSO will turn this into an off-the-shelf kit, however the company only intends to produce twelve 1700hp Demons. Overall, HSO will likely output between 15-20 cars per year. The base price starts at $200,000 for the kit, and that doesn’t take into account the cost of buying a Demon 170 donor car. As you can imagine then, HSO cars will be aimed at only the richest, most daring clients. If that sounds like you, head over to the HSO website to learn more.
Is there a need for a Hennessey Special Operations division?
As I mentioned before, the concept of a tuning house like Hennessey having a ‘special operations’ unit seems rather redundant at first glance when their usual offerings are still pretty mental. However, John Hennessey has shed some light on the rationale behind the decision. Ultimately, it all comes down to being more efficient with the company’s focus and attention.
Business is booming. Since 2022, Hennessey has delivered 1,100 cars worldwide, but with greater volume comes more strain on resources. For that reason, Hennessey felt that the launch of HSO was necessary in order to keep being able to produce the most outrageous, headline-grabbing cars, in addition to the mass-production kits they build.
From the horse’s mouth
“Demand for our powerful vehicles over the past several years has been so strong that we had to shift from being a high-volume tuning company to more of a factory with assembly lines and all of the logistics that go with delivering over 500 vehicles per year,” he said.
“The transition to becoming a manufacturer with a factory producing lots of vehicles meant that we had to shift some of our resources away from the high horsepower vehicles that have kept the Hennessey name in the automotive headlines for the past 33 years,” explains Hennessey.
“We are happy to announce that we’ve created a new division within the company that allows us to build mega-powerful vehicles in small production runs.” That company, obviously, being Hennessey Special Operations.
Whatever the HSO team has in store, you’ll be sure to find the highlights right here on Fast Car.
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