How fast is too fast? The latest customization service, for the McLaren MP12 supercar no less, proves that for Hennessey Performance, there’s no such thing.
When trying to pick faults with the wonderful, 100% hand-made, carbon fiber shell, Formula One inspired McLaren MP12 coupe, even the world’s most committed and obsessed petrolheads have struggled to come up with a criticism, save that when raced head to head, it’s only as fast as a Ferrari 458 Italia. In terms of negativity, that is up there with a woman complaining that her husband is only as attractive as Brad Pitt.
However, thanks to the dedicated supercar tinkering firm that is Hennessey Performance plus one man’s fears that one day while cruising in his McLaren, he may come up against someone driving the aforementioned Ferrari, combined with a willingness to offer his pride and joy as a guinea pig, this ‘criticism’ has been addressed once and for all.
"The Hennessey McLaren HPE700 broadens our reach in performance tuning to European supercars. Both midrange power and torque are bumped, but the real hair-on-fire ride begins from 4000 rpm to the 8500-rpm redline," says John Hennessey, president and founder of Hennessey Performance, of the modified car.
When it rolls off the production line the MP12 McLaren can already hit over 200mph, can already go from 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds and delivers 616bhp from its comparatively tiny 3.8-liter twin turbocharged V8 engine.
However, thanks to an engine management software upgrade plus an improved heat exchanger, it now offers 704 horsepower and can go from 0-60mph in a scarcely believable 2.8 seconds and on to a standing quarter mile in 10.3 seconds, hitting 137mph on the way. In other words, leaving the Ferrari in its wake.
Of the upgrade, the first lucky customer, David ‘T,’ for whom the McLaren is simply the latest in a long line of past supercars, said: "I gave [Hennessey Performance] an extremely fast car, and was given back a starship with advanced trans-warp drive. For the first time in my life -- and I really mean the first time -- I might actually have achieved fast enough, and that is a place I never thought I'd reach. After all, why would anyone mess with the square root of exhilaration?"
And the cost of upgrading from a supercar to a starship? A true bargain at $19,500, plus the initial $241,800 needed to buy a McLaren MP12 in the first place, of course.
And while David T is no doubt happy that his car is currently head and shoulders above his car's closest competitors in terms of performance, Hennessey has just debuted a similar perfomance upgrade for the Ferrari 458 too.