The Bugatti Veyron SuperSport caught the world’s attention in 2010 when it set the record for the world’s fastest production car, but that crown may now have to be passed on to Hennessey Performance and its Venom GT, which, last month, hit 270.49 mph (435.31km/h) at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Driven by former Michelin tire test engineer, race driver, and Director of Miller Motorsport Brian Smith, the time for the Venom GT was independently verified, but has yet to be officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as a new world speed record for a two-seat sports car.
The blistering run took place on the 3.2-mile Space Shuttle landing runway at the Kennedy Space Center on a straight run rather than on an oval, or a varied test track like the Nurburgring, and according to Hennessey Performance, was a demonstration of flat-out acceleration from a dead launch, while still leaving enough braking space at the end of the run to keep it from ending in a very expensive crash.
The Hennessey Venom GT team with verification certificate
“It was still pulling,” says Brian, “and if we could run on an eight-mile oval we could go faster than that. On the very top end there was a little wandering but, hey, we’re going 270mph! The Venom GT didn’t require any big corrections, and the Michelins held traction really well.”
According to verification by GPS data-acquisition systems manufacturer Racelogic, the Venom GT attained a maximum speed of 270.49mph as measured by the VBox 3i GPS system.
The speed record is already steeped in controversy after challenges to the Veyron’s 2013 claim surrounding adjustments to the hypercar’s limiter that following a review, Guinness allowed the record to stand.
Despite last month’s result, Hennessy cannot officially claim the fastest production car record because that requires making two runs in opposite directions on the same day. John Hennessey explained in an interview with Top Gear that this wasn’t possible because NASA wouldn’t allow it.
Based on the Lotus Elise/Exige, with which it shares a number of components, the 2743lb (1244kg), mid-engine, rear-wheel drive Venom GT is not what most people would call elegant, with its carbon fiber and composite/aluminum hybrid monocoque-space frame, massive brake-cooling vents, oversized, yet cramped two-seater cab followed by a rear that looks like someone gave it a swift kick in the pants.
That being said, the Venom GT is built for the track, not garden parties, and all the flaring wings and road-gobbling grilles come together in a frighteningly attractive Koenigsegg sort of way.
Inside the Venom GT is a 90-degree, seven-liter V8 engine with twin precision ball bearing turbochargers, an iron block with aluminum heads, electronic sequential multi-port fuel injection pumping a terrifying 1244bhp (914kW) and 1155lb-ft (1565Nm) of torque feeding into a Ricardo six-speed manual gearbox.
On the track, this translates into 0 to 60 in 2.7 seconds, so you’d know what it feels like to leave your eyeballs behind. The Venom GT already holds the Guinness world record of 0 to 300km/h in 13.3 seconds and the Hypercar world record for 0 to 200 mph in 14.51 seconds. Beyond its verified speed of 270.49 mph, Hennessy claims that the Venom GT can do 278mph (447 km/h) flat out. According to founder and president John Hennessey, as a kid he always wanted to be an astronaut.
“Neil Armstrong was my childhood hero. Even though the astronaut thing didn’t work out for me, I am humbled to have had the opportunity to set our speed record on the hallowed grounds of the American space program.
“Building and validating our Venom GT as the world’s fastest has been a long journey and a lot of hard work. But as President Kennedy once so eloquently said: ‘We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.’”
If you’re interested in buying a Venom GT, be prepared for a little cry because the record-breaking version sells for US$1 million.
So how fast is 270.49 mph? CLICK HERE to check out out in the video below.
Source: Hennessey Performance gizmag