A supercar has become the world’s fastest two-seat sports cars, knocking the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport off the top spot.
The Venom GT, made by American firm Hennessey Performance (HPE), reached a top speed of 270.49mph during a run at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the 3.2-mile Space Shuttle landing runway, just edging past the Veyron’s record of 269.86mph achieved by Bugatti in 2010.
The record run was made over a distance of 2.4 miles, which allowed the Venom just eight-tenths of a mile to stop, but director of Miller Motorsport and former race driver Brian Smith was able to haul the car down from 270mph well before the end of the runway thanks to its Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes.
“I knew the car had it in it, but it’s a thrill to officially validate the Venom GT’s 270-mph speed,” said Hennessey CEO Don Goldman. “Venturing anywhere above 200 mph, let alone 270, is not to be taken lightly, and we’re elated to have accomplished our goal.”
A representative from GPS data-acquisition firm Racelogic was on hand to independently verify and document the Venom GT’s speed record using the firms VBOX 3i GPS system, which showed that the Venom GT was still accelerating at an average rate of 1 mph per second as it took just 10.1 seconds to go from 260 to 270 mph.
Company founder and president John Hennessey said: “I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid. 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.’ As a result we have built a better car and a better team at HPE.”
The latest record was set during a run on February 14, but the Venom GT already holds the title for world’s fastest from 0-300 km/h (13.63 sec.) and 0-200 mph (14.51 sec.).
With a curb weight of 1,244kg and a power output of 1,244bhp from its 7.0-litre twin turbo V8 engine, the Venom delivers one horsepower per kilogram of curb weight, making it the hardest-accelerating and fastest series-produced vehicle in the world.
“It was still pulling,” said driver Brian Smith after the record run. “If we could run on an 8-mile oval we could go faster than that. On the very top end there was a little wandering but, hey, we’re going 270 mph. The Venom GT didn’t require any big corrections, and the Michelins held traction really well.”
Each Venom GT is built to order and takes six months to complete. The production run will be limited to a total of just 29 units worldwide and to date HPE has built and delivered only eleven of the exclusive hypercars.