The Hennessey Venom GT managed 270.49mph at the Kennedy Space Center, the highest speed ever recorded by a production car. The record run was made on February 14th on the 3.22-mile landing runway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and speed was confirmed by a Racelogic Vbox telemetry system. The previous record-holding top speed was the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport at 269.86 mph set on the Ehra-Lessien test track in 2010.
Unfortunately however the record is not officially the fastest as Guinness would not have certified it as a record. In order to qualify, a car must complete two runs in opposite directions within 30 minutes with the average speed serving as the record time. The Venom GT was only able to complete one pass because that is all NASA would allow, and that negotiation began in 2012 according to Hennessey founder John Hennessey.
“For whatever reason, Guinness made a decision that to qualify [for a production car world record], you have to build 30 units. We’re only making 29 Venom GTs. To date we’ve built and delivered 11.”
Amazingly, the 1,244-horsepower Venom GT was still accelerating as it reached 270 mph, but the length of the runway limited how far the coupe could be pushed. Driver Brian Smith only had about 2.6 miles to complete his run because it took nearly a kilometer (0.62 miles) to slow the car to 70 mph.
According to the telemetry, the Venom GT accelerated from 20mph to 120mph in just 7.71 seconds, pulling a maximum 1.2g of longitudinal acceleration in the process. However the acceleration didn’t stop there as the Venom went from 120mph to 220mph in a fraction under ten seconds.
“At the very top end, there was a little wandering, but hey, we’re going 270mph!” said the former Michelin tire test engineer. “It was still pulling. If we could run on an eight-mile oval, we could go faster than that…”
Like Smith, Hennessey believes the Venom could have gone even faster on a longer runway. “Looking at the rate of acceleration, we’re still pulling around 1mph per second at 270mph,” he says. “With another mile to run, I believe the car could do 275. Maybe 280…”
Even so, Hennessey is pleased with the result. “Since the inception of the Venom GT, it’s been a dream of ours to build the fastest car. There are lots of different definitions, different metrics, but for us, when people talk about being the fastest, it’s about being the absolute fastest. So it was a good day. We achieved the goal. No other road car has broken 270mph…”
Still, the Venom GT is already Guinness-certified as the world’s quickest car to 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph) at 13.63 seconds, and the company says that its next goal is to begin setting lap records with it at tracks around the world.