The Hennessey Venom GT is officially the world’s fastest production car

American supercar the Hennessey Venom GT has hit 265.7mph (427.6kph) to beat the Bugatti Veyron’s existing record on a technicality to steal the top speed crown.The technicality in question is engine tuning. A standard production version of the Hennessey Venom GT managed to come close to 270mph along a 2.9 mile stretch of runway whereas the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, using Volkswagen’s 5-mile+ straight, got closer still, hitting 267.8 mph (431kph). After setting its record, the production version of the car had its engine slightly detuned so that its top speed would be limited to a mere 258mph in order to guarantee the tires don’t disintegrate.

The Hennessey Venom GT

Therefore, though it is still technically the world’s fastest petrol engine car, the Bugatti is not the world’s fastest street-legal production car.

The Hennessey Venom GT was tested in February but the figures have only now been ratified. The car, which is loosely based on the Lotus Exige, is powered by a twin turbo-charged 7.0-liter V-8 engine. It pumps out 1244 horespower and, as the car weighs exactily 1244kg, its power to weight ratio is 1000 horsepower per tonne.

“While a Veyron Super Sport did run 267.8 mph, Bugatti speed-limits its production vehicles to 258 mph,” said company founder and president John Hennessey. “Thus, at 265.7 mph the Venom GT is the fastest production car available to the public.” Hennessey also suggested that his company was at a disadvantage because it only had a 2.9-mile runway over which to set its benchmarks, whereas the Veyron had the luxury of using Volkswagen Group AG’s private test track located near Ehra-Lessien, Germany which, at 5.9 miles, has one of the world’s longest straight sections of track. “Afforded the same distance to accelerate, the Venom GT would exceed 275 mph,” said Hennessey.

In February of 2013, the Venom GT officially became the quickest accelerating production vehicle in the world as it ran 0-300 km/h in 13.63 seconds, thus establishing a new Guinness World Record. The car also managed to go from 0-60 mph in 3.05 seconds and 0-100 mph in 5.88 seconds, and it ran the standing quarter-mile in 10.29 seconds at 158.83 mph.

Only 29 Venom GTs are scheduled to be built and each will cost their lucky owner $1.2 million plus shipping, not including options. Hennessey claims that the first 10 have already been sold.

Press release:

Hennessey® Venom GT® Sets New Top Speed Record

The World’s Quickest Production Vehicle Becomes The World’s Fastest Production Vehicle

SEALY, Texas – Hennessey Performance today announced that on February 9, 2013 its street-legal Venom GT accelerated to 265.7 mph(427.6 km/h) during testing, establishing the exotic hypercar as the world’s fastest production vehicle available for public purchase. The top speed run was accomplished over a distance of two miles using a full-production Venom GT. All testing was validated by (2) VBOX 3i GPS-based data logging systems and VBOX officials were on hand to certify the numbers.

“While a Veyron Super Sport did run 267.8 mph, Bugatti speed-limits its production vehicles to 258 mph,” said company founder and president, John Hennessey. “Thus, at 265.7 mph the Venom GT is the fastest production car available to the public.”

The Venom GT acceleration runs were conducted at the United States Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore in Central California using the seventh production Venom GT- a street-legal supercar that makes use of Michelin Pilot Super Sport DOT-approved radial tires, Brembo 4-wheel carbon ceramic disc brakes, and a full interior (replete with high-end stereo, air conditioning, and leather seats). NAS Lemoore was chosen for testing as is home to one of the longest paved runways in North America.

On hand during testing was Captain Eric “Snake” Venoma, Commanding Officer at NAS Lemoore, who was watching over the nearly 200 battle-ready fighter jets (including the largest concentration F/A-18 jets in the world) that were located nearby during the Venom GT top speed runs. In addition, TopGear US Editor, Pat Devereaux was present to witness the top speed testing as part of a story produced for the May 2013 issue of TopGear magazine.
“While the 2.9 mile long runway is more than enough acceleration distance for a F/A-18 fighter jet, it was far too short for the Venom GT to reach it’s true top speed,” said Hennessey Performance CEO, Don Goldman.

Designed to operate on premium unleaded pump fuel, the Venom GT is powered by a 7.0-liter (427 cubic inch) V-8 engine fed by twin Precision turbochargers that team to produce 1,244 horsepower and 1,155 lb-ft of torque at 19 psi (1.3 bar) of boost pressure. Weighing just 1,244 kg (2,743 lbs), the rear-wheel-drive Venom GT delivers a power-to-weight ratio of 1 horsepower per kilogram of vehicle weight.

In July 2010, a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (propelled by a 1,200 horsepower quad-turbo 16-cylinder engine) attained a speed of 267.8 mph- 2.1 mph faster than the Venom GT. However, the top speed was achieved using a state of tune that is not available to customers paying the $2.5 million dollar purchase price as a production Veyron SS is speed limited to 257.8 mph. Furthermore, the Veyron SS top speed testing was conducted over the 5.6 mile long straightaway that is part of Volkswagen Group AG’s private test track located near Ehra-Lessien, Germany. “Afforded the same distance to accelerate, the Venom GT would exceed 275 mph,” said John Hennessey.

In February of 2013, the Venom GT officially became the quickest accelerating production vehicle in the world as it ran 0-300 km/h in 13.63 seconds, thus establishing a new Guinness® WORLD RECORD- a record that was previously held by the Koenigsegg Agera R. While conducting the Guinness® World Record runs, despite marginal traction (due to three days of previous rainfall), the Venom GT accelerated from 0-60 mph in 3.05 seconds, 0-100 mph in 5.88 seconds, ran the standing quarter-mile in 10.29 seconds at 158.83 mph, and ran the standing half-mile in 15.22 seconds at 204.65 mph.

Although Guinness® only recognizes runs made in kilometers per hour (km/h), the Venom GT also set a new unofficial acceleration record of 0-200 miles per hour (mph) in 14.51 seconds as verified by VBOX data. The 0-200 mph record was previous held by the Koenigsegg Agera R that required 17.68 seconds time- 3.027 seconds slower than the Venom GT. By comparison, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (powered by a 1200 horsepower, quad-turbocharged, 8.0-liter, 16-cylinder engine channeling power through an all-wheel-drive system) ran 0-200 mph in 22.20 seconds during an AUTOCAR test- 7.69 seconds slower than the Venom GT.

Hennessey plans to only build a total of 29 Venom GTs, with one-third of the production run already being sold. Thus, the Venom GT is not only the quickest and fastest production car in the world, but it is also one of the most exclusive. The heavily carbon-fiber Venom GT costs $1.2 million (USD) plus shipping, not including options. Each vehicle is custom built to order and requires six months for completion.

About Hennessey Performance

Established in 1991, Hennessey Performance (HPE) now operates from a new facility comprised of a 36,000 square foot building that is located adjacent to Lonestar Motorsports Park, the company’s test track and IHRA sanctioned dragstrip. The 143-acre complex is located about 45 minutes west of Houston, Texas along Interstate 10. Hennessey offer a wide variety of dyno-proven, track-tested upgrades for modern performance vehicles. In addition, Hennessey operates Tuner School®, the world’s first (fully state accredited) technical school dedicated to teaching and training future performance vehicle tuners.




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About Roger Scoble

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