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Can You Build A Potato Gun That's Faster Than A Viper?

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One question has plagued man for ages: What's faster, a Jeep, a Viper, or a Potato? It seemed like nobody would ever get an answer. Well, with a little help from the boys over at Gizmodo's brand new TV show, we have been able to answer that age old question once and for all for you, the people.


Last week we took a little roadstrip to SxSW with the brand new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT as well as the 2013 SRT Viper GTS. We called the trip SRTxSW, because we're clever like that.

On the road from Houston to Austin we got a chance to stop off at John Hennessey's shop. He was also kind enough to let us take some runs down his shop-adjacent dragstrip. I've done a good bit of running around the twisties in my life, but never drag raced before, so I was learning all day. I botched the launch a number of times and got scarily sideways every so often... it was a hoot.


I eventually got the Viper down to a time of 12.12 at 125.56 MPH on the quarter mile with a steady headwind, a partially sprayed track, and the less-grippy tires. It can definitely go faster.

But instead of just drag racing a car and a truck all day, which has been done quite a few times before, we decided to throw in a little bit of a twist. The Viper is crazy fast and the Grand Cherokee SRT is easy fast. We know that. What we didn't know is if they were faster than a carbohydrate bazooka.


The boys at Hennessey like to have some fun, so they've built an array of potato guns over the last year. Their two newest guns need to be seen to be believed. The Hennessey Venom gun is built from spare catalytic converters off a Ford Raptor that's mounted to the trailer hitch on a Raptor.

Damn it's cool.

The other gun can fire potatoes so far it's ridiculous. Like, "onto the highway from the shop" far. We're not saying the wind picked up a potato and launched it onto the feeder road. We're also not saying it didn't happen.


So they fire far, but how fast are they? Can they beat a 640 horsepower Viper and 470 horsepower SRT Grand Cherokee down the drag strip? Does the Jeep's all-wheel drive launch give it the advantage?

Take a look at the video above to find out and watch the trailer for Joel's new show Gizmodo: The Gadget Testers, which premieres after Top Gear on BBC America this March 18th at 10:20 PM (EST). There will be a lot of cool shit like this.