The Hennessey Venom GT hit 270.49mph at the Kennedy Space Center on February 14th, thus becoming the fastest production car in the world by beating the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's previous record of 269.86 mph.
Bugatti and Hennessey has been fighting for the crown for quite some time now, and while this round goes to America, we all know car makers will only stop when people's heads are starting to explode. After all, the game has been on since 1894.
The Venom GT managed to reach 265.7 mph (427.6 km/h) before running out of room on the 2.9 mile long runway at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California back on February 9th, 2013. This is how that went:
Almost exactly a year later, they tried their luck at the Kennedy Space Central's landing strip and according to Top Gear, the resulting numbers were astonishing:
According to the official VBox figures, the Venom - powered by a 7.0-litre twin-turbo GM-sourced V8 - accelerated from 20mph to 120mph in just 7.71 seconds, pulling a maximum 1.2g of longitudinal acceleration as it went.
Perhaps even more impressive, the Venom went from 120mph to 220mph in a fraction under ten seconds. That's extraordinary acceleration, even for a car that holds the 0-200mph record. Achieving the final 10mph took just ten seconds.
270.49 mph. Impressive, but I know what you're thinking. The gap between the Veyron SS and the Venom GT is just 0.63 mph. That can easily be the result of the different tracks, not to mention the weather.
Therefore, the Venom's record is not accepted by Guinness either since to qualify for an official record, you have to do a run in both directions to compensate for the wind. But according to John Hennessey, it wasn't up to them:
We wanted to run in both directions, but the NASA guys wouldn't let us. Getting into NASA isn't easy. It was a two-year process.
The morning was relatively calm, about a 3mph quarter-crosswind. If we'd run in both directions, the result would have been pretty much the same.
Fair enough, but even that wouldn't be enough. Guinness set the limit for production cars at 30 units and Hennessey only builds 29 Venom GTs, with 11 delivered already. No big deal, Hennessey doesn't compete with the Veyron anyway:
They're completely different cars. We aim not just to be the most powerful, but also the lightest. That thing [the Veyron] is a Bentley GT, a comfortable car.
Having said that, there's a reason why they can't prove the car's capabilities at the Ehra-Lessien oval, and that reason is Volkswagen. John Hennessey believes that since the Venom was still accelerating at the rate of 1 mph/second in the end, they could go even further. 280 mph is the next barrier to break.
Meanwhile, the Texans will carry on by testing different gearing and aim for track records, including the most prestigious one at the Top Gear Test Track at Dunsfold Airfield.
Mercedes-Benz had no comment.
The full story about the Venom GT will appear in the May issue of Top Gear Magazine, but while waiting, buy yourself one of the last Veyrons since we all want to see what they could come up for the next showdown.