Cars for awhile have been able to break the 200mph threshold. The latest Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 topped out at 202mph when they tested it in Italy. Even though 200mph is an absolutely ludicrous speed for a car to go, the race has continued to produce the fastest cars in the world. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, with over 1200hp, owned the record of 268mph. Now, the Hennessey Venom GT, an American-built hypercar, has broken that record with a top speed run of 270.49mph.
Hennessey Performance Engineering is a Texas-based company that modifies everyday cars and turns them into street monsters. The Venom GT, which is built from a Lotus Exige chassis, is their most ridiculous creation. Designed from the start to be the world’s fastest car, the Venom makes 1244hp and 1155lbs/ft of torque. Unlike other fast cars, like the Bugatti Veyron, the Venom GT is only rear-wheel drive and only available with a manual-transmission. Unlike the Veyron, the Venom GT is a stripped out performance vehicle that lacks the creature comforts of a daily-driven car.
Before the Venom GT took the crown, the Veyron Super Sport achieved its top speed of 267.81mph at Ehra-Lessien in Germany. That track is Volkswagen’s on purpose-built test track with a back straight that extends over five miles in length. The Veyron performed the test in both directions, solidifying itself as the fastest production car in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records. Watch the Veyron set its record below.
The Venom GT performed its testing at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on their main runway. Shorter in length, the Venom GT only had 3.22 miles to reach the top speed. The above video shows that the onboard GPS indicates that the Venom GT hit 270.49mph on that stretch of runway. Even though there is photographic and GPS-based proof of the vehicle’s top speed, Guinness will not certify the car as the fastest in the world. Guinness requires that for a top speed test to count, the vehicle must travel the route in both directions. Then, an average of the two speeds is computed and that becomes the record-setting top speed. NASA would not allow the Venom GT to make a second run. Additionally, Guinness defines a “production car” as a vehicle that has been produced at least thirty times. Hennessey only plans on building 29 of these vehicles.
It is not entirely fair to compare a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport to a Hennessey Venom GT because they are designed with two different philosophies. The Veyron is supposed to be a vehicle that can be driven everyday. It has air conditioning, comfortable seats, a luscious interior, and good driving manners. The Venom GT is designed as a purpose-built track car. Yes, it can be driven everyday, but you wouldn’t want to.
Whether or not it is officially in the Guinness Book of World Records, video proof of the Venom GT hitting that milestone is all the company is going after. According to an interview with Top Gear magazine, Hennessey does not plan any more top speed tests. With a change of the gearing in the transmission, they plan on attacking some lap records at racetracks around the globe. We would not be surprised that, with the weight of the Venom, that it will not have many issues dominating there either.