Taking the automobile as we know it where it has never gone before, a team of British Formula One and aerospace experts called Bloodhound has put the final touches on a jet fighter-inspired supersonic car (SSC) that’s powered by a science fiction-esque hybrid drivetrain.
The SSC was developed in eight years with the input of over 350 companies and universities from all over the world. Propulsion is provided by a Rolls-Royce EJ200 engine borrowed from none other than the Eurofighter Typhoon — a combat fighter used by Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy, among other countries — and from a Nammo rocket fed by a supercharged Jaguar V8 engine.
The two power sources make 133,151 horsepower, a mind-boggling figure that represents seven times the combined output of every single Formula One car entered in the 2015 season. The SSC reaches 1,000 mph in an organ-displacing 55 seconds, and it can cover a mile in just 3.6 seconds. In other words, it’s capable of out-sprinting a bullet.
To keep this unbelievable amount of power in check, the SSC is fitted with three separate braking systems, seven fire extinguishers and 500 sensors. It rides on custom-designed and -built metal wheels that spin 170 times per second.
Unsurprisingly, the Bloodhound SSC looks like a jet fighter without wings. Its outer shell is crafted largely out of carbon fiber, and it’s fitted with a 78-inch-tall wing that ensures it remains stable even at supersonic speeds. The cockpit was designed by the driver, Andy Green, to ensure it’s as ergonomic and comfortable as possible. The primary instrumentation is digital, but the dashboard is also equipped with analog backups in case something goes wrong.
Next year, the Bloodhound team will travel to the Hakseen Pan in South Africa and attempt to reach 800 mph, 37 mph more than the current land speed record that was set by Green himself in 1997. The run will take place on a man-made, 12-mile-long race course located on a dry lake bed.
If a new record is set, Bloodhound will make further tweaks to the SSC and attempt to become the first team ever to break the 1,000-mph barrier in a car.