Skip to main content

Bloodhound car nails a 210-mph test drive for the 1,000-mph land speed record

Bloodhound is Go – Newquay 2017
A supersonic car that’s aiming to one day hit eye-watering speeds of 1,000 mph reached 210 mph in its first public test run on Thursday, October 26.

The Bloodhound Super Sonic Car (SSC) hurtled down the runway of an airport in Newquay, southwest England, in front of a crowd of several thousand people.

Driven by Royal Air Force Wing Commander Andy Green, the car completed two successful runs along the 1.7-mile runway, pushing over the 200-mph mark in eight seconds.

It was powered along by a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine, normally found on a Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft. “This produced a peak thrust of 20,000 pounds (90 kilonewtons), equivalent to 54,000 thrust horsepower, or the combined output of 360 family cars,” according to the Bloodhound team.

To give the vehicle a chance of entering the record books, Bloodhound’s team of British Formula One and aerospace experts plans to attach a rocket motor that’s currently being developed by Scandinavian firm Nammo. The attempt could take place in 2020 in Hakskeen Pan — a vast, dried-out lake bed — in Northern Cape, South Africa.

If all goes to plan, the Bloodhound will reach a stomach-churning 1,000 mph, shattering the current land speed record set in 1997 that stands at 763.035 mph. The vehicle was the Thrust SSC and in the driving seat for that record-breaking run 20 years ago was the very same guy behind the wheel of the Bloodhound this week, Andy Green.

And don’t believe for a minute that Green simply sits there flooring the gas pedal and clenching his buttocks, though admittedly the latter may be more instinctive than deliberate. According to the commentators watching this week’s test run, he’s “managing things like brake pressures and brake temperatures, and as he brings the engine up, checking things like fuel flows … there will [also] be steering going on so even with a very slight crosswind he’ll have to correct the steering of the car as he goes down the runway. So there’s a huge amount of input and a huge amount of work.”

Following the Bloodhound’s latest outing, Green said, “The car is already working faster and better than we expected,” describing it as “responsive, stable, and above all, incredibly fast.” He added that although the Bloodhound had gone far slower on Wednesday than its target speed, the run had been “a proper workout for the vehicle.”

The Bloodhound project began in 2008, partly as an initiative to inspire children to take up STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The educational focus continues to play a big part in the team’s work as it makes steady progress toward its dream of securing that world record.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
The Tesla Model Y is far from my favorite EV, but I’m pretty close to buying one
Tesla Model Y One Millionth Car

I may finally be on my way toward buying my first EV. Sure, I've tested dozens of electric car models over the years, but despite that (or perhaps because of it), I have yet to buy one. But my family is growing, and my wife and I aren't so sure about carting our future kids around in an aging car that lacks the safety features of modern vehicles.

Because of the fact that we're expecting our kid in January, we have a bit of a deadline. So what are we leaning toward? Well, despite the fact that it's far from my favorite EV, we may actually end up just getting a Model Y.
Timing makes a difference
If the baby was coming along in a year's time, things might be completely different. There are a few reasons for that.

Read more
Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally kicks up some dirt
Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally driving on a dirt road.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV pushed the hallowed Mustang nameplate in a different direction, and it's doing that again with a new performance variant. Debuting in 2024, the Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally is designed for fun on both pavement and dirt.

Rallying is a form of motorsport where drivers compete to set the quickest time over a course — usually a closed road or trail — rather than a dedicated racetrack that includes a variety of surfaces like dirt, gravel, or even snow. Rallying has inspired some epic performance road cars over the years, including the Subaru WRX, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, and Ford's own Focus RS, but it's never really been associated with the Mustang.

Read more
BMW scraps its unpopular approach to heated seats
Driver's seat and dashboard of the 2023 BMW iX M60.

BMW caused much consternation last year when it launched a subscription-only option for heated car seats.

The idea of having to pay a monthly fee of $18 to keep your posterior warm during the winter months still seems as absurd as ever, but the good news is that the German automaker has now decided to scrap the fee. What particularly irked customers was that they felt they were being forced to cough up extra for functions that would previously have been expected as standard. The fiasco even prompted a community of hackers to offer their services to unlock the feature for those unwilling to pay extra for it.

Read more