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Bugatti Veyron who? British brand Keating claims 340 mph from its Bolt supercar

Keating Supercars TKR
With a face that only a mother could love, the Keating Bolt is set to break the production car land speed record. Image used with permission by copyright holder

The world’s fastest production car is the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. It uses 1,200 horsepower to go 267.8 mph. What kind of monster could beat the Bug’s record by nearly 72 mph?

Keating Supercars think it has just such a monster. Called the Bolt, Keating says it will do 340 mph – 85.96 mph faster than the Bugatti Veyron’s 254.04 mph record-setting top speed.

Never heard of Keating? That’s not surprising: the British brand has only built three previous models — the SKR, TKR (pictured above), and ZKR — since starting up in 2006. Of those three models, only 15 cars have been built in total.

The newest Keating features a 7.0-liter LS7 V8, which is mounted in the middle of the chassis and drives the rear wheels through a six-speed transaxle. The “base” version of the Bolt has 640 hp, but buyers can upgrade to an 840 hp version that will do 0-60 mph in 2.0 seconds, according to Keating.

Keating is reportedly set to offer both a 750-hp upercharged version and two twin-turbocharged versions with 1,000 hp and 2,500 hp respectively.

The Bolt is not only massively powerful but also lightweight. An aluminum space frame chassis and “carbon/Kevlar” body panels keep the curb weight to about 2,645 pounds.

If we’re honest, that lightweight bodywork hasn’t been fashioned into the most attractive shape, though. To us it actually looks like a Chinese Saleen S7 knock off with a bit of Noble M12 thrown in.

Not surprisingly, company founder Dr. Anthony Keating has a much higher opinion  of his namesake car’s bodylines.

“There are some XJ220 influences in the car,” Keating told Autocar. “We went to see the Jaguar when it was launched. That’s where my passion for all things automotive came from.” We’ll refrain from comparing the Keating creation to Jaguar’s epic 1990s supercar for now.

The Bolt looks like it could be very fast, but can it really reach 340 mph?

Actually, no. The stock Bolt most likely won’t go that fast – or even fast enough to challenge the Veyron Super Sport. For that, you’ll need the tuned version Keating is cooking up.

A modified Bolt will make a speed record run in October, although Keating did not say how it would differ from production cars. If it has that optional 2,500 hp engine, it should be good on the horsepower front.

Keating reportedly took one its TKRs to 260.1 mph at the El Mirage dry lake bed in California. It was powered by a 1,750 hp twin-turbocharged engine supplied by Nelson Racing Engines, the same company that built the SSC Tuatara’s 7.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8.

So, is the Bolt for real?

Small supercar companies crop up all the time, usually with lofty goals and kit car build quality. Still, that doesn’t rule out Keating; no one had heard of SSC before its Ultimate Aero broke the world production car speed record.

Beating the Veyron doesn’t seem too unrealistic, but Keating’s goal of 340 mph does. To think that a small company could beat the mighty Volkswagen Group by such a large margin is utterly mind boggling…and laughable.

Keating’s use of a modified car could also disqualify it from any official recognition. The Guinness Book of World Records briefly took back the Veyron’s crown when it found out that Bugatti had removed the speed governor, which was technically a change from production-spec.

Well, at least the Bolt has the right name for a record-breaking supercar.

Do you think the Bolt has what it takes? Tell us in the comments.

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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