Hennessey Venom GT breaks Bugatti speed record, going 270 mph at Kennedy Space Center

What has the body of a Lotus Exige, a 7.0-liter twin turbo V8, and a world speed record? The Hennessy Venom GT.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen; a small Texas tuning company has just beat out the Bugatti Veyron – and all of VW’s money – with a record-setting 270.49 mph.

This stunning achievement took place, appropriately enough, at the Kennedy Space Center on a runway that was built for the Space Shuttle to land on. But even the 3.3 miles of Shuttle landing strip wasn’t enough to get the most out of the Venom GT. Astonishingly, the Venom GT was still accelerating when test driver Brian Smith ran out of track.

Meanwhile, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport managed 269.86 mph on the much larger Ehra-Lessien test track. Ehra-Lessien is an oval that boasts a 5.5-mile straight that ends in a nice safe banked turn. This stands in stark contrast to the Kennedy Space Center’s runway, which is lined by water-filled ditchs … and possibly gators. Brian Smith told The Daily Mail that he thinks that the Venom GT could actually manage another 5 to 10mph with a longer track.

Amazingly, the outright speed might not actually be the most impressive thing about the Venom GT. Consider for a moment the acceleration. The entire run from 0 to 270 mph took less than a minute and 120 to 220 took less than ten seconds. That’s faster than plenty of production cars can make it to 60. Just watching the video makes your eyes bleed. Or maybe it’s my pinkeye … either way.

All of this insane speed is possible because of the Venom GT’s unique design. To build it, Hennessey’s team took a Lotus Exige and heavily modified the chassis. They then completely replaced the suspension and installed an engine more than three times the size of the standard one. The Venom GT’s 7.0-liter V8 began its life at GM, before being turned into a Frankenstienien monster. Thanks to twin turbos, and what I can only image is cheetah blood coolant, the engine puts down 1,244 fire-breathing horsepower. When you consider that the car weighs just 2,800 pounds those acceleration figures start making a bit more sense.

Still, all this wasn’t good enough for the folks at Guinness. To qualify for the gold standard of world records you need to do a run in both directions, which Hennessey wasn’t allowed to do by NASA. Then you need to produce more than thirty cars. Hennessey has only made 11, and is only planning to build another 18. Still, when the Veyron SS set its records, neither direction was as fast as the speed set by the Venom GT.

What’s next for the Venom GT? Well apparently not more top speed tests, as Hennessey says it wants to focus on track times. I have no doubt that it will be a monster on the track, both in terms of times and because it will be trying its hardest to kill you. 

Cars

Race car or daily driver? Choose either with the 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche has expanded the Panamera lineup with a midrange, GTS-badged model. Part race car and part daily driver, it's the variant we've been waiting for since the current-generation Panamera arrived in 2017.
Cars

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).
Movies & TV

‘Venom’ devours the box office competition with monstrous second weekend

Sony Pictures anti-superhero movie Venom won the weekend box office for the second straight week, beating musical drama A Star is Born, as well as three new releases that made it into the weekend's top ten movies.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in October, from 'Mindhunter’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Shrimp eyes inspire new camera focused on helping self-driving cars see better

By mimicking the vision of mantis shrimp, researchers were able to make significant improvements on today’s commercial cameras. They hope their technology can help mitigate accidents by letting self-driving vehicles see more clearly.
Cars

‘Bloodhound’ rocket car needs a speedy cash injection to survive

The rocket-powered Bloodhound car has driven into difficulties, with the company behind the project needing a multi-million-dollar cash injection to save its dream of attempting a 1,000 mph land speed record.
Cars

Double your charging speed with Nomad’s Tesla Model 3 wireless charger

Nomad's wireless charger for the Tesla Model 3 fits the EV's charging dock exactly. If you plug both of the Nomad's into the Model 3's two front USB ports you can charge two smartphones quickly or one phone twice as fast.
Cars

Watch this 1,000-horsepower Jeep Trackhawk scorch supercars in the quarter mile

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is pretty quick out of the box, but Texas tuner Hennessey Performance Engineering never settles for stock. Its HPE1200 Trackhawk boasts over 1,000 horsepower.
Cars

Room to roam: The supersized X7 is unlike any BMW you’ve ever seen

The first-ever BMW X7 is the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image. Its supersized body has enough room for seven adult passengers and enough tech to impress even the most cutting-edge buyers.
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Cars

Google Maps now shows EV owners the way to the nearest charging station

Google Maps now lets electric-car owners find the nearest charging station with ease. It's also added data on the number and types of ports available, charging speeds, and notes on the business where the station is located.
Cars

Heads up, George Jetson: Terrafugia starts taking orders for its flying car

The Terrafugia Transition flying car will go on sale next year, roughly a decade after the first prototype rolled out of its hangar. Terrafugia promises improvements, including a hybrid powertrain, to make up for the long wait.
Cars

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.
Cars

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.