Move over Bugatti Veyron, there is a new speed demon in town!
A new supercar has stolen the fastest production model crown from the Italian manufacturer, after hitting a remarkable top speed of around 270 mph at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
No, it was not a model developed by NASA, but by American tuning house Hennessey Performance Engineering.
However, that’s not to say the car didn’t receive some of its inspiration from the American explorers of space.
Company founder and president John Hennessey said: “I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid. Neil Armstrong was my childhood hero. Even though the astronaut thing didn’t work out for me, I am humbled to have had the opportunity to conduct our testing on the hallowed grounds of the Kennedy Space Center.”
The previous record held by Bugatti was 269.86 mph and early reports suggest the Hennessey Venom GT hit 270.49 mph.
Valued at around £800,000, the model is powered by a twin-turbocharged seven-litre V8 engine and was driven by former racing driver and Michelin tyre test engineer Brian Smith. It delivers a staggering 1,244bhp and Mr Smith believes that he could potentially get another five to ten mph more out of the machine if he was given more space than the 3.22 miles long runway.
The car shot from 20 mph to 120 mph in 7.71 seconds and continued accelerating at 1mph per second even at speeds of 260 mph to 270 mph.
While the model has achieved this sensational top-speed, it will only be included in the Guinness World Record books once it has completed a second run – something that NASA has not yet allowed.
Speaking to Top Gear, Mr Hennessey said: “We wanted to run in both directions, but the NASA guys wouldn’t let us. Getting into NASA isn’t easy. It was a two-year process.”
“The morning was relatively calm, about a three mph quarter-crosswind. If we’d run in both directions, the result would have been pretty much the same,” he added.
For those looking to get their hands on a model, the cars take six months to complete and are built to order. Anyone who is lucky enough to find it sitting in their garage will be in good company, with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame reportedly having put in an order. At present, there are around 11 Venom GTs around the world.
It has already claimed two records, achieving the fastest 0-300 kmph speed in 13.63 seconds, and the fastest 0-200 mph speed in 14.51 seconds. However, it will have to wait until the world’s fastest production car record is officially confirmed by the powers that be.