March 4, 2014
Top Speed Record Broken, But Not Allowed
The current speed record for a production vehicle was set by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport back on June 26, 2010 at 267.857 mph. But not without controversy. It seems that the Veyron deactivated the rev limiter to achieve this speed. With the limiter active, the top speed is actually 258.81.
Hennessey Performance made this claim in April 2013, and upon investigation Guinness World Records stripped the Veyron of its title.
They wrote, “It has come to the attention of Guinness World Records that there was an oversight in its adjudication of the ‘Fastest production car’ which was set in 2010 by the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. As the car’s speed limiter was deactivated, this modification was against the official guidelines. Consequently, the vehicle’s record set at 431.072 km/h [267.8 m.p.h.] is no longer valid. As we are now reviewing this category with expert external consultants there is no current record holder.”
In a flip-flop decision, Guinness recanted their findings and reinstated the record set by the Veyron.
They wrote, “Following a thorough review conducted with a number of external experts, Guinness World Records is pleased to announce the confirmation of Bugatti’s record of Fastest production car achieved by the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. The focus of the review was with respect to what may constitute a modification to a car’s standard specification. Having evaluated all the necessary information, Guinness World Records is now satisfied that a change to the speed limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car or its engine.”
With that said, Hennessey recently used a Venom GT on a landing strip at the Kennedy Space Center to set a new record of 270.49 mph, as noted in a Top Speed article. However, Guinness is at it again. They disallowed the record for two reasons.
According to Guinness, to qualify for a record, there has to be two runs; one down and one back. This is to take an average for achieving a top speed statistic. Why didn’t this happen? NASA only allows one run on their facility and they don’t allow traffic the opposite way on the runway.
Furthermore, even if Hennessey were able to make another run, the record would still not be allowed. Guinness requires a production vehicle to have 30 units produced. Hennessey plans to produce 29 Venom GTs. They only have 11 units currently; only plan 18 more and it takes six months to build one.
The 270.49 mph run done in early February is impressive, but if you watch the video, you will notice the speed is still increasing when the car has to slow down. I believe the Venom can achieve the 270.49 mark, if given a longer run.
To achieve this unbelievable feat, the Venom uses a 7.0-L twin-turbo V-8, sporting 1,244 hp and weighs only 2,800 lbs. Another amazing aspect of the run was it took less then a minute to reach 270 mph, and less then ten seconds to go from 120 to 220 mph.
Let’s just hope Guinness can find it in their hearts to allow this record, as they did with the Veyron.
Image Credit: TopSpeed.com / Hennessey