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Hennessey Venom GT cracks 435km/h

Eagle rocket: No road-car has produced a higher number on a speed counter than this piece of US muscle.

Giant-slaying Hennessey Venom GT beats out Bugatti and “could go faster”


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25 Feb 2014

BOUTIQUE American car-modifier Hennessey has taken the coveted series production car top-speed record with its Lotus Exige-based Venom GT, posting a V-max of 435km/h at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The new record surpasses the 431km/h achieved by the extreme Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

The two rivals are a study in contrasts: while the Veyron was developed at huge cost as a show-piece for parent company Volkswagen, the Venom was created by a small team in Texas.

Hennessey’s record pace only just pips the Veyron, but driver – and professional racer – Brian Smith said the 928kW, 7.0-litre V8 turbo-powered Venom “was still pulling” as it neared the end of the space-shuttle landing strip.

Independent time-keeping equipment manufacturer Racelogic was on-hand to record the top-speed attempt, and its GPS system indicated that the record-breaking car was still accelerating when the five kilometre runway ran out.

“If we could run on an eight-mile oval we could go faster than that,” said Mr Smith.

British car-maker Lotus provides the basis for the record-breaking car, which will reach 300km/h in just over 13 seconds – the same time it takes a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG to get to 200km/h.

To date only 15 of the flagship vehicles have been completed and only 29 will be produced - each one taking six months and costing anywhere between $660,000 and $1.2mThe duel between Hennessey and Bugatti has been raging for some time.

When the American maker first threatened the ‘standard’ 750kW Veyron, the VW Group clearly took notice: it was only a matter of months before the new 882kW Super Sport variant rolled out to retain its title.

The new record-holder will need to look over its proverbial shoulder at Swedish boutique car-maker Koenigsegg, which is poised to reveal the 1000kW One:1 (a name that refers to its 1:1 horsepower to kg rating) as early as the Geneva motor show in March.

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