Tuesday, April 12, 2016

So long, Bugatti. The Hennessey Venom GT Spyder is now the world's fastest roadster

With a top speed of 408.84kph, the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse is the world's fastest roadster--at least until March 25 when the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder broke the record by doing 427.44kph at the Naval Air Station Lemoore in California with Ford Performance Racing School director Brian Smith behind the wheel.

The record-breaking run comes two years after the hardtop Hennessey Venom GT--also driven by Smith--obliterated the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's record as the fastest production car in the world by doing 435.3kph--4.23kph faster than the Veyron's record-setting sprint of 431.07kph.

What makes the run of the Venom GT Spyder even more special is that it was achieved minus the removable roof AND a six-speed manual transmission as opposed to the Veyron's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

"2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Hennessey Performance," said company founder John Hennessey. "I thought that this would be a special way to celebrate 25 years of making fast cars faster. I've wanted to test the top speed of our Venom GT Spyder, without the roof, ever since our coupe ran 270.4mph (435.3kph) on the Space Shuttle landing runway at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in 2014. This was a great way to validate the technical excellence of our car which includes high-speed stability with an open roof."

The Venom GT Spyder utilizes the same twin-turbo 7-liter V8 engine that produces 1,451hp @ 7,200rpm and 1,745Nm @ 4,200rpm as the hardtop version. To commemorate the record-setting event and the company's 25th anniversary, Hennessey Performance will offer a limited-edition run of three "World Record Edition" Venom GT Spyders at a cost of $1.3 million each "plus tax."

Now, the bone of contention here on which car is actually the fastest depends on the record-certifying organization you'll believe.

Guinness World Records certified the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's record since the organization was there with the German Technical Inspection Agency (TÜV), when the car established its 431.07kph top speed at the Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany in July 2010. Bugatti did a similar run at the same track for the Grand Sport Vitesse in 2013, only this time it was just the TÜV that was present and certified the record.

For the Venom GT Spyder though, Hennessey Performance tapped independent speed testing firm Racelogic, the manufacturer of the VBOX GPS data logging equipment and the same company that clocked the Venom GT's 435.3kph run in February 2014. Certifying the Venom GT Spyder's run were Racelogic technical director Jim Lau and Naval Air Station Lemoore Air Operations Officer Commander Darren Fouts.

Check out the Hennessey Performance Venom GT Spyder's 427.44kph run in the video below.

Photo from Hennessey Performance's Facebook page

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