25/02/2014 13:45 | By Sean Carson, contributor, MSN Cars

Hennessey Venom GT sets new 270mph world speed record

Twin-turbo V8 Venom GT takes Bugatti Veyron’s crown at Kennedy Space Center

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The Hennessey Venom GT has set a new world speed record for a two-seat sports car, hitting an official top speed of 270.49mph.

Carried out on the 3.2-mile Space Shuttle landing strip at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, the Venom GT eclipsed the former fastest car in the world’s record, the 267.86mph Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

On Bing: see pictures of the Hennessey Venom GT
Hennessey Venom GT reaches 265.7mph top speed

It’s not the first time the Lotus Exige-based sports car has tried to take the French marque’s crown, with previous tests getting oh-so-close to beating the Bugatti.

This time, however, it managed to achieve its maximum velocity, needing just 2.4 miles to do so, and some pretty powerful Brembo carbon ceramic brakes to then slow it down.

Experienced race driver and former Michelin tyre tester Brian Smith was in the hot seat for the speed record:

"Even at 270mph it was still pulling. If we could run an eight-mile oval we could go faster than that. On the very top end there was a little wandering but, hey, we’re going 270mph!

"The Venom GT didn’t require any big correction, and the Michelins held traction really well."

Hennessey Venom GT world speed record (© Hennessey)

What engine powers the Hennessey Venom GT?

Looking like a stretched Exige, the extra length in the wheelbase was necessary to accommodate a massive engine, potent enough to push the Venom GT all the way to 270mph.

The car uses a Chevrolet-sourced 7.0-litre V8, twin-turbocharged by Hennessey to produce a crazy 1,244hp.

In fact, the Hennessey only weighs 1,244kg, which means this car has a power to weight ratio of 1,000hp per tonne. To put that into perspective, the Veyron Super Sport only musters 636hp per tonne.

It’s not just the peak velocity that’s impressive, either. Analysing the numbers from the Venom GT’s record-breaking run shows some incredible statistics.

The Hennessey is also the world’s fastest car from 0-300kmh (186mph), taking just 13.6 seconds, as well as holding the record for the 0-200mph, er, dash. That officially takes 14.5.

Even past the double tonne, the car’s performance isn’t any less astonishing. It took Smith just 10.1 seconds to accelerate between 260 and 270mph – given the drag and aerodynamic forces involved, that’s incredible.

Hennessey Performance chief executive officer Don Goldman on the company’s achievement:

"I knew the car had it in it, but it’s a thrill to officially validate the Venom GT’s 270mph speed. Venturing anywhere above 200mph – let alone 270 – is not to be taken lightly, and we’re elated to have accomplished our goal."

Although the Hennessey has eclipsed the Veyron, the certificate pictured is only authoried by VBox - the company that makes the timing equipment used to measure the Venom GT's run.

To become official, it's thought the Guinness World Records team will have to officially time the Hennessey to get an average speed over two runs. However, if the Venom GT has done it once, we don't see any reason it can't do it again.

On Bing: see pictures of the Hennessey Venom GT
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