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Video: Hennessey Venom GT now unofficial fastest production car

Mon, 24 Feb 2014

The Hennessey Venom GT hit its top speed of 270.49 mph last week at the Kennedy Space Center, edging out the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's previous 269.86 mph record. Hennessey and Bugatti have been battling for the top spot of "fastest production car in the world," and this time America came out on top.

Hennessey attempted a record run in 2013, reaching a top speed of 265.7 mph before running out of room on the 2.9-mile-long runway at the Naval Air Station in California.

The Venom GT came back with vengeance almost a year later, at the Kennedy Space Center's landing strip, determined to smash Bugatti's standing record. The Venom, powered by a 7.0-liter twin-turbo GM-sourced V8 engine accelerated from 20-120 mph in a mere 7.71 seconds. That's pulling a max 1.2 g of longitudinal acceleration.

Hennessey predictably faces some controversy over its record-breaking run: Since only .63 mph separates the records, variables such as different tracks, wind direction and speed as well as weather conditions could have a significant difference.

To that end, the Venom GT record will not be accepted by Guinness due to their strict rules and regulations. According to Guinness, in order for the Venom GT's run to be acceptable, it would have had to make a pass in both directions to compensate for the wind. John Hennessey went on record saying that it was not up to them: NASA simply would not let it happen.

Even if both runs had happened, Guinness also sets the lower limit for a "production car" at 30 units -- Hennessey has only made 29.

So what's next in the high-speed (not quite) production car battle? John Hennessey wants to see the 280 mph barrier broken. Let the games begin.

By Natalie Sejnost