What do you get if you strap a 7.0-liter twin turbo V8 engine to the light-weight body of a Lotus Exige? A new world speed record.
The Hennessey Venom GT has become the fastest car in the world, with TopGear.com revealing that the American speedster clocked 270.49mph on a 3.3 mile landing strip at the Kennedy Space Center on 14 February.
The feat is all the more impressive given Hennessey's humble origins: the creation of a small Texas-based tuning company, the £800,000, 1,244bhp Venom was able to edge ahead of the previous record of 269mph set by VW's Bugatti Veyron Super Sport - a car that costs in excess of £5 million to build.
The numbers produced by the Venom GT are beyond comprehension: 0-62mph takes 2.7 seconds, while 120-220mph takes under ten seconds. Test pilot Brian Smith who drove the record stretch told TopGear.com that the car was still accelerating during the run: "It was still pulling. If we could run on an eight-mile oval, we could go faster than that."
Hennessey have long considered their Venom GT to be the fastest production car in the world, but have struggle to prove it - they quite simply don't have access to an oval or air strip long enough to max out their machine. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport was able to set its record on VW's own 5.5 mile Ehra-Lessien track. It took Hennessey two years to get clearance to race on the NASA strip - and even then they weren't allowed to record a second run to become Guinness' official fastest production car.
Guinness also deem the Venom GT to fall short of another major qualifier for the coveted title - Hennessey are only making 29 models, one short to qualify as a 'production' car. So while the Venom GT is the world's fastest street-legal car, it won't be appearing in the big book of records just yet.
Check out the video of the run below to witness the insane speeds of the Venom GT.