Hennessey Venom GT claims top speed title [Video]

The 1,244 horsepower Venom GT hit 270.49 mph during a record run at the Kennedy Space Center.

Hennessey Performance's Venom GT supercar has unofficially wrested the "world's fastest car” title away from the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, reaching a top speed of 270.49 mph.

The record run took place on February 14 at the Kennedy Space Center's 3.2-mile landing runway, with a Racelogic Vbox telemetry system used to confirm the speed. Driver Brian Smith said the Venom GT, which packs 1,244 horsepower and weighs only 2,743 lbs., likely could have topped out even higher had it not run out of road.

"It was still pulling,” Smith Smith said. "If we could run on an 8-mile oval we could go faster than that. On the very top end there was a little wandering but, hey, we're going 270 mph! The Venom GT didn't require any big corrections, and the Michelins held traction really well.”

Despite the impressive showing, the Venom GT's record run won't be making it into the history books - or at least not the Guinness Book of World Records. For a production car to be recognized as the world's fastest, Guinness requires two runs in opposite directions - with the average counted as the top speed. Additionally, at least 30 vehicles must be built for a model to qualify.

With NASA only permitting Hennessey one run - and just 29 units of the Venom GT scheduled for production - the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's 267.81 mph top speed will stand as the Guinness record.

The Venom GT was previously officially recognized by Guinness for the quickest acceleration from zero-to-300 km/h (about 186 mph), achieving that sprint in 13.63 seconds.

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