The current land speed record stands at 763 mph, which was set back in 1997 by Brit Andy Green driving the jet-powered ThrustSSC. However, there’s a new race on to see who can beat that time, and this time challengers are hoping to crack a top speed of 1,000 mph.
So far, most of our coverage has centered on Andy Green’s latest endeavor, the Bloodhound SSC
, a rocket-powered car that’s already well into testing and has a targeted top speed of 1,050 mph.
However, as we first reported in 2009
, an Australian team is also hoping to set a new land speed record, and recently it unveiled its contender, the Aussie Invader 5R. The team is being led by Australian drag race legend Rosco McGlashan, 62, who has dreamed of setting a land speed record since he was 12, after he saw early daredevils racing across Australia's Lake Eyre dry salt lake in the early ‘60s.
Going by proposed specs, the Aussie Invader 5R is more powerful than the rival Bloodhound SSC and is claimed to be capable of accelerating almost three times as fast. In fact, McGlashan and his team claim the Aussie Invader 5R will need just 20 seconds to go from 0-1,000 mph thanks to its 62,000 pounds of thrust. By comparison, the Bloodhound SSC is expected to take 55 seconds to achieve the same speed.
The vehicle, which is estimated to cost $4.2 million just to build, features four individual thrusters and weighs almost seven tons without its liquid oxygen and kerosene-based biofuel. This weight is essential for keeping the vehicle grounded. In fact, it will ride on four solid aluminum wheels, which each weigh about 220 pounds.
In order to achieve the official world record, the vehicle must be able to reach the top speed twice within a one-hour window, with the average of the two speeds being used for the final result.
If all goes to plan, McGlashan hopes to start testing the Aussie Invader 5R next year and attempt to set the new record in 2014.