Venturi Buckeye Bullet high-speed electric vehicleEnlarge Photo
French automaker Venturi used to be known for its distinctive supercars, often turbocharged to give the humble mechanicals a lot more potency. More recently, it's supplied speed with a different kind of power: Electricity. And while many will recall its 'Fetish' electric sports car, it's the maker's electric land speed record attempts that will really hit the headlines.
Together with the Ohio State University, Venturi aims to take its VBB-3 battery-electric land speed car to Bonneville, where it hopes to break 700 km/h (434 mph). According to Drive.com.au, the VBB-3 uses a 2,230 kilowatt electric motor--that's 2,990 horsepower, in old money.
The man tasked with taming all this power is Ohio-based test driver Roger Schroer. Together with Venturi, Schroer already holds the electric land speed record in the team's last car, VBB-2. Back in August 2010, Schroer and VBB-2 screamed across the Bonneville salt flats at a verified 307.7 mph, breaking the previous record of 245.5 mph.
However, Venturi isn't the only team aiming to break the electric record.
This year, another famous name is taking to the salt--Bluebird. Don Wales, grandson of land speed legend Malcolm Campbell, is aiming to take Bluebird electric to a staggering 500 mph or more. While not up to the speeds of jet and rocket propulsion just yet, it's a statement of intent for electric cars--often derided as slow and unexciting.