Hennessey Performance decided it needed to do something spectacular to celebrate its 25th anniversary, so it went out and broke the top speed record for an open-top production car in its 1,451-horsepower supercar.
On March 25, 2016 the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder posted a top speed of 265.6 mph at California's Naval Air Station Lemoore. The speed was confirmed by Jim Lau, technical director at the independent speed-testing firm Racelogic and was witnessed by U.S. Navy Commander Darren Fouts, Air Operations Officer. Brian Smith drove the car to its record run.
ALSO SEE: Nissan sets drifting record with GT-R Nismo
The previous land speed record for an open-top car was 254.04 mph. It was achieved by the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse in 2013.
The current Venom GT made its debut during last year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. The car weighs just 2,743 pounds, much of it being a twin-turbocharged 7.0-liter V-8 that cranks out 1,451 hp, Hennessey has a more potent successor in the works that will likely end up doing battle with Bugatti's 1,480-hp Chiron. A rendering of that car is also shown in the video.
We're sure that Hennessey still has the 267.8-mph land speed record in its sights. That record was set by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in 2010. A less-powerful version of the closed-top Venom GT reached a verified top speed of 270.49 in 2014. Unfortunately, Hennessey was only allowed to make one run that day, so the speed wasn’t made official. The folks at Guinness, the semi-official keepers of such records, require two runs in the space of an hour, one in either direction.