When you think about the fastest cars in the world, what comes to mind? If you’re imagining the Bugatti Chiron, Koenigsegg Agera RS or Hennessey Venom GT your dead wrong as The Telegraph reports an Opel Astra has been ticketed for traveling 696 km/h (432 mph) in a 50 km/h (31 mph) zone.
According to the paper, the Astra was clocked at nearly half the speed of sound in the small Belgian city of Quiévrain. The car was caught by speed cameras and the driver was promptly given a fine of €6,597 ($7,855) according to DriveTribe. That’s obviously pretty expensive but it’s not too bad considering the Astra only needed to go an additional 11 km/h (7 mph) to tie the record for being the fastest wheel-driven, piston-engined car.
Of course, the Astra isn’t exactly a Bloodhound SSC as the model can be equipped with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 100 PS (74 kW / 98 hp) and 130 Nm (95 lb-ft) of torque. There’s no word on what was powering the Astra in question but even if it was the Astra OPC Extreme, then its top speed would have been electronically-limited to 250 km/h (155 mph) which is nearly three times less than what the driver was ticketed at.
Unsurprisingly, the driver protested the ticket and authorities looked into the case. They discovered the driver was still speeding but only going around 60 km/h (37 mph) instead of nearly 700 km/h (435 mph). The driver is now off the hook for the original ticket but they’ll still need to pay a fine as they were traveling at least 10 km/h (6 mph) over the speed limit.
As for what caused the mix up? Reports suggest it was some sort of coding error in the speed camera’s software.