Supercars are becoming increasingly more powerful as the Bugatti Chiron has a quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 engine that develops 1,479 hp (1,103 kW / 1,500 PS) and 1,180 lb-ft (1,600 Nm) of torque. Despite those impressive figures, the car is electronically limited to 261 mph (420 km/h).
That’s still incredibly fast but the Chiron’s predecessor, the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, was able to hit a top speed of 268 mph (431 km/h). That record stood for awhile but a Koenigsegg Agera RS recently topped it by averaging a speed of 277.87 mph (447.18 km/h).
As top speeds continue to increase, there’s a rush to become the first automaker to produce a production model that can hit a top speed of 300 mph (482.8 km/h). While the goal is largely symbolic, whoever hits that speed first would receive significant bragging rights and plenty of publicity which would drive sales.
Bloomberg recently published an article on the quest for the 300 mph (482.8 km/h) mark and they interviewed John Hennessey whose company, Hennessey Special Vehicles, claims its upcoming Venom F5 will be able to break that triple digit number. As he explained, “Achieving 300 mph (482.8 km/h) is the goal” and speed records are “important for our company, our family and our customers.”
Hennessey hasn’t released details specifications but production will be limited to 24 units the model is slated to use a twin-turbo V8 engine that produces more than 1,600 hp (1,193 kW / 1,622 PS). The Venom F5 will also weigh less than 3,000 lbs (1,360 kg) and have a drag coefficient of 0.33.
Of course, that’s all just talk at this point and Hennessey is just one of the many company facing a serious challenge in their quest to build the fastest production car – finding tires that can withstand speeds of 300 mph (482.8 km/h). Michelin is no stranger to high-performance tires, as they made the ones used by Bugatti and Koenigsegg, but they still haven’t developed a set that can withstand the extreme conditions of 300 mph (482.8 km/h) on a road-going model.
That problem could soon be solved as Michelin’s product manager for original equipment, Eric Schmedding, told the publication “We are knocking on the door of 300 mph (482.8 km/h).” That suggests the company is getting closer but isn’t quite there yet.