Land speed record attempt is a go after much-needed cash boost

In case you were unaware, the Bloodhound SSC is a British-made supersonic land speed record vehicle designed to reach a top speed of 1,000 mph. The project has been in development since 2008, but ran into financial problems recently that sidelined the vehicle’s construction. Luckily, it was just announced that Geely, China’s largest privately owned auto group, has stepped in to help the Bloodhound Project move forward with some much-needed monetary assistance.

Geely and the Bloodhound Project signed the new three-year deal back in August, making Geely the project’s primary automotive sponsor. In addition to contributing funds, the Chinese company has also pledged design and engineering support, additional chase vehicles, project promotion throughout Asia, and educational efforts in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in classrooms around the world. It’s the biggest deal in the Bloodhound Project’s history.

With Geely’s support now secured, the Bloodhound SSC will attempt to break the current land speed record with an 800-mph run in 2017. If all goes according to plan, the team will shoot for 1,000 mph in 2018.

Other project supporters include Rolls-Royce, Castrol, Rolex, Lockheed Martin, and Jaguar.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why It Matters

If this is the first you’ve heard of the Bloodhound Project, it’s worth checking out in detail.

First off, the vehicle pilot will be Andy Green, an RAF Wing Commander and the current land speed record holder. Back in 1997, out in the Nevada desert, Green managed to hit 763 mph in a vehicle called the Thrust SSC, becoming the first person to break the sound barrier on land.

Now, Green will take a shot at besting his record in the Bloodhound. But making the jump to 1,000 mph is no easy feat. To hit a number like that, you need power. Lots of power.

Just how much, you ask? Try roughly 135,000 ponies. That’s how much muscle the new car is packing thanks to its three power sources, which include a Rolls-Royce Eurojet EJ200 jet engine, a Nammo HTP rocket, and a Jaguar V-8 acting as the auxiliary power unit. Paired with lightweight carbon fiber and titanium construction, this thing is a literal rocket ship on wheels.

The record attempt will take place in Haskeen Pan, South Africa, on a custom-built track that’s 12 miles long and two miles wide.

Stay tuned to Top Speed as we follow this exciting story.

Read our full review of the 2014 Bloodhound SSC here.

Press Release

The BLOODHOUND Project today announced Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH) as its prime sponsor and Official Automotive Partner in a 3-year agreement. The leading Chinese automotive group will provide technical as well as financial support to the Project and promote its Inspirational Programme throughout Asia.

The deal, signed in August, is the largest in the history of the Project and means plans for challenging the World Land Speed Record in 2017 are now back on track.

Project BLOODHOUND is a British initiative with truly global reach. Followed in over 200 countries, its roadshows have toured Europe, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, India and China. The Model Rocket Car Challenge is now rolling out across 5,500 UK schools and 10 countries while the UK’s Great Campaign, an official partner to the Project, uses BLOODHOUND to promote UK skills worldwide.

ZGH is the largest privately owned Chinese Auto Group and has grown rapidly over the last few decades. The parent company to Geely Auto, ZGH, also owns Volvo Car Group and London Taxi Company. Geely Auto has four international research and design centres, employs close to 10,000 engineers worldwide and has also established universities, further education colleges and technology schools across China.

Geely joins a distinguished roster of international organisations supporting the Engineering Adventure including Rolls-Royce, Castrol, Rolex, Parker Hannifin, Atlas Copco, STP, Lockheed Martin, Nammo, Thyssen Krupp and Otto Fuchs. Jaguar continues in its role as technical partner to the Project and its V8 engine will remain the Auxiliary Power Unit used to power the oxidiser pump for the BLOODHOUND’s hybrid rocket.

The partnership will see Geely Auto technology being used within BLOODHOUND SSC; Geely Group vehicles being used in South Africa throughout record campaigns; design and engineering support being provided, where required, to help the Project achieve its goals; promotion of BLOODHOUND across Asia and the team’s STEM inspiration programme rolled out across China.

BLOODHOUND Project Director, Richard Noble, said

“We could not have a better partner than Geely: not only are they an international technology company with tremendous vision and capability, they share our passion for innovation and education. Their support, both technical and financial, means we can now plan next year’s record-breaking challenge with confidence. It also means we can take our STEM inspiration message to a vast new audience, which is great for science and engineering but also for promoting Great Britain.”

Li Shufu, Chairman, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said

“We are proud and excited to be part of this extraordinary team. Geely shares the same challenging spirit and passion for pushing technological barriers as the BLOODHOUND Project.

“Since day one we have been committed to breaking technology barriers at Geely and working with Project BLOODHOUND will help further our mutual technology breakthrough to an international audience. It also means we can tell millions of young people, in China and around the world, about the opportunities presented by studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. That is what makes this ‘Engineering Adventure’ so special and why we wanted to be part of it.”

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: