Power and speed catapult VBB-3 to a top speed of 358 mph

Land speed records have been falling by the wayside at the Bonneville Salt Flats as another team has staked claim to an FIA world speed record. There’s a sense of familiarity with this team because it’s Venturi, the same outfit that has already broken the world EV speed record several times in the past. It did so in 2009 and again in 2010. Now it’s done it for the third time with the VBB-3 “Venturi Buckeye Bullet,” which hit a staggering average of 341 mph on its way to setting a ridiculous top speed of 358 mph at the Salt Flats.

To put things in perspective, the last time Venturi set the EV land speed record in 2010, it posted an average speed of 307 mph with the VBB-2.5. That was six years ago. The team, which is made up of a cooperation between the Monaco-based company and students from Ohio State University, had initially planned to use the VBB-3 as early as 2013, but those plans were scuttled by challenging weather conditions that prevented the team from making any clear runs. Even when the team got a chance to go for glory in 2015, it only managed to reach 240 mph, well short of its intended goal.

Speaking of that goal, its new FIA world speed record of 341 mph – average speed isn’t even the team’s real goal. It wants to hit 400 mph, which sounds ridiculous when you think about it but is actually within the sights of Venturi with the proper modifications placed on the carbon fiber-clad VBB-3. It’s hard to imagine a vehicle that already produces 3,000 horsepower and over 2,000 pound-feet of torque to pack even more power, but that’s the goal the team is striving for. Given how patient it was to wait three years before unleashing the VBB-3, there’s no stopping Venturi from achieving its goal of breaking the 400-mph barrier. When that’s going to be is the question.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Not resting on its laurels

First of all, big congratulations are in order towards Venturi and the students at Ohio State University for setting this FIA world speed record. It’s hard to imagine a car of any kind reach a top speed of 300 mph, but for the VBB-3 to easily blow past that on its way to an average speed of 341 mph on a flying mile speaks to the incredible work that the team has put into its record-setting run. Granted, having 3,000 horsepower and over 3,500 pounds of batteries helps in that regard, but none of those things should take away what driver Roger Schroer and the entire Venturi team accomplished.

Given how much time and effort was put into this attempt, including a three-year what for the perfect surface conditions, I’m not going to be the first one to scoff at the team’s attempt to break the 400-mph barrier. I can’t imagine anything with wheels going that fast but considering what Venturi just accomplished with this new FIA world speed record, I wouldn’t put it past the time to make a legitimate go at it.

I don’t know when that’s going to be or how many delays Venturi will face this time, but if it exercised the same amount of passion, patience, and determination that they showed in setting this new record, that benchmark speed could be broken sooner than later.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Press Release

The Venturi VBB-3 established two new FIA world speed records for an electric vehicle : 341.4 miles per hour (549.43kph)
The car also set a top speed record : 358 mph (576 kph)
The performance took place on the Bonneville salt flats (Utah, USA) under the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) regulation. Timing has been done on 1 mile ran in both directions at one hour intervals.

Five world speed records for Venturi and the OSU

With Roger Schroer (from the Transportation Research Center TRC, Ohio) behind the wheel, this is the 5th time in their history that Venturi reached with the Center For Automotive Research (The Ohio State University) this level of performance. In 2009 the Monaco powertrain manufacturer clinched the FIA world speed record for a fuel cell car (303mph/487kph). In 2010 the Venturi VBB-2.5 realized the FIA world speed record for an electric vehicle (307mph/495kph), and in 2014 and 2015 two new category records.
« I each time enjoyed driving the car and achieving this performance. But at those speeds you have to focus on your task not on your emotions. I know we can go further. This week the track was good. No main vehicle instability. Much better than the last days during tuning and testing. We always have to be patient and wait for the track to be ready.» said Roger.

Repeatedly postponed by weather

2016 result has been long to come. Built in the first half of 2013, this 3rd generation of Venturi VBB could have run in September 2013. Severe weather that hit Utah 3 years in a row led to the cancellation of record attempts.
« It’s a relief because we were waiting for this result for 3 years. Heavy rain and bad weather conditions on the Salt Flats prevented our success. VBB-3 is the most powerful electric car in the world (3000hp). We had to demonstrate that it was also the fastest. It’s done by breaking our own record achieved with the VBB-2.5 in 2010. It shows also that our partnership between students and a manufacturer can bring a lot in this new automotive industry in terms of research and development »
said Gildo Pallanca Pastor, Venturi’s owner.

Technological and educational project

For Venturi Automobiles the VBB program is a strategic approach and is a fantastic test for electric powertrain in harsh conditions and environments. This scope allows innovation in the fields of electric propulsion and energy efficiency one of the great challenges of the automotive industry. Each component of the vehicle was specifically studied, designed and built for that particular application that has no reference. For CAR it is an incomparable way to expose 25 young engineers to experience the realities of development applied to automotive technology and innovative methods of propulsion.
« For our group of students this program is an incredible way to apply the academic knowledge to real life. Moreover VBB is a unique application, a new world to discover at the forefront of the electric industry. It’s a real experience which interest the companies whom are going to hire our students. » David Cooke, team manager


Since 2000, VENTURI and its président Gildo Pallanca Pastor have been pursuing a sustained electric vehicle innovation policy. Venturi is a pioneer in electric sports cars and harnesses the most advanced technologies available that are just as relevant to urban vehicles as it is to very high performance cars. Venturi entered en 2013 the FIA Formulae championship that will open season 3 next October.


The Ohio State Center for Automotive Research (OSU CAR) is the preeminent research center in sustainable and safe mobility in the United States and an interdisciplinary research center in the College of Engineering. OSU CAR research focuses on: advanced electric propulsion and energy storage systems; advanced engines and alternative fuels for reduced fuel consumption and emissions; intelligent transportation and vehicular communication systems; autonomous vehicles; noise, vibrations, and dynamics; vehicle chassis systems; and vehicle and occupant safety. OSU CAR also provides facilities and support for five automotive undergraduate student project teams and focuses its mission on worldwide dissemination of technical knowledge for and with clients and partners.

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