Venturi VBB-3 is Being Prepped for its Return to Bonneville Salt Flats
Venturi’s racing team is hoping to break the 307 mph land speed record set by the VBB-2.5by Robert Moore, on
Venturi partnered with Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research back in 2009 to create the Venturi Buckeye Bullet racing team. That year, the team pushed a hydrogen-powered vehicle to 303 mph, setting a new world land speed record. Talk about setting the bar, right? Well, the very next year, the team returned with the VBB-2.5, but this time, it was battery powered. It topped the record from the year before by hitting 307 mph.
For 2016, Venturi racing team is returning to the Bonneville Salt Flats with the VBB-3. It pumps out nearly 3,000 horsepower from a completely electric drivetrain and has been specifically designed to reach a maximum speed of 372 mph or better. Last year the VBB-3 had an average one-mile speed of just 240 mph due to unfavorable conditions, but this year the team is hoping to set another record and edge closer to that top speed.
In preparation, the electric steamliner has been disassembled and thoroughly examined. That means students at OSU have inspected roughly 3.5 miles worth of electrical wire and more than 2,000 battery cells, among other things. So, the real question here is, will the world’s most powerful electric car beat the 307 mph top speed achieved by the VBB-2.5? After last year, it is easy to be skeptical, but we’re waiting until the result comes in before passing any judgment.
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Why it matters
There is a lot more to the VBB-3 than just breaking land speed records. This car and the program around it gives young student engineers unparalleled, hands-on experience with electric drivetrain development. Furthermore, Venturi has its own Formula-e team, and all the research and development with the VBB-3 lends another side of development to Venturi’s Formula-e program. For me, the most interesting part is wondering what it’s like to actually drive the bullet-shaped speed demon on steroids. Then again, just image what it must be like to tear this thing apart, put it back together, and watch it shoot through the dessert on its way to more than 300 mph. Taking part in breaking the 300 mph barrier, and topping the 307 mph record must be an amazing feeling. I’m a little jealous of the few lucky enough to take part in the project.
Read our full review on the Venturi VBB-3 here.