Venturi VBB-3 Becomes The World’s Fastest Electric Car
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.
Venturi VBB-3 is Being Prepped for its Return to Bonneville Salt Flats
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.
Continue reading for the full story.
The quest to set the first new electric vehicle land-speed record since 2010 is ongoing. The 2014 Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 hit a one-mile average speed of 240 mph, which was good enough for a new category record, but well short its estimated top speed of 373 mph.
The attempt took place at the Bonneville Salt Flats where conditions have been difficult for the last three years or so. The long-running SpeedWeeks event was cancelled this year due to heavy rains in July, which left standing water on the track. Conditions didn’t improve much in August for VBB-3 and driver Roger Schroer. "In eleven years here I have never driven on such a difficult track,” said Schroer in a press release. “The car was sliding on the surface from one side to the other due to soft spots and bumps."
Preparations at the track started on August 15th, with speed testing beginning a few days later. Poor conditions caused by flooding meant the track was shortened from 12 to 10 miles, but even the shorter distance was still wet and bumpy in places. Initial runs were hampered by severe vibrations, causing components to rattle loose and disrupt the drivetrain. Finally, during the last attempt on the 21st, the front cooling system tank was punctured, and the team decided to pack it in and try again another day.
The Venturi Buckeye Bullet is a joint project between Venturi Automobiles in Monaco and the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research (hence ‘Buckeye’ in the name). VBB-3 is the fourth electric streamliner built by the two partners, and is powered by two electric motors that produce a combined 3,000 horsepower, making it the most powerful electric car in the world.
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When it comes to the business of going fast, it seems like EVs are really starting to come into their own. Tesla just announced that its Model S sports sedan is now equipped with “Ludicrous” mode, which drops the 0-to-60 time to just 2.8 seconds. The fastest cars at Le Mans are all hybrids. At the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this year, an EV won outright for the first time in the event’s nearly century-old history. Now, it looks like the above-pictured lightning-bolt-on-wheels is ready to set a new world record in the realm of EV top speed.
It’s called the 2014 Venturi VBB-3 (Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3), and it’s a third-generation all-electric land speed record car built as a collaborative effort between Venturi Automobiles and the Ohio State Center for Automotive Research.
Piloting the VBB-3 will be Roger Schroer, test driver at the Transportation Research Center in Ohio and the current FIA world-title holder for EV land speed records. Back in 2010, Schroer set the current record of 308 mph behind the wheel of the VBB-2.5 (Schroer actually hit a top speed of 320 in one direction, but official FIA land speed record-setting practices state the speed must be achieved in back-to-back runs in opposite directions).
This time around, the team hopes to obliterate the old record, and its latest-gen racer should have the goods to do so. Output is rated at 3,000 horsepower, making it the most powerful electric car ever built. With that kind of muscle properly applied across the barren expanse of the Bonneville Salt Flats, the team hopes to reach 600 km/h, or 373 mph.
The VBB-3 will see a public unveiling at Bonneville during Speed Week, held between August 8th and 14th, with the official record-setting attempt scheduled between August 17th and 21st.
Update 07/23/2015: Unfortunately, this year’s Speed Week was cancelled due to weather conditions, so we won’t get to see the updated VBB-3 establish a new record so soon.
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Venturi Automobiles started its life as a Monegasque-based manufacturer founded by former Heuliez engineers Claude Piraud and Gerar Godfroy. The company’s initial purpose was to create a grand tourer capable of competing against Ferraris and Porsches. Although Venturi never achieved that goal, it did roll out a couple of exciting, mid-engined coupes powered by V-6 engines mated to Renault-sourced gearboxes. Its most notable creations are the 260 Atlantique, the 300 Atlantique, and the 400 GT. Following a brief venture into endurance racing, Venturi was aquired by Monegasque millionaire Gildo Pallanca Pastor, who decided the company should focus on building electric cars. The move spawned the Venturi Fetish, the world’s first two-seater electric sports car. The futuristic-looking Fetish preceded the Tesla Roadster by two years. The fetish was followed by a range of innovative concept cars, culminating with the America, a full-electric, two-seater, "all-road sports car."
Unlike its predecessors, the America is set to become a production model, with assembly to begin in 2015. Moreover, the "high-voltage buggy", as it’s described by its creator, is an unusual proposition to the EV market by combining sports car-like performance with the ride height of a crossover and the appearance of a buggy, cut-out doors and a T-top roof included. Read on to find out more about this out-of-the-ordinary electric car.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Venturi America.
At the end of March, Venturi dropped the first details on its intention to hit an amazing 435 mph (700 km/h) at the famed Salt Flats in Bonneville, Utah - also known as the world speed capital. Today the company has finally dropped the first details on the vehicle that will be used for this attempt: the third-generation "Venturi Jamais Contente", aka VBB-3.
The VBB-3 is fully electric and develops a total of 3,000 horsepower. Venturi’s first record was established in 2010 when the VBB-2.5 went up to a top speed of 495 km/h (307.58 mph). With the VBB-3, Venturi plans to go up to 600 km/h (372.82 mph) and, in 2014, it plans to hit 700 km/h (434.96 mph). The biggest surprise will be revealed in 2015, but that remains a secret for now.
The VBB-3 will make its first appearance at the Bonneville Salt Flats on August 10th through 16th of 2013 and the first record attempts will take place on September 12 and 18, 2013.
Updated 27/08/2015: The 3,000 horsepower VBB-3 didn’t catch a break at the Bonneville Salt Flats, but it did return to Utah a few days ago, managing to break the FIA land speed record for electric cars. The electric racer averaged 240.320 mph (386.757 kph) over a mile, until vibarations from the poor conditions of the salt runway forced it to retire from the run.
Continue reading to learn more about the land speed record car.
The Salt Flats in Bonneville, Utah is where many land-speed records have been captured. In August of 2014, a joint project by Venturi and the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research will attempt to hit an amazing 435 mph (700 km/h) at the famed salt flats. To make the attempt even more awe inspiring, they will be attempting this in an all-electric vehicle.
The vehicle that will try to break the record is the Venturi VBB-3. In order for it to accomplish this feat, Venturi and Ohio State are working on a monstrous 3,000-horsepower, all-electric motor that makes the Bugatti Veyron just look pedestrian in comparison. To help make the task a little easier, this massive motor is fitted in a sleek body that looks like it is only a set of wings away from asking for clearance to take off.
Venturi certainly knows a thing or two about EV top speed, as they currently hold the record of 307 mph (495 km/h) for an electric vehicle and this is their attempt to best themselves.
We’ll keep an eye on the progress of the Venturi, and let you know if they succeed in their task in August of 2014.
You can read Venturi’s full press release here.
The French manufacturer, Venturi, is well known for its small electric roadster called the Fetish, and now that electric vehicles are all the rage, they have decided that it would be a good time to bring out a new model. Of course, there’s no better time like the present, especially since the Paris Motor Show is hours away and will practically be all about electric cars anyway.
The Venturi America - although if you ask us the name makes no sense, we are talking about a model made by a French manufacturer making its debut in France - is a small electric car powered by an electric motor that delivers a total of 300 hp and 380 Nm of torque. The America can hit a top speed of 124 MPH (or 200 km/h) and, when traveling at a speed of no more than 90 km/h (55 mph), will offer an autonomy of 300 kilometers.
The new electric model is based on the 2006 Fetish and was designed under the leadership of designer Sacha Lakic. Like with the Fetish, America is also characterized by the intense use of carbon fiber.
More details are to be released after the official launch.
Back in 2009, the Venturi Buckeye Bullet broke the world speed record with a speed of 300 mph. Being the overachievers that they are, the students from Ohio State went back to the lab and came out with a speedier Bullet to attack Bonnevile Salt Flats, Utah for this year’s races. However, this time, OSU and Venturi have collaborated on this vehicle as a starting point for an all new car in 2011.
And, believe it or not, the Venturi Buckeye Bullet (AKA Venturi Jamais Contente) was caught clocking in an average of over 307mph over 0.62 miles in both directions. The Bullet officially recorded a top speed of 310mph. The Venturi Jamais Contente is powered by an 800 HP electric motor and lithium Ion batteries. Target is to hit a top speed of 320 mph.
Venturi’s President, Gildo Pallanca Pastor, says that this project is an important milestone in the history of automobiles : "From the Camille Jenatzi "Jamais Contente" to the "Venturi Jamais Contente", it has taken 111 years to go from 100 to 500 km/hr in an electric vehicle. It is thus with enormous satisfaction that Venturi has been able to demonstrate its technological progress in the field of electric propulsion by setting this historic record".
The Venturi will be back in Bonneville in 2011 and 2012 in an attempt to hit a top speed of 350 mph.
Press release after the jump.
Setting land speed records for an alternatively powered vehicle, the Venturi Buckeye Bullet, the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered high speed streamliner to break the 300 MPH mark. Nicknamed "La Jamais Contente", 750 HP was developed in partnership with the students at Ohio State University and pays tribute to the original record setting electric racer of the same name from back in 1899 when the antique automobile become the first vehicle to achieve 60 MPH. The project is part of a 3 year program with the University during which time the Streamliner will attempt to break a few other records for electrically propelled race cars as well as with the further development of innovations in driver safety, driveline, electronics and packaging for the high speed application.
After the team’s success back on September 25 with back to back 300 MPH passes down the mile long stretch of salt, the team’s efforts will continue on into the 2010 and 2011 land speed record seasons. To be exact, the Buckeye Bullet 2 currently holds both national and international land speed records of 315 MPH and 272 MPH as well as the honor of being the first zero emissions electric vehicle to run at over 300 MPH.
Just like the original "Jamais Contente," the Buckeye Bullet 2 shows that electricity is a very powerful fuel and with the right configuration shows that anything is possible. This is also a powerful push for future EVs like the upcoming Chevrolet Volt, demonstrating that electricity can be a functional fuel. The Team made up of Ohio State students and staff isn’t done yet, their next goal is to reach 350 MPH in the battery powered streamliner.
Full specifications after the jump.
After cars like the Citroen GT and the Nissan Nuvu, the Paris Auto Show is starting to look like its the place to present electric dream cars. Now in its second day, Venturi came with a new addition to the line-up: the Volage Concept, a two seater roadster that is looking to go into production in 2012.
This Volage is made completely of carbon fiber. Venturi says it "incorporates innovations which have enabled radical changes in terms of the vehicle’s architecture, style, dynamic behavior and, more generally, the design of a modern vehicle."
Volage features Michelin Active Wheel technology that incorporate four wheel motors with a maximum power of 73 hp per engine, or a total of 292 hp and a peak torque of 232 NM (4x58 NM). It makes the 0 to 50 mph sprint in less than 5 seconds.
Venturi unveiled the Fetish for the first time at the 2004 Paris Motor show. This year during Top Marques Monaco Venturi announced we will see the production version on the streets starting June 2009. Well, the price is quote spicy - about 297,000 euro (or $465,000).
The production version will have a maximum power of 300 hp and a peak torque of 280 lb-ft. The efficiency of the car has been improved with 92%, while the production version lost 30kg from the original prototype’s weight.
Fetish will make the 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.5 seconds and will hit a top speed of 160km/h.
Venturi, the famous French sport cars manufacturer and Citroen, announced that have joined forces in order to supply a small number of electric vehicles based on the Citroen Berlingo to the French Post Office.
The cars will be modified to fit the electric motor, battery and other EV components. According to the manufacturers the electric vans will be capable of travelling 100 kilometers without recharge, a good autonomy if we think that the vans will only be used in cities like Paris or Lyon.
Venturi launched the Venturi -an electric powered roadster with 240 Hp and 220 Nm- and the Eclectic - a solar-powered vehicle- concept cars last year at the Paris Motor Show. But the two models won’t just remain concepts; in the spring of 2008 both will go into production.
By presenting the first desirable electric vehicle at the 2004 Paris Motorshow, Venturi created on the one hand a new segment, that of the electric sports car, and on the other hand carried an extremely positive message for the future of the automobile, composed of high performance and driving pleasure.
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