The convertible sector has been dominated by European models in recent years, so it comes as a big surprise (and with a bit of patriotic pride) that Texas’s own Hennessey Performance just broke the world speed record for convertible sports cars.
To commemorate the tuner company’s 25th anniversary, a Hennessey Venom GT Spyder convertible clocked a blistering 265.6-mph run on March 25 at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California. It was a couple of miles short of the Venom GT coupe’s top speed of 270 mph, but was enough to overtake the previous 254.04 mph record for convertibles set by the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse in 2013.
While Guinness has yet to weigh in, Hennessey said the historic run was confirmed by speed testing firm Racelogic. And given that the Bugatti’s run at the Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany was certified by the German Technical Inspection and Certification Association, it was an “apples to apples” comparison, Hennessey told Autoblog.
To reach such record-breaking speeds, Henessey fitted the Spyder with a twin-turbo 7.0L V8 pumping out 1,459 horsepower and 1287 lb.-ft. of torque on a lightweight, modified Lotus Elise chassis. The company announced it will build 3 World Record Edition Venom GT Spyder to commemorate the recent accomplishment, with each one having a price tag of $1.3 million plus tax.
“We are grateful to have the help of so many friends, family, employees, customers and partners over the past 25 years”, company founder John Hennessey said in a press release posted on its website on April 11.
The latest run is another milestone for Hennessy in the record books. In 2014, the coupe version of the Venom GT reached 270.49 mph at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, beating its previous record of 265.7 mph at Lemoore in 2013.
No word yet on how Bugatti is going to retake the crown, but based on insider reports that the upcoming Bugatti Chiron hardtop may reach speeds of up to 288 mph, its inevitable convertible revamp may be a serious contender for the top spot soon.