Ohio State University’s Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 has set a new world land speed record, reaching an average top speed of 341.4 miles per hour at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats track. The streamlined electric racer shattered the previous world record of 307.6 mph set by the Ohio State team in 2010.
At one point, the VBB-3 reached a top speed of 358 mph. However, certification by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the worldwide motorsports governing body, is based on the average speed of two runs, made in opposite directions within 60 minutes.
A group of 10 students at The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research, which has a 22-year history of electric racing, in partnership with Monaco-based EV manufacturer Venturi Automobiles, spent the last six years designing and building the record-setting car. It is propelled by two custom-built Venturi electric motors, and powered by over two megawatts of Li-ion batteries from A123 Systems.
The VBB-3 boasts significant advances in power electronic systems and automated transmission, said the team’s faculty advisor Giorgio Rizzoni. “The progress made this year is a very important step in the quest to reach the 400 miles per hour goal. The support of Venturi and of numerous other industry partners is recognition of this program’s value in producing the next generation of engineers.”
“The students taking part in this land speed project are incredibly motivated,” said staff team liaison David Cooke. “On top of full class schedules and homework, they often spend over 40 hours per week working on the vehicle.”
MORE (2014 Feature): The Buckeye Bullet: A student-built EV that’s racing towards 400 mph