Venturi's third-generation battery-powered record chaser will be the fastest and most powerful electric car yet built, says the Ohio Transportation Centre test driver who will be in the hot seat when the Venturi VBB-3 makes its public debut at Bonneville Speed Week in Utah from 10-16 August, before making two attempts on the official FIA world speed record for electric vehicles on 12 and 18 September.
Roger Schroer already holds the current record of 495km/h, set in 2010 in the Venturi VBB-2.5; this time, he says, he's aiming at 600km/h, to be followed by 700km/h in 2014 before pushing the limits still further in 2015.
The 2200kW VBB-3, nicknamed Jamais Contente (Never Satisfied) after the battery car in which Belgian Camille Jenatzy became the first driver to break the 100km/h barrier on 29 April 1899, is a joint venture between Venturi Automobiles and the Ohio State Centre for Automotive Research.
According to Venturi boss Gildo Pallanca Pastor, the only way to get more power out of an electric battery is to make it more energy-efficient, “and that's one of the greatest challenges facing not only the automobile industry, but society in general”.
“The VBB-3 is a fantastic test bed for electric power-trains under extreme conditions and environments.”
Centre director Giorgio Rizzoni agreed: “This programme presents our students with a unique experience to extend their engineering education.
“It's the culmination of 20 years of electric-car racing at Ohio State University - we don't know of any other programme that has pursued electric motorsports continuously for two decades - and now Venturi has brought us the opportunity to take on the ultimate challenge in electric racing.”