Venturi Buckeye Bullet-3 (VBB-3) is an all-electric, four wheel drive, land speed record (LSR) car that has been designed to exceed 400 mph (643.7 km/h). The organizations involved in this project are:
- Venturi Automobiles:
This Monaco-based company is a leader in the field of high performance electric vehicles. Read more at the Venturi website at the following link:
- Ohio State University (OSU) Center for Automotive Research (CAR):
OSU’s CAR has been engaged in all-electric LSR development and testing since 2000. On 3 October 2004 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, the original nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery-powered Buckeye Bullet reached a top speed of 321.834 mph (517.942 km/h).
In an on-going program known as Mission 01, started in 2009, OSU partnered with Venturi to develop, test, and conduct the land speed record runs of the hydrogen fuel cell-powered VBB-2, the battery-powered VBB-2.5, and the more powerful battery-powered VBB-3. Read more at the OSU / CAR website at following link:
The Venturi – OSU team’s accomplishments to date are:
- 2009: The team’s first world land speed record was achieved on the Bonneville Salt Flats with hydrogen fuel cell-powered VBB-2 at 303 mph (487 km/h).
- 2010: The team returned to the salt flats with the 700 hp lithium-ion battery powered VBB-2.5 which set another world record at 307 mph (495 km/h); with a top speed at 320 mph (515 km/h).
- 2013: The 3,000 hp lithium iron phosphate battery-powered VBB-3 was unveiled. Due to the flooding of the Bonneville Salt Flats, the FIA and the organizers of the world speed records program cancelled the 2013 competition.
- 2014: Poor track conditions at Bonneville persisted after flooding from a summer storm. Abbreviated test runs by VBB-3 yielded a world record in its category (electric vehicle over 3.5 metric tons) with an average speed of 212 mph (341 km/h) and a top speed of 270 mph (435 km/h).
- 2015: Poor track conditions at Bonneville persisted after flooding from a summer storm. Abbreviated test runs by VBB-3 yielded a world record in its category (electric vehicle over 3.5 metric tons) with an average speed of 212 mph (341 km/h) and a top speed of 270 mph (435 km/h).
You will find a comparison of the VBB-2, VBB-2.5 and VBB-3 vehicles at the following link:
VBB-3 has a 37.2 ft. (11.35 meter) long, slender, space frame chassis that houses eight battery packs with a total of 2,000 cells, two 1,500 hp AC induction motors developed by Venturi for driving the front and rear wheels, a coolant system for the power electronics, disc brakes and a braking parachute, and a small cockpit for the driver. The basic internal arrangement of these components in the VBB-3 chassis is shown in the following diagram.
You can see a short video of a test drive of VBB-3 without its external skin at the following link:
The exterior aerodynamic carbon fiber shell was designed with the aid of the OSU Supercomputer Center to minimize vehicle drag and lift.
The completed VBB-3 with members of the project team is shown below.
A good video showing the 2010 VBB-2.5 record run and a 2014 test run of VBB-3 is at the following link:
VBB-3 currently is being prepared in the OSU / CAR workshop in Columbus, Ohio, for another attempt at the land speed record in summer 2016. A team of about 25 engineers and students are planning to be at the Bonneville Salt Flats in summer 2016 with the goal of surpassing 372 mph (600 km/h).
You can subscribe to Venturi new releases on VBB-3 at the following link:
Update 2 January 2017: VBB-3 sets new EV land speed record
On 19 September 2016, VBB-3 set an electric vehicle (Category A Group VIII Class 8) land-speed record of 341.4 mph (549 kph), during a two-way run within one hour on the Bonneville salt flats in Utah. You can read the OSU announcement at the following link:
You also can watch a short video of VBB-3’s record run at the following link:
Certification of this EV speed record by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) is still pending.
The Venturi-OSU team believes VBB-3 has the capability to achieve 435 mph (700 kph) in the right conditions, so we can expect more record attempts in the future.