The Bloodhound Land Speed Record team on Friday released a video showing that its streamliner can accelerate from 0-628 mph in 50.1 seconds.
The video compares the Bloodhound car’s acceleration to a Formula One car, a Bugatti Chiron, and a generic road car, though it starts about 4.0 seconds into the run and not a standstill. Nevertheless, the results show just how different the Bloodhound is to most other cars.
The jet-powered Bloodhound takes a long time to get up to speed. It does 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds, according to the team. That’s nowhere near quick enough to keep up with the F1 car and Chiron.
But the Bloodhound can keep accelerating long after those cars have reached their top speeds. The car reached 628 mph in a 2019 test. The team hopes to become the first to push a car past 1,000 mph, breaking the world record for a steerable car in the process. The current record of 763 mph was set by British fighter pilot Andy Green in 1997. Green will also drive Bloodhound for its record attempt.
Bloodhound admitted to applying some “poetic license” to the comparison, as it had no hard data on traction for the other cars on the desert surface where the LSR car is tested. The team reckons traction at the testing site–located in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert–is about one third of pavement. Traction isn’t an issue for the Bloodhound because its wheels are not driven.
The car is propelled by the thrust of a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine taken from a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter plane. The jet takes a long time to spool up, which is why the car is so slow off the line, according to Bloodhound.
The jet produces 20,000 pounds of thrust, equivalent to 54,000 horsepower. But Bloodhound will also use a monopropellant rocket from Norwegian firm Nammo to get up to 1,000 mph.
Obstacles to reaching that goal have been more than just technical. After nearly falling apart in 2018 due to lack of funds, the project is now on hiatus since the Covid-19 coronavirus has put a stop to all funding. As a result, Bloodhound has officially called off a record attempt originally scheduled for 2021 and is waiting for the pandemic to end before making any further plans.