King Hennessey Dethroned by a 284 MPH Koenigsegg Agera RS
Hennessey’s Speed Record of 270.49 MPH has Finally Been Beaten
We all heard about the Hennessey Venom F5 announced at SEMA just last week. More importantly, we heard about its alleged top speed of 301 mph. Since 2014, the Hennessey Venom GT has held the speed record at 270.49 mph, and the only thing stopping Hennessey from truly testing the Venom F5 was that nobody had challenged and beaten their speed record. Thanks to the Koenigsegg Agera RS, we have a new king.
No doubt you also heard about the Bugatti Chiron setting a 0-400-0 kph record only to be subtly demolished by Koenigsegg just a month after. Well, within days of John Hennessey unveiling his F5 and essentially saying he wouldn’t bother running it until someone beat his old record, Koenigsegg did exactly that.
The record in question is a bit fuzzy thanks to Guinness’ very specific standards. For starters, a production vehicle is defined as having more than 30 units produced, and since the Venom GT only produced 13 units, it can’t be called the fastest production car in the world. Second, the Venom GT didn’t do two runs and average the speeds, as NASA only allowed them one go on the runway at Kennedy Space Center.
The record in question, then, is the fastest speed recorded by a road car, which Hennessey definitely owned at 270.49 mph in 2014; a record which, until now, has stood unchallenged.
Koenigsegg partnered with the Nevada Department of Transportation on November 4th to shut down a particular stretch of Route 160 outside of Pahrump, Nevada, just west of Las Vegas, to provide themselves with a proper canvas of speed. The most important thing about running a speed record like this is location, as there are very few places in the world where something like this can be ‘safely’ attempted. Luckily, Koenigsegg found its venue not far from the SEMA show it was just at.
Koenigsegg Agera RS Sets Multiple Records
It was a very special day for Koenigsegg because they not only crushed Hennessey’s unofficial speed record, they also ground five others into a fine powder with their one-megawatt Agera RS:
- 2-Way Average Speed: 277.87 mph
- Previously held by the Bugatti Veyron Supersport at 267.86 mph
- 0-400-0 kph: 33.29 seconds
- Previously held by the exact same car at 36.44 seconds
- Flying Kilometer on a Public Road: 276.9 mph
- Previously held by the Mercedes-Benz W125 Rekordwagen at 268 mph in 1938
- Flying Mile on a Public Road: 276.36 mph
- Previously held by the Mercedes Benz W125 Rekordwagen at 268.74 mph
- Highest Speed Achieved on a Public Road: 284.55 mph
- Previously held by the Mercedes Benz W125 Rekordwagen at 268.87 mph
The funny thing about all this is that Koenigsegg had actually planned on allowing themselves 2 whole days to accomplish the tasks they set out to do, but actually managed to wrap things up before lunch on the first day. Also noteworthy, all five records were achieved using the same set of tires; tires that will likely now be cased up in a museum somewhere or sold off to the highest bidder. Who knows?
Koenigsegg took the liberty of documenting the event and providing a proper write-up of the day’s events. In it, they stress that this was not some super-secret top speed attempt, but rather one of the most publicly witnessed runs in history.
If you’re interested in the details, you should check out that Koenigsegg write-up, because it’s got all the information you could possibly want. What you came here for in the first place, however, resides just below: the onboard footage of the record attempt.
Unlike previous speed record attempts, the Agera RS (with the one-megawatt motor) did not give it the absolute beans right out of the gate, but rather, worked its way up to 190 mph smoothly before going all out. The reasoning here is that Koenigsegg did not want the engine to be unnecessarily stressed during the lower end of the run. Since they had the necessary space to get away with it, it looks very different compared to other high-speed runs we’ve seen in the past.
Without further ado, here is Koenigsegg’s VBOX verified footage of factory test driver Niklas Lilja setting the new precedent for modern hypercars. Enjoy.
If you’re interested in some of the behind the scenes insanity and what it was like to be a spectator of this event, YouTuber TheStradman was also on scene and provided his own take on the events of the day. He also does a good job of explaining some of the hubbub surrounding world record attempts and why this is such a big deal:
All Hail King Koenigsegg.