British engineers have unveiled plans for the world’s first 1,000mph car, a muscular streak of gunmetal and orange designed not to break the world land speed record but to shatter it.
Bloodhound SSC, named after the British cold war supersonic air defence missiles, will attempt to beat the existing record by more than 250mph.
The £12m car is to be announced today by Lord Drayson, the science minister. Working from an aircraft hangar in Bristol, the team’s engineers have been working on the project in secret for the past 18 months. Calculations suggest the car could reach 1,050mph, fast enough to outrun a bullet from a .357 Magnum revolver.
The car was proposed by Drayson, a racing car enthusiast, as a project to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers, who are in desperately short supply in UK. The Bloodhound team plans to have the car built within a year, with the record attempt expected in three years.
The project brings together mathematician and fighter pilot Andy Green, who set the current land speed record of 763mph with Thrust SSC in 1997, and Richard Noble, who directed that attempt. The car will be the first to meld a jet engine for a Eurofighter Typhoon with a rocket booster. Together they will produce 20,000kg (45,000lb) of thrust.