Venturi has held the world speed record in the electric category for seven years: 549 km/h. The Monegasque manufacturer of high-performance electric vehicles, now active in lunar mobility, is taking the opportunity to look in the rearview mirror.

September 19, 2016, daybreak over the Bonneville Salt Lake, in Utah, in the west of the United States.

Under the watchful eye of FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) officials, the Venturi and Ohio State University teams are preparing to experience a historic moment. Once again, they set a world speed record by reaching 549 kph that day. Seven years ago, here, with the first version of their streamliner, an exceptional odyssey began. Indeed, from 2009 to 2016, and always on the same playing field, the different versions of the “VBB” (Venturi Buckeye Bullet) regularly beat their own records. In 2008, the President of Venturi, Gildo Pastor, meets the heads of the mechanical engineering department of O.S.U. (Ohio State University) because it wants to support the training of tomorrow’s engineers. Since he bought Venturi (in 2000), installed it in Monaco and entered it into an almost non-existent market, that of electric vehicles, he has been determined to demonstrate the efficiency of electric motors.

During this meeting at O.S.U., Gildo Pastor decided to strike hard: he suggested to the university that they design a “rocket on 4 wheels”. Objective: to bring about a paradigm shift among players in the global automotive industry. In 2009, the project came to fruition with the first machine in the series: the VBB-2. Special feature: the electricity needed to reach 487 kph that year comes from a hydrogen supply (fuel cell principle). From 2010 to 2016, the streamliner evolved. It will now be exclusively powered by batteries to progress from version to version and reach 549 kph in the final year. The pilot of the different VBBs remained unchanged throughout the program; this is the American Roger Schroer, member of the “300 mph Club” which brings together the 60 drivers in the world to have crossed the 300 mph (483 kph) barrier.

At the start of the 2023 school year, to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the latest record, Gildo Pastor is exhibiting at Venturi (7, rue du Gabian – Monaco, Fontvieille) the very first electric vehicle intended for speed records: the Jamais Contente. Designed, manufactured and piloted by the Belgian Camille Jenatzy, this torpedo on four wheels is the first electric vehicle in history to have crossed the 100 kph mark. On April 20, 1899 in Achères, France, the pilot took his terrible machine from 0 to 105.882 km/h in the space of 34 seconds, thus establishing a world record, all modes of propulsion combined (electric, steam or gasoline). ).

At the end of the exhibition, the vehicle will be returned to the National Car Museum at the Château de Compiègne (France). “With this record program, I have built a bridge between two generations. On the one hand, I paid tribute to the very first person to have worked in favour of the development of electric motorisation – Camille Jenatzy – and, on the other hand, I accompanied those who are her spiritual children – the students of Ohio State University – young people who represent the future of the automotive industry, said Gildo Pastor, President of Venturi.

“Given that Venturi’s domain now is lunar mobility, will the brand never again attempt speed records on Earth?”

“Never say never…” he answered.


PHOTO: Gildo Pastor with TSH Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, seven years ago in Utah