It's hard to think of another manufacturer that has changed so drastically over the past 30 years as Venturi. Back at the 1984 Paris show, the Ventury (as was) arrived with a 120hp Golf GTI engine and Peugeot 205 suspension. Through the 80s and 90s we had stuff like the Venturi 200 and the pretty Atlantique, then that was pulled. The Fetish electric roadster of the early 2000s was a prescient concept but fiendishly expensive at £370,000.
However, Venturi has continued to plough ahead with EV development. And the best way to signal some intent? Well, a world record seems like a good place to start.
The VBB-3 project has been ticking along for quite a while now, developed in conjunction with Ohio State University. It's now been officially unveiled at Wendover Airfield in Utah by Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco. We can't imagine they would find themselves in Utah otherwise.
The 3,000hp, 2,065lb ft VBB-3 is aiming for the overall EV world speed record. We recently covered Lord Drayson's charge to a 204mph average in his 850hp B12 69/EV LMP car, which claimed the title for the FIA sub-1,000kg class. The 4.5-tonne VBB-3 finds itself in a very different category.
Venturi appears to have stolen a march on rivals for the overall record, and is targeting 600km/h (372mph). However, poor weather has thwarted any attempts thus far so it will probably be later in 2013 now. Venturi claims a top speed in excess of 400mph. Wonder what the range is like?