Electric Corvette sets world speed record at 186mph

This perfectly ordinary-looking Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is a record breaker. Not because it hides some massive engine making thousands of horsepower. But because it’s an electric Corvette.

This Corvette is, in fact, the fastest road legal electric car in the world, having recorded a top speed of 186.8mph, exactly 300km/h. The run – on a runway in Florida used for Space Shuttle testing – was ratified by the International Mile Racing Association, making it an official world record. A standard Corvette Z06, incidentally, is only 12mph faster.

A one-off special built by a Finnish company previously held the record at 177mph.

The Corvette was built by Maryland-based Genovation Cars, who specialise in converting internal combustion-powered cars to electric power. The high-tech, high-power GXE system in the ‘Vette uses state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries, motors, inverters and battery management. Genovation quotes power figures “in excess of” 700bhp and 600lb/ft of torque.

Apparently, the GXE Corvette has a range of about 130 miles under normal conditions. Genovation hasn’t said how much power was left after the record run, but we suspect not much. The system has been packaged to give a low centre of gravity and near-50/50 weight distribution, so handling is probably not too far removed from a standard car. It certainly does donuts just as well.

It isn’t clear if the system used for the record will be made available to customers; we think it would a shame if it isn’t. Genovation boss Andrew Saul said: “We are thrilled that the result of our development testing led to the setting of this record.

“Based on our experience so far, we believe the car to be extremely robust as we set the record on our first day of testing. We fully expect the car to do a lot more.”

Currently, the Tesla Model S P90D is the fastest production electric car in the world, with a top speed limited to 155mph. We can’t help but wonder how fast it would go unrestricted…

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By Only Motors

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