The bumpy road endured by the Bloodhound supersonic car appears set to continue for some time yet, with the current owners behind the venture putting the project up for sale again. Citing difficulties raising funds in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the team is on the lookout for a new investor to take the reins and finance the team’s efforts to set a new land speed record in 2022.
The Bloodhound LSR project was rescued from the brink of bankruptcy at the end of 2018, following almost a decade of development that proved too costly to sustain. Conceived as the vehicle to smash the world land speed record and cross the 1,000-mph (1,600-km/h) threshold, the business was purchased by Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst and relaunched with a new headquarters in early 2019.
The vehicle went on to hit its fastest speeds during testing, including a run where it reached 628 mph (1011 km/h). But the company’s history has shown, developing the machinery capable of these kinds of speeds involves some exorbitant costs, and these have again proven too much to bear, with Warhurst putting the business up for sale following this milestone.
“When I committed to take the car high speed testing in 2019, I allocated enough funding to achieve this goal on the basis that alternative funding would then allow us to continue to the record attempts,” he says. “Along with many other things, the global pandemic wrecked this opportunity in 2020 which has left the project unfunded and delayed by a further 12 months. At this stage, in absence of further, immediate, funding, the only options remaining are to close down the programme or put the project up for sale to allow me to pass on the baton and allow the team to continue the project.”
The car now needs a Nammo monopropellant rocket installed in order to exceed speeds of 800 mph (1,287 km/h), something estimated to cost around £8 million (around US$11 million). If a new owner can be secured, the team working on the Bloodhound LSR car hope to make a 800-mph attempt in 2022.
Source: Bloodhound LSR