Exclusive extract: speed demons

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Speed demons


The ultrafast cars that are smashing records and rewriting the rule books


Humans have an innate desire to go fast. Hundreds of years ago, when we were limited to galloping atop horses, we wouldn’t have even dared to dream that we could move as quickly as we can today. But thanks to a surge in our understanding of engineering and mechanics over the past two centuries, we can now cross a kilometre in a matter of seconds. At the very front of today’s pack of speed demons are the cars that we’ll cover in this feature, all of which are the product of years of innovative ideas, imaginative designs and meticulous construction.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about these superfast cars is how tightly bound they are to our current technological prowess. As put so eloquently by Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief at Guinness World Records: “Speed records mirror our technological evolution. We are evolving all the time and becoming technologically more advanced. And that story is the story of speed.”

This is a theme that’s been embraced by the Bloodhound SSC team (who we’ll learn more of a little later), as they are using their land speed record attempt to engage children in the practical applications of science and engineering. Throughout the world of car design we are seeing the newest technological endeavours being utilised. Machine learning, a powerful and popular methodology of artificial intelligence, for example, is set to make an impact during this season’s F1 when it helps teams to decipher data collection during tests and races.

So let’s take a look at the incredible vehicles that give us a glimpse into the wider world of our best current technology. But look quickly, because they’re moving fast!




Extract from Speed demons by James Horton. Featured in How It Works 111.

To read the full article, pick up a copy of issue 111 today. How It Works is available from all good newsagents, at My Favourite Magazines, or via the How It Works app on the App Store or Google Play.