How did Charles Parsons get away with it? He was a Peer of the Realm, in an era when only the House of Lords could try a peer. The story is that when the Admiralty sent some people over to his offices to chew him out, the Prussian naval attache was just leaving. The Admiralty then decided they had better make a deal rather than let the Prussian Navy get ahead.
Parsons was originally shooting for 45 knots or so. The turbines had the power, but they couldn't couple it into the water effectively. No reduction gears, so the props turned too fast. Turbinia had three prop shafts with three props on each shaft, trying to keep the load per prop under control. If they applied too much power, they just bored a hole in the water. That's cavitation.
Transmissions for turbine ships are a big problem. It's one of those things that gets little public attention and is really hard to get right. High-precision double helical gears work, but are hard to make, and were hard to make through WWII. There was a fad for turboelectric drive, like a Diesel-electric locomotive, in the 1920s. No need for reduction gears. That idea comes and goes; the Zumwalt class destroyers are turboelectric drive.
Lately, I've been wondering about hybrid electric turbochargers. The batteries would be a lot of extra weight, but it might make sense for hybrid cars that have the batteries anyways. Shouldn't that yield turbocharging with very high boost, but zero lag?
In the 80s French cars, 110 horsepower was "high performance" versions like the 205 GTI, which could definitely make some noise.
I can remember going as a kid, they had the engine fired up and let me shovel coal into the boiler.
faster than anything previously known?
This sparked my imagination because of the two ships called Viper and Cobra, classic sports car names.
The Corvette started as a smallish roadster sports car (similar to a modern Miata in footprint), but it's footprint has grown over the years. If you kept to the nautical theme, what would you call a baby Corvette?