10 Fastest Cars in the World
There are many ways to measure automotive excellence, but top speed is the one everybody secretly cares about the most. Aldous Huxley was right about speed being the only truly modern sensation. He left out the part about how much fun it is.
These 10 cars are more than just fun, though, they’re the fastest production cars in the world. The emphasis here is on “production;” racers and one-off custom jobs need not apply. We also tried to limit the selections to cars whose claimed top speeds have been generally recognized as legitimate by the automotive media and sanctioning groups.
For now, though, these are the fastest cars that can legally sport a license plate.
1. Hennessey Venom GT
Hennessey recorded a 270.4-mph run at the Kennedy Space Center last year, but only in one direction. To be considered legitimate, record attempts usually require one run in each direction. An average is then taken to account for wind conditions.
2. Bugatti Chiron
Named for a famous centaur in Greek mythology, the Chiron is intended to improve upon the Veyron in every way. Hitting 261 mph using street legal settings, the 1500 hp Chiron is like a beast in chains. On the racetrack, Bugatti aims to break those chains as well as the current speed record (271 mph) held by the Hennessey Venom GT. For now, its top speed remains a mystery to the public. Although the Chiron is built like a racecar, one needn’t be a professional to operate it; the car is engineered to automatically adjust its machinery as the speed increases or decreases, ensuring optimal performance.
3. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
With a top speed of 268 mph recorded at Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessein test track, the Veyron Super Sport is still recognized as the world’s fastest production car by Guinness. The related Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse is also the world’s fastest open-topped car, with a top speed of 254 mph.
4. SSC Ultimate Aero
Shelby SuperCars (SSC) has nothing to do with Carroll Shelby of Cobra fame, but for a moment its Ultimate Aero was the fastest production car in the world. It hit 256 mph in 2007, beating the non-Super Sport version of the Veyron.
5. Koenigsegg CCR
Swedish supercar builder Koenigsegg briefly held the “world’s fastest” title before being bested by the original Bugatti Veyron. Its CCR reached 242 mph at Italy’s Nardo Ring in 2005.
Despite its impressive stats, the CCR’s moment in the spotlight was as brief as its claim on the world. It was soon supplanted by the CCX, and then by the current Agera. Koenigsegg says the Agera-based One:1 will top out at over 270 mph, but no one has tried it yet.
6. McLaren F1
The F1 is more than just a former world’s-fastest car. With its carbon-fiber body, gold-lined engine bay, 6.1-liter BMW M V12, and center driver’s seat, it just might be the coolest car ever made.
Years before it attempted to take on Ferrari and Porsche with the MP4-12C, McLaren was known only as a successful race team in Formula 1 and the defunct Can-Am series. Yet its first road car wasn’t exactly an amateur effort.
7. Aston Martin One-77
The One-77 is the most extreme road-going Aston ever, and the fastest. It may share a front-engined layout with “regular” Astons, but the One-77 is a completely different animal.
The One-77 proves that incredibly fast cars don’t have to focus solely on performance. Its character is almost as special as its 220 mph top speed and limited production run.
8. Jaguar XJ220
The original concept version featured a V12 engine and all-wheel drive, but the production model had to make due with a twin-turbocharged V6, and rear-wheel drive. Still, that was enough to get the XJ220 to 217 mph at Nardo, once engineers removed the rev limiter.
9. McLaren P1
McLaren’s successor to the F1 isn’t as fast, but it’s much more high tech. Its 903-hp hybrid powertrain seamlessly blends electric and turbocharged V8 power, making the P1 one of the most capable performance cars ever made.
10. Ferrari LaFerrari
The Ferrari matches the McLaren for top speed and cleverness. Its 6.3-liter V12 is joined to a hybrid system modeled on the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) used in Ferrari’s Formula One cars. Not only does the LaFerrari give its driver 950 hp to play with, it also provides the instantaneous response of electric motors to get things going.
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