There are lots of different ways to measure automotive superiority, but a car’s top speed is something everybody understands. From historic cars that hit 300 mph+ back in the late 1930s to recent hypercars that make 200 mph look easy, this list has them all.
The top echelon of supercars continues to get faster and records tumble as a result. Each year we see cars get new high-tech materials, more powerful engines, added hybrid powertrains and sleeker shapes – all designed to smash top speed records.
It is not uncommon for regular sports cars to crack 200 mph these days, speeds only a handful of supercars could crack just 15 years ago. While 200mph seems easy these days, cars that top 250+ mph need brute force and incredible engineering on another level.
Powered by a massive 44.5 liter Daimler-Benz DB 603 inverted V12, a derivative of the famous DB-601 aircraft engine which powered the lethal Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter in production at the time. The DB-603 fitted was just the third prototype (V3) engine of this variant and tuned up to an amazing 3,000 hp. Learn more about the 1939 DAIMLER-BENZ T80.
One:1 is named after its capability to produce 1 megawatt of power from a single car – it is the first homologated production car in the world with one Megawatt of power. The hp-to-kg curb weight ratio is an astonishing 1:1. The One:1 truly raised the performance bar. Learn more about the Koenigsegg One:1.
The Venom set the world record for production cars in February of 2014 when Brian Smith drove a Venom to 270.49 mph (435.31 km/h) on the Kennedy Space Center space shuttle landing runway. Learn more about the Hennessey Venom GT.
The SSC engineering team made some big changes to their 2009 car. They added 15% more horsepower, a revamped front fascia design and an SSC-designed, 1-piece billet aluminum engine block. With 1287 horsepower under the hood, it is no surprise this beast hit a 270 mph top speed. Learn more about the 2009 SSC Ultimate Aero.
Transverse, Supercharged, all aluminum, 7.0 Liter (427 cubic inch), port fuel injected, 16 valve high-performance V8 engine, with dual air to air intercoolers and twin sequential flow, side mounted radiators. The Aerospace engineered body of the Vector A-WX8 is constructed of ultra-light Carbon fiber/E-Glass structural body panels. Learn more about the 2008 Vector Avtech WX-8 HPV.
In the late 1980s GM positioned to raise the performance pedigree of Oldsmobile with the Aerotech program. Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt set a course record of 257.123 mph (413.788 km/h) on 27 August 1987 at the Fort Stockton test track. The outright top speed of the car was 267.88 mph (431.10 km/h). Learn about the Oldsmobile Aerotech ST.
On a beautiful sunny day the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport achieved a new landspeed world record for production cars, on the proving grounds of the Volkswagen Group at Ehra-Lessien. The car has a 1,200-hp (882 kW) powerplant and slippery shape designed for insanely fast speeds. With a limited top speed of 415 km/h (to protect the tyres) it needs a lot of road to enjoy. Learn about the 2010 Bugatti 16/4 Veyron Super Sport.
Running with 900 bhp a copy of the achieved 260 mph in the California Salt Lake Flats. The top speed contender was powered by a twin-turbocharged 427 V8 that could produce 1000 bhp at max boost. Learn more about the 2006 Keating TKR.
Shelby Supercars (SSC), manufacturer of the ultra high-performance Ultimate Aero Twin Turbo, set the new ‘World’s Fastest Production Car’ record (at the time) with an average top speed of 255.83 mph. Ultimate Aero posted a top speed of 257.11 mph on its first pass and 254.55 mph on its return pass, yielding a new top speed record: a staggering 255.83 mph. Learn about the 2007 SSC Ultimate Aero TT and read the forum conversations.
The GT9 got incrementally better every year and with the 2009 model, the guys cracked the magic 250+ mph top speed goal. With updated styling, 1120 bhp and a top speed of 414 kph we can confidently say the 2009 GT9-R is their best supercar.
11. 2011 9ff GT9-R
Top Speed: 257.09 mph
The GT9 got incrementally better every year and with the 2009 model, the guys cracked the magic 250+ mph top speed goal. With updated styling, 1120 bhp and a top speed of 414 kph we can confidently say the 2011 GT9-R is their best supercar.
12. 2008 9ff GT9-R Prototype
Top Speed: 257 mph
The GT9 got incrementally better every year and with the 2009 model, the guys cracked the magic 250+ mph top speed goal. With updated styling, 1120 bhp and a top speed of 414 kph we can confidently say 2008 9ff GT9-R Prototype is their best supercar.
Hennessey says that the Venom 1000 Coupe is the fastest and most powerful limited-edition street car in the world. Only 24 will be built for the 2006 production year. The Coupe doubles the stock horsepower rating of the Viper to bring the figure up to 1000 bhp! It is quick. Learn more about the 2005 Hennessey SRT-10 Viper Venom 1000 Coupe.
Using lightweight composite materials (car weighs 1326 kg) and nearly 1,000 hp the GT9 accelerates to 300 km/h in 17.6 seconds (0.6 seconds faster than a Veyron) on it’s way to a top speed of 255 mph. Learn about the 2007 9ff GT9.
The Callaway Sledgehammer Corvette reached 254.76 mph at the Transportation Research Center (TRC) in Ohio and became the world’s fastest street-legal car for some time. By turbocharging its LT5 engine it managed 898 bhp (in 1988!!!). Learn about the Callaway Sledgehammer Corvette.
The Trevita features a Koenigsegg proprietary glittering silvery white carbon composite fabric. Apart from the unique composite material and the partially painted wheels it has the specification as the Special Edition CCXR. That means it still retains the 1018 bhp twin turbo V8 that drags this beast to a top speed of 254 mph.
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse has set the world speed record for open-top production sports cars at the Volkswagen Group’s proving grounds in Ehra-Lessien where TÜV, the renowned independent German organisation for Technical Inspection and Certification, has officially confirmed that a top speed of 408.84 km/h (254.04 mph) was achieved. The Vitesse was driven by the Chinese racing driver Anthony Liu. Learn about the Bugatti 16/4 Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse WRC Edition.
It is weird to give Mansory credit here, but technically they’re a manufacturer so the rules say that’s ok. Mansory basically that a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 and modified it. The Vivere received a comprehensive facelift at the front, consisting of modified wings, a shortened bonnet and a striking front apron. Luckily they left the Quad Turbocharged W16 engine alone so power is the same as the “standard” Veyron at 1000+ hp. Learn about the 2014 Mansory Vivere.
This unique version of a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport is the world’s first motor car to wear the finest porcelain on its body, as well as in its cabin. It captivates with an abstract exterior design. The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport “L’Or Blanc” presented in Berlin, is a one-of-a-kind creation. Learn about the 2011 Bugatti 16/4 Veyron ‘L’Or Blanc’.
Officially unveiled to the public in January 1995 at the Detroit Auto Show, the GT90 is features a mid engine quad-turbocharged V12 that produces an estimated 720 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque. As a result, it had a claimed top speed of 253 mph. We’re not sure it was ever tested in the real world. Learn about the 1995 Ford GT90 Concept.
After years of applause, celebration, doubt, then ridicule, the first production Bugatti Veyron has hit the road as the fastest available supercar. A pre-production car achieved a two-way average speed of 252.95mph at parent company Volkswagen’s Ehra Lessien test track in Germany. The Veyron destroyed records. It was the fastest accelerating (0-60 in 2.46 seconds), most consuming (5.82 mpg), most expensive (1,440,800 USD) and quickest (253 mph) production car available and it did so in dramatic fashion. An icon. Learn about the 2006 Bugatti 16/4 Veyron.
With the Bugatti EB 16.4 Veyron Pur Sang the company is continuing a tradition that produced icons like the T57 SC Atlantic and the numerous versions of the T41 Royale. All told, 1,888 kilogrammes of net weight stand in contrast to performance of 1,000 hp. This results in a power / weight ratio of 1.88 kg/hp (4.15 lbs./hp) an excellent relationship that also positions the 400 km/h fast EB 16.4 Veyron Pur Sang beyond everything previously known. Learn about the 2007 Bugatti 16/4 Veyron Pur Sang.
In partnership with Hermès, designer Gabriele Pezzini married the distinctive Hermès style to the legendary Bugatti Veyron 16.4, magnifying the car’s personality. The 16-cylinder “W” configuration engine is largely unchanged, still fed by four turbochargers and featuring 64 valves with over 1000 hp. The engine draws on its 8-litre displacement to deliver a maximum torque of 1250 Newton-metres between 2200 and 5500 rpm and a top speed of 253 mph. Learn about the 2008 Bugatti 16/4 Veyron Fbg par Hermès.
In Summer 2008, as a response to customer requests, Bugatti introduced a new model – the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, a roadster with a unique, removable roof. The world’s most exclusive car combines the ultimate in performance with the pleasure of open-top driving. The result is a 250+ mph wind in your hair experience that I am sure owners will remember for a long time. Learn about the 2009 Bugatti 16/4 Veyron Grand Sport.
Bugatti presented a special model to pay homage to the year of the dragon. The one off Grand Sport model “Wei Long 2012” was developed together with the Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur Berlin and has been fitted with dragon relief sculpt. Learn about the 2012 Bugatti 16/4 Veyron Grand Sport ‘Wei Long 2012’.
French artist Bernar Venet has been invited by Bugatti, legendary supercar-maker, to create a work of art that combines the artist’s vision and passions with Bugatti’s celebrated Grand Sport. In his 2012 artistic adaptation and exploration of the Grand Sport Bernar Venet has combined image and object to highlight the fascination with this model’s absolute beauty and speed. His work unites a conceptual approach and sculptural craft on equal footing. Learn about the 2012 Bugatti 16/4 Veyron Venet.
Many of you know the two limited editions from Bugatti for their Veyron: the Pure Sang and the Hermes Edition. We found out that the exclusive Veyron has another limited edition now, dedicated to the Bugatti Atlantique 57S: the Veyron Sang Noir. The vehicle features re-designed front grille, a black background for the headlights, side mirrors featuring same colour as the front grille, an entire black-painted body, an astonishing interior and custom alloy wheels featuring also black colour. Learn about the 2008 Bugatti 16/4 Veyron Sang Noir.
Of the companies that have produced a 962 road car, the most successful has been Dauer (it is all Porsche components). Dauer partnered with Porsche to manufacture a contender for the 1994 24 Hours of LeMans (the rules stipulated that a single road-going version of the car had to manufactured for homologation). At the 24 hour race, Dauer showed up with both a road version and race version of the Porsches 962 (a design which had already won Le Mans six times). After winning the race, the FIA declared it would be creating rules to make sure the 962 wouldn’t be back in 1995. However, with a Le Mans win under their belt, and with support from Porsche, Dauer continued to build their road-going 962. Learn about the 1994 Dauer 962 Le Mans.
Now, with help from Volkswagen & 10 years after producing their last vehicle, bugatti have announced they will produce the 16/4 in 2003. The newest supercar is aptly named after its’ innovative engine design. The new W16, is basically two v8’s grafted at the base 90 degrees to one another. This design allows for a compact 16 cylinder design-4 rows of 4 cylinders. For additional power, 4 exhaust turbochargers have been added. Learn about the 2001 Bugatti 16/4 Veyron Concept.
Koenigsegg released an upgraded version of their fastest car called the CCXR Special Edition. The most obvious change is a contoured rear wing which is permanently fixed. This was probably motivated by Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson who requested a larger wing to steady the car during its second visit at the show. Beyond the wing, only detail changes such as uncovered headlights, color-coded carbon fiber and new suede seats are fitted. Learn about the 2007 Koenigsegg CCXR Edition.
The AWX-3 coupe was little more than a slightly updated rebodied W8, and could be considered Wiegert’s dream car.Wiegert planned for the AWX-3 to go in production, but Megatech hostilely took over Vector and fired Wiegert. At high boost levels it is capable of developing 1,200 hp. From the block to all of the internals, like every Vector of Weigert’s, it was built with the highest quality components available. Learn about the 1992 Vector WX3 Concept.
Weber Sportcars from Tobel, Switzerland are dreaming big with their latest mock-up revealed at the 2007 Top Marques Monaco show. What they have in mind is a 250 mph, carbon fiber supercar that is shaped largely by aerodynamics. After nine months of computer-aided design, they were able to make a full size model of what the final shape might look like. Included is an active rear wing that changes in angle for both acceleration and braking. Power for the car comes from a 7.0l supercharged V8 that will churn out 950 bhp to the rear wheels. Learn about the 2007 Weber Sportscar.
The first Aero SC/8T was painted Burnt Copper Pearl. This prototype pulled in a 3.1 second zero-to-sixty time at the Firebird raceway in March of 2004. Later it was sold at the 2008 Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction for $189,200 USD. In the auction description they described the car as “First of 2 Shelby Super Car Aero prototypes ever made.” Learn about the 2004 SSC Aero SC/8T Prototype.
Created for and by Lotec owner Kurt Lotterschmid, this car was made for top speed and could reach a theoretical 400 kph, but the tires limit the amount to 380 kph. Horsepower is variable dependent on turbo boost. On .85 bar boost the engine produces 1,000 hp @ 6300 & 1000 NM @ 3400. Both figures go up to 1300 with 1.2 bar boost. This massive amount of power is aided by the twin KKK turbochargers. Learn about the 2001 Lotec Sirius.
The spectacular quad-turbo, V-12 powered, mid-engine Chrysler ME Four-Twelve super car has roared onto the scene to shine as the most advanced Chrysler ever built. The heart of the ME Four-Twelve is its all-aluminum, quad-turbo, 6.0-liter V-12 engine. Learn about the 2004 Chrysler ME Four-Twelve Concept.
Jurgen Alzen Motorsport, long-time partner of H&R in the long-distance championship on the Nurburgring, engine tuner RS Tuning and H&R have jointly developed a sports car based on the Porsche 997. It is destined to win the Blue Ribbon for the world’s fastest street-legal sports car next year, with a top speed of more than 250 mph (400 km/h). Learn about the 2006 Jurgen Alzen Motorsport Mission 400 Plus.
The evocative shape of the streamlined Typ C must have caused a sensation in 1937. This Auto Union was specially shaped for top speed on the Avus circuit near Berlin. The Avus circuit’s simple layout was extended to include a high speed 43° banked turn made from brick. This launched right onto the main straight, letting cars reach nearly 248.40 mph (400 kph). Learn about the 1937 Auto Union Typ C Stromlinie.
The environmentally friendly supercar? Maybe. Koenigsegg has managed to create the Bio Fuel Powered CCXR – environmentally friendly 1200 hp with even more spectacular performance than the standard CCX. Learn about the 2007 Koenigsegg CCXR.
None of the S7’s major supercar competitors at the time were a match for the S7 Twin Turbo’s prodigious horsepower and torque figures. With at least 100 bhp and more than 200 lb-ft in arrears of the S7 the competitors weren’t able to match the S7’s top speed of 248 mph. Learn more about the 2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo.
The S7 Competition was a variant of the Twin Turbo model that had increased power boost, producing 1000 bhp which was 33% more than the standard Twin Turbo. This was the first time Saleen named the 1000 bhp package, but wasn’t the first 1000 bhp car. Learn about the 2006 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo Competition.
The Sauber C9 was a Group C prototype that debuted in 1987 season. It was developed from a series of Le Mans Prototypes by Peter Sauber. The underpinnings of the C9 were an all-aluminum monocoque with a rear steel subframe for the Mercedes-Benz engine. n 1989, the car was developed to its ultimate specification including a new DOHC-head M119 V8 engine. That season, the C9s dominated at every race, winning outright at all but one event. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a record was set at 247 mph (398 km/h) on the Mulsanne Straight. Learn about the 1987 Sauber-Mercedes C9.
The XJR-9 was manufactured by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) who began racing Jaguars in the European Touring Car Championship. By the time the Le Mans-winning design debuted in 1988, TWR already had a 7.0-liter V12 capable of producing 750 bhp.
To meet international regulations and take advantage of the market potential in America, Koenigsegg have revamped and retooled their CCR supercar into the CCX. Despite all the regulatory changes, the CCX is still one of the world’s fastest supercars. Back in early 2005, a CCR supercar had won the fastest production car title. The new CCX one-upped that result with a very respectable 245 mph.
The focus when developing the Agera was to maximize, driving experience, cornering speed, braking and adaptability, says Christian von Koenigsegg. He forgot to mention that it also has a twin turbo V8 with 910 hp and maximum torque of 1100 nm. That kind of power and the Agera’s slippery shape rocket the car to over 240 mph.
Back in February 2005 a small Koenigsegg car company did the unthinkable and broke the production road car speed record, achieving a new official top speed of 241.1 mph at Italy’s Nardo Track. Thus, the Koenigsegg CCR has broke the official McLaren F1 record. Learn about the 2004 Koenigsegg CCR.
After its release, the F1’s potential was immediately realized when it reached 0-100-0 in 11.4 seconds and a record top speed of 240.14mph in its XP5 pre-production trim. Although, the success didn’t stop in the record books, as special GTR versions won Le Mans outright in 1995 and took two FIA GT World Championships. Learn about the McLaren F1.
For 2002, Koenigsegg, a small Swedish manufacturer, have updated their V8 supercar. Compared to the 2002 CC, the new CC S8 features lights that are now held in a single unit instead of triple unit clusters. Also gone is the rear wing which is now optional. Learn about the 2002 Koenigsegg CC 8S.
Back in 1998, TVR was dreaming. They wanted to create a faster and more outrageous supercar than the mighty McLaren F1. While they didn’t succeed with the former, TVR definitely created a beast. They decided to mate two of their potent Speed Six engines to a common crank and modify the each to full race specification. The resulting 7.7 liter, 1000+ bhp V12 was so powerful, it broke TVR’s dyno. Learn about the 2000 TVR Cerbera Speed 12.
The Koenigsegg CC body and chassis are made of autoclaved epoxy pre-impregnated carbon fiber. The specially developed semi-stressed supercharged and intercooled Quad Cam 4 valve 4.7l V8 engine delivers 655 smooth horsepowers at 6,800 rpm and 750 nm of torque at 5,000 rpm. Learn more about the 2002 Koenigsegg CC 8S.
Fastest Cars – Full List
To make life a little easier, we pulled all of the above cars into a simple list below so you can see the fastest cars in the world (by top speed) in one chart. Also, don’t forget to check out the full list of cars with a top speed of 200mph or more as well as our other supercar lists.