When comparing cars, there’s one number that used to matter the most: horsepower. These days, however, the amount of horsepower your car has isn’t as important since almost every vehicle is packed with power under the hood. There are SUVs and station wagons with upwards of 500 horsepower that can hold their own against supercars of the past. Carmakers have raised the bar in terms of horsepower each year. However, some compete against each other for another number: top speed.
As carmakers continue to make massive advancements in powertrains, as well as aerodynamics, the top speed metric has become a top priority for performance vehicles. Top speed runs, much like lap records, are solely for bragging rights. Having one of the fastest vehicles in the world serves no use other than to allow manufacturers to boast about having one of the fastest cars in the world. That’s where it all boils down to.
Other stats like quarter-mile times or where a car clocks from 0-to-60, setting a top speed record is not an easy feat. One challenge is finding a long enough straight away to ensure the vehicle hits its top speed. Because of this, a new speed record is seldom broken.
With all this said, we have a round-up of some of the world’s fastest cars, along with their verified top speeds.
SSC Tuatara: 316 mph (Disputed)
The SSC Tuatara has a maximum speed of 300 mph, which is up from the initial number of 265 mph when the vehicle was revealed. The Tuatara is powered by a 5.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine with 1,750 horsepower. However, the supercar clocked a claimed maximum speed of 331.15 mph with an average speed of 316.11 mph, but this has been disputed. With speeds like this, it easily surpasses records established by Koenigsegg and Bugatti.
There have been two films of the Tuatara’s highest speed run, both of which showed the supercar’s speed incorrectly. The carmaker released a video stating that their statistics were accurate, but that both videos had been produced improperly. The internet then went completely insane. Famous YouTubers began studying SSC’s footage by calculating distances between landmarks, evaluating the vehicle’s transmission ratios and engine, as well as a helicopter that kept up with the car throughout its maximum speed run. Dewtron, the GPS speed monitoring company utilized by SSC, also said that the max speed run has not been verified.
Though SSC has released a detailed explanation with data to support its maximum speed claim. The company also says it will try another top-speed run with the Tuatara in the near future. This time, it needs to be verified to ensure there is no question to its claims.
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+: 304 mph
Back in August of 2019, Bugatti surpassed the previously reigning Hennessey Venom F5 with the Chiron Super Sport 300+, while also becoming the first vehicle to reach 300 mph+ on Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany. The record run was done by racecar driver Andy Wallace, who set the record at 304.773 mph. At that speed, the car speeds 450 in just one second.
Bugatti holds the “official record” of the world’s top speed, but the company says that will not be its focus in the future.
There are only 30 units of the Chiron Super Sport 300+ in the world. They are powered by a quad-turbo, 8-liter, 16-cylinder engine and cost $3.9 million.
Hennessey Venom F5: 301 mph (Claimed)
With the Hennessey Venom F5, Hennessey Performance Engineering had previously held the #1 position on this list. It had a max top speed of 301 mph, outpacing its closest competition — the Koenigsegg Agera RS — by far. As you’ve already read, Bugatti took that position with the Chiron.
The Venom F5 features a carbon fiber chassis and a 7.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that produces 1,600 horsepower. Despite the 301 mph claim, Hennessey has yet to prove this. They also say the F5 is capable of going from 0 to 249 mph in less than 30 seconds.
Koenigsegg Agera RS: 278 mph
If we’re only counting verified times, the Hennessey and SSC cars will not be on this list; and the second-fastest car in the world would be the Koenigsegg Agera RS. The Koenigsegg brand with its Agera RS held the proven VMAX title with an average max speed of 278 mph. That is until Bugatti’s Chiron Super Sport 300+ broke over the 300 mph barrier.
This record was recorded in 2017 when the Nevada Department of Transportation blocked an 11-mile section of road outside of Las Vegas. Koenigsegg owner Niklas Lilja laid down two high-speed runs, while the Guinness Book of World Records reported an average speed of 278 mph. However, in one run, he was clocked at 285 mph.
Hennessey Venom GT: 270 mph
The Hennessey Venom GT was a previous top speed holder when it dethroned the legendary Bugatti Veyron. Based on a Lotus, the Venom GT featured a 7.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and 1,244 horsepower. Up until this point, the Texas-based Hennessey Performance had only ever-modified performance vehicles. This was their first official build.
The Hennessey Venom GT achieved a maximum speed of 270.4 mph after receiving clearance from the Kennedy Space Center. But, it wasn’t without controversy. The Guinness Book of World Records did authorize it. One reason was that the vast majority of top speed records are based on an average of two runs in opposing directions. Also, being that the Venom GT is a one-of-a-kind, limited-production car, some questioned whether it is worthy of being classified as a series production vehicle.
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport: 268 mph
Bugatti led the world’s fastest car title until Hennessey and Koenigsegg entered the race. Unlike its competitors, Bugatti benefited from Volkswagen’s vast financial reserves, since it is the brand’s parent company. In 2005, the Bugatti Veyron has introduced: a quad-turbocharged W16 engine that delivered 1,001 horsepower to all four wheels. The price tag was $1.7 million.
The original Veyron’s top speed of 250 mph was surpassed when Bugatti returned with the Veyron Super Sport, which recorded a maximum speed of 268 mph at Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessein test track. The Grand Sport Vitesse, a convertible variant of the vehicle, still retains the record for the fastest open-top production car, clocking in at 254 mph.
It’s always good to keep in mind that these speeds were recorded in a controlled environment by professionals. One should never try to attempt excessive speeds on public roads, as it may cause a deadly car accident. If you are involved in an accident, contact a legal professional in your state to advise you on the next steps. If you’re in New York, contact an accident lawyer nyc. In New Jersey, maybe you call an accident lawyer Trenton NJ. Contacting a lawyer with expertise in your state will help you receive the best outcome.