Thunderbolts, bolts of lightning, speed demons, speed freaks, speedheads… Call them whatever you like as long as it’s perfectly obvious what they’re all about. And these cars are all about speed. Well, among other things, that is. Not only are they the fastest cars in the world right now, but also legally eligible for a license plate. That brings us to our second requirement for this list. They need to be mass produced (as far as supercars and mass production go, that is) and road legal. This effectively cuts off all concepts, one-offs and racers, but they wouldn’t have been all that fun anyway. Bound to race tracks or worse yet, confined to garages, racers and prototypes are simply limited.
Not the following speed demons, though. They’re only limited by laws of physics and their respective powertrains. And that’s the way it should be if you ask me. So, from slowest (of this respectable lot) to fastest, here are production cars with the highest top speeds out there. Until fresh young upstarts come to dethrone them, which – if automotive history has taught us anything – might happen the very next day (or at least during the next auto show). Here, we used top speeds measured by reputable sources.
What Is The Fastest Car In The World Right Now?
Jaguar XJ220 (217 mph)
Although often forgotten, the Jaguar XJ220 still finds itself among the fastest cars in the world 25 years after its arrival. It only had 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 under its bonnet, but was still capable of reaching 217 mph. However, in order to achieve that, Jaguar engineers had to increase the rev limiter and remove catalytic converters. Not exactly fair, but the Guinness Book of World Records acknowledged the result. After all, the McLaren F1 did the same thing when it toppled the Jag a few years later.
Ferrari Enzo (218 mph)
All 400 Enzos were sold before they were even introduced. Quite a feat knowing they started from $660,000 back in 2002. But Enzo was far from an ordinary Ferrari. After all, we might have guessed that since it wears the name of Ferrari’s founder. Apart from Pininfarina-inspired Formula 1 design, mid-engined 6.0L V12 supercar also had performance to match. 650 horsepower and 485 lb-ft of torque were good enough for 0 to 60 time in 3.2 seconds. They achieved a limited top speed of 218 mph.
Quick Car Talk: Is Ferrari or Lamborghini More Popular In The US?
The map below is based on geotagged twitter data in the last month (over 150,000 tweets) tracking tweets about Ferrari or Lamborghini. As you can see, Ferrari narrowly edged out Lamborghini, winning 26 states compared to 24 states. There also seems to be a regional component, as Ferrari won the middle of the country, while Lamborghini won the coasts.
Bugatti EB110 SS (218 mph)
Long before Bugatti became what they are today (before they got absorbed by the grand Volkswagen family), Italians didn’t do things that much differently. The Bugatti EB110, produced between 1991 and 1995, might have been their first fresh model in 40 years, but it was as striking and as fast as any VW era model. Capable of hitting 218 mph and accelerating to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, EB110 SS is as fresh now as it was quarter of a century ago. Unlike the Enzo, though, Bugatti hit that 218 mph mark thanks to 615 horsepower and 3.5L quad-turbo V12 mill. An upgrade over regular model’s 550 ponies and 330 pounds heavier body. Only 31 EB110 SS supercars were made, and together with regular GT’s, they steered the company into bankruptcy.
Aston Martin One-77 (220 mph)
As its name suggests, only 77 models were commissioned of this sports car. Blessed with Aston Martin design language and a 7.3L naturally aspirated V12 engine generating 750 horsepower, the One-77 is capable of hitting 60 mph from standstill in 3.5 seconds. Upon introduction in 2009, it went for £1,150,000. Back then, that translated to more than $2 million but Pound Sterling quickly depreciated making Aston Martin One-77 as “cheap” as $1.4 million. Another interesting fact is that it came in package with Aston Martin Cygnet which was supposed to offset One-77’s detrimental impact on environment.
Quick Car Take: Check Out Every James Bond Aston Martin, Including The New Aston Martin Valhalla
Rimac Concept One (221 mph)
Yeah, it’s the one Richard Hammond crashed in Switzerland that time. Considering that the Croatian-built car makes 1,224 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque, you have to feel for the man. Anyway, it produces those figures thanks to four electric motors, each driving a separate wheel. Apart from being able to max out at 221 mph (electronically limited), the Rimac Concept One can also hit 60 mph in an incredibly short period of time: in just 2.5 seconds. No small part due to all-wheel torque vectoring and instant torque available straight from the gates. However, this electric car comes at a price. A price that’s somewhere north of $1 million.
Lamborghini Veneno (221 mph)
On the paper, the Veneno isn’t much more than a beefed up version of Lambo’s flagship supercar Aventador. They have the same architecture, the same 6.5L V12 engine, and the same transmission. In practice, however, Veneno is much more than your average Aventador which pales in comparison to super limited supercar. Only five Venenos were built in order to commemorate Lambo’s 50th anniversary. Only three were actually sold–for $4.5 million a piece!–the other two were kept by Lamborghini. Another nine roadsters were introduced the following year (2014). Like the coupe, these were also capable of accelerating to 60 mph in under 3 seconds and hitting a top speed of 221 mph. That’s what 740 horsepower does to a 3,200-pound car.
Noble M600 (225 mph)
Not only was Noble M600 one of the fastest supercars in the world (and still is), but it’s also one of the most forgotten and obscured supercars of its era. With a single push of a button, the Noble M600 transforms itself from a 450-hp beast into a 650-hp machine capable of hitting 225 mph and accelerating from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds flat. That’s a courtesy of Yamaha-sourced 4.4L twin-turbo V8 mill initially built for Volvo between 2005 and 2010 while they were still owned by Ford. Lucky for us, British company decided to salvage this venerable engine after Volvo abandoned the project. The results of which you’ve already been acquainted with.
Zenvo ST1 (233 mph)
Zenvo has wrapped up the production of their first supercar: the ST1. While we await the new model TS1’s specifications, let us reminisce on the blessings and curses ST1 had given us. You might remember it catching fire on Top Gear, while others might remember it doing the same thing at the 2015 Copenhagen Grand Prix. The Zenvo ST1 is definitely one fiery supercar, regardless of us being literal or not. This Danish speed freak with turbocharged and supercharged 6.8L V8 mill packs a fiery 1,104 hp and 1,050 lb-ft of torque which was good enough for a 3 second 0 to 60 time and 233 mph top speed.
Pagani Huayra BC (238 mph)
As if conventional Pagani Huayra wasn’t extreme enough, Italians decided to introduce the BC version in 2016. Deriving its name from the initials of Pagani’s first customer–the late car collector Benny Caiola–the Pagani Huayra BC builds upon the regular model’s performance. The AMG-sourced 6.0L twin-turbo V12 makes around 800 horsepower, enough to propel it to 238 mph. The lightweight carbon-titanium frame from which Huayra BC’s body is made of doesn’t come cheap, though. 20 units (all of which have long been spoken for) will cost around $2.5 million each.
Koenigsegg One:1 (240 mph)
If you’re wondering why have the Swedes chosen this rather unpronounceable name for their 6-unit limited hypercar, let’s get that out of the way immediately. One:1 represents supercar’s power to weight ratio of 1,360 metric horsepower to 1,360 kg (3,000 pounds). That actually translates to 1,341 brake horsepower, but only with E85 alcohol-gasoline blend. Regular fuel will give “only” 1,161 horsepower. Set up correctly, the Koenigsegg One:1 hits 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 240 mph. In theory, this Swedish megacar can do even more.
McLaren F1 (241 mph)
It used to be the world’s fastest production car. Today, it’s still around. Even 25 years after its introduction back in 1992. If that isn’t a testament to the vehicle’s engineering, craftsmanship and manufacturing, then what is? The McLaren F1’s 6.1L BMW V12 delivered 618 horsepower which was quite a deal back then. Furthermore, the F1 was the world’s first production car with carbon-fiber monocoque chassis. It was able to hit 241 mph and reach 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. It even came with details such as gold foil engine bay lining, electric kevlar fans for improved downforce, and plenty of titanium, aluminum and magnesium parts throughout the car.
Koenigsegg CCR (241 mph)
CCR was one of Koenigsegg’s first forays into the supercar market, and they clearly had only one thing in their mind back in 2004. To set the bar as high as possible in terms of performance. And they set it all right. CCR was able to hit 241 mph thanks to carbon fiber body and 4.6L V8 capable of making 806 horsepower. Maybe it lacked the looks of its more illustrious supercar coeval counterparts, but all 14 units more than compensated for it with this highly ferocious top speed.
Lykan Hypersport (245 mph)
First ever Middle East-produced supercar was just what people could have expected from it. Exaggeration in almost every way imaginable. Capable of reaching a top speed of 245 mph, this car is nothing but performance. It generates 780 horsepower thanks to Ruf-built 3.7L twin-turbo flat-six engine. Lykan Hypersport’s price tag of $3.4 million is another exaggeration, and need I even mention 220 diamonds per headlight?! At least the car’s bejeweled LED sockets help to justify the price.
Saleen S7 Twin Turbo (248 mph)
Saleen S7 became America’s first mid-engined mass production supercar back in 2000. Then again, 100 or so total units in close to 10 years of production doesn’t really strike that “mass” part of mass production. Moreover, only 21 twin-turbo S7’s were produced from 2005 to 2009. These upgraded versions of the base S7 were capable of hitting 248 mph, accelerating from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds and doing the quarter mile in 10.5 seconds. One of the fastest vehicles ever made generated 750 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque thanks to all-aluminum 7.0L Ford OHV V8 and two Garrett turbos with 5.5 psi of boost.
Tesla Roadster (250 mph)
The long-awaited follow-up to Tesla’s very first car is more than just a Roadster 2.0. It is now one of the fastest cars in the world. And, how fast is it exactly? Elon Musk promises the top speed north of 250 mph and 0 to 60 mph acceleration of just 1.9 seconds. Moreover, the Tesla Roadster should be able to clear a quarter mile in under 9 seconds while hitting 100 mph from standstill in 4.2 seconds. And Tesla’s head man says this will only be the base model. I’d like to see how “performance” version fares. First production car ever to hit 60 mph in less than 2 seconds should also provide a hefty 620-mile range. Well, not if you drive it the way it can be driven, but theoretically. The upcoming Tesla Roadster and its 200 kWh battery pack will likely cost up to $250,000.
Koenigsegg Regera (250 mph)
Yet another Koenigsegg among the 20 fastest cars in the world pretty much sums up what this boutique Swedish automaker is all about. Unlike former two, Regera packs a hybrid powertrain consisting of 5.0L twin-turbo V8 engine (also found in One:1) and three YASA electric motors. One on the crankshaft makes 215 ponies and serves as a generator, while two other (both of 241 hp capacity) drive each rear wheel and provide torque vectoring. Add to that internal combustion engine’s 1,100 horsepower and system’s net horsepower rating climbs up to 1,800. More than ample for 0 to 60 in 2.7 seconds and already stated top speed of 250 mph.
SSC Ultimate Aero (256 mph)
SSC North America today, Shelby SuperCars prior to 2012. Company owned by Jerod Shelby doesn’t have anything to do with founder’s more illustrious name-mate Carroll. That didn’t hinder them from producing the world’s fastest supercar between 2007 and 2010. The SSC Ultimate Aero was powered by a 1,183-horsepower 6.3L twin-turbo C5R Corvette V8. Weighing only 2,750 pounds dry, the Ultimate Aero is capable of hitting 256 mph. To make things even more interesting, it came without anti-lock brakes or traction control.
Bugatti Chiron (261 mph)
The Bugatti Chiron is still relatively new. With that, and Bugatti’s reputation and appetite for speed in mind, we should take its top speed of 261 mph with a grain of salt. It can likely do more than that, but before Bugatti makes that official, the Chiron shall remain the fourth fastest car in the world. I wouldn’t expect them to take too long before pushing the Chiron to its limits. After all, their newest hypercar and Veyron’s replacement packs 1,479 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque thanks to 8.0L W16 engine and no less than four turbochargers. Moreover, how does 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds sound?
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (268 mph)
As mentioned just now, prior to Chiron, there was Veyron. Dubbed Car of the Decade by Top Gear, the Veyron was already celebrated prior to the Super Sport model’s introduction.But when the Veyron Super Sport arrived in 2010, something changed. It retook the world’s fastest car record from the SSC Ultimate Aero when Bugatti’s official driver Pierre Henri Raphanel drove it to 267.856 mph. The Guinness Book of Records still acknowledges it as world’s fastest production car.
Hennessey Venom GT (270 mph)
Why does Guinness still consider the Veyron Super Sport as the world’s fastest production car when the Hennessey Venom GT is obviously capable of topping 270.49 mph? Because the Hennessey Venom GT did it in only a one-direction run. Guinness tracks records by measuring average speed of two directional runs, thus taking wind and other factors into account. Furthermore, the Hennessey Venom GT is an extremely limited production car. Only one prototype and 12 additional production units have been made. Finally, it’s actually a reworked Lotus Exige. Then again, we simply had to list it. How can you afford to exclude a car with twin-turbo 7.0L LSX V8 engine making 1,244 hp and 1,155 lb-ft of torque?
Koenigsegg Agera RS (278 mph)
The beefed up version of the Agera R which maxed out at 273 mph is currently the fastest car in the world. At least officially. Koenigsegg’s factory driver Niklas Lilja has recorded a two-way average top speed of 277.9 mph in it, during early November 2017. For those into specifics, Agera RS’ runs were clocked at 284.55 mph and 271.19 mph. Wind and elevation were the reasons for the wide gap between the two, but the Agera RS did make it both ways. Given that it has an aluminum 5.0L twin-turbo V8 engine, this is hardly surprising. An engine that generates a whopping 1,160 hp and 944 pound-feet of twist.
Hennessey Venom F5 (301 mph)
Behold the first ever mass production vehicle that’s broken the 300 miles per hour threshold. Or so John Hennessey claims, at least. Presented at the Las Vegas Motor Show in 2017 show, Hennessey Venom F5 is an upgrade over their previous record holder the Venom GT. Built from the ground-up, the Venom F5 boasts all-new carbon-fiber body and chassis weighing only 2,950 pounds. Together with the engine, of course. Speaking of which, Hennessey’s newest addition draws power from a 7.4L twin-turbo aluminum V8 capable of producing 1,600 hp and 1,300 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to this behemoth of a powerplant, the Hennessey Venom GT should be able to hit 186 mph in 10 seconds. It should also be able to accelerate to a world record breaking 249 mph and brake down to a full stop in under 30 seconds. By the way, it’ll cost $1.6 million, making it one of the expensive cars out there!