Since the dawn of the car, engineers have been on a never-ending quest to see how fast these four-wheeled machines can travel. And every few years a car comes along that recalibrates what we thought possible.
In August 2019, Bugatti – king of the high speed runs – reclaimed its top spot with a record-breaking 300mph+ drive in its latest hypercar, the Chiron. Below are the cars it beat – the fastest street-legal cars in the world.
10. Lykan Fenyr SuperSport – 245mph
Named after the fearsome Norse wolf Fenrir, the Lykan Fenyr SuperSport is the second car from Dubai-based W Motors. Power comes from an 800hp twin-turbo, flat-six engine. This Porsche-derived unit has been tuned by Ruf, and allows the SuperSport to hit 62mph from a standstill in 2.8 seconds and power on to a top speed of 245mph. Diamonds and sapphires in the headlights help justify the £1.4m price tag. Only 25 cars a year will be built.
9. Saleen S7 Twin Turbo – 248mph
The Saleen S7 Twin Turbo might be 14 years old but it’s still a force to be reckoned with. The manufacturer claims a top speed of 248mph. While never publicly tested, a Saleen S7 did show 240mph on the clock in a YouTube video. Only 13 cars were sold.
8. McLaren Speedtail – 250mph
The McLaren F1 held the world’s fastest speed record for nearly 10 years after hitting a verified 240.1mph in 1998. Now McLaren is keen to eclipse that with the Speedtail. This new 1,050hp hypercar is expected to top out at 250mph and will accelerate to 186mph from rest in 12.8 seconds (it took the F1 22 seconds). Only 106 Speedtails will be made, and all have already been sold for £2.1m each. Deliveries start next year, when we might see that top speed proven.
7. Bugatti Veyron 16.4 – 253.81mph
When Bugatti launched the original Veyron in 2005 it claimed it was the first car capable of exceeding 250mph. A few months later, Bugatti tested one on Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany and rewrote the record books with a verified top speed of 253.81 mph.
6. SSC Ultimate Aero TT – 256.14mph
In 2007, SSC stole Bugatti’s crown with the Ultimate Aero, a 1,200hp US-built hypercar. Guinness World Records adjudicators verified a top speed of 256.14mph. Power comes from a modified V8 Corvette racing engine.
5. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport World Record Edition – 267.86mph
Bugatti, unamused at having its record beaten, came back three years later with the Veyron Super Sport World Record Edition. It turned the power up to 1,200hp and blasted to a Guinness-verified 267.86mph. Guinness would later disqualify (and then reinstate the record) because Bugatti had removed the car’s limiter. The production car was limited to a paltry 258mph. Only five of the record-breaking editions were sold.
4. Hennessey Venom GT – 270.49mph
Take a Lotus Exige, drop in a 7.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 engine and tune it to 1,244hp and you have the recipe for a Bugatti-beating top speed. In 2014, at the Kennedy Space Centre’s 3.2-mile shuttle landing strip, a Venom GT hit 270.49mph, but Guinness wouldn’t recognise the claim as Hennessey only made 13 cars (Guinness requires at least 30 production examples to qualify). The driver of its record run said that had there been more road it would have gone another 10mph faster.
3. Koenigsegg One:1 – 274mph
Swedish hypercar maker Koenigsegg’s first ever car, the CC8S, had a claimed top speed of 240mph when it launched in 2002. In 2004, a more powerful CCR version was tested and posted a 241.63mph maximum. Since then, Koenigsegg has been producing ever more powerful versions. Its One:1, a six-car limited edition, has a claimed top speed of 274mph.
2. Koenigsegg Agera RS – 277.87mph
Following the One:1, Koenigsegg launched the Agera RS, a more powerful, track-focussed 1,160hp hypercar. In 2017, on a closed road in Nevada, the Agera RS clocked an average top speed of 277.87mph, setting the record for the world’s fastest production car in the process. Only 25 cars were built at just over £2m a pop.
1. Bugatti Chiron SuperSport 300+ – 304.77mph
By now you’ve probably clocked that Bugatti is not one to let its records get beaten without putting up a fight. So it was that earlier this year it launched the 1,600hp Chiron SuperSport 300+, a limited edition version of the Chiron that hit 304.77mph on Volkswagen’s test track. In doing so, it became the first production car in the world to exceed 300mph.
Cars Reviews by Manufacturer
In the market for a used car?
CarGurus makes it easy to find great deals from top-rated dealers. CarGurus compares price, detailed vehicle data and dealer reviews to give each used car a deal rating from great to overpriced, and sorts the best deals first. Find out more and begin your used car search at CarGurus.