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Speed matters, especially when it comes to the Fastest Cars in the World Right Now. But what the manufacturers claim their multi-million-pound supercars are capable of and what they’ve actually been shown to achieve are two very different things. That is why this list focuses on the recorded times and not on “theoretical” maximum speed figures. Unless it sets a time in real life, it won’t cut it.
Koenigsegg CCR – 241.1mph
One of the fastest Cars in the World. The car to knock the F1 off the top spot did do at Italy’s Nardo Ring test track in February 2005. Koenigsegg’s second-ever production model used a 4.7-liter twin-supercharged V8 to produce north of 800bhp and urge it on to beat McLaren by a single mile per hour. The record wouldn’t stand for long, however; just two months later, Bugatti would take the crown in spectacular fashion.
2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera: 211 MPH
Stunning, comfortable, and capable of attaining a ludicrous 211 mph, Aston Martin’s mega-GT ranks high on the list of fastest cars in the world. We tested a pre-production example of the 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, and its prodigious torque left us doubting why you would ever need an electric car’s twist.
The DBS Superleggera is powered by a twin-turbo 5.2-liter V-12 engine sending 715 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. It’s hard to go this fast in a prettier package. The $308,081 starting price is steep, and we’d wager buyers will likely spend even more on options and customizations.
Hennessey Venom GT – 270.4mph
American tuning house Hennessey Performance Engineering is no stranger to speed, having previously taken its Dodge Viper-based Venom beyond 215mph. It was the Venom GT, which used a Lotus Exige as its foundation, that would go on to steal the record from Bugatti – though not without controversy. In February 2014, on the 3.2-mile space shuttle landing runway at Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre, it recorded a one-way speed of 270.49mph. However, NASA wouldn’t let Hennessey attempt an opposite direction run, and so didn’t qualify for an official Guinness World Record.
Koenigsegg Agera RS: 278 mph
If you’re only interested in proven claims, then the world’s fastest cars list skips Hennessey and SSC and picks back up with the Koenigsegg Agera RS. Until Bugatti’s Chiron Super Sport 300+ had blown through the 300 mph barrier, Koenigsegg and its Agera RS wore the proven VMAX crown with an average top speed of 278 mph. How did the Swedish automaker earn its stripes?
On November 4, 2017, the Nevada Department of Transportation closed an 11-mile stretch of road just outside Las Vegas. Koenigsegg turned up with a customer-owned Agera RS and Koenigsegg factory driver Niklas Lilja put down two high-speed runs (in opposing directions). The average pace (including one run at 285 mph) was recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport: 268 mph
Before Hennessey and Koenigsegg jumped into the top speed fray, Bugatti dominated the world’s fastest category. Unlike its upstart rivals, Bugatti benefitted from the massive cash reserves of its parent company, Volkswagen. A tremendous investment of time and resources yielded the Bugatti Veyron in 2005. The $1.7-million Veyron utilized a quad-turbocharged, W16 engine to deliver 1,001 horsepower to all four wheels.
Impressive as it was, the 250-mph Veyron was soon trumped by the 256-mph SSC Ultimate Aero. Bugatti went back to the drawing board and returned with the Veyron Super Sport. An impressive 1,200 horsepower and a slew of aerodynamic improvements helped the Super Sport to a top speed of 268 mph, clocked at Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessein test track. Bugatti also developed a convertible version, dubbed the Grand Sport Vitesse, which still holds the record for the fastest open-top production car at 254 mph.
2020 McLaren 720S: 212 MPH
Yet another one of our All-Stars makes the list of fastest production cars. What can we say? Our slogan is “No Boring Cars” for a reason. We crowned the McLaren 720S with our top accolade during our 2018 All-Stars evaluation. Despite spending more than a week with the car, we found little to criticize when we put the supercar through its paces.
The 720S’s rapidity certainly was never an issue. Capable of hitting 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and accelerating all the way to 212 mph, this McLaren is no slouch. It develops less power than the Senna, making “only” 710 horsepower, but its slippery, low-downforce form allows it an extra 4 mph on the top end. Figure on a minimum of $301,500 if you want to park a 720S in your garage.