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The 9 fastest cars in the world right now

Find out who tops the list of fastest cars

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ Coupe
Bugatti

Despite the push to make more fuel-efficient vehicles with smaller engines, automakers are using high-powered supercars to attempt to set new top-speed records. Automakers have made large strides in aerodynamics and have found a way around emissions by keeping production of record-setting vehicles incredibly limited. Like lap records, top-speed runs are purely for bragging rights. There’s no incentive to have one of the fastest cars in the world beyond giving automakers the ability to say that they have one of the fastest cars in the world. It really is that simple.

Unlike other figures that are used to differentiate vehicles from one another, like zero-to-60 mph times, cornering G-force, or quarter-mile times, setting a new top speed record is insanely difficult. Beyond ensuring that a car has the right amount of power and efficiently flows through the air, finding a long enough stretch of road to get a car up to 300 mph is nearly impossible. That’s why top speed records rarely get broken.

Horsepower still reigns supreme as the primary metric to compare cars against one another and for outright bragging rights, but the metric has lost its primacy recently. Family wagons snow make 603 horsepower and three-row SUVs can be fitted with 710-horsepower engines. In other words, supercars aren’t the only fast cars on the market anymore. Still, year after year, automakers continue to raise the bar with even more powerful vehicles. A few automakers, though, continue to chase another, more rarified figure — top speed.

These vehicles are the fastest cars in the world. The majority of vehicles have proven top-speed records, while a few are claimed top-speed figures. Also, this list includes a few models that would set records if they were to go into production.

BUGATTI Chiron breaks through magic 300mph barrier

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+: 304 mph

In August 2019, Bugatti topped the formerly reigning Hennessey Venom F5. Not only that, but the Chiron Super Sport 300+ also became the first car to break 300 miles per hour on the track. The final record was 304.773 mph with racing driver Andy Wallace at the wheel on Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien test track in Germany. If 300+ mph seems hard to comprehend, you don’t lack imagination. Covering 450 feet in a single second is mind-bending stuff.

Bugatti holds the crown for now, but the manufacturer may bow out of the race. “We have shown several times that we build the fastest cars in the world. In [the] future we will focus on other areas,” the manufacturer said in a statement. Only 30 of these quad-turbo, 8-liter, 16-cylinder engines will be produced at a cool $3.9 million apiece.

Venom F5 Tested to 271.6 MPH (437 km/h)

Hennessey Venom F5: 301 mph (claimed)

Hennessey Performance Engineering previously owned the top spot of this list with its Venom F5. The successor to the record-setting Venom GT, the F5 has a theoretical and claimed top speed of 301 mph, besting the next fastest car by a solid margin. Too bad Bugatti had to meddle in the top-speed wars again.

The Venom F5 uses a carbon fiber chassis and is powered by a 7.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 good for 1,600 horsepower. While Hennessey has yet to legitimize its claims, the F5 will reportedly dash from 0 to 249 mph and back to 0 in less than 30 seconds. That’s about how long it takes a mild sports car just to get from 0 to 100 mph.

SSC Tuatara Hits 295 mph in 2.3 Miles

SSC Tuatara: 295 mph

On October 10, 2020, SSC claimed that its monstrous Tuatara averaged a top speed of 316.11 mph on its way to set a new record for the fastest production car in the world. Things went downhill for SSC after the run. The speed record came under scrutiny because people spotted inaccuracies with SSC’s videos. It wasn’t until July 2021 that SSC officially stated that the Tuatara hadn’t hit 316 mph.

Because of all of the hoopla, SSC headed to Johnny Bohmer Proving Ground in Florida to attempt another run on May 14, 2022. There, the Tuatara hit a top speed of 205 mph. That’s nowhere near the 316 mph SSC promised, but it is an actual run without any funny business.

SSC isn’t done chasing the speed record with the Tuatara, so we could see the supercar break the 300-mph mark in the future.

Koenigsegg Agera RS hits 284 mph - VBOX verified

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.

World's Fastest: 270.49 mph Hennessey Venom GT

Hennessey Venom GT: 270 mph

When Koenigsegg set a new official top-speed record, Hennessey forfeited the title. The Hennessey Venom GT came out of nowhere to topple the mighty Bugatti Veyron. In 2014, Hennessey revealed a Lotus-based Frankenstein supercar with a 7.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and 1,244 horsepower. Until that moment, the Texas-based tuner had merely modified performance cars, but this was the company’s first stand-alone build.

With approval from the Kennedy Space Center, Hennessey recorded a top speed of 270.4 mph. Though the Guinness Book of World Records approved the run, it has received a fair bit of criticism. For one, most top-speed records are taken from an average of two runs in opposite directions (like Koenigsegg did with the Agera RS). Also, the Venom GT is a hand-built, low-production vehicle. Some have questioned whether it deserves to be counted among series production cars.

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 used 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.

SSC Ultimate Aero TT on a race track with snow-covered mountains in the back.
SSC

SSC Ultimate Aero TT: 265 mph

For the seventh fastest car in the world, we have to travel back a few years to 2007. On September 24, 2007, Shelby Supercars (SSC) Ultimate Aero TT set a new world record by hitting 257 mph. The company made the run on a closed stretch of road in the state of Washington.

The wedge-shaped supercar came out of nowhere and managed to beat the mighty Bugatti and Koenigsegg. It do so thanks to a twin-turbocharged 6.3-liter V8 engine making 1,183 horsepower. The Ultimate Aero TT’s top speed run is even more impressive when you hear that the vehicle doesn’t have any electronic driver aids to help keep the car pointed in a straight line.

Stunning image of Bugatti Chiron
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Bugatti Chiron: 261 mph

Introduced in 2017 as a replacement to the Veyron — the once record holder of the top speed record — the standard Chiron. Even the upgraded version of the Veyron, the Super Sport, topping out at 257.87 mph, was beaten by this powerhouse of a machine. Bringing to bear 1,479 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 2.6 seconds, the Chiron, while not matching the speeds of its Super Sport variant, comes in at a remarkable 261 mph.

It is also important to note, for any prospective buyers looking to enter the field of high-speed car ownership, that the Chiron production run contained 500 examples of the vehicle. This means that the Chiron is, relative to the other cars on this list, one of the easier to find and obtain. In fact, it blows the others out of the water, considering that most do not even reach triple digits in their production numbers.

Speedtail: Achieving the Maximum

McLaren Speedtail: 250 mph

The McLaren Speedtail has an asterisk next its top-speed run, because it never actually made a top-speed run in the same way as the other supercars on this list and because it’s not street-legal in the U.S. Still, the story about how McLaren tested the Speedtail’s top speed is bewildering, as the automaker’s test prototype called the XP2 reportedly hit 250 mph more than 30 times, claims McLaren. The runs were part of McLaren’s testing procedures and were performed at the Kennedy Space Center runway in Florida.

Unlike most of the cars on this list, McLaren wasn’t attempting to set a new top speed record with the Speedtail. But the car’s aerodynamic body and mega-powered electrified powertrain result in a car that’s built for speed. It comes with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that’s paired with an electric motor for a combined output of 1,035 horsepower.

The Koenigsegg Jesko making its debut at Geneva 2019.
Koenigsegg

Bonus: Concept or near-production cars

Koenigsegg Jesko: 300+ (claimed)

Though the Koenigsegg Agera RS takes the top spot in terms of the fastest car on Earth, the carmaker isn’t resting on its laurels. Teased well ahead of its 2019 Geneva Motor Show debut, Koenigsegg finally let slip what it has been working on: The Koenigsegg Jesko, the Agera RS replacement. The V8 engine and 9-speed transmission (dubbed the Koenigsegg Light Speed Transmission) promise up to 1,600 horsepower (with biofuel — otherwise we’re looking at 1,280 horsepower).

Koenigsegg makes bold claims as to its projected top speeds. At a minimum, it’s expected to top out at a marvelous 330 mph, while the manufacturer claims that it could very likely hit up to 350. While there are not yet any official record-setting sources backing up these claims, this is certainly a car to watch.

Dagger concave wheels 1

Dagger GT: 315 mph (claimed)

Back in 2012, American automotive startup TranStar Racing released plans for a production supercar that would make up to 2,000 horsepower, do 0-60 mph in less than 2.0 seconds, and top out at 315 mph. TranStar has been awfully quiet the last couple of years, suggesting the Dagger GT may never reach production, but someone keeps paying hosting fees for a dedicated website, so who knows?

Devel Sixteen: 320 mph (claimed)

Of all the ridiculous cars on this list, nothing comes even remotely close to the Devel Sixteen. Introduced at the 2013 Dubai Motor Show, the supercar uses a quad-turbo V16 to produce 5,007 horsepower. Five thousand horsepower, people! Top speed claims have ranged from 320 to 350 mph, but no matter how you slice it, a production version of this car would shatter all records. Like TranStar, we haven’t heard much from Devel in a few years, so it could all be vaporware, and (more) time will tell. But rumor has it that a production version has found its way into the hands of Drake.

Rimac C_Two | Race Track Shakedown

Rimac C_Two: 256 mph (claimed)

The Rimac C_Two is unlike any other vehicle on this list because it’s all-electric. While automakers like Tesla and General Motors are worrying about range, Rimac is focusing on all-out performance. That explains why the C_Two has some of the most insane figures of any car on the market.

Each wheel gets its own individual electric motor for a combined total of 1,914 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet of torque. No, those aren’t typos; it’s one of the advantages of electric powertrains. Thanks to loads of carbon fiber, active aerodynamics, and an impressively low drag coefficient of 0.28, the electric hypercar has a claimed top speed of 258 mph. Additionally, the C_Two will be able to get from zero to 62 mph in just 1.9 seconds. Not too bad for an electric car.

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Joel Patel
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joel Patel is a former contributor for The Manual. His work has also been featured on Autoweek, Digital Trends, Autoblog…
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