With the dawn of the supercar, generally accepted to have begun with the debut of the Lamborghini Miura in the mid-1960’s, the automobile suddenly stepped up a gear. The beautiful Marcello Gandini styled Miura set the standard – in looks and performance if not in reliability – for supercars to come, and laid the baseline for the stunning selection of supercars we lust after today.
Exotic, expensive and exciting, supercars are the domain of the super rich. We, the true enthusiasts, can only dream of owning a Bugatti Veyron or McLaren F1, to name but two. In a moment I am going to list the ten fastest cars in the world, but there are some qualifications the candidates have to meet.
We are talking, for a start, about cars that can be driven on the road legally. We therefore eliminate track day specials and race-only cars. We only accept those that have actually been sold to the public – or will be in the near future – so shady concepts like the Barabus TKR, with its claimed 270mph top speed, are out. Also, we need to know that the car in question has actually reached the quoted top speed, and where manufacturer’s claims are quoted we have made this clear. One more thing: where a manufacturer has two models in the top ten, only the fastest is featured.
Fastest Cars in The World
Here we go, prepare yourself for a trip through the ultimate supercars in the world today.
Fastest Cars #1: Bugatti Veyron Supersport
Already a legend in automotive circles, it is no cliché to say that there is nothing else quite like the Veyron, especially in its latest form. The stunning styling and dynamic performance – a top speed of no less than 267mph (431km/h) and 0-60mph (100km/h) in 2.4 seconds sets the benchmark – are equalled by a stellar price of £1.6 million ($2.4 million). The car has been the subject of many road tests and all come out singing the praises of this quite sensational machine.
With 1200bhp on tap from a W16 8-liter engine the Veyron Supersport sets the benchmark for all others to match, and so far nobody has done so, although the opposition is getting closer! Opinion is divided on the looks, but I think it is quite beautiful in the flesh – more so than in photos – and very neat in its execution. A well deserved number one for the VW Group’s masterpiece. Check out this video for a great view of the Supersport in action.
Fastest Cars #2: Koenigsegg Agera R
If, ten years ago, you had predicted to your friends that the second fastest car in the world would be made by a small company from Sweden you would have been laughed out of the room. But it is, and it’s the quite sensational Koenigsegg Agera R, a 260mph (420km/h) monster with just under 1100bhp on tap.
Put your foot down from standstill and you reach 60mph (100km/h) in less than three seconds, and you pay £1 million ($1.6 million) for the privilege. This really is a sensational machine and bear in mind that 260mph (420km/h) is the fastest the car has currently been tested at – the manufacturer reckons more is possible. Again, there is an ongoing debate about the styling of the Agera R and there is no doubt that there are more elegant supercars on offer, but the brutish looks are a hit with buyers who want exclusivity over anything else.
Fastest Cars #3: Hennessy Venom GT
This one is a little controversial, but research has shown that there have been a handful made and sold so it gets a look in. The Venom is a specialist vehicle that is based largely around the Lotus Exige. The makers, Hennessy Performance Engineering of Silverstone, UK, give the chassis some tweaks and drop in a twin-turbo 6.2 liter V8 usually found in the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The result is a compact machine with a verified 260mph (420km/h) top speed and a claimed ceiling of 275mph (443km/h).
This direct competitor to the above duo is priced at £1 million ($1.6 million) but there are questions over its appeal. When you can buy a specially manufactured supercar like the Agera R, would you really spend the same on what is, essentially, a modified Exige with a Corvette engine? It’s a hard choice to make, but with it comes exclusivity that may be difficult to match.
Fastest Cars #4: SSC Ultimate Aero
Made in America by Shelby SuperCars – an iconic name if ever there was one – the Ultimate Aero held the title of World’s Fastest Car after a test in 2007. The car, powered by a twin turbo V8 pushing out almost 1200bhp, reached 257mph (413km/h) and sprinted to 60mph (100km/h) in just 2.7 seconds.
With stylish scissor doors that seem to be the norm on supercars these days, the SSC offers good looks from a sleek and slippery design, and at £410,000 ($650,000) it is very well priced among the competition. If you want something that is a little different you might consider an American made supercar, a phrase once associated with heavy, ill-handling and overly thirsty machines that were great in a straight line but needed the muscles of a God to get around corners. The SSC is nimble handling and beautifully crafted, and well worth its inclusion in this list.
Fastest Cars #5: Saleen S7
The Saleen S7, another American supercar, comes with motorsport credentials matched by only one other car in this list. This very pretty and capable car – a 248mph (388km/h) top speed is officially credited – has been seen on tracks across the world with great success, and has achieved very respectable class results in the legendary Le Mans 24hours race.
With 750bhp on tap from a 7-liter, well proven Ford engine, the S7 is well engineered and built to a high standard, and at £350,000 ($550,000) is well priced to take on the opposition. Steve Saleen, the originator of the vehicle that bears his name, takes great pride in the recognized attention to detail that the car is known for, and is a petrolhead of the highest order. Earlier Saleens are now collector’s items and fetch high prices.
Fastest Cars #6: McLaren F1
For many – myself included – the McLaren F1 is the defining supercar of the modern era. Sensational styling from the legendary McLaren team, and an innovative three seat layout make this one of the most desirable cars in history. I happen to think it the most beautiful car ever built. McLaren boss Ron Dennis is well known for his desire for perfection, and the level of detail attention in the F1 is simply astonishing.
It is easy to forget that this 241mph (387km/h) supercar went into production 20 years ago. That’s right, the first F1’s – and there were a handful over 100 made in total – were produced in 1992. It is little wonder that the car, with its sensational design and superb BMW V12 engine, was greeted with astonishment at launch. What will it cost you to buy one today? Well, prices as high as £2.5 million ($4.1 million) have been reached at auction, but a more likely figure is around half that. No car collection is complete without an example of the world’s fastest naturally aspirated car. Here is a great video of the McLaren F1 taking on the Bugatti Veyron – well worth a look!
Fastest Cars #7: Bristol Fighter T
This one may come as a surprise to readers of lists such as this, but the fact is the Bristol Fighter T may indeed be the fastest production car ever made. A diversion from the usual range of luxury, hand built sedans and saloons that this former aviation company is famed for, the Fighter, in its more powerful (1000bhp) T version is a beautiful car that was intended to bring Bristol Cars into the 21st century, and to challenge the glut of supercars with a truly British creation.
With its stunning 8 liter engine – front mounted, an unusual configuration for a supercar – and top speed of 225mph (362km/h) the Fighter T may not seem to be challenging the front runners, but bear in mind the manufacturer has limited the car to this speed, considering it to be ‘more than adequate’, and is confident the Fighter T can exceed 270mph (430km/h) in unlimited form. It is a sad footnote that this sensational, £350,000 ($550,000) car is no longer produced as Bristol Cars went into administration in 2011, bringing this well loved and historic marque to an end.
Fastest Cars #8: Gumpert Apollo
It is with reluctance that I have to include this 225mph (362km/h) German supercar, for I consider it to be among the ugliest cars in existence. Controversial this view may be, but the truth is it is in no way a pretty car. It is designed to be aerodynamically efficient, with the designers claiming it can be driven upside down in a tunnel at high speeds thanks to the downforce it generates, but the other cars on this list are also aerodynamically effective and, to a model, much better looking.
Still, the performance of the Gumpert – I also find the name hard to handle – is without doubt impressive, and reaching 120mph (200km/h) in 8.9 seconds is no mean feat. The superbly engineered twin turbocharged 4.1 liter Audi engine is a proven unit, and the overall quality of the machine is a testament to attention to detail. If looks are not your priority, you might be willing to fork out £285,000 ($450,000) for this curious oddity.
Fastest Cars #9: Noble M600
The Noble M600 is the latest in a long line of impressive, low volume supercars from the Noble Cars factory, operated by car lover extraordinaire Lee Noble. This pretty and neat 225mph (362km/h) machine is powered by a Volvo engine. Yes, a supercar with a Volvo engine that can hit 225mph. The 4.5 litre V8 features twin turbochargers and pumps out, in ultimate form, an impressive 650bhp, advised only for track use!
Nobles are not technically complex cars but are true driver’s machines, with the driver relying on skill to get the best out of the machine. They are very popular as track day cars but, at £210,000 ($330,000) may be a touch too expensive for some. The real downside is the snobbery that some people are prone to with supercars, and Noble is not a name that ranks alongside Bugatti, Pagani, Ferrari and so on. Still, for the price, there is little that can match this specialist British supercar in performance terms.
Fastest Cars #10: Aston Martin One-77
The mystery surrounding the Aston Martin One-77 was first created in a partial revelation at the Paris Motor Show in 2008. The legend began even before the final model was announced. A limited run of 77 cars is planned, but the pre-production models have already set tongues wagging. Beautiful, as Aston Martin’s generally are, this is a true classic in the making, and it is believed the order book is full.
The One-77 is a stunning machine to look at, but even more so in terms of performance. 220mph (355km/h) is impressive enough, and the superb build quality is an Aston Martin standard. Price is not yet confirmed, but is expected to be around the £1.2 million ($1.9 million), but who cares when you are buying a car that is this exclusive?
Fastest Cars in The World
So, there we have it, ten of the fastest cars in the world that offer performance like no other. There are several others that are just bubbling under – the Pagani Zonda, Ferrari Enzo and Lamborghini Aventador are the obvious contenders – and the list is not definitive. Why not give us your view on the cars that would be in your list of the fastest cars in the world?