Top 10 fastest production cars

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 24, 2015

When people want to know the full performance of a car, there are multiple different factors to consider. Regardless, in many of these cases it is the top speed that true auto fans will consider as the deciding factor whether they admit it or not.

No matter how good the exterior looks are or how comfortable riding in it is, if it is not able to reach a certain speed, then it wouldn't even be considered. It is not just about how fast it is though; but also how fun it is to drive. Below is our list of the 10 fastest production cars.

The term "production" is significant as it means that these cars can be legally driven on the streets. Though race cars, and some customized vehicles, are indeed fast, they are limited to the areas where they can be driven. In addition, we only listed cars that have had their top speeds validated by different media outlets as well as sanctioning groups.

1. Hennessey Venom GT - Top Speed: 270 mph

Roaring in to the top spot at 270 mph is none other than the Hennessey Venom GT. Its twin-turbocharged 7.0-liter V8 engine that can deliver 1,244 hp combined with a Lotus Elise chassis makes it the world's fastest production car.

Of course, that would depend on how one would define “fastest” or even “production car.” While the Venom GT did reach 270.4 when tested at the Kennedy Space Center, it was only running in one direction.

This is the reason why Buggati's is often listed as the fastest since to be truly considered, the car should have to run in both directions. The average is then obtained which is done to take wind conditions in consideration.

Thus even if it did record the highest speed, it is not the fastest according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Its category as a production car is also being debated on as the Venom GT is mainly hand-built.

2. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport - Top Speed: 268 mph

Speeding its way to number two is the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. It is said that the main reason why the Volkswagen Group bought Bugatti was that it wanted to manufacture the faster production car.

Bugatti was able to manage this with the original Veyron model. Despite the $1.7 million price, it had the quad-turbocharged W16 engine capable of delivering 1,000 hp plus other features not found on any other production car.

The SSC Ultimate Aero however entered the picture and dethroned the Veyron. In return, Bugatti later released the Veyron Super Sport. Unlike the previous model, the engine could now deliver 1,200 hp and when coupled with aerodynamic improvements, it became faster.

Driven at the Volkswagen's own Ehra-Lessein test track, the Veyron Super Sport recorded a maximum speed of 268 mph. Despite being only second on this list, it is still the one recognized by Guinness as the fastest production car.

The Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, with its 254 mph maximum speed, is considered as the fastest open-topped car.

3. SSC Ultimate Aero - Top Speed: 256 mph

Entering the top 3 is the SSC Ultimate Aero with a maximum speed of 256 mph. Its inclusion in this list may be a surprise to some as it is not as well-known as Bugatti nor as powerful as Volkswagen Group.

The SCC stands for Shelby SuperCars but it is in no way related in any way to the Carroll Shelby of Cobra. The Ultimate Aero achieved this top speed back in the year 2007, defeating the Veyron's non-Super Sport model.

Ensuring that it reaches its top speed is the twin-turbocharged 6.3-liter V8 engine that can deliver 1,287 hp. However care is needed when driving it as there are no electronic aids that can help the driver control power.

This can give a better driving experience for those who have the talent for driving, though it can mean death for those who don't.

4. Koenigsegg CCR - Top Speed: 242 mph

Clocking in at 242 mph, the CCR from Sweden-based Koenigsegg enters number 4 on this list. The top speed was attained during the Nardo Ring in Italy back in 2005.

Many of the brand's new generation cars are based on the CCR. Though it does not have a lot of electronic aids, it has a carbonfiber body and uses its own 4.7-liter V8 engine.

The CCR has some amazing stats but its time at the spotlight was short-lived as it was replaced first by CCX and later by Agera. Though the company claims that the Agera can reach a maximum speed of more than 270 mph, it has yet to be validated.

5. McLaren F1 - Top Speed: 241 mph

Starting off the top 5 is the McLaren F1. In addition to formerly holding the record as the fastest car in the world, it has other features like the body made of carbon fiber and the engine bay that has been gold-lined.

Under the hood is the BMW M 6.1-liter V12 engine. With the center driver's seat, it is without a doubt that the F1 could be the coolest car ever manufactured.

The McLaren had its history as a Formula 1 race team and a successful one at that. It also participated in the now-defunct Can-Am series. Its first ever road car was the MP4-12C which was its bid to compete with Porsche and Ferrari.

While it was not able to surpass the two then, it was not bad as a first effort. The company had planned to release the F1 as a road-going supercar.

The design was based on the brand's racing experience. Still, the F1 has had a good successful racing career, even winning the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans.

6. Aston Martin One-77 - Top Speed: 220 mph

Considered as one of its most extreme, the Aston Martin One-77 is also the company's fastest. Many may say that the One-77 is similar to that of “regular” Astons due to the engine being placed on the front but it still has some distinct differences.

The One-77 refers to the fact that only 77 units were made. It has a 7.30-liter V12 engine capable of delivering 750 hp. The chassis is also more ferocious and lighter.

While the One-77 does have an amazing look in addition to the performance, it is one of the few hypercars that was manufactured with too many compromises.

Despite having an engine that was inspired from race cars and designed mainly for performance, it still has the feel and appearance of a luxury car. Of the 10 cars on this list, the One-77 is the only one that is front-engined.

With the One-77, Aston Martin shows that fast cars need not be based only on performance. The top speed of 220 mph and the limited number of units manufactured gives it that special exclusivity and desirability.

7. Jaguar XJ220 - Top Speed: 217 mph

While it was on its way to production, the Jaguar XJ220 was said to have lost two driven wheels plus six cylinders. Even then it still managed to be declared as 1992's fastest production car.

Originally the XJ220 was to planned have an all-wheel drive and V12 engine. But when production began, there was a need to change it to a rear-wheel drive with a twin-turbocharged V6.

Even then it managed to reach 217 mph especially after the rev limiter was removed. Sadly, it wasn't enough to ensure that the XJ220 has a place in automobile history.

Many of the customers were unimpressed with the production version compared to the concept that was first presented. Amid a weak economy, sales never reached expectations.

8. McLaren P1 - Top Speed: 217 mph

Seen as a successor to the F1, the McLaren P1 may not be as fast but it is built with more technology. The P1 is considered as one of the best performance cars there is, especially with its turbocharged V8 power engine paired seamlessly with its 903-hp hybrid powertrain.

When it was launched, the company made sure to prioritize the driving experience rather than its top speed. There are those who say this could be because McLaren thought it could never rival the Bugatti.

Some reviews are also saying that focusing on the speed could distract customers from the enormous lateral grip. McLaren says that the P1 has a lap time of just six minutes though it can also boast of performing really well at the Nürburgring.

9. Ferrari LaFerrari - Top Speed: 217 mph

Ferrari's LaFerrari joins the Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1 as one of those hybrid supercars that was able to show everyone that performance cars didn't have to be incredibly inefficient.

The LaFerrari not only has the same top speed as the P1 but it has its cleverness as well. The LaFerrari utilizes the 6.2-liter V12 engine with a hybrid system modeled after the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems typically found in its Formula One racecars.

With 920 horsepower, the LaFerrari also offers immediate response from the electric motors to move things along.

10. Ferrari Enzo - Top Speed: 217 mph

Starting off the list is the Ferrari Enzo with a top speed of 217 mph. Before proceeding, it is important to note that the first four cars on this list have the same top speed. Going back to the topic, the Enzo is still faster compared to the LaFerrari even if it looks old when put beside it.

This can be seen in two ways. Either progress in Ferrari is severely lacking or the Enzo was a truly magnificent car. Still when it was released, it was considered as a supercar and was one of the brand's first flagship hypercars to use the Formula-1 style.

From its launching until today, it is still the most powerful and fastest car from Ferrari. This model was named after the company's own founder and its styles and mechanics are said to be the foundation for the next generation road cars of this brand.

The Enzo also symbolizes a significant point in the history of the development of the supercar. Since the Enzo mainly relies on the mechanical aspect, it is very difficult to drive.

As evidence, one can simply look for crash photos on the internet or even on YouTube. New Ferrari models however now have driver aids making the Enzo one of the remaining analog cars of the brand.

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