Automakers have been racing to produce the fastest car in the world since the early days of the automobile, but thorough documentation about this battle only goes back to the 1940s.
The 1980s brought the first major breakthrough when the 200-mph barrier was broken. Another benchmark was set in 2005 when the first car reached 250 mph. In 2019, Bugatti finally broke the magical 300-mph barrier with a beefed-up version of the Chiron.
As of 2020, three automakers threaten this record. SSC claims that the Tuatara will hit more than 300 mph, while Hennessey says that the Venom F5 is capable of at least 310 mph. Finally, Koenigsegg claims that the Jesko Absolut will reach 330 mph. Until these cars go into production and their respective automakers document potential records, here’s a list of the ten fastest production cars in the world.
Top 10 fastest production cars in the World
2020 top 10 fastest cars in the World
By Top Speed
Too fast too furious! Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+: 304 mph
The standard Bugatti Chiron is already among the fastest cars in the world with a top speed of around 261 mph, but the French firm wanted to set a new record, so it created an even more potent beast. Bugatti took the slightly more powerful engine from the Centodieci, rated at 1,578 horsepower (99 more than the standard Chiron), added longer gear ratios to the gearbox, and crafted a revised aerodynamic package that increases the car’s length by almost 10 inches. The modified car hit a top speed of 304.7 mph on August 2. To celebrate the even, Bugatti is building a production model based on the prototype called the Chiron Super Sport 300+. This car is limited to 30 examples, enough to validate the speed record with the Guinness World Records
Koenigsegg Agera RS: 278 mph
The most powerful version of the Agera, the Agera RS, became the world’s fastest car on November 2017, when Koenigsegg hit an average speed of 277.9 mph. The record lasted less than two years, but the Agera RS still owns a handful of benchmarks, including acceleration from 0 to 200 mph, braking from 200 to 0 mph, and 0 to 200 mph and back to full stop. Unlike Bugatti, Koenigsegg didn’t build a limited-edition version of the Agera RS to celebrate the record, but the RS itself was limited to 25 examples
Hennessey Venom GT: 270 mph
The Venom GT was introduced in 2011 and remained in production until 2017. Despite the seemingly long run, only 13 cars were built. Based on the Lotus Exige, the extensively modified Venom GT features a twin-turbo, 7.0-liter V-8 engine under the hood. Based on General Motors’ LS7 V-8, the unit pumps out up to 1,244 horsepower and 1,155 pound-feet of torque. The Venom GT hit its highest top speed in February 2014, when it reached 270.4 mph on Kennedy Space Center’s shuttle landing strip in Florida. Although the speed was higher than the world record at the time, it did not qualify for the Guinness Book of Records because Hennessey’s run was in a single direction. Also, the limited production run of only 13 cars went against Guinness rules
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport: 268 mph
The Bugatti Veyron may be five years old as of 2020, but it’s still among the fastest supercars ever built. Actually, the record set by Bugatti in 2010 places the Veyron in fourth place with a top speed of 267.8 mph. This benchmark was achieved with a beefed-up model called the Veyron Super Sport. Bugatti built a special run of 30 cars called World Record Edition to celebrate the event, but these vehicles are limited to 258 mph to protect the tires. The Super Sport was also the most powerful version of the Veyron, with its 8.0-liter W-16 rated at 1,184 horsepower, 197 more than the regular model
Bugatti Chiron: 261 mph
The standard Bugatti Chiron made it on our list as one of four Bugattis. Introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the Veyron, the Chiron retains the quad-turbo W-16 engine, but power was upgraded to 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. The Chiron’s top speed is officially limited to 261 mph, which is a bit below the Veyron Super Sport. On the other hand, the Chiron Super Sport tops the list with more than 300 mph, so we know there’s plenty of potential under the hood
Koenigsegg Agera R: 260 mph
The Agera RS may be the fastest of its kind, but the Agera R isn’t far behind. Produced from 2011 to 2014, the Agera R featured the company’s legendary 5.0-liter V-8 engine, capable of up to 1,124 horsepower and 885 pound-feet of torque. The Swedish firm used this car to set a handful of records for production cars in 2011, but these were eventually reset by the Agera RS. Although it didn’t set a record for top speed, the Agera R was nearly as fast as the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport at 260 mph. This benchmark places it in fifth place on our list and makes it the second Koenigsegg to make our top 10
SSC Ultimate Aero: 256 mph
The Ultimate Aero is the car that briefly stole the record from the Bugatti Veyron. Until the Veyron Super Sport came to take it back. SSC set its record in 2007 with a twin-turbo version of the car. The Ultimate Aero hit a top speed of 256.1 mph somewhere in West Richland and held the record until 2010. The Ultimate Aero was discontinued in 2013 after several limited-edition models, but SSC is now working on a new contender for the world’s fastest production car, the Tuatara. While the record car came with 1,183 horsepower and 1,094 pound-feet of tap, SSC increased power to 1,300 horses toward the end of production. It also switched the original 6.3-liter V-8 with a 6.9-liter engine.
Bugatti Veyron: 253.8 mph
The fourth Bugatti on our list, the standard Veyron, is the first production car that surpassed the 250-mph mark. And it did it back in 2005 when it put an end to McLaren’s long-standing record set with the F1 in 1993. The Veyron, fitted with an early version of the 8.0-liter W-16, hit a top speed of 253.8 mph on April 19, 2005. Its record stood for two years, but it was recaptured by the SuperSport version and then by its successor, the Chiron. This is the only Bugatti in our list that generates less than 1,000 horsepower. The W-16 used in the original Veyron cranks out 987 horses and 922 pound-feet of torque
McLaren Speedtail: 250 mph
One of the newest cars on our list, the McLaren Speedtail, was introduced in 2019, and it’s considered a spiritual successor to the iconic F1. But that’s mostly because it features a three-seat layout with the driver’s seat in the center. Unlike other cars on this list, the Speedtail is a hybrid, combining a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 gasoline engine with an electric motor. McLaren says that the Speedtail is able to hit 250 mph, which makes it the company’s fastest vehicle yet. However, the British firm has yet to release proof that the Speedtail is indeed capable of such speeds
Saleen S7: 248 mph
The Saleen S7 is only the second American-built supercar on this list. Introduced in 2000 with a naturally aspirated, 7.0-liter V-8, the S7 was upgraded to a twin-turbocharged unit in 2005. Rated at 1,000 horsepower with the optional Competition package, it enables the S7 to hit a top speed of 248 horsepower. Although it’s the last car on our list, we need to note that the turbocharged S7 reached 248 mph the same year when the Veyron established a record at 253.8 mph. Saleen wasn’t far behind. But unlike Bugatti, Saleen never attempted to set a new record for production cars. In 2017, Saleen announced the S7 LM with 1,500 horsepower and a top speed of 298 mph, but that benchmark was never tested