List of fastest production cars

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A Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport World Record Edition - the fastest road legal production car reaching 431 km/h
Top speed (mph) by year

This is a list of the world's fastest street-legal production car (as opposed to concept cars or modified cars). The production car is a car of which 20 or more were originally built by its manufacturer to the same or faster specification than the record setting example. This list uses the same definition as the List of automotive superlatives for the sake of consistency and because the term production car is otherwise undefined. It is also limited to cars that were constructed after World War 2. The Benz Velo, as the first production car, is an exception.

Comparing claimed speeds of the "fastest car(s) in the world", especially in historical cases, is difficult as there is no standardized method for determining the top speed, nor a central authority to verify any such claims. The current title Guinness World Records holder, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, was certified for the average top speed achieved on a two-way run, registering 431 km/h (268 mph). While only 5 of the World Record model were made out of a total of 30 Super Sports, the other 25 Super Sports will all also achieve this speed with the limiter turned off. Guinness, after a review by a panel of experts, consider this not to be a modification and thus it is eligible for this list.

In 2014, a Hennessey Venom GT was recorded as exceeding 270.49 mph (435.31 km/h), but as the run was in one direction only, and only 16 cars out of a planned total of 29 have been sold, it does not qualify under the Guinness Book of Records or this list's criteria as the worlds fastest production car.[1][2]

List rules

Post 1945 only

This list is also limited to post World War 2 production road cars. The Benz Velo as the first petrol driven car is the only exception.

Production car definition

For the purposes of this list a production car is defined as:

  1. being constructed principally for retail sale to consumers, for their personal use, and to transport people on public roads (no commercial or industrial vehicles are eligible);
  2. having had 20 or more instances made by the original vehicle manufacturer, and offered for commercial sale to the public in new condition (cars modified by either professional tuners or individuals are not eligible); and
  3. being street-legal in their intended markets, and capable of passing any official tests or inspections required to be granted this status.

Measurement of top speed

To establish the top speed for cars at least since the 1990s the requirement is, in addition to the above, an independent road test with a two-way run. The mean of the top speed for both runs is taken as the cars top speed.[3][4]

Fastest production vehicles

Year Make and model Top speed of production car Number built Comment
1894 Benz Velo 12 mph (19 km/h)[5] 1200 First production car
1947 Healey Type 2.4 110.8 mph (178 km/h)[6] 100 Tested by Autocar in 1947
1949 Jaguar XK120 124.6 mph (201 km/h)[7] 12000 Some publications cite the XK120's timed top speed as almost 133 mph / 214 km/h in 1949."[8] The XK120 that achieved this speed was a tuned prototype, not a production car. The production car reached 124.6mph.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 140 mph (225 km/h)[9] 1400 Tested by Road & Track.
1958 Aston Martin DB4 141 mph (227 km/h)[10] 1110 Tested by Autocar magazine in 1961.
1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT 152 mph (245 km/h)[11] 75 Tested by Autosport in December 1961.
1963 Iso Rivolta Grifo A3/L 327 161 mph (259 km/h)[12][13] over 400 Tested by Autocar.[14][15]
1965 AC Cobra Mk III 427 165 mph (266 km/h)[16] >20 Tested by Car & Driver. Top speed described as observed
1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 171 mph (275 km/h)[17] over 750 Tested by Motor. Over 750 units build in 1966-1973 period, which includes P400, P400 S and P400 SV models.
1968 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona 174 mph (280 km/h)[18] about 1400 Tested by Autocar.[19]
1984 Ferrari 288 GTO 188 mph (303 km/h)[20] 272 Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport in 1985.
1986 Porsche 959 195 mph (314 km/h)[21] 337 Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport in 1987. The 197 mph (317 km/h) top speed was recorded by the 959 Sport only 6 of which were ever made. The rest of the 337 units production run (1986-1989) were 959 Touring version that topped at 195 mph (314 km/h).
1987 Ferrari F40 202.687 mph (326.193 km/h)[22] 1315[23] Tested by Quattroruote. Claimed top speed 201 mph (323 km/h).The last Ferrari to be approved for production by Enzo Ferrari himself.
1991 Bugatti EB110 GT 209 mph (336 km/h)[24][25] 95 Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport.
1992 Jaguar XJ220 212.3 mph (342 km/h)[26] 281 Driven around the Nardo test track by Martin Brundle for Autocar. Brundle achieved 217.1mph with catalytic converter removed and, as Nardo is a banked circuit, this gives a theoretical straight-line top speed of 223mph.
1993 McLaren F1 240.1 mph (386 km/h) 106[28] At factory rev limit, it reached 231 mph (371.8 km/h) at Nardò (oval) test track. It still remains the world's fastest naturally aspirated production car in terms of top speed.[29] Sans-rev-limiter, it was able to reach a top-speed of 240.1 mph (386.4 km/h).[30]
2005 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 253.81 mph (408.47 km/h) 300 Recorded and verified by German inspection officials.[31]
2010 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport 267.857 mph (431 km/h) 30 Out of the initial production run of 30 there were 5, named the Super Sport World Record Edition, which had the electronic limiter turned off, and were capable of 267.857 mph (431.074 km/h). All others were electronically limited to 257.87 mph (415.00 km/h). The record attempt of the Super Sport World Record Edition was driven by Pierre-Henri Raphanel and was verified by Guinness World Records.[32][33][34]

See also

References

  1. ^ Nunez, Alex (February 24, 2014), "The Hennessey Venom GT is the world's fastest car; Hits 270 mph on tarmac reserved for astronauts", Road & Track 
  2. ^ Hennessey Performance Engineering (February 24, 2014), Aerodynamic Test Session Results in New Top Speed for Hennessey Venom GT (press release), HPE Design 
  3. ^ http://www.roadandtrack.com/go/news/hennessey-venom-hits-270-mph-is-worlds-fastest-car Guiness two-way run requirement
  4. ^ http://www.fia.com/sports/fia-world-land-speed-records FIA two-way run requirement
  5. ^ Danielson, C. (September 12, 2008), "eMercedesBenz Feature: The World's First Production Car, The Benz Patent Motor Car Velocipede Of 1894", eMercedesBenz 
  6. ^ Autocar. October. 1947. 
  7. ^ Stoy, Andy (October 15, 2012). "Worth the Wait". Autoweek 62 (21): 40–41. ISSN 0192-9674. But the XK120 was a post-war performance revelation, proving itself as the fastest production car in the world at the time. 
  8. ^ Hodges, David; Burgess-Wise, David; Davenport, John; Harding, Anthony (1994). The Guinness Book of Car Facts and Feats (4 ed.). London: Guinness Publishing. p. 52. ISBN 0851127681. 
  9. ^ "Mercedes 300SL Test". Road & Track. April. 1955. 
  10. ^ Autocar. October. 1961. 
  11. ^ "John Bolster Tests the Aston Martin DB4 G.T.". Autosport. December: 778. 1961. 
  12. ^ "Iso Grifo". Retrieved 2011-09-25. 
  13. ^ "Iso Rivolta Grifo". Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  14. ^ "Sports & G.T. Cars". Autocar. April. 1966. 
  15. ^ "Iso Grifo". Retrieved 2011-05-29. 
  16. ^ http://media.caranddriver.com/files/shelby-cobra-427shelby-cobra-427-roadster-road-test-nov-65.pdf Car and Driver magazine August 1965
  17. ^ "Lamborghini Miura". Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  18. ^ "Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona". Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  19. ^ "Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona review - on the road". Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  20. ^ "Ferrari 288GTO". Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  21. ^ "The True Story of Porsche 959". Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  22. ^ "Ferrari "F40" Febbre a quaranta". Quattroruote. September: 72–85. 1989. 
  23. ^ "1987 Ferrari F40". conceptcarz.com. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  24. ^ "Bugatti EB110". Auto, Motor und Sport, as cited by Autozine. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  25. ^ Cheetham, Craig (2005). Ultimate Performance Cars Five View Series. St. Paul, MN: Motorbooks. p. 49. ISBN 0-7603-2310-0. 
  26. ^ "Jaguar XJ 220 2dr". Autocar. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  27. ^ "McLaren F1 Owners Club Tour 2014 – Photo Gallery". Sports Car Digest. 21 July 2014. 
  28. ^ "McLaren F1 Owners Club Tour 2014 – Photo Gallery". Sports Car Digest. 21 July 2014. 
  29. ^ "McLaren F1". Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  30. ^ "McLaren F1". Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  31. ^ "Bugatti Veyron". Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  32. ^ "FASTEST PRODUCTION CAR". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  33. ^ "Veyron Super Sport hits 267 mph". topgear.com. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  34. ^ "Guinness World Records statement: Fastest Production Car". Guinness World Records. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 

Further reading

  • Wood, Jonathan (2005). The Ultimate History of Fast Cars. Parragon Publishing. ISBN 1-4054-5467-9. 
  • Brown, Langworth; Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (1998). Great Cars of The 20th Century. Publications International. ISBN 0-7853-2523-9. 

Notes for editors