Production car speed record

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This is a list of the world's record-breaking top speeds achieved by street-legal production cars (as opposed to concept cars or modified cars). For the purposes of this list eligible cars are defined in the list's rules. This list uses a different definition to the List of automotive superlatives. The variation is because the term production car is otherwise undefined.

List rules[edit]

Because of the inconsistencies with the various definitions of production cars, dubious claims by manufacturers and self-interest groups, and inconsistent or changing application of the definitions this list has a defined set of requirements. For further explanation of how these were arrived at see the above link.

Post 1945 and over 200 km/h (124 mph) only[edit]

This list is also limited to post World War II production road cars which reached more than 200 km/h (124 mph), older cars are excluded even if they were faster. The Benz Velo as the first petrol driven car is the only exception.

Production car definition[edit]

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

  1. constructed principally for retail sale to consumers, for their personal use, to transport people on public roads (no commercial or industrial vehicles are eligible)
  2. available for commercial sale to the public in the same specification as the vehicle used to achieve the record
  3. manufactured in the record-claiming specification by a manufacturer whose WMI number is shown on the VIN, including vehicles that are modified by either professional tuners or others that result in a VIN with a WMI number in their name (for example, if a Porsche-based car is remanufactured by RUF and has RUF's WMI W09, it is eligible; but if it has Porsche's WMI, WP0, it is not eligible)
  4. pre-1981 vehicles must be made by the original vehicle manufacturer and not modified by either professional tuners or individuals
  5. street-legal in its intended markets, having fulfilled the homologation tests or inspections required under either a) United States of America, b) European Union law, or (c) Japan) to be granted this status
  6. sold in more than one national market.

Measurement of top speed[edit]

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 car's top speed.[1][2] In instances where the top speed has been determined by removing the limiter, the test met these requirements, and the car is sold with the limiter on then the limited speed is accepted as meeting this requirement. For the McLaren F1 the estimation by Car and Driver about the speed at the rev-limiter is used.

Record-breaking production vehicles[edit]

Year Make and model Top speed of production car Engine Number built Comment
1894 Benz Velo 19 km/h (12 mph)[3] 1,045 cm3 (63.8 cu in) single-cylinder 1.1 kW (1.5 PS; 1.5 bhp) 1,200 First production car
1949 Jaguar XK120 200.5 km/h (124.6 mph)[4] 3,442 cm3 (210.0 cu in) inline-6 119 kW (162 PS; 160 hp) 12,000 Some publications cite the XK120's timed top speed as almost 214 km/h (133 mph) in 1949.[5] The XK120 that achieved this speed was a tuned prototype, not a production car. The production car reached 200.5 km/h (124.6 mph).
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 242.5 km/h (150.7 mph)[6] 2,996 cm3 (182.8 cu in) inline-6 158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp) 1,400 Two-way average speed tested by Automobil Revue in 1958. 245 km/h (152.2 mph) reached in one direction.
1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT 245 km/h (152 mph)[7] 3,670 cm3 (224 cu in) inline-6 225 kW (306 PS; 302 hp) 75 Tested by Autosport in December 1961.
1963 Iso Grifo GL 365 259 km/h (161 mph)[8] 5,354 cm3 (326.7 cu in) V8 268 kW (365 PS; 360 hp) over 400 Tested by Autocar in 1966. A total of 412 Iso Grifos were built 1963–1974.[9]
1965 AC Cobra Mk III 427 266 km/h (165 mph)[10] 6,998 cm3 (427.0 cu in) V8 362 kW (492 PS; 485 hp) >25 Tested by Car & Driver. Top speed described as observed
1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 275 km/h (171 mph)[11] 3,929 cm3 (239.8 cu in) V12 261 kW (355 PS; 350 hp) 275 Tested by Motor in June 1967. Over 750 units built in 1966–1973 period, which includes P400, P400 S and P400 SV models.
1968 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona 280 km/h (174 mph)[12] 4,390 cm3 (268 cu in) V12 262 kW (357 PS; 352 hp) about 1,400 Tested by Autocar in 1971.
1969 Lamborghini Miura P400S 288.6 km/h (179.3 mph)[13] 3,929 cm3 (239.8 cu in) V12 276 kW (375 PS; 370 hp) 338 Tested by Sport Auto in 1970.
1982 Lamborghini Countach LP500 S 293 km/h (182 mph)[14] 4,754 cm3 (290.1 cu in) V12 280 kW (380 PS; 375 hp) 323 Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport
1983 Ruf BTR 305 km/h (190 mph)[15] 3,367 cm3 (205.5 cu in) turbocharged flat-6 275 kW (374 PS; 369 hp) about
20–30
Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport, about 20-30 built with Ruf VIN
1986 Porsche 959 319 km/h (198 mph)[16] 2,849 cm3 (173.9 cu in) twin-turbocharged flat-6 331 kW (450 PS; 444 hp) 337 Tested by Road and Track in 1987. The 959 Deluxe version attained 317 km/h (197 mph), the Sport version 319 km/h (198 mph). 29 were built in a performance-enhanced 379 kW (508 hp; 515 PS) sports version which reached 339 km/h (211 mph) tested by Auto, Motor und Sport at Nardo in 1988.[17][18]
1987 Ruf CTR 342 km/h (213 mph)[17] 3,367 cm3 (205.5 cu in) twin-turbocharged flat-6 345 kW (469 PS; 463 hp) 29[19] Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport at Nardò Ring in 1988
1993 McLaren F1 355 km/h (221 mph) 6,064 cm3 (370.0 cu in) V12 461 kW (627 PS; 618 hp) 64[20] Speed at the rev limiter estimated by Car and Driver.[21] Without the rev-limiter, it was able to reach an average top-speed of 386.7 km/h (240.3 mph).[22] No tested top speed faster than 340 km/h (211 mph) found for an unmodified car.
2005 Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 408.47 km/h (253.81 mph) 7,993 cm3 (487.8 cu in) quad-turbocharged W16 736 kW (1,001 PS; 987 hp) 300 Recorded and verified by German inspection officials on 19 April 2005.[23]
2007 SSC Ultimate Aero TT 412.28 km/h (256.18 mph) 6,345 cm3 (387.2 cu in) supercharged V8 882 kW (1,199 PS; 1,183 hp) <20 Two-way average top speed measured independently on a temporarily-closed 2 lane stretch of public highway in Washington State using Dewetron's GPS tracking system and verified by Guinness.[24]
2010 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph) 7,993 cm3 (487.8 cu in) quad-turbocharged W16 882 kW (1,199 PS; 1,183 hp) 30 Out of the initial production run of 30, 5 cars were named the Super Sport World Record Edition. With the electronic limiter turned off the Super Sport World Record Edition was capable of 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph) two-way average. When sold they were electronically limited to 415 km/h (258 mph). Pierre-Henri Raphanel drove the unlimited car and its top speed was verified by Guinness World Records.[25][26][27]
2017 Koenigsegg Agera RS 447.19 km/h (277.87 mph) 5,000 cm3 (310 cu in) twin-turbocharged V8 1,000 kW (1,360 PS; 1,341 hp) 25 The base engine is rated at 865 kW (1,176 PS; 1,160 hp), 11 cars were factory specced with the 1 MW (1,400 PS; 1,300 hp) option. Niklas Lilja drove one of them in November 2017. Its top speed was independently verified by Racelogic – although the record is yet to be verified by an independent body related to world records.[28][29][30][31][32][33]


Difficulties with claims[edit]

Comparing claimed speeds of the fastest production cars in the world, especially in historical cases, is difficult as there is no standardized method for determining the top speed and no central authority to verify any such claims. Examples of the difficulties faced were shown up in the dispute between Bugatti and Hennessey over which car was the world's fastest.[34]

Bugatti Veyron limiter removal[edit]

On 4 July 2010 the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport reached 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph) two-way average. Bugatti built 30 Super Sports (5 of them named World Record Edition). At the time the record was set it was known that the customer cars were electronically limited to 415 km/h (257.87 mph). Guinness Book of Records (which had listed speeds by British cars with modified rev limiter as production car records in the 1990s) listed the unlimited 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph) as production car speed record. Yet, 3 years later, after a query by the Sunday Times Guinness' PR director Jaime Strang was quoted: "As the car's speed limiter was deactivated, this modification was against the official guidelines. Consequently, the vehicle's record set at 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph) is no longer valid." 5 days later it was written on its website: "Guinness World Records would like to confirm that Bugatti's record has not been disqualified; the record category is currently under review." Five days later Bugatti's speed record was confirmed: "Following a thorough review conducted with a number of external experts, Guinness World Records is pleased to announce the confirmation of Bugatti's record of Fastest production car achieved by the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. The focus of the review was with respect to what may constitute a modification to a car's standard specification. Having evaluated all the necessary information, Guinness World Records is now satisfied that a change to the speed limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car or its engine."[34][35][36]

Cars excluded from the list[edit]

Some cars were not considered to be the fastest production vehicles, for various reasons. Here is a list of some well known cars that have not been able to meet standards needed to be the fastest production car.

Year Make and model Top speed of production car Engine Number built Comment
1959 Maserati 5000 GT 277 km/h (172.4 mph) 4,935 / 4,941 cm3 (301.2 / 301.5 cu in) 254 / 242 kW (345 / 330 PS; 340 / 325 bhp) 2+32 No accurate measurement and only the first two cars had the 250 kW (340 PS; 340 bhp) engine, 22 cars had coachwork by Allemano, 12 by 7 other companies[37]
1984 Ferrari 288 GTO 303 km/h (188 mph)[38] 2,855 cm3 (174.2 cu in) 298 kW (406 PS; 400 bhp) 272 Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport in 1985. Doubted, since Automobil Revue measured only 279 km/h (173 mph) for the identical car and even several remeasurements at two additional test dates didn't yield more than 288 km/h (179 mph). Road & Track measured 288.1 and 289.7 km/h (179 and 180 mph) at two tests.[39][16] Speed record already higher than 303 km/h (188 mph)
1985 Lamborghini Countach 5000QV 298 km/h (185 mph)[40] 5,167 cm3 (315.3 cu in) 335 kW (455 PS; 449 bhp) 676 Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport. The car which was tested 305.9 km/h (190.1 mph) by Fast Lane in 1986 and listed in the Guinness Book of World Records 1988 had a factory modified airbox.[41] Speed record already higher.
1990 Vector W8 389 km/h (242 mph) for prototype 5,973 cm3 (364.5 cu in) 466 kW (634 PS; 625 bhp) 17 production models No verified top speed for production model, 350 km/h (218 mph) claimed
1991 Bugatti EB110 GT 338 km/h (210 mph)[42] 3,500 cm3 (210 cu in) 412 kW (560 PS; 552 bhp) 95 Tested by sport auto (French), speed record already higher.
1992 Jaguar XJ220 338.8 km/h (210.5 mph)[43] 3,498 cm3 (213.5 cu in) 404 kW (550 PS; 542 bhp) 281 Tested by Road & Track, speed record already higher. The 349.4 km/h (217.1 mph) Guinness World Records speed was measured by Jaguar one-way without independent control with a car modified for about 50 extra horsepower, the 341.7 km/h (212.3 mph) claims were also factory measured without independent control.[44]
1993 Bugatti EB110 SS 351 km/h (218 mph)[45][46] 3,500 cm3 (210 cu in) 450 kW (611 PS; 603 bhp) 30 speed record already higher.
1993 Dauer 962 Le Mans 404.6 km/h (251.4 mph)[47] 2,994 cm3 (182.7 cu in) 537 kW (730 PS; 720 bhp) 13 404.6 km/h (251.4 mph) independently measured at Ehra-Lessien in November 1998.[48] Porsche WMI number – does not meet this list's rules
2004 Koenigsegg CCR 387.866 km/h (241.009 mph) 4,700 cm3 (290 cu in) twin-supercharged V8 601 kW (817 PS; 806 hp) 14 Recorded at the Nardò Ring testing facility on 28 February 2005. Excluded from the list due to being a single directional run.[49]
2014 Hennessey Venom GT 435.31 km/h (270.49 mph)[1] 7,000 cm3 (430 cu in) 928 kW (1,261 PS; 1,244 bhp) 16 Single direction top speed test run in 2014 and no Hennessey VIN.
2019 Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ (pre-production prototype) 490.48 km/h (304.77 mph) 8,000 cm3 (490 cu in) quad-turbocharged W16 1,177 kW (1,600 PS; 1,578 hp) 30 (production to commence) On 2 August 2019, Andy Wallace achieved a maximum of 490.48 km/h (304.77 mph) in a pre-production Chiron prototype at Ehra-Lessien, which was verified by TÜV. The recording setting version of the Chiron is described by Bugatti a "near production ready prototype". It was later revealed that the record setting car was a prototype of the Chiron Super Sport 300+. Excluded from the list due to performing a uni-directional top speed run.[50][51][52][53]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nunez, Alex (24 February 2014), "The Hennessey Venom GT is the world's fastest car; Hits 270 mph on tarmac reserved for astronauts", Road & Track, archived from the original on 17 March 2018, retrieved 16 March 2018
  2. ^ "FIA World Land Speed Records". Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. Archived from the original on 1 November 2017.
  3. ^ Danielson, C. (12 September 2008). "eMercedesBenz Feature: The World's First Production Car, The Benz Patent Motor Car Velocipede Of 1894". eMercedesBenz. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015.
  4. ^ Stoy, Andy (15 October 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.
  5. ^ 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 0-85112-768-1.
  6. ^ "Mercedes-Benz 300 SL - der gezähmte Rennwagen für die Schickeria der Sechzigerjahre" [Mercedes-Benz 300 SL - the tamed racing car for the chic people of the 1960s]. Zwischengas (in German). Germany. 19 April 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  7. ^ "John Bolster Tests the Aston Martin DB4 G.T.". Autosport. December: 778. 1961.
  8. ^ "Autocar Road Test Number 2077". Autocar. 29 April. 1966.
  9. ^ Oleski, Frank; Lehbrink, Hartmut. 100 Jahre Sportwagen.
  10. ^ "Road Test Cobra 427" (PDF). Car and Driver. US. November 1965. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Sackey, Joe. The Lamborghini Miura Bible" (PDF).
  12. ^ "Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona review – on the road". Archived from the original on 6 May 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  13. ^ Sport Auto, numéro 100, mai 1970
  14. ^ Auto, Motor und Sport 15/1983
  15. ^ Auto, Motor und Sport 3/1987
  16. ^ a b Road and Track July 1987 Egan, Peter (29 May 2016). "In 1987, The World's Fastest Cars Couldn't Catch A 211-mph Twin-Turbo Ruf". Road & Track. US.
  17. ^ a b Auto, Motor und Sport 25/1988
  18. ^ Bernd Woytal (18 October 2015). "Ferrari F40 gegen Porsche 959: Nonplusultra-Supersportler der 80er – Auto Motor und Sport". auto motor und sport.
  19. ^ Bovington, Jethro (November 2012). "1987 Ruf CTR "Yellowbird" 911 Turbo Driven". Car and Driver. US. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  20. ^ "McLaren F1 Owners Club Tour 2014 – Photo Gallery". Sports Car Digest. 21 July 2014.
  21. ^ Robinson, Peter (August 1994). "The Finest High-Performance Production Engine in the World". Car and Driver. US. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  22. ^ "It Will Not Go Any More Than 391". Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Bugatti Veyron". Archived from the original on 2 September 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  24. ^ Schwartzapfel, Stewart (24 January 2008). "The world's fastest street legal car". Bloomberg Businessweek. US. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  25. ^ "Fastest Production Car". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  26. ^ "Veyron Super Sport hits 267 mph". Top Gear. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  27. ^ "Guinness World Records statement: Fastest Production Car". Guinness World Records. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  28. ^ Tsui, Chris. "The Koenigsegg Agera RS Is Now the Fastest Production Car Ever Made". Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  29. ^ "The Koenigsegg Agera RS has claimed five speed records". Top Gear. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  30. ^ "The World's Fastest Car Is Made in Sweden". Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  31. ^ "The Koenigsegg Agera RS Is Officially the World's Fastest Car". 4 November 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  32. ^ Drewitz, Ina. "Koenigsegg Agera RS Production Speed Record – VBOX Verified!". VBOX Motorsport. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  33. ^ "Koenigsegg Agera RS Achieves Multiple Production Car World Speed Records". Sweden: Koenigsegg. 7 November 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  34. ^ a b Kennedy, George (4 September 2015). "Fastest production car world not exactly clear cut". Yahoo. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  35. ^ "Guinness World Records statement: Production car world records". 8 April 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  36. ^ Weiss, C.C. (16 April 2013). "And the world's fastest car is ... the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (again)". New Atlas. GIZMAG. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  37. ^ "The Maserati 5000GT". maserati-alfieri.co.uk. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  38. ^ Auto, Motor und Sport 7/1985
  39. ^ Automobil Revue 17. July 1986
  40. ^ Auto, Motor und Sport 12/1987 p.11
  41. ^ Prince, Max. "5 Things You Didn't Know About the Lamborghini Countach". Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  42. ^ mentioned in sport auto (French) 418 November 1996
  43. ^ Road & Track January 1995 p.63-71
  44. ^ Green, Gavin (August 1992). "217mph!" (PDF). Car. London. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  45. ^ "Bugatti EB110 meets Edonis: The Offspring". Evo. UK. 31 March 2005. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  46. ^ sport auto (French) 410 March 1996
  47. ^ Evo September 2003: p.106-109
  48. ^ "Le Mans ist überall". autobild.de. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  49. ^ Hanlon, Mike (2 March 2005). "Koenigsegg CCR Breaks World Speed Record for Production Cars". New Atlas. GIZMAG. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  50. ^ Bugatti hits 304.77mph in a Chiron. Top Gear. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019 – via YouTube.
  51. ^ "Top gear reporting Bugatti Chiron breaking the 300mph barrier".
  52. ^ Sluys, Andrew (3 September 2019). "Watch: Bugatti Chiron hits 490km/h in a record-breaking speed run". Driven. New Zealand. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  53. ^ "The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport+ is a production 300mph car". Top Gear. 8 September 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.