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 124 mph (200 km/h) only[edit]

This list is also limited to post World War II production road cars which reached more than 124 mph (200 km/h), 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 12 mph
(20 km/h)[3]
1045 cm³ single-cylinder 1.5 bhp 1,200 First production car
1949 Jaguar XK120 124.6 mph
(200.5 km/h)[4]
3442 cm³ Inline-6 160 bhp 12,000 Some publications cite the XK120's timed top speed as almost 133 mph / 214 km/h in 1949.[5] The XK120 that achieved this speed was a tuned prototype, not a production car. The production car reached 124.6 mph (200.5 km/h).
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 150.7 mph
(242.5 km/h)[6]
2996 cm³ Inline-6 212 bhp 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 152 mph
(245 km/h)[7]
3670 cm³ Inline-6 302 bhp 75 Tested by Autosport in December 1961.
1963 Iso Grifo GL 365 161 mph
(259 km/h)[8]
5354 cm³ V8 360 bhp over 400 Tested by Autocar in 1966. A total of 412 Iso Grifos were built 1963–1974.[9]
1965 AC Cobra Mk III 427 165 mph
(266 km/h)[10]
6998 cm³ V8 485 bhp >25 Tested by Car & Driver. Top speed described as observed
1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 171 mph
(275 km/h)[11]
3929 cm³ V12 350 bhp 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 174 mph
(280 km/h)[12]
4390 cm³ V12 352 bhp about 1,400 Tested by Autocar in 1971.
1969 Lamborghini Miura P400S 179.3 mph
(288.6 km/h)[13]
3929 cm³ V12 370 bhp 338 Tested by Sport Auto in 1970.
1982 Lamborghini Countach LP500 S 182 mph
(293 km/h)[14]
4754 cm³ V12 375 bhp 323 Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport
1983 Ruf BTR 190 mph
(305 km/h)[15]
3367 cm³ turbocharged flat-6 369 bhp about
Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport, about 20-30 built with Ruf VIN
1986 Porsche 959 198 mph
(319 km/h)[16]
2849 cm³ twin-turbo flat-6 444 bhp 337 Tested by Road and Track in 1987. The 959 Deluxe version reached 197 mph (317 km/h), the Sport version 198 mph (319 km/h). 29 were built in a performance-enhanced 515 hp sports version which reached 339 km/h (211 mph) tested by Auto, Motor und Sport at Nardo in 1988.[17][18]
1987 Ruf CTR 213 mph
(342 km/h)[17]
3367 cm³ twin-turbo flat-6 463 bhp 29[19] Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport at Nardò Ring in 1988
1993 McLaren F1 221 mph
(355 km/h)
6064 cm³ V12 618 bhp 64[20] Speed at the rev limiter estimated by Car and Driver.[21] Without the rev-limiter, it was able to reach a top-speed of 240.3 mph (386.7 km/h).[22] No tested top speed faster than 211 mph (340 km/h) found for an unmodified car.
2004 Koenigsegg CCR 241.009 mph
(387.866 km/h)
4700 cm³ twin-supercharged V8 806bhp 14 Recorded at the Nardò Ring testing facility on 28 February 2005.[23]
2005 Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 253.81 mph
(408.47 km/h)
7993 cm³ quad-turbo W16 987 bhp 300 Recorded and verified by German inspection officials on 19 April 2005.[24]
2007 SSC Ultimate Aero TT 256.18 mph
(412.28 km/h)
6345 cm³ supercharged V8 1183 bhp <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.[25]
2010 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport 258 mph
(415 km/h)
7993 cm³ quad-turbo W16 1183 bhp 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.[26][27][28]
2017 Koenigsegg Agera RS 277.87 mph
(447.19 km/h)
5000 cm³ twin-turbo V8 1341 bhp 25 The base engine produces 865 kW (1,160 hp), 11 cars were factory specced with the 1MW option. Niklas Lilja drove one of them in November 2017. Its top speed was independently verified by Racelogic.[29][30][31][32][33][34][35]

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.[36]

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 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."[36][37][38]

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
1953 Pegaso Z-102 BS 2.8 Supercharged 151 mph
(243 km/h)
<20 More information needed to confirm if test result qualifies
1959 Maserati 5000 GT 172.4 mph
(277 km/h)
4935/4941 cm³ 340/325 bhp 2+32 no accurate measurement and only the first two cars had the 340 bhp engine, 22 cars had coachwork by Allemano, 12 by 7 other companies[39]
1962 Studebaker Avanti R3 171.1 mph
(275 km/h)
9[40] Article implies the tested version was possibly modified – needs a better source.
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO 147 mph
(237 km/h)
2953 cm³ 296 bhp 39 tested by Motor, speed record already higher
1974 Lamborghini Countach LP400 179 mph
(288 km/h)[41]
3929 cm³ 375 bhp 158 Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport, speed record already higher
1984 Ferrari 288 GTO 188 mph
(303 km/h)[42]
2855 cm³ 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 179 and 180 mph (289.7 km/h) at two tests.[43][16] Speed record already higher than 188 mph (303 km/h)
1985 Lamborghini Countach 5000QV 185 mph
(298 km/h)[44]
5167 cm³ 449 bhp 676 Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport. The car which was tested 190.1 mph (305.9 km/h) by Fast Lane in 1986 and listed in the Guinness Book of World Records 1988 had a factory modified airbox.[45] Speed record already higher.
1990 Vector W8 242 mph
(389 km/h) for prototype
5973 cm³ 625 bhp 17 production models No verified top speed for production model, 218 mph (350 km/h) claimed
1991 Bugatti EB110 GT 210 mph
(338 km/h)[46]
3500 cm³ 550 bhp 95 Tested by sport auto (French), speed record already higher.
1992 Jaguar XJ220 210.5 mph
(338.8 km/h)[47]
3498 cm³ 542 bhp 281 Tested by Road & Track, speed record already higher. The 217.1 mph Guinness World Records speed was measured by Jaguar one-way without independent control with a car modified for about 50 extra hp, the 212.3 mph claims were also factory measured without independent control.[48]
1993 Bugatti EB110 SS 218 mph
(351 km/h)[49][50]
3500 cm³ 603 bhp 30 speed record already higher.
1993 Dauer 962 Le Mans 251.4 mph
(404.6 km/h)[51]
2994 cm³ 720 bhp 13 404.6 km/h (251.4 mph) independently measured at Ehra-Lessien in November 1998.[52] Porsche WMI number – does not meet this list's rules
2014 Hennessey Venom GT 270.49 mph
(435.31 km/h)[1]
7000 cm³ 1244 bhp 16 Single direction top speed test run in 2014 and no Hennessey VIN

See also[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. ^ Archived 1 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine FIA two-way run requirement
  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. ^ Automobil Revue 22 January 1959 Archived 12 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "John Bolster". Autosport. December: 778. 1961.
  8. ^ "Autocar Road Test Number 2077". Autocar. 29 April. 1966.
  9. ^ Oleski, Frank; Lehbrink, Hartmut. 100 Jahre Sportwagen.
  10. ^ Archived 29 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine Car and Driver magazine August 1965
  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. ^ Hanlon, Mike (2 March 2005). "Koenigsegg CCR Breaks World Speed Record for Production Cars". New Atlas. GIZMAG. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Bugatti Veyron". Archived from the original on 2 September 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  25. ^ Schwartzapfel, Stewart (24 January 2008). "The worlds fastest street legal car". Bloomberg Businessweek. US. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  26. ^ "Fastest Production Car". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  27. ^ "Veyron Super Sport hits 267 mph". Top Gear. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  28. ^ "Guinness World Records statement: Fastest Production Car". Guinness World Records. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  29. ^ Tsui, Chris. "The Koenigsegg Agera RS Is Now the Fastest Production Car Ever Made". Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  30. ^ "The Koenigsegg Agera RS has claimed five speed records". Top Gear. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  31. ^ "Koenigsegg Agera RS becomes the world's fastest production car". Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  32. ^ "The World's Fastest Car Is Made in Sweden". Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  33. ^ "The Koenigsegg Agera RS Is Officially the World's Fastest Car". 4 November 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  34. ^ Drewitz, Ina. "Koenigsegg Agera RS Production Speed Record – VBOX Verified!". Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  35. ^
  36. ^ a b Kennedy, George (4 September 2015). "Fastest production car world not exactly clear cut". Yahoo. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  37. ^ "Guinness World Records statement: Production car world records". 8 April 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ "The Maserati 5000GT". Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  40. ^ "1964 Studebaker Avanti R2 (Paxton Supercharger)".
  41. ^ Auto, Motor und Sport 9/1978
  42. ^ Auto, Motor und Sport 7/1985
  43. ^ Automobil Revue 17. July 1986
  44. ^ Auto, Motor und Sport 12/1987 p.11
  45. ^ Prince, Max. "5 Things You Didn't Know About the Lamborghini Countach". Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  46. ^ mentioned in sport auto (French) 418 November 1996
  47. ^ Road & Track January 1995 p.63-71
  48. ^ Green, Gavin (August 1992). "217mph!" (PDF). Car. London. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  49. ^
  50. ^ sport auto (French) 410 March 1996
  51. ^ Evo September 2003: p.106-109
  52. ^ "Le Mans ist überall". Retrieved 11 April 2018.

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.