What is the fastest car in the world?

26 Feb, 2014 4:07pm Sam Naylor

With Hennessey claiming a new production car speed record we look back at the world's fastest road cars

The Hennessey Venom GT has become the new fastest road car in the world by reaching 270.49mph, beating the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's time of 269.86mph by just 0.63mph.

The run was completed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA - on NASA's 3.2-mile Space Shuttle landing runway. However, because the speed was set over one run it will not be recorded officially. The official Guinness World Record requires two runs in opposite directions to work out an average speed - meaning tailwinds are taken into account.

The speed was independently verified, however. “The Venom GT attained a maximum speed of 270.49 mph as measured by our VBOX 3i GPS system,” said Racelogic engineer Joe Lachovsky.

The Venom GT also holds the speed records for world’s fastest car from 0-300 km/h (13.63 seconds) and 0-200 mph (14.51 seconds). That's thanks to a low weight (1,244kg) and a high power output (1,244bhp) from its 7.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine.

The car that still holds the Guinness World Record for being the world's fastest road car is the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which reached 267.81mph in 2010. Thirty models were produced initially and five of those had the top speed limiter removed to allow the incredible top speed to be reached - and to ensure the car's place in the record books for production cars.

The standard Bugatti Veyron did break the production car speed record too in 2005, with a speed of 253.81mph. Its 8.0-litre W16 engine has four turbochargers and produces 987bhp - 0-62mph takes just 2.5 seconds.

The McLaren F1 still holds the record for world's fastest naturally aspirated road car, setting a speed of 240mph way back in 1993. Notably, it features a central driver's seat and two passenger seats either side - an unusual set-up for a hypercar like this. It uses a 6.1-litre V12 with 627bhp - quite a bit less than the Veyron, but it does weigh less than the Bugatti too.

The early nineties were an incredible time for hypercar fans, with the top speed war in full swing between the McLaren F1, Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959. The Porsche was the first to hold the record of the three, but the F40 soon trumped the Porsche's 195mph with its groundbreaking 202.6mph - the first road car to go faster than 200mph.

The Lamborghini Miura was the fastest road car in the world at the time of its launch in 1966, able to reach a top speed over 170mph. Before that, the Aston Martin DB4 and Mercedes 300SL held the record.

Koenigsegg One:1 teaser

The position of the world's fastest car is always under threat, of course, and while the Bugatti Veyron and Hennessey Venom GT fight over whose attempt will go down in the record books, the Koenigsegg One:1, which will be revealed at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, looks set to set a record of its own.

Even if it can't match the ultimate speed record, the One:1 will become the world's most powerful road car with 1,322bhp - 22bhp more than the current champion, the 1,300bhp SCC Ultimate Aero.

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Good fun for the wealthy and us vicarious observers, but I do have more respect for the marques that stay away from this kind of willy-waving behaviour.

You got it all wrong! It should be a rental car instead!

Hennesey is fastest car illegal




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