While most of us are limited to realistic speed limits on public highways, some adrenaline junkies can hit race tracks, the Autobahn, or Bonneville for the ultimate top speed run. Here are the top 5 production cars engineered to safely go as fast as possible.
Saleen S7 TT, 248 MPH
On a whim, long time Mustang tuner Steve Saleen decided to build his own supercar. It worked. The hand-built carbon fiber body on an aluminum frame weighs well under 2,800 lbs, and the Ford 427 has no problem belting out 750 horsepower to the rear wheels. Being American, it’s loud, looks properly gaudy, is a relative bargain compared to the rest of this list. If you’re in the market, find one with the competition package increased horsepower to an even 1,000.
SSC North America Ultimate Aero TT, 257 MPH
One-time holder of the “World’s Fastest Car” title, the Aero is the work of Jerod Shelby whose Washington-based team is set on building the fastest car on Earth. Before the Veyron SS, this was it. The stats on the Ultimate Aero are impressive: a Corvette C6-R billet aluminum v8 delivering 1,287 hp, a carbon fiber chassis and body that weighs just 2,750 lbs, meaning it has 2.2 pounds per horsepower. Scary. If that isn’t fast enough for you, the new 2014 SSC Tuatara has even more power and less weight (but has not been run flat out yet).
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, 268 MPH
The original Veyron 16.4 was nuts back in 2004: 8.0 liter W16 with four turbochargers, 10 radiators, 1001 horsepower and 253 MPH top speed. Bugatti released far too many special editions of the world record holder, reducing the specialness of each car. However, one version still stood above the rest. Built since 2010, the Super Sport looks nearly identical to the 16.4, but ups the insanity to 1,200 hp and 15 mph higher top speed. VW group is ending production soon, so get one of these $2 million hyper cars before they’re gone.
Hennessey Venom GT, 270 MPH*
Everything is bigger in Texas, including the horsepower. Longtime Dodge Viper tuner John Hennessey launched this beast in 2012. Sure, its critics have some valid points about it being a “Super Lotus Exige,” and while the wild Venom GT may share a few underpinnings of the humble four cylinder Lotus, Hennessey turned it into an entirely different car with a fire breathing 1,244 hp V8 monster out back. The aluminum 7.0 V8 is borrowed from the Corvette Z06 and fitted with twin turbos. The result is a car so fast, even Texas doesn’t have a road long enough to test top speed.
Koenigsegg Agera R, 273 MPH*
Everything about this car is ridiculous, from the insane looks to the unpronounceable manufacturer’s name. The Agera R is the definition of hypercar. Rare and unbelievably expensive, with hollow carbon fiber wheels, titanium connecting rods in the 5.0 V8, and 1,140 horsepower running on relatively cheap E85. The rest of the stats are no joke either, with it capable of 1.5g on skidpad, and 15” brake rotors that can repeatedly haul you down from 250+ MPHwithout fading. As insane as this car is, the upcoming Koenigsegg One:1 will easily take the Agera R’s spot on this list.
*Theoretical top speed based on drivetrain, weight, and aerodynamics, but unproven. Veyron SS is the current World Record holder for fastest production car as of this writing.