Car manufacturers are continuing to push the boundaries, honing aerodynamics and developing evermore powerful engines. From Koenigsegg and Bugatti, to Hennessey and SSC, here’s a look at the fastest automobiles ever made and the extraordinary teams behind them.
Hennessey Venom GT
In 2013, the Hennessey Venom GT set a Guinness World Record by accelerating from 0 to 186 mph in an average of 13.63 seconds. The car also clocked a speed of 265.7 mph over two miles that same year. In 2014, the Venom GT recorded a peak speed of 270.49 mph in 2.3 miles. However, because the track conditions did not meet Guinness World Record stipulations, and because only 29 units of the car were produced, this speed didn’t qualify for the world record for a production car.
The Venom GT was created by Hennessey Performance Engineering, a Texas-based company that modifies luxury and sports cars. The car’s chassis is a heavily modified version of the Lotus Elise, while its engine is a twin turbocharged 7.0L GM LS7 V8 with an output of 1,244 hp. Multiple models of the Venom GT were produced in the 2010s: the Venom GT Spyder, an open-top version created at the request of Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler; the Venom GT “World’s Fastest Edition”; and the Venom GT Final Edition, a single car created to celebrate the end of the car’s production run. The Final Edition sold for $1.2 million before it even debuted.
The Hennessey Venom F5, which also appears on this list, is the successor to the Venom GT.
Koenigsegg Agera RS
Founded by Christian von Koenigsegg in 1994, the Swedish car manufacturer Koenigsegg was created with a sole mission: to create the perfect supercar. It made good on this mission with the Agera RS, which set a record as the fastest road car in the world in 2017 when it reached a straight-line speed of 285 mph. The Agera was also recognized by Top Gear Magazine as Hypercar of the Year in 2010.
Capable of lightning-fast speeds, the Agera RS features a 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine. However, it is also suitable for regular road use and incorporates practical features such as a detachable hard top that can be stowed internally for top-free motoring, as well as a usable luggage compartment.
Now discontinued, the Agera RS is still Koenigsegg’s fastest model to date. Besides the 285 mph straight-line speed record, it also achieved a record average speed of 277.87 mph over the course of two back-and-forth runs.
Hennessey Venom F5
This state-of-the-art hypercar was designed and built with one thing in mind: to be the world’s fastest road car.
As the successor to the Hennessey Venom GT, the Venom F5 incorporates a completely new chassis design, with its carbon fiber body aerodynamically optimized to achieve the lowest possible drag. The car produces 1,817 hp, delivering a power-to-weight ratio of 1.34 hp per kilo. The Venom F5’s lightweight construction combined with its tremendous power make it a formidable force in the world of hypercars. Fittingly, its interior evokes the look of a fighter jet cockpit.
Powered by a 6.6L twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the Venom F5 is designed to reach a top speed of 311 mph. This speed is still only a claim by the company, and hypercar fans are waiting for road tests to verify it.
With a $2.1 million price tag, everyone who purchases the Hennessey Venom F5 must attend an intensive one-day F5 driver training program, following which they receive an F5 license. Just 24 units of the car are being manufactured.
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+
The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ is the production version of a modified Chiron that reached a top speed of 304.77 mph in a test in August 2019. The Chiron Super Sport 300+ has a lower peak speed of 274 mph. Still, this model is a masterpiece of aerodynamics and function.
Optimized for ultra-high speed, the bodywork of the Chiron Super Sport 300+ has been extended to improve aerodynamics and performance. The car’s perfect balance between downforce and low drag enhances stability, even at high speeds. With an output of 1,600 hp, the W16 8.0L engine exceeds the standard Chiron’s output by 100 hp.
A limited number were released for sale at the incredible price of $3.87 million each; deliveries are expected to begin this year.
Built by SSC North America, the company formerly known as Shelby SuperCars, the Tuatara may be the world’s fastest hypercar. The product of more than a decade of research, this road-legal, high performance vehicle is inspired by fighter jet performance and aerodynamics.
Co-designed by the renowned auto designer Jason Castriota, the Tuatara boasts several striking features. Its curves and aerodynamic flourishes create a distinctive profile. Incorporating butterfly doors, the cab’s teardrop canopy provides expansive views. In addition, the Tuatara’s advanced HMI (Human Machine Interface) system delivers critical vehicle and driving information via a digital dashboard display and central console.
In January 2021, a Tuatara owner set a new production car land speed record of 282.9 mph over 2.3 miles of track at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The vehicle was equipped with satellite tracking systems, and representatives from the automotive technology company Racelogic were on hand to independently verify the speed data as accurate.
Previously, in October 2020, SSC announced that the Tuatara had reached 316.1 mph during un-officiated trials, significantly outpacing the Koenigsegg Agera RS.