The Fastest Car in the World is a record that many manufacturers of high-end supercars would love to hold. Officially awarded by Guinness World Records, the record is currently held by Bugatti, who received international acclaim for their record-breaking vehicles.
ALA GAP Insurance have produced a guide to the complex world of the world’s fastest cars.
How do we measure the fastest car?
The title of Fastest Car in the World has a number of different contenders, often based around how their speed is measured. The current land-speed record, for example, is held by the Thrust SSC at 763mph, although you would struggle to call the vehicle a car.
The most prestigious title of Fastest Car in the World is awarded by Guinness World Records, a group who aims to be the ultimate global authority on record breaking. The record for fastest car is officially measured by taking the average speed across a two-way run to account for wind resistance, in order to avoid grounds for some disputes in the past. There are also records for the fastest acceleration between 0 and 300 km/h, which you could reasonably assume would also make that vehicle the fastest car in the world.
The record is something that many vehicle manufacturers aim for when creating new, incredibly advanced vehicles – from small manufacturers like Koenigsegg to long-standing companies like Bugatti (who are owned by Volkswagen). This competition means that there are a number of cars that have not been tested by Guinness, but reportedly boast a higher top speed.
What are the fastest cars in the world?
The current record holder is somewhat disputed. Officially, according to Guinness World Records, the current fastest car in the world is the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super-Sport – with a record speed of 268 mph.
The Hennessey Venom GT is currently the fastest accelerating production car, and also boasts a reported top speed higher than that of the Veyron. However, the Venom GT is not recognised as holding the Guinness record.
There is also competition from Koenigsegg, in the form of the Agera RS, which can theoretically reach 275 mph, and the One:1 which boasts a top speed of 280 mph – although to date they have never been tested by Guinness World Records. The enthusiasm with which the coveted title is pursued by so many super-car manufacturers, means that whoever holds the title must always be aware of the competition.
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super-Sport – The Fastest Car in the World
The Super-Sport is a heavily upgraded version of the previous World’s Fastest Car title holder, the EB Veyron 16.4. The vehicle has even more power than its predecessor, including 1,200BH, a torque of 1,100 lb-ft and a record-setting speed of 268 mph. Production models available to the public were, however, electronically limited to 258 mph – effectively preventing the top speed from being reached.
This speed limiting on production models has caused some controversy when their world record achievement was declared – official guidelines state that the vehicle making a world record attempt must be in the same state as available to customers.
After some investigation, the Veyron Super-Sport was confirmed as holding the title – as an electronic limiter did not alter the fundamental design of the car or engine.
Only produced between 2010 and 2011, the Super Sport was sold for around £1.2 million, with a limited-run World Record Edition also sold – although limited to only five units.
Hennessey Venom GT – The Fastest Accelerating Car in the World
The Venom GT is one of the main contenders for the World’s Fastest Car title – and was even involved in the controversy over the Veyron Super-Sport. The vehicle does hold the Guinness World Record for the fastest car from 0 to 300 kph, and has reached a top speed of 270.49 mph – although the run, conducted at the Kennedy Space Centre, did not meet the requirements for Guinness certification as the fastest car in the world.
Not content with one world record, Hennessey produced the Spyder variant of the Venom GT – an open top version originally conceived in 2011. The GT Spyder delivered 1,451 bhp and 1,287 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful car in the world at the time of production.
All this is particularly impressive as both vehicles are based on a Lotus Exige, which Hennessey heavily modified, rather than a brand new vehicle specifically designed to break records like the Bugatti Veyron.
Koenigsegg Automotive AB is a Swedish manufacturer focusing exclusively on high-performance sports cars – and they have a long history of beating world speed records with their incredibly well manufactured cars. The current record-breaker is the One:1, a limited-production special edition of the Koenigsegg Agera – in itself an incredibly fast vehicle.
The One:1 gets its name due to its power-to-weight ratio – exactly 1PS per 1KG, and can theoretically reach a top speed of 280mph – although this has never been tested by Guinness. It does, however, hold the record for fastest acceleration and deceleration from 0 to 300 to 0 kph – an astonishing 17.95 seconds – set during a practice session at Koenigsegg’s own test track in Sweden.
However, this record (and a number of others held by Koenigsegg) are not officially registered with Guinness World Records – although official recording devices were used during the test sessions – and the car used was a specially modified test version not available to customers.
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Bugatti Image By calflier001 [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Hennessey Venom Image By Axion23 (Hennessey Venom GT) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Koenigsegg One:1 Image By Michelin LIVE UK (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.