Production car speed record
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.
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 200 km/h (124 mph) only
This list is also limited to post World War II production road cars which reached more than 200 km/h (124 mph), 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
For the purposes of this list, a production car is defined as a vehicle that is:
- constructed principally for retail sale to consumers, for their personal use, to transport people on public roads (no commercial or industrial vehicles are eligible)
- available for commercial sale to the public in the same specification as the vehicle used to achieve the record
- 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)
- pre-1981 vehicles must be made by the original vehicle manufacturer and not modified by either professional tuners or individuals
- 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
- sold in more than one national market.
Measurement of top speed
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. 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
|Year||Make and model||Top speed of production car||Engine||Number built||Comment|
|1894||Benz Velo||20 km/h (12 mph)||1,045 cm3 (63.8 cu in) single-cylinder 1.1 kW (1.5 PS; 1.5 bhp)||1,200||First production car|
|1949||Jaguar XK120||200.5 km/h (124.6 mph)||3,442 cm3 (210.0 cu in) inline-6 120 kW (160 PS; 160 bhp)||12,000||Some publications cite the XK120's timed top speed as almost 214 km/h (133 mph) in 1949. The XK120 that achieved this speed was a tuned prototype, not a production car. The production car reached 200.5 km/h (124.6 mph).|
|1955||Mercedes-Benz 300SL||242.5 km/h (150.7 mph)||2,996 cm3 (182.8 cu in) inline-6 158 kW (215 PS; 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||245 km/h (152 mph)||3,670 cm3 (224 cu in) inline-6 225 kW (306 PS; 302 bhp)||75||Tested by Autosport in December 1961.|
|1963||Iso Grifo GL 365||259 km/h (161 mph)||5,354 cm3 (326.7 cu in) V8 270 kW (360 PS; 360 bhp)||over 400||Tested by Autocar in 1966. A total of 412 Iso Grifos were built 1963–1974.|
|1965||AC Cobra Mk III 427||266 km/h (165 mph)||6,998 cm3 (427.0 cu in) V8 362 kW (492 PS; 485 bhp)||>25||Tested by Car & Driver. Top speed described as observed|
|1967||Lamborghini Miura P400||275 km/h (171 mph)||3,929 cm3 (239.8 cu in) V12 260 kW (350 PS; 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||280 km/h (174 mph)||4,390 cm3 (268 cu in) V12 262 kW (357 PS; 352 bhp)||about 1,400||Tested by Autocar in 1971.|
|1969||Lamborghini Miura P400S||288.6 km/h (179.3 mph)||3,929 cm3 (239.8 cu in) V12 280 kW (380 PS; 370 bhp)||338||Tested by Sport Auto in 1970.|
|1982||Lamborghini Countach LP500 S||293 km/h (182 mph)||4,754 cm3 (290.1 cu in) V12 280 kW (380 PS; 375 bhp)||323||Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport|
|1983||Ruf BTR||305 km/h (190 mph)||3,367 cm3 (205.5 cu in) turbocharged flat-6 275 kW (374 PS; 369 bhp)||about
|Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport, about 20-30 built with Ruf VIN|
|1986||Porsche 959||319 km/h (198 mph)||2,849 cm3 (173.9 cu in) twin-turbo flat-6 331 kW (450 PS; 444 bhp)||337||Tested by Road and Track in 1987. The 959 Deluxe version reached 317 km/h (197 mph), the Sport version 319 km/h (198 mph). 29 were built in a performance-enhanced 384 kW (522 PS; 515 bhp) sports version which reached 339 km/h (211 mph) tested by Auto, Motor und Sport at Nardo in 1988.|
|1987||Ruf CTR||342 km/h (213 mph)||3,367 cm3 (205.5 cu in) twin-turbo flat-6 345 kW (469 PS; 463 bhp)||29||Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport at Nardò Ring in 1988|
|1993||McLaren F1||355 km/h (221 mph)||6,064 cm3 (370.0 cu in) V12 461 kW (627 PS; 618 bhp)||64||Speed at the rev limiter estimated by Car and Driver. Without the rev-limiter, it was able to reach a top-speed of 386.7 km/h (240.3 mph). No tested top speed faster than 340 km/h (211 mph) found for an unmodified car.|
|2004||Koenigsegg CCR||387.866 km/h (241.009 mph)||4,700 cm3 (290 cu in) twin-supercharged V8 601 kW (817 PS; 806 bhp)||14||Recorded at the Nardò Ring testing facility on 28 February 2005.|
|2005||Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4||408.47 km/h (253.81 mph)||7,993 cm3 (487.8 cu in) quad-turbo W16 736 kW (1,001 PS; 987 bhp)||300||Recorded and verified by German inspection officials on 19 April 2005.|
|2007||SSC Ultimate Aero TT||412.28 km/h (256.18 mph)||6,345 cm3 (387.2 cu in) supercharged V8 882 kW (1,199 PS; 1,183 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.|
|2010||Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport||415 km/h (258 mph)||7,993 cm3 (487.8 cu in) quad-turbo W16 882 kW (1,199 PS; 1,183 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.|
|2017||Koenigsegg Agera RS||447.19 km/h (277.87 mph)||5,000 cm3 (310 cu in) twin-turbo V8 1,000 kW (1,360 PS; 1,341 bhp)||25||The base engine produces 865 kW (1,176 PS; 1,160 bhp), 11 cars were factory specced with the 1 MW (1,400 PS; 1,300 bhp) option. Niklas Lilja drove one of them in November 2017. Its top speed was independently verified by Racelogic.|
Difficulties with claims
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.
Bugatti Veyron limiter removal
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 (267.856 mph) 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."
Cars excluded from the list
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||243 km/h (151 mph)||<20||More information needed to confirm if test result qualifies|
|1959||Maserati 5000 GT||277 km/h (172.4 mph)||4,935 / 4,941 cm3 (301.2 / 301.5 cu in) 254 / 242 kW (345 / 330 PS; 340 / 325 bhp)||2+32||no accurate measurement and only the first two cars had the 250 kW (340 PS; 340 bhp) engine, 22 cars had coachwork by Allemano, 12 by 7 other companies|
|1962||Studebaker Avanti R3||275 km/h (171.1 mph)||9||Article implies the tested version was possibly modified – needs a better source.|
|1962||Ferrari 250 GTO||237 km/h (147 mph)||2,953 cm3 (180.2 cu in) 221 kW (300 PS; 296 bhp)||39||tested by Motor, speed record already higher|
|1974||Lamborghini Countach LP400||288 km/h (179 mph)||3,929 cm3 (239.8 cu in) 280 kW (380 PS; 375 bhp)||158||Tested by Auto, Motor und Sport, speed record already higher|
|1984||Ferrari 288 GTO||303 km/h (188 mph)||2,855 cm3 (174.2 cu in) 300 kW (410 PS; 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 179 mph (288 km/h). Road & Track measured 288.1 and 289.7 km/h (179 and 180 mph) at two tests. Speed record already higher than 303 km/h (188 mph)|
|1985||Lamborghini Countach 5000QV||298 km/h (185 mph)||5,167 cm3 (315.3 cu in) 335 kW (455 PS; 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. Speed record already higher.|
|1990||Vector W8||389 km/h (242 mph) for prototype||5,973 cm3 (364.5 cu in) 466 kW (634 PS; 625 bhp)||17 production models||No verified top speed for production model, 350 km/h (218 mph) claimed|
|1991||Bugatti EB110 GT||338 km/h (210 mph)||3,500 cm3 (210 cu in) 410 kW (560 PS; 550 bhp)||95||Tested by sport auto (French), speed record already higher.|
|1992||Jaguar XJ220||338.8 km/h (210.5 mph)||3,498 cm3 (213.5 cu in) 404 kW (550 PS; 542 bhp)||281||Tested by Road & Track, speed record already higher. The 349.4 km/h (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 341.7 km/h (212.3 mph) claims were also factory measured without independent control.|
|1993||Bugatti EB110 SS||351 km/h (218 mph)||3,500 cm3 (210 cu in) 450 kW (611 PS; 603 bhp)||30||speed record already higher.|
|1993||Dauer 962 Le Mans||404.6 km/h (251.4 mph)||2,994 cm3 (182.7 cu in) 540 kW (730 PS; 720 bhp)||13||404.6 km/h (251.4 mph) independently measured at Ehra-Lessien in November 1998. Porsche WMI number – does not meet this list's rules|
|2014||Hennessey Venom GT||435.31 km/h (270.49 mph)||7,000 cm3 (430 cu in) 928 kW (1,261 PS; 1,244 bhp)||16||Single direction top speed test run in 2014 and no Hennessey VIN|
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