A supercar is any car that is custom-produced for ultra-high performance.
Most often, supercars are designed and built to break performance records. As an example, the SSC Ultimate Aero TT was designed with one purpose in mind: to set production car speed records.
Supercars typically have three characteristics that set them apart from mass-produced cars.
- First, even in production, a supercar’s engine is always unique and hand-crafted by a specialized engine builder. Whereas most mass-produced car engines are built along assembly lines. This includes some high-volume muscle cars, sports cars, and performance vehicles such as the Ford Mustang.
- Second, a supercar must be in the upper 99 percentile for some important performance metric like speed, acceleration, handling, etc.
- Third, a supercar’s exterior must be designed for performance. An aerodynamic body with a small drag co-efficient is almost always a must, as are performance tires.
A List of Widely Regarded Supercars
The SSC Ultimate Aero TT
The SCC Ultimate Aero is currently the fastest production car in the world according to Guinness Book of World Records. The title of “supercar” has been known to be controversial, but in the case of this car, there is absolutely no question. Any car that holds the record for being the fastest automatically earns the title.
The Bugatti Veyron
At 253 MPH, the Bugatti Veyron was the first supercar to beat out the McLaren F1 for top production car speed in over a decade. However, it only held that title until 2007 when it was beat out by the SSC Ultimate Aero TT. Nonetheless, it still holds performance records for quickest accelerating and decelerating road-legal production car.
The McLaren F1
Only 100 McLaren F1 cars were produced but it managed to hold the record for fastest car between 1994 and 2005 (more than a decade). The standard production model was able to hit 231 MPH.
The Jaguar XJ220
The Jaguar XJ220 can hit max speeds of 217 MPH and was the world record holder for speed between 1992 and 1994.
Hennessey Viper Venom 1000
The Viper Venom is a souped up version of the Dodge Viper, and is produced in very low quantities (max of 24 cars). It can reach a max speed of 255 MPH.
The Koenigsegg CCR
The Koenigsegg CCR is the 3rd fastest production car in the world at 241 MPH. According to Wikipedia, this car holds the record for the highest speeding ticket in US history.
Dauer 962 LM
The Dauer 962 LM from Porsche is not considered a production car (it is considered a “modified” car because it is derived from the Porsche 962), but since it has hit top speeds of 251 MPH, we had to include it in our list!
The Melling Hellcat is not yet in production, but is destined to take the throne of fastest production car from the current title holder. It is reported to hit top speeds of over 270 MPH.
The Lotec Sirius is one of the most powerful cars in the world with over 1000 HP. It also reaches a top speed of 248 MPH making it one of the top 10 fastest cars in the world.
Saleen S7 Turbo
At 750 bHP it is one of the 20 most powerful cars in the world. It is capable of 240 MPH. It’s 0-60 acceleration is one of the top 10 in the world.
TVR Cerbera Speed 12
With over 917 bHP, this is one of the most powerful cars in history. However, the car never made it into full production and its development was halted. Nonetheless, we believe that it is one of the all-time classic supercars every built.
This is one of the 20 fastest cars in the world with max speeds of 234 MPH. Based on the Porsche 911, only about 20 cars are built each year at a staggering price of $525,000.
The Ultima GT has set a variety of performance records including fastest 0-60 time for a production car equipped with road tires. The latest model is the GT 720 and reaches a top speed of 231.
Bristol Fighter T
The Bristol Fighter is modified from the Dodge Viper. The new Fighter T model can supposedly reach 270 MPH, although the production model will be electronically limited to 225.
Porsche 997 Turbo
The first street-legal Porsche to come in over 200 MPH. Porsche 997 is basically the blanket name for current development of the 911 series. Given that so many supercars are derived from the Porsche, we had to give it its due.
The 2009 Nissan GT-R
The Nissan GT-R might as well be called the first supercar priced for the common man. Well, maybe not the common man, but at $69k the 2009 Nissan GT-R is the first supercar priced such that middle-class Americans can dream of actually owning one.