If you root for the Roadrunner and get excited every time you hear an engine rev, you may just be the type of speed demon who ensures that cars like the following will continue to be produced. These beauties were made for speed and handle like a dream, but can you handle them?
These are the 2012 reigning champions of speed. Keep in mind that these are production models – not custom builds or concept cars – and that there may be cars that can conceivably go faster, but these little darlings have proven their top flights.
Yes, she’s street legal – but where can you really open her up in our rule-laden world? Spoil sports notwithstanding, the fastest production car award goes to the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which clocked 267.9 mph at the Volkswagen Ehra-Lessien test tracks in Germany. This broke the last record of 256 mph set in 2007 by the SSC Ultimate Aero.
When you get ready to punch it, you need a special key to put her in top speed mode. She then lowers to 2.6” from the ground, retracts the rear spoilers, and shuts down the front air diffusers. At 0-60 in less than 3 seconds, it only takes 60 seconds to hit 245 mph. Driving at speeds like that, you may need new car insurance.
If you feel like you’re setting fire to the road, you just might be, and that is why she has no less than 10 radiators to keep all her systems cool. Each of her 16 cylinders has four valves, giving her twice the power of a V8 and a total of 1,200 horsepower. Her computer-controlled dual-clutch direct-shift gearbox has 7 gear ratios and gives you the choice of fully or semi-automatic driving.
The first 5 of these honeys built were dubbed “World Record Editions” and sell for a pretty penny at over $2.4 million.
It looks as cool as the Batmobile and drives as fast as the Batplane. The Hennessey Venom GT focuses on cool all around, Hennessey notably believing that a cooler engine means more horsepower. They went to great lengths designing her cooling system, using CAD simulations just like the rocket scientists do. In this case, you can blast up to 1,200 horses with a 6-speed transmission.
There are rumors that the Venom has actually broken the Bugatti’s record and can hit 275 mph, but these are unsubstantiated. She isn’t street legal in the U.S. yet, but at a documented 0-60 in 2.5 seconds and a record-breaking 0-200 in 20.3 seconds, you wouldn’t get to drive as fast as she could go, anyway.
The Swedish-built Koenigsegg Agera R can take you from 0-168 mph in 14.53 seconds, blowing your hair back as she blows your mind with her 5.0L Twin Turbo engine, providing 1,115 horsepower. Yes, 0-60 in 2.9 seconds makes her super-zippy, and she’s hot on the heels of her competitors for the top spot.
The great thing about this baby is her ability to run on multiple fuel types – from regular octane to biofuels, and the bio fuels are what she eats when she wants maximum horsepower. She is so fast that custom air-turbine wheels were designed just to keep the brakes cool. The wheels are mounted by specially designed Michelin tires that are good for speeds up to 260 mph, which just so happens to be her top speed.
These are your top 3 – for now. Competition is fierce, and testing is ongoing. Keep your eyes on the Weber Faster One, and other speedy contenders – the numbers are so close, any one of them could overtake the reigning champ at any minute. Weber already claims to have made the fastest car in the world. Chances are, we won’t have to wait long to find out for sure.