What is the fastest production car in the world?
We take a blast through the past, rediscovering the amazing cars that have held the title of world’s fastest production car...
The SSC Tuatara is currently the world’s fastest production car, with an officially recognised top speed of 316.11mph. The record run broke the previous mark of 277.9mph set by the Koenigsegg Agera RS in 2017. Bugatti managed to break the 300mph barrier with a modified Chiron in 2019 with a run of 304.774mph, but that version of the car is not yet production ready. There's also new competition for top spot in the form of the Koenigsegg Jesko.
Engineers and racing drivers have targeted automotive speed records for many years and there are none bigger than the one that bestows the title of ‘fastest car in the world’. In the past, manufacturers which claimed to have the fastest production car in the world would also lay claim to the outright Land Speed Record. However, by the mid-20th Century, the two lists of record holders diverged as land speed record cars started to look like road-going rockets while production cars had to accommodate the need for passengers, luggage and a realistic price tag.
As technology advanced and vehicle ranges broadened, the pursuit of the world’s fastest production car title intensified. Early contenders include Mercedes and Jaguar, while Porsche and Ferrari have had an intra-brand rivalry lasting more than 50 years, interspersed with offerings from the usurper, Lamborghini.
World’s fastest cars: a history
The world’s first recognised car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen built in 1898, opens our list with a top speed of 12mph. Little more than half a century later, in 1949, Jaguar had raised these stakes by a factor of ten, with the Jaguar XK120.
Check out our world’s fastest car timeline below...
|Year||Make and model||Top speed (mph)|
|1955||Mercedes 300SL Gullwing||150.7|
|1959||Aston Martin DB4 GT||152|
|1963||Iso Grifo GL 365||161|
|1967||AC Cobra MkIII||165|
|1968||Lamborghini Miura P400||171|
|1968||Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona||174|
|1969||Lamborghini Miura P400S||179|
|1982, 84||Lamborghini Countach||182.0, 188.0|
|1984||Ferrari 288 GTO||188|
|2005||Bugatti Veyron 16.4||253.8|
|2007||SSC Ultimate Aero TT||256.1|