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what is the fastest car in the world?

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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...

YearMake and modelTop speed (mph)
1894Benz Velo12
1949Jaguar XK120124.6
1955Mercedes 300SL Gullwing150.7
1959Aston Martin DB4 GT152
1963Iso Grifo GL 365161
1967AC Cobra MkIII165
1968Lamborghini Miura P400171
1968Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona174
1969Lamborghini Miura P400S179
1982, 84Lamborghini Countach182.0, 188.0
1984Ferrari 288 GTO188
1986Porsche 959197
1987Ferrari F40202.7
1995Ruf CTR2217
1998McLaren F1221
2005Koenigsegg CCR241
2005Bugatti Veyron 16.4253.8
2007SSC Ultimate Aero TT256.1

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