Every year technology takes cars to yet another level. The year 2017 is no different. When it comes to driving fast, the pros have tested some awesome sports cars and these are the fastest out there. While these cars hit speeds over 200 MPH. The odds that a consumer will ever legally hit these speeds is near impossible. Even illegally, it is not likely to happen. With many companies backing off on both horsepower and overall engine size, these companies are forging deeply into power and size. Let’s get started.
Ferrari LaFerrari (217 mph)
This driver oriented car matches the speed of the P1, but does it with a responsive V12 hybrid. Some have questioned how the hybrid system works because combined with the electric and the gas powered engine is the KERS system. This uses the kinetics of the engine to produce more power than would normally be produced from the same input forces.
Rather confusing for those that do not build and service vehicles of this type, it is best to simply know that 12 cylinders in this Ferrari drop 950 horsepower in the palm of the drivers hand, allowing the 217 to be reached easily and effortlessly.
McLaren’s P1 (217 MPH)
A lot of effort has gone into making the P1 both a powerhouse and a pleasure to drive. Many a driver has gone out and gotten a powerful, fast car and found that day to day driving is not so much a pleasure as a cumbersome task. Some of these listed cars are a real effort to drive, especially limited to the slower highways and daily grind traffic. Just the knowledge that your car “can” do over 200 MPH is a mild conciliation when you have to literally hold the car back every second of a twenty minute traffic jam.
The P1 is a great compromise. The top speed…217. However, much has been done for both the passengers and driver to add a level of comfort that matches many luxury cars. Damping down the inertia of hard banked turns and bring the driver up a few inches from the floor gives the drive more freedom to move about while driving. Easing the drastic seating angles that high performance cars are known for has also given the passenger move of a riding experience than staring at a strip of the sky from back and down.
Jaguar XJ220 (217 mph)
Looking back over the years and comparing Jaguar now to those of the past, it is like looking at two different cars groups. From the fun and fancy MG’s of the past to the XJ220. Deep cuts in the side body styling for both efficiency and style holds mysterious shadows of the power within this car. What Jaguar has done is completely modify their approach to speed.
Rather than go with the 12 cylinder engine that restricted drivers to a special license and produced a steady power stream, Jaguar backed down to the six cylinder V6 and then added a turbocharger to each side. Those changes put the power into a greater control zone, allowing the mid to top range of each gears cycle to feed off its own power. That puts a more reflexive feel into the drivers seat and allows a V6 to push the 220 speed range.
Aston Martin One-77 (220 mph)
First things first, this is a hypercar. The 220 speed is amazing for a car with a hybrid engine. Hypercar concepts have a hybrid engine, plus the construction is made from composites and lighter materials. Despite the efforts to fill the hypercar category, Aston Martin used the lighter weight to achieve higher speeds than they have ever gotten before. A fun car with a slight bend toward a greener future. Aston Martin will never fail to impress and never fail to be in the top level of sports cars.
McLaren F1 (241 mph)
McLaren of Formula fame is nearing the end of their novelty phase and getting new fans based on the power and speed of the vehicles and not just dragging Formula 1 fans along. For those that scoff at the 240 top speed range of these vehicles comparing them the 270’s and 260’s of other companies, they should drive this car only once.
Driving assists are in place and control is pretty easy, but some of the little add-ons that other companies use to eliminate the inertia and g-forces have been toned down in the F1. The idea is to give the driver a realistic feel and keep the driver aware of the power under the hood. Driving the F1, the driver knows every MPH that the F1 is pushing out.
Koenigsegg CCR (242 mph)
The Bugatti family and this car vied heavily for some top speed records. The 240 speed is impressive due to the fact that car only sports a 4.7 liter engine. Memory serves that the first mass production 5 liter car, the Mustang got nowhere near this speed. Just goes to show you what better emissions controls and greater tuning on the gas/air mixture can do for a vehicle.
This is a car that most people can drive and control very well. There are plenty of passive controls that help keep the driver from pushing too hard too quick, while still allowing for a massive burst of speed when the driver gets on the pedal. It is a generally strong and fun vehicle.
SSC Ultimate Aero (256 mph)
Yes, Shelby is in the list. It easily and smoothly reaches the 240 range and then can be pushed midway into the 250 range. While it bears the name Shelby, this is a fairly new company and not a Shelby of the Carroll Shelby line. The car has the streamline look of Ferrari and the feel and response of a race car. It should be noted that all of the driving aids that are in most high powered cars are not present in the Shelby. That means the accelerator is a direct response mechanism and an inexperienced driver should never attempt to drive this car.
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (268 mph)
This is the currently listed Guinness record holder. The car has been recorded at just under 270 MPH, for the fastest car record and at 254 for the fastest open top record. Beyond holding both of those records, this is simply a thing of beauty. Modifications on the prototype took it from 1000 to 1200 horsepower and that extra kick out of the 16 cylinder engine.
Although the price tag of $1.7 million dollars might run some people off, there is also the special license that a driver must maintain to drive a car with more than ten cylinders. Bugatti, now owned by Volkswagen is embracing the car market with fervor. It will be exciting to see what next year brings. This car is gorgeous, powerful and the interior has promised a few gadgets that no other car has seen according to the company. For a powerhouse, this is going to be a beautiful, comfortable vehicle.
Bugatti Chiron (261+ mph)
Yes, in production for anyone to buy is the Bugatti Chiron. While they have not hit the market yet, this is a car that anyone can own within the next year or so. Well, as long as that person has two and a half million dollars. An estimate by a well known car insurance company of $1800 per month to insure this vehicle. That means, that for the price of the insurance on the car, you could own 3-8 cheaper cars.
Either way, the test was made with the base, unmodified Chiron and it hit and held 261 miles per hour safely on a flat road. The driver made a brief burst of acceleration before backing down, but no record was made of the true top speed. Five hundred of these will be released at that price and the company has stated that they will see how the sales go and modify their sales scheme over time.
Hennessey Venom GT (270 mph)
This is a monster. More than 1200 horsepower push this 7 liter engines to the brink of madness. This car is still up for debate about whether it is a production car or not because it is hand built and not currently in the active sales market. The official speed of 270 is not considered an actual record due to the circumstances of the test, but this car actually did achieve this speed according to all those that were there.
There were no special safety precautions made. Simply one man, in a standard car, seat belt in place pushing this monster to 270 MPH. The first time this speed was achieved was on a steel track in Nevada with a man strapped to a rocket. It is something that is truly amazing and should NEVER be tried by anyone that is not a trained professional on a closed track.[td_smart_list_end]