Sorry SSC, but top speed doesn't really matter anymore.
Okay, your car can go over 300mph. So what?
First off, this is an opinion piece. That means that it is MY opinion. If you don't agree with me, we can fight (respectfully) in the comments. Just don't tell me my opinion is wrong.
Recently the SSC Tuatara recorded an impressive run of 331mph. That's absolutely insane. To put that number into perspective...
The Toyota Prius tops out at 103mph
Most German cars go 155mph
The Ferrari F40 can go 201mph
The Mclaren F1 goes 240mph
The Mclaren Speedtail goes 250mph
The Koenigsegg Agera RS goes 278mph
A DeHavilland Dash-8 airplane goes 310mph
So if it's so impressive, then why doesn't it matter?
There are a number of reasons.
1. It's soooo overdone
Back when vehicles would take the record and hold it for 10 years, top speed runs were far more interesting. Today, new supercar start-ups seem to be breaking the record every month. It's just leaves me thinking, "Oh, another one broke the record. So what?" or "Why should I care that America has the world's fastest car?". The Koenigsegg Jesko is set to go for a run soon. Am I excited? Not at all.
I like to think of it a bit like the Cannonball Run. All danger aside, it was a cool, interesting record. Until COVID hit. With empty roads, new challengers tried for the record nearly every day. This meant that the record switched hands weekly. That's where it got boring. That's where everyone started getting tired of reading "Cannonball Run Record Smashed Again!!" headlines.
2. It's pointless
I don't want to sound like a non-car enthusiast when I say this, but what's the point of being able to go that fast if you aren't allowed to?
If you say "because racetracks exist", you're absolutely wrong. Unless the racetrack is a very long stretch of perfectly straight road, being able to go 300+mph won't help you. Due to the gearing on these cars, their acceleration isn't the best, and they certainly won't corner as well as a Corvette Z06. They are built for one purpose, and that is top speed.
If you say "because I want to look good in my car", you're also wrong. Only car enthusiasts who know what they're talking about would recognize an SSC Tuatara. Ordinary people couldn't tell it apart from a lowly Lamborghini. And if you're buying it to look good, you're likely never going to go 331mph in it. So why even bother?
But obviously you don't want a car that can barely do the speed limit. There's nothing wrong with being fast, just don't be insanely fast. Get yourself a Porsche 911. Or a Ferrari 488. Those cars certainly aren't slow.
3. It's dangerous
You've heard of those stupid people who can't handle going 100mph, and cause massive pileups on the highway, right? If someone can't handle 100mph, what do you think will happen when they let rip [no, not that kind of rip...] in a car that can go 3 times that speed? Chaos, that's what.
And as stated above, if you're not going to go that speed, then why have a car that can?
The companies hire professional drivers to do the top speed runs, and they do it on a closed section of highway or on an airport runway. Controlling a car at those speeds is incredibly difficult, and one small error could end your life.
4. The cars lack the appeal that classics have
Finally, to put an end to this rant, these machines are nowhere near as cool as classic supercars. Need proof? A Bugatti Chiron will sell for around $2,500,000. That's a far cry from the 1962 Ferrari 250GTO's $48,405,000. Or even the Bugatti Type 55's $7,100,000.
As cool as it is to see a modern hypercar, something about the old cars captivates many people. If restored correctly, these vehicles are like time-capsules, taking you back to the time period where they were made.
So, should carmakers stop trying?
No, because at the end of the day, the fastest car in the world will sell more units than the second fastest.
But it isn't worth the hype we car enthusiasts are giving it.