The Fastest Cars Over The Years

Since 1946.

10w ago
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Recently, the SSC Tuatara took the title of the world's fastest production car as it clocked at 286 mph. To celebrate this feat, we're going to take a look at the fastest cars of each year since 1946. Why 1946? Because, well, I couldn't find much of before that so suck it up and let's start! Also, I will talk about some cars as I wish and some not because this is my list.

1946 to 47- Healey Elliott- 104mph/169 kmph

It's actually incredibly beautiful, ngl

It's actually incredibly beautiful, ngl

1948- Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport- 124mph/200 kmph

1949- Jaguar XK120- 124mph/201 kmph

One of the most stunning cars ever made, Jaguar took its new XK120, on 30 May 1949, to Jabbeke in Belgium to validate its top speed, and came away with a clear record of just over 132 mph. Loosely interpreting the meaning of "production", Jaguar removed the windshield and replaced it with a much smaller racing wind screen as well as enclosing the rear wheel opening. It was unquestionably the world's fastest production car for the next few years and cost £1200 when new, with more than 12,000 of them sold to the public between 1948 and 1954. A standard XK120 would reach 120 mph as claimed, and the fastest standard XK120 was timed at 124.6 mph.

1953- Pegaso Z-102- 151 mph/243 kmph

The Pegassssssssso Z-102 is often referred to as the Spanish Ferrari and for good reason too. It debuted with a bunch of V8 engine options with the base being a 2.5 liter that propelled it to a top speed of 120 mph and the highest being a 3.2 liter that churned out 360hp and shot straight to 155 mph.

1955- Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing- 140 mph/225 kmph

Another one of the most beautiful cars of all time- the 300SL was first shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show as a two-seat coupé. Available from March 1955, it was joined two years later by an even more popular open top roadster sibling. The officially stated top speed of the 300 SL was 140 mph but depending on the optional final drive ratio fitted, 160 mph could be seen on the speedo under the right conditions.

1958- Aston Martin DB4- 141 mph/227 kmph

The Aston Martin DB4 was produced from 1958 until 1963, with its 3670 cc six cyinder engine producing 240 hp and propelling it to a top speed of 141 mph. The next model would become even more famous as fictional secret agent James Bond began his successful run at the movie box office, driving his famous gadget-enriched and visually similar DB5.

1959

Oh, hey, it's me again- DB4.

1960

Sorry, I just forgot my keys. But, hey, it's still me- DB4.

1961

I think I'm probably annoying you right now, so this DB4's just gonna go.

1962- Ferrari 250 GTO- 158 mph/254 kmph

Nothing to say here. Moving on.

1963- Studebaker Avanti- 168 mph/270 kmph

Yep, this thing's faster than a Ferrari.

1965- Iso Grifo GL 365- 161 mph/259 kmph

The Iso Grifo was a limited production grand tourer built in Italy from 1965 to 1974 with styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone, and mechanicals by Giotto Bizzarrini, the former chief engineer at Ferrari who was behind the development of the 250 GTO. The initial cars used Corvette 5.7 liter V8s that produced over 400 horsepower, propelling the 1,000 kg Iso Grifo GL 365 to 161 mph with later versions of the car using a big-block Chevrolet 454 V8 and achieving 171 mph.

1967- Lamborghini Miura P400- 171 mph/275 kmph

Again, no need to say anything.

1968- Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona- 174 mph/280 kmph

Ferrari's new 352 hp V12 Berlinetta was launched at the October 1968 Paris Salon, and was nicknamed the "Daytona" in honour of the Ferrari factory team's 1-2-3 victory in the 1967 Daytona 24-Hour race. New American safety legislation deemed covered headlights illegal, so Ferrari and Pininfarina fitted retractable headlights and the even-more-streamlined 365 GTB/4 Daytona was capable of achieving 174 mph in standard form. It held the title for the fastest car for 6 years.

1974- Lamborghini Countach LP400- 179mph/288 kmph

Most modern supercars owe their basic shape to this one extraordinary and outrageous leap in styling: the Lamborghini Countach LP400. It was the first production Lambo to sport what became the brand's trademark scissor doors and it looked like a polygonal spaceship in a way that no car before it had done and with its 3929 cc mid-engined V12 delivering 370 hp, it pretty much was one. The Countach held the title for 10 years. Now, that's some serious speed.

1984- Ferrari 288 GTO- 188 mph/303 kmph

Everyone knows about the mythical Ferrari 250 GTO and the astronomical prices the car commands. The GTO was made in very limited numbers and they are so balanced, powerful, drivable and rare that they now sell for beyond $30 million dollars. Ferrari didn't use the magical GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) moniker a second time for no reason, after all.

1986- Porsche 959- 197 mph/317 kmph

It held the title of the world's fastest production road car, but the 959's significance was far greater in many respects as it was also the first four-wheel drive Porsche road car and contained myriad innovations that are still used on Porsche's models to this day. What the F1 Mclaren was to the nineties, the 959 Porsche was to the eighties: the most technologically advanced, mold-breaking supercar of its era.

1987- RUF CTR Yellowbird- 212 mph/342 kmph

Perhaps my favourite car on this list, the twin-turbo Ruf CTR was based on the Porsche 911 with a tuned version of Porsche's 3.2 liter flat-six engine bored to 3.4 liters and producing 469 hp, lightened body panels, an integrated roll cage and upgraded suspension and braking systems. In April 1987 it won Road & Track magazine's "World's Fastest Cars" contest to be named "The Fastest Production Car in the World".

1990- Vector W8- 242 mph/389 kmph

The Vector W8 was an American supercar produced from 1990 to 1993 utilizing aerospace materials. The cars featured a semi-monocoque chassis with an aluminum honeycomb floor pan, and the Rodeck Aluminum 365 cu. in. racing engine used twin intercooled turbochargers to produce 625 hp and the W8 had a claimed top speed of 242 mph.

1992- Jaguar XJ220S- 217 mph/349 kmph

STUNNINGLY INCREDIBLE. That's all I have to say for it.

1993- Mclaren F1- 230 mph/370 kmph

Again, nothing to say here except WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW

2005- Koenigsegg CCR- 240 mph/387 kmph

One of the first Koenigseggs to be made, this hypercar, which was totally not named after Creedence Clearwater Revival, became the fastest production car overthrowing the Mclaren F1 which ruled for a decade. It was also the most powerful car at the time.

2007- SSC Ultimate Aero TT- 256 mph/412 kmph

In September 2007, Shelby Supercars (SSC) broke the world record with its 1183 bhp, twin-turbo V8 Ultimate Aero TT. The first pass was recorded at 257.41 mph and the second pass was recorded at 254.88 mph in testing on a temporarily-closed two lane stretch of public highway in the company's home state of Washington for an average top speed of 256.15 mph.

2010- Bugatti Veyron Super Sport- 267 mph/431 kmph

Ok, I think I'm in love.

Ok, I think I'm in love.

Nothing to be said here too, I believe.

2013- Hennessey Venom GT- 265 mph/428 kmph

2017- Koenigsegg Agera RS- 277 mph/446 kmph.

The most hyper of hypercars- the Agera RS set a record of 277.87 mph (446.97 km/h) on a closed public highway in Nevada, USA. Now, that record is broken by the...

2021- SSC Tuatara- 282 mph/453 kmph

The car recently hit the mind-blistering speeds of 282 mph taking the title of the World's Fastest Production Car. While, it's not the 300 mph number we were hoping for, it's still something. And that something is faster than the Agera RS.

What now?

In 70 years, the top speed of the fastest production car in the world has progressed from 104 mph to 282 mph. The progression of speeds charts the rise of automotive science, as is evidenced by the considerable reengineering of the Veyron in its evolution from 16.4 to SuperSport. All this to build a car that can travel at four times the speed limit on public roads might seem like madness to some. To others, achieving this speed is their quest in life, and owning one of these cars that made history in a significant way is their dream. Madness it may be, but it's equally fascinating to watch these limits being pushed.

Damn, that's long. But thank you for reading! Which of these is your favourite?

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