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1. Pagani Huayra
The Pagani Huayra is an italian beauty just like many other record-setting cars before it. The Huayra was introduced in 2011. It’s powered by a twin-turbo, 6-liter, V-12 engine borrowed from Mercedes-Benz, and the Huayra is known for its track prowess as well as its speed in a straight line. It’s not in the Guinness Book records for the fastest top speed, of course, but the Huayra can obviously excel in different environments, and we do love a multitasker.
2. Zenvo ST1
The Zenvo ST1, which was introduced in 2009, is equipped with a 7-liter, V-8 engine that puts 1,250 horsepowers to the rear wheels. Zenvo also gets a bit of credit for exclusivity, too: Parts are incredibly expensive, and any extensive repairs require the car to be shipped back to the homeland. Just three examples of the 15-car production run were allocated to the United States, prompting a rush for the privilege of paying the base price of $1.8 million.
3. Mclaren F1
When the Mclaren F1 was introduced, it had an official top speed of 231 miles per hour (371.8 kilometers per hour), but that upper limit has been pushed a little higher since then. The Mclaren F1 is powered by a BMW-sourced, 6.1-liter V-12 engine, the McLaren F1 provided something different to buyers looking for a sports car that stood away from the pack, and the car’s design has stood the test of time.
4. Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo
It’s rare to see an American car holding its own against the Europeans on a list such as this, but we’re graced with a precious few. Chasing down the world’s fastest cars was obviously sufficient justification for pushing this monster to the 750-horsepower mark. Saleen continued to produce this coupe in small numbers until 2009, but by then, the S7 Twin-Turbo had already made its mark.
5. Koenigsegg CCR
The Koenigsegg CCR held the top slot for a while with a reported top-speed of 250.7 miles per hour (403.5 kilometers per hour). Koenigsegg’s Web site says the CCR took the Guinness record at the time, although, with just 14 CCRs produced, Guinness must have waived its requirement that 30 cars must have been built for a model to qualify as a production vehicle (or the requirement was instated later). Like the CCR, Koenigsegg built just 14 CCXs over five years, so this car is super rare, and its eligibility for the Guinness record is questionable at best. And, like the CCR, its top speed is estimated at about 245 miles per hour (394.3 kilometers per hour). It might be easy to confuse the two cars, but sources agree that the record-setting run was made in 2005, which narrows it down.
6. 9ff GT9-R
The GT9-R, from the German Porsche tuner 9ff, was limited to just 20 cars. That might help explain why the company didn’t make a big deal about trying to chase down any official records. Or maybe 9ff just didn’t care, believing instead that this car speaks for itself. The GT9-R is basically a reconfigured Porsche 911, powered by a 4-liter, six-cylinder boxer engine that pushes the horsepower well into the four-figure range. Really. The 9ff GT-R has 1,120-horsepower. Though the 9ff GT9-R became known for being one of the first street-legal race cars to cross the 400-kilometer-per-hour threshold, and it was soon demonstrated that the car could actually go quite a bit faster than the equivalent 248.5 miles per hour — but that accomplishment didn’t result in fame and fortune. Instead, 9ff filed for bankruptcy in late 2013, so it’s unlikely they’ll be churning out any more monsters, Porsche-based or otherwise.
7. SSC Ultimate Aero
The Ultimate Aero, which actually held the speed record for a while, comes from Washington-based SSC North America, formerly known as Shelby SuperCars. This vehicle eschews electronic driving aids such as traction control and anti-lock brakes, instead concentrating on the purity of its speed. The Ultimate Aero that made the 2007 speed-record runs was powered by a supercharged V-8 sourced from Chevrolet. After some testing at the NASA facility, the Ultimate Aero raced down Highway 93 in Nevada that March, and the Guinness-sanctioned run was in Washington in September. Guinness announced that they had verified the new record that October, briefly displacing the Bugatti Veyron from the top spot. And for those keeping track, the 257 miles per hour (413.6 kilometers per hour) statistic does tie with the 9ff GT9-R, but the Ultimate Aero’s 2.7-second 0 to 60 miles per hour (96.6 kilometers per hour) sprint gives it the edge.
8. Koenigsegg Agera R
Yeah, the Swedes made the list again — this time with the Koenigsegg Agera S. The Agera S is a more formidable competitor for a top-slot than the CCR. It boasts a “theoretical” top speed of 273 miles per hour (439.4 kilometers per hour) according to the manufacturer, but the best anyone’s been able to do is about 260 miles per hour (418.4 kilometers per hour). It’s equipped with a 5-liter, twin turbo v8, which yields a little less power than some of the competition, but the car’s light weight makes up for a lot. Koenigsegg has been chasing Guinness world records for a while, and achieved four between 2003 and 2011. Maybe the Koenigsegg Agera R isn’t the fastest car in the world, but its drivers are probably pretty happy with its proven acceleration and braking prowess.
9. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
Some Bugatti loyalists might vehemently disagree with this number-two ranking. Long story short, Bugatti Veyron broke the record in 2005, just a couple months after the Koenigsegg CCR’s triumph, but the run wasn’t certified by Guinness. It was, however, good enough for some fans — and anyway, Bugatti made it official later. Or, rather, they tried. When the Veyron finally made a Guinness-sanctioned attempt in 2010, the car achieved a top speed of 267.81 miles per hour (431 kilometers per hour). Then the Guinness officials found out that the car had its speed limiter removed, which violated the “no modifications” rule, so Guinness stripped Bugatti of its title. In the end, the Guinness Book of World Records decided the altered speed limiter didn’t change the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport’s mechanical abilities, so the car was awarded the “world’s fastest” designation. It’s a lot less complicated than using a straight runway or drag strip, allowing the car to build speed rather than making the driver worry about stopping in time to meet the end of the pavement.
10. Hennessey Venom GT
Known as the world’s fastest supercar, the Venom GT uses components from other manufacturers to create its super-fast Venom GT. That’s fine, according to the generally accepted definition of a production car: As long as a specific quantity — at least 30 — are built. However, 30 Venom GTs don’t exist yet, and the company says it plans to build only 29. So a hand-built vehicle consisting of a stretched Lotus Exige body and a 7-liter, Corvette Z06 engine, boosted by two turbochargers, may or may not be a legit contender, depending on who you ask. On Feb. 14, 2014, the Hennessey Venom GT set out to take down the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, anyway. The Hennessey Venom GT is so fast it needed to borrow real estate from NASA. That’s right. The space shuttle’s landing strip was the setting for the Venom GT’s 270.49-mile-per-hour (435.3-kilometer-per-hour) run. However, John Hennessey, the company’s founder, said that NASA only allowed one run, making it ineligible for the Guinness record based on the back-to-back run standard. Even if the result isn’t official, the Venom GT’s GPS-qualified run stole some of the Veyron Super Sport’s thunder.