Ever since Karl Benz fired up his Patent-Motorwagen for the first time in 1886, the title of the fastest car in the world has been hotly contested.
The Benz could achieve a heady 10mph on a good day, with a lightweight driver and a favourable wind. Today, nearly 140 years of development has pushed the very fastest cars past a monumental 300mph.
The Benz’s brave driver could cover just 4.4 metres per second; in 2019, with Andy Wallace behind the wheel, the Bugatti Chiron covered 136 metres per second.
It’s a fearsome prospect, and there are only a handful of places on earth where cars of this calibre can reach their V-max, yet there’s no shortage of car manufacturers vying for top honours.
With that in mind, here are the fastest production road cars by the numbers - many of which are also the world's fastest accelerating cars.
And because chasing top speed is such a wild and outlandish pursuit, we've gone for more than the usual 10...
1. Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+ - 304.7mph
The undisputed top speed champion is once again a Bugatti.
Again limited to 30 customer cars, like the Veyron Super Sport, this purpose-built speed machine was taken to 304.773mph by British racing veteran Andy Wallace at the Volkswagen Group’s Ehra-Lessien test track.
Appropriately nicknamed Thor (because it brings the thunder), the Chiron’s quad-turbocharged W16 engine produced 1578bhp in record-setting guise. It was given a new gearbox with longer ratios and front and rear bumpers optimised for high speed runs.
Read our Bugatti Chiron Super Sport review here
2. SSC Tuatara - 295mph
Mired in controversy from the outset, the SSC Tuatara’s initial claim of an ‘official’ 331mph top speed run was quickly debunked following claims of misleading video ‘evidence’ and some belated admissions that there may have been ‘accuracy’ issues with the data logging kit.
However, with its twin-turbocharged 5.9-litre V8 developing 1750bhp when running on E85 bio-ethanol fluid, the Tuatara is clearly no slouch, as owner Larry Caplin proved when he logged a verified 295mph at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida in early 2022.
Read more about the SSC Tuatara here
3. Zenvo Aurora Tur - 280mph (claimed)
This quad-turbocharged V12 hypercar also packs three electric motors, giving it a combined output of 1850bhp.