It’s human nature to push limits, which is why we have cars capable of some extraordinary speeds.
This list details the quickest cars in each of these car makers’ ranges, whether it’s the one with the highest outright top speed or the car that accelerates the fastest. The list is arranged alphabetically:
Alfa Romeo: Giulia Quadrifoglio - 191mph
Unlike most of its rivals in the fast sedan trade, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio doesn’t bother with a nannying limiter at 155mph. Instead, the Italian outfit lets the Giulia run out to its natural maximum where engine power can no longer overcome the forces of resistance. With 517 hp at its disposal, the Alfa is not the most potent four-door performance sedan, but it does have the best power-to-weight ratio in its class, which helps.
Alfa also has the limited edition GTA and GTAm derivatives that have 547 hp and the latter is 220lb (100kg) lighter than the standard 2.9-liter V6-engined GTA. Acceleration for the GTAm? 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds, 0.3 seconds quicker than the standard Giulia Quadrifoglio, but the top speed is the same.
Aston Martin: DBS Superleggera - 211mph
Audi: R8 V10 Performance - 205mph
You don’t have to be Tintin to deduce the R8 is where to look for the fastest model in Audi’s line-up. Even with the various RS cars in the range, it’s the mid-engined, V10-powered R8 that offers the biggest hit of velocity with its 205mph top whack.
You need to choose the R8 V10 Performance model over the standard rear-wheel drive R8, which can only scrape its way to 199mph. The Performance model’s 5.2-liter motor lives up to the name with 619 hp and delivers this to all four wheels. It also helps to dispatch 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds.
Bentley: Continental GT Speed - 208mph
There’s something wonderfully incongruous about a luxury coupe like the Bentley Continental GT Speed being able to waft in total comfort and also dish up a top speed of 208mph. That top end is a by-product of using the turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 in this fastest version of the GT that has 659 hp on hand to also give 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds.
As much as the huge top speed of the Continental GT Speed, it’s the in-gear acceleration that astounds its drivers. There’s a mighty 664 LB-FT of torque to overcome the Bentley’s considerable 5011 lb (2273kg) weight, while the crisp bark from the engine when it’s pressed into full action reminds you this is a luxury car with bite.
BMW: M5 CS - 190mph
The BMW M5 CS is not only the most powerful M car BMW has ever built, but it's also the fastest. With a top speed of 190mph the CS is only 1mph up on the lesser Competition derivative, but it's crucially that bit closer to the 200mph Holy Grail. The familiar 4.4-liter V8 remains largely unchanged in CS guise, with power now up to 644 hp. Combined with a healthy 553 LB-FT of torque the CS achieves 0-62mph in just three seconds, although this being BMW you can expect this figure to be somewhat conservative.
Hitting a top speed of 190 mph isn't just down to brute force, however. The M5 CS does away with any nanny limiters as standard and thus simply unshackles the engine from its electronic bonds to gallop all the way to its true potential. The only slight disappointment is the twin-turbos that mute the V8 motor’s roar.
Bugatti: Chiron Supersport 300+ - 305mph
When it was first launched, Bugatti was a touch coy about the top speed of the Chiron. The company quoted a maximum of 261mph, which would be more than sufficient for most companies, but then the Chiron was following in the wheel tracks of the Veyron that posted a best of 267.8mph in Super Sport guise.
Bearing this in mind, it was only a matter of time before the French automaker gave the Chiron similar treatment and in 2019 the Chiron Super Sport 300+ was unveilled. With 1600 hp on hand, it didn’t take too long for the Chiron Super Sport 300+ to show its real legs and the car recorded a world record-setting 305mph top speed with speed legend Andy Wallace at the helm. This made Bugatti the first production car manufacturer to break the 300mph barrier.
Cadillac: CT5-V Blackwing - 200mph
Previously only available with a 3.0-liter V6, the Cadillac CT5-V never filled the void left by the now discontinued 558 hp CT6-V. The latter came equipped with a true to form 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 which saw the model achieve 0-60 in 3.8 seconds. Whilst the 360 hp CT5-V offers reasonable performance, it doesn't quite offer up the drama or presence we've come to expect from a true 'V' series Cadillac. With the recently released CT5-V 'Blackwing' derivative now forming part of the lineup however, you can instead opt for a Cadillac sedan which now offers up to 668 hp from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that feeds power to the rear wheels alone.
Needless to say, the CT5-V Blackwing takes performance that little bit more seriously, with the 0-60 mph sprint happening in just 3.4 seconds and a top speed registering at around 200mph. Whilst these are some strong numbers, the CT5-V Blackwings real party piece is the 6-speed manual transmission that comes as standard, although we expect most CT5-V Blackwing customers will opt for the less frantic and more manageable 10-speed automatic.
Chevrolet: Corvette C8 Z06 - 195mph
If you want to democratize serious speed, point drivers in the direction of the Corvette C8 Z06. Always the affordable sports car for buyers in the USA, the mid-engined C8 Z06 follows suit from the base C8s mid-engined layout, albeit with a few dynamic enhancements for added effect. If there were any quibbles about this, a 195mph top speed in a car that costs less than a reasonably well-equipped Porsche Boxster in its homeland soon silenced them.
The Z06's 6.2-liter V8 has been reworked to produce a supercar-troubling 670 hp and 460 LB- FT of torque. Whilst this is still sent solely to the rear-axle, 0-60mph takes just 2.6 seconds; GM is being coy about a top speed for the Z06 thus far, but many estimate it to be 195mph, 11mph up on the standard model. If the base C8 is anything to go by, the all-new Z06 could cause quite an upset on the supercar scene.
Dodge: Challenger SRT Super Stock - 168mph
With 807 hp available from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine, the Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock’s top speed of 168mph looks a shade underwhelming. However, this figure is where the Challenger is limited to because this model is all about acceleration down a drag strip.
In the current muscle car boom in the USA, quarter mile times count more than outright speed. As a result, the Super Stock is more accurately judged by its ability to cover that quarter mile distance from rest in 10.5 seconds. This is helped by the Super Stock running on road legal drag tires from the factory, which are the limiting factor in top speed and why the Dodge is restricted to 168mph.
Ferrari: SF90 Stradale - 211mph
Traditionally, the quickest Ferraris have been powered by sonorous V12 engines, but even the firm’s appropriately named 812Superfast cannot better the SF90 Stradale. The SF90’s hybrid powertrain produces a maximum of 1000 hp, with 781 hp of that from the gasoline V8 and the rest from its three electric motors.
Put all of that to its best possible use and the SF90 has a top speed of 211mph, comfortably eclipsing the Superfast’s 207mph. The Stradale also uses its considerable might to give 0-62mph in 2.5 seconds, yet this is a Ferrari that can offer 154g/km of CO2 emissions on the European WLTP measurement, zero emissions electric driving and 33 MPG combined economy. That really does play with your mind.
Ford: Shelby GT500 - 180mph
If asked to name the most powerful Ford production car in history, you may well choose the GT40 or one its modern equivalents. Good choice, but you’d be wrong as the accolade belongs to the Mustang-based Shelby GT500. Under the hood lies a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 that produces 760 hp, easily shading the Ford GT’s 647 hp.
All of that power results in a 180mph top speed for the Shelby, which is down from the previous GT500’s 200mph maximum. However, the Shelby has a new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox for quicker shifts, so it takes care of 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds and covers a quarter mile drag run in 10.6 seconds to give the Dodge Challenger a run for its pink slip.
Hennessey: Venom F5 - 311mph
Hennessey is a name familiar to those who follow top speed records and the Venom F5 has been designed with one aim: to be the fastest car on Earth. That means a top speed of 311mph is the mark for the F5, which works out at a very neat, rounded 500km/h for any European competitors keeping an eye on the US outfit.
Powering the F5 is a Hennessey-built 6.6-liter Fury V8 engine. It has twin-turbos to develop 1842 hp, while the car’s overall weight has been kept to 2992 lb (1360kg) to give a power-to-weight ratio of 0.6 hp per pound. The carbon fiber body has been designed with low aerodynamic drag in mind to help the F5 to its top speed. As a nod to that previous king of top speed, the McLaren F1, the F5’s engine bay is lined in gold leaf to manage the extreme engine heat when running flat out.
Honda: NSX - 191mph
Honda has raised the maximum speed bar in the hot hatch sector to an amazing 169mph with the Civic Type R, but it’s the NSX that is the Japanese firm’s fastest four-wheeled machine. As you’d expect of a company that values technical innovation more highly than mere bragging rights, the NSX comes with a hybrid powertrain.
The 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine is assisted by three electric motors in the NSX, giving 581 hp in total to see the mid-engined marvel to a top speed of 191mph. This sort of power and electric motor assistance also means the NSX can tick off 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds.
Jaguar: F-Type R Coupe - 186mph
Kia: Stinger - 168mph
168mph top speed is not that remarkable in this company , but what makes this entry noteworthy is it’s a family sedan from Kia. The Stinger comes with a 3.3-liter V6 turbo gasoline engine that has 366 hp. Driving through an eight-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels, it’s enough to propel the Kia to 168mph.
This sort of speed makes the Stinger one of the best value fast cars out there, especially as it easily serves as an everyday family car when not going hard in the outside lane of an autobahn. The Stinger is also good to drive and covers off 0-60mph in just 4.7 seconds.
Koenigsegg: Jesko Absolut - 305mph
The Jesko Absolut from Koenigsegg may sound more like a boutique vodka than a hypercar, but be in no doubt about this Swede’s intent. It has a top speed of 305mph, putting it right up there with high speed royalty. It uses all of Koenigsegg’s know-how about engine power to find 1298 hp from the 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8. This engine boasts the world’s lightest V8 crankshaft and the motor can rev to 8500rpm, and it can also deliver up to 1600 hp if it runs on E85 fuel.
However, the Jesko Absolut is about much more than outright power as Koenigsegg has honed the shape to have a drag coefficient of just 0.278 Cd. That compares to a BMW i8’s 0.26 figure and Koenigsegg has achieved this by removing the standard Jesko’s large rear wing. This reduces aero downforce from 3080 lb (1400kg) to 330lb (150kg) and allows the Absolut to cut through the air more cleanly.
You can never discount Lamborghini when it comes to trading top speed claims. Unlike the optimistic numbers bandied about for the Countach, the Aventador backs up its 217mph maximum with proof, making this Italian still one of the fastest cars you can buy even as it reaches the end of its lifetime. Propelling the Aventador to such giddy speed is a 770 hp 6.5-liter V12 and it achieves this power without the need for super- or turbocharging.
If the Lamborghini’s V12 motor is one of the last of its type, there’s no denying how wonderful it sounds as it blasts the Aventador from rest to 60mph in 2.9 seconds. And there’s little let up as the engine keeps shoving the low-slung Lamborghini to its maximum of 217mph.
This Range Rover earns its Sport name by having the same 575 hp supercharged V8 engine from the Jaguar F-Type R slotted under its hood. The result is a 5060 lb SUV capable of 176mph flat out, which is some 21mph quicker than the 518bhp standard 5.0-liter V8 model. The SVR is also good for 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds to make it the fastest accelerating car in the Land Rover line-up.
The performance of the SVR has grown from when it was originally launched in 2014, when it came with 550 hp. Back then, its top speed was 162mph, which proves the latest SVR has properly been allowed off the leash.
Lexus: LC 500 Sport Pack - 168mph
For a car with styling that makes it look like it’s going Mach 3 when sat still, the Lexus LC’s 168mph may come as a minor disappointment for some. For others, it’s the way this Japanese alternative to the Porsche 911 gets there that is more important thanks to a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8.
The engine is the true gem of this car, revving to almost 9000 RPM and sounding superb. It fires the LC from rest to 62mph in a claimed 4.7 seconds and it’s the quickest car in Lexus’ range. As well as these figures, the LC impresses with its 10-speed automatic gearbox and several drive modes to help you tailor it to your desires, but it’s still the engine and styling that leave the deepest marks.
Lotus: Evija - 200mph
Maserati: MC20 - 202mph
When you name a car’s engine after a Roman god, you need to be sure it delivers a heavenly performance. Luckily, the Maserati MC20’s Nettuno 3.0-liter V6, christened after Neptune, does just that by powering the Italian firm’s mid-engined rival to Ferrari and Porsche to 202mph. Twin turbochargers help the engine produce 630 hp at 7500rpm.
Tipping the scales at less than 3300 lb (1500kg) thanks to a carbon fiber tub, the MC20 is also good for 0-62mph in less than 2.9 seconds says Maserati. An eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox takes the drive from the V6 engine, which is the first in-house motor designed by Maserati in more than 20 years.