Many credit the invention of the automobile to Karl Benz in 1885. Since then, technological evolutions have brought cars a long way, and the constant battle among car manufacturers to see who can create the fastest car in the world means pushing performance and speed to the extreme. Here are 20 cars with a top speed that will have the adrenaline pumping through your veins:
(Related: 10 Fastest Four-Door Production Cars)
Hennessey Venom F5
Top speed: 484 km/h
The Hennessey Venom F5, built by Texas-based Hennessey Special Vehicles, boasts a claimed top speed of 484 km/h. The car features a 1600-hp, 7.4 litre twin-turbo V8 and when it starts being delivered in 2019 it hopes to eliminate the Bugatti Chiron and the Koenigsegg Agera RS when it comes to speed.
Koenigsegg Agera RS
Top speed: 447 km/h
The Koenigsegg Agera RS is officially the fastest car in the world with a verified top speed by the Guinness Book of World Records. To set the official record, Koenigsegg shut down an 18 km stretch of Nevada's Route 160. The 1160-hp Swedish supercar hit 458 km/h during its first run and 436 km/h during the second, which averages out to 447 km/h.
Top speed: 420 km/h
Named after Monegasque driver Louis Chiron, the Bugatti Chiron is intended to improve upon its predecessor, the Veyron, in every way. The car hit 420 km/h using street-legal settings and the 1500-hp hypercar combines the refinement of a luxury car with the performance of a racecar. For now, its top speed is electronically limited to 420 km/h for safety reasons so its final top speed has yet to be tested, which Bugatti will do in 2018.
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport WRE
Top Speed: 431 km/h
The Bugatti Veyron was named in honour of Pierre Veyron, a Bugatti development engineer, test driver and company race driver. Like many cars, the Veyron went through different iterations over the course of its lifetime and the culmination was the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport WRE (World Record Edition).
The car reached its top speed of 431 km/h in 2010, but the WRE is the only version of the car that will reach that speed. Only 5 cars were made.
Top speed: 402 km/h
The second-generation Tesla Roadster features an impressive spec sheet—0 to 100 km/h in 1.9 seconds, 0 to 160 km/h in 4.2 seconds, a claimed top speed of 402 km/h, and a range of 1000 km. As the car has just been announced, these numbers are still unconfirmed for now, but the Roadster will surely push performance Electric Vehicles to an entirely new level.
Saleen S7 Twin Turbo
Top speed: 399 km/h
The Saleen S7 debuted in 2000 and was America's first mid-engine production supercar, boasting 550-hp. Beyond the US, however, this legendary masterpiece in machinery remains one of the fastest production cars ever to be created. In 2005, the S7 got upgraded with a twin turbo that boosted the engine power to 750-hp and gave it a top speed of 399 km/h.
Top speed: 388 km/h
The McLaren F1 is regarded as a legendary car, going for over HK$104 million nowadays. It features a 6.1 litre BMW M V12 engine and centre driver’s seat. McLaren originally intended to make the F1 the ultimate road-going supercar with a design informed by the company’s racing experience. The F1 even won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995.
Notable owners of the car include Jay Leno, Elon Musk and Rowan Atkinson.
Pagani Huayra BC
Top speed: 383 km/h
The Pagani Huayra BC is the successor to the very popular Zonda and is named after Benny Caiola, the company's first customer. The car has a 6.0 litre V12, twin-turbocharged engine by Mercedes-AMG producing 745-hp and with a top speed of 383 km/h. The car is made entirely out of carbon fibre.
Top speed: 375 km/h
The Zenvo ST1 is a Danish supercar manufactured almost entirely by the hands of a small team of workers. The car generates 1104-hp with its twin-charged 6.8 litre V8 engine and comes equipped with keyless entry, satellite navigation, telescopic steering wheel adjustment and electrically adjustable leather racing seats.
Top speed: 362 km/h
The Noble M600 is a handbuilt British supercar made from stainless steel and carbon fibre, and uses a twin-turbocharged Volvo V8 engine. The particularity is that it has twin Garrett turbochargers equipped with variable boost, allowing the driver to choose from 450-hp, 550-hp and 660-hp through the use of a switch in the interior.
Top speed: 360 km/h
Apollo Automobili is a resurrection from the now-defunct Gumpert brand after it was purchased by a group of investors from Hong Kong. The Apollo Arrow is the first car to wear the new badge and boasts 1000-hp from a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine sourced from Audi. The design features aggressive lines, inspired perhaps by a dragon, or maybe a shark.
Top speed: 354 km/h
The Lamborghini Veneno, when introduced in 2013, was the most expensive production car in the world with a price tag of HK$35 million. Performance-wise, the engine is based on the 6.5 litre V12 from the Lamborghini Aventador and the top speed is limited electronically to 354 km/h. Only five cars were made, two of which were kept by Lamborghini.
Aston Martin One-77
Top speed: 354 km/h
The Aston Martin One-77 features a full carbon fibre monocoque chassis, a handcrafted aluminium body, and a naturally aspirated 7.3 litre V12 engine with 750-hp. As the name suggests, only 77 cars were built by the company but that number was later reduced to 76 working cars after an owner, who had just received his car, crashed it on the streets of Hong Kong in 2012.
Top speed: 349 km/h
The Jaguar XJ220 was produced from 1992 to 1994 and has now attained the status of an icon. The car was developed from a V12-engined four-wheel drive concept car, designed by a group of Jaguar employees working in their spare time but later made way for a twin-turbocharged V6 generating 540-hp and rear-wheel drive. Mike Tyson is among the notable owners of this car.
Top speed: 349 km/h
The McLaren P1 is the worthy successor of the McLaren F1, utilising hybrid power and Formula 1 technology. It is a plug-in hybrid hypercar with a 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine delivering 727-hp, combined with an in-house developed electric motor producing 176-hp giving the car a total of 903-hp.
Top speed: 349 km/h
Like the McLaren P1, the Ferrari LaFerrari—meaning "TheFerrari" in Italian in the sense that it is the "definitive" Ferrari—is the first mild hybrid hypercar from the company capable of 950-hp, with the combination of a mid-rear mounted 6.3 litre V12 and a hybrid system modeled on the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) used in Ferrari’s Formula One cars.
Lamborghini Aventador S
Top speed: 349 km/h
The Lamborghini Aventador S improves on its little brother by outputting 40-hp more with the same iconic 6.5 litre V12 engine. The S received four-wheel steering, permanent four-wheel drive and a slightly updated suspension, a redesigned nose was with a bigger front splitter and two new air ducts in the front bumper.
Porsche 918 Spyder
Top speed: 338 km/h
The Porsche 918 Spyder completes the trio of hybrid hypercars and develops 887-hp from a naturally aspirated 4.6 litre V8 engine and two electric motors. One electric motor drives the front axle of the car while the second electric motor drives the rear wheels in parallel with the engine, which also serves as the main generator.
Bentley Continental GT Speed
Top speed: 332 km/h
The Bentley Continental GT appeared in 2003 and has gone through many iterations since. The model that interests us is the Continental GT Speed and, as the name suggests, it's all about performance for this grand tourer. With 616-hp, you'll pass the 320 km/h mark in style and comfort thanks to quilted leather, massage seats and luxurious hand-stitched upholstery.
Audi R8 V10 Plus
Top speed: 330 km/h
The second generation of the Audi R8 is the one that allowed the car to finally join the 320 km/h club with the V10 Plus model, generating 602-hp. A full electric e-tron version of the Audi R8 allows you to have a 450-hp supercar while being environmentally friendly.
(See also: Fresh From The Lab: The Ferrari FXX-K Evo)