Automakers are forever striving to outdo themselves when it comes to elements of a vehicle’s design or performance. One of the flashiest areas to improve is in the speed category. Though the cars on this list might not be the fastest ones ever to exist, these are the fastest street-legal vehicles that anyone can own. Why you would ever need to go this fast outside of a race course is a question for another time and place. Check out some of the most mind-blowing (or rather, hair-blowing) fast cars on the road today.
10. Pagani Huayra
The super sleek Pagani Huayra, with its signature leaf-shaped, antennae-like side view mirrors and the streamlined body was the successor to the incredibly fast Zonda and was named for a Quechua wind god. There’s no wonder in the name - the Huayra has a top speed of 230 miles per hour. The Huayra, offered by Italian automaker Pagani, was named The Hypercar of the Year 2012 by Top Gear magazine. Even at more than $1.3 million, as of February of 2015, the Huayra was completely sold out of its limited 100-unit run, as per an agreement with Pagani’s engine supplier Mercedes-AMG.
9. McLaren F1
The 1990s saw one of the fastest cars ever built to this very day in the McLaren F1. As the name implies, the F1 was designed to be a Formula 1 champion car - and boy, was it. At a top recorded speed of 240 miles per hour, the practically glowing F1 was a dream in motion. In fact, it was originally designed as a concept car but later was put into a limited production line. Between 1992 and 1998, when the last McLaren F1 was rolled out to market, only 106 cars were built, with only 64 of them being road cars. In December of 2016, an Australian man was charged with careless driving after crashing a 1994 model F1 into a ditch; that was a costly mistake with a hefty price tag of $10 million.
8. Saleen S7 Twin Turbo
In 2005, Saleen boosted its already-fast S7 with a twin turbo engine, giving the car an incredible top recorded speed of 248 miles per hour. Though more than a decade has passed, the cars have maintained their price point and still cost over $600,000 to buy. An interesting tidbit about this car - a 2004 model (pre-twin turbo super-boost) was featured in a scene of the comedy Bruce Almighty, in which Jim Carrey took on God’s powers (and duties) and used them to part a sea of vehicles so that he could race down the street yelling “Hi ho, Silver!”
7. Koenigsegg Regera
In the luxury mega car market, the Koenigsegg Regera is king. Unlike others of the Swedish carmaker’s ultra lightweight sports cars, the Regera is designed to be heavier and more endowed with high-end luxury details such as a hybrid traditional and electric engine and all the best in interior creature comforts. The attention to these details does not mean that the Regera - which incidentally means “to reign” - is any slouch on the road. It tops out at an incredible 249 miles per hour. Only 80 of these beauties were ever made.
6. 9ff GT9-R
Built by the German car tuning company 9ff, the GT9-R can top out at 257 miles per hour. If it looks familiar, it’s because the design of the vehicle was based on the classic Porsche 911 body. They simply wanted the car to go much, much faster. It was built with the goal in mind of taking the speed record for a street-legal car. Only twenty of these superfast road demons were ever built, and they sell for $748,000.
5. SSC Ultimate Aero
With its gull-wing doors and incredibly small ground clearance, the SSC Ultimate Aero is a sight to behold. You’ll have to look very fast, though, because it will likely be flying past at up to 256 miles per hour. From 2007 to 2010, the SSC Ultimate Aero held the world record for the fastest production car on the road. Interestingly, it supposedly hit that world-record speed on a public highway in Washington state. Here’s hoping that the highway was closed to traffic; that could have been a gruesome day indeed.
4. Koenigsegg Agera R
Each year, Swedish carmaker Koenigsegg produces about fifteen hypercars under the name Agera R. This car tops out at 260 miles per hour and is most often sold in its signature white, to match the snowy Swedish landscape. In fact, one of the coolest things about this car is that it is the fastest car in the world on snow and ice; it can even be fitted with snow tires for a really incredible, one-of-a-kind skiing experience, should you be so bold as to tie a rope to the back of it and try. Also impressive about this vehicle is that it manages to squeeze 1,140 horsepower out of a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine.
3. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
In 2010, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport set the Guinness World Record for the fastest production car in the world at a top speed of 267 miles per hour. Bugatti later released a limited run of five units of the world record car; the rest of the Veyron Super Sports that were released were electronically limited to go no more than 258 miles per hour so that there is not a danger of disintegrating the tires of the car at the absolute top speed. There was some waffling over the title in 2013 over the existence of the speed limiter, and it was revoked for a short time before being reinstated.
2. Hennessey Venom GT
Though the Hennessey Venom GT no longer tops the list as the absolute fastest car in the world, it will still blow your hair back at a whopping 270 miles per hour top speed. It can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in under 2.5 seconds. Add to the car’s sleek, aerodynamic design that it is available in a variety of vibrant colors, including cherry red, bright yellow, and electric blue, and drivers of the ultra-sexy Venom GT will be sure to catch every eye on the road. It is also the most exclusive car in the whole world - only twenty-nine were planned to be made - and comes in at a hefty base price of $1.2 million before options.
1. Bugatti Chiron
Topping out at an impressive 288 miles per hour, the 2017 Bugatti Chiron will finally unseat the Hennessey Venom GT as the fastest car in the world. The two-seater sports a 1,184-horsepower W-16 engine and can go from 0-60 in mere seconds. The $2.5 million price tag and the limited edition 500-vehicle production run also mean that the Chiron, heir to the Veyron’s throne, is one of the most exclusive sports cars on the market. Perfect for adrenaline junkies with a few extra million dollars lying around.