When I was a kid, production cars didn’t reach 200mph. The fastest production car was the Lamborghini Countach, with a top speed of 193 mph. The Ferrari 512 BB came close at 186mph. Now there are a few production cars capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph (322km/h).
When you push a car past 180mph, the world starts to get awfully fizzy and a little bit frightening. When you go past 200mph it actually becomes blurred. (Jeremy Clarkson)
When Volkswagen purchased Bugatti, it had one goal: build the fastest production car in the world. The original Veyron achieved that goal.
Arguably, the Hennessey Venom GT (270 mph) is the fastest production car today. Hennessey recorded an incredible 270.4 mph run at the Kennedy Space Center but only in one direction. It looks like a Lotus Elise on steroids, I haven’t seen a model of one yet. The Bugatti Veyron is still officially recognised as the fastest production car in the world, by the Guinness Book of Records. In its fastest form the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is capable of a phenomenal 268 mph.
Jeremy Clarkson was blown away by the Bugatti:
This car cannot be judged in the same way as we judge other cars. It meets drive-by noise and emissions regulations and it can be driven by someone whose only qualification is an ability to reverse round corners and do an emergency stop. So technically it is a car. And yet it just isn’t.
The McLaren P1 at 217mph is actually slower than its predecessor the McLaren F1, which at 241 mph was the fastest production car in its time. The P1 uses hybrid technology blending electric and V8 turbocharged performance, but it is certainly no Prius.
At its it launch over a decade ago in 2002, the Enzo Ferrari (named after the company’s founder) was the fastest and most powerful production Ferrari to date.
Lamborghini‘s new flagship the Aventador LP 700-4 also has a claimed top speed of 217mph, and its base price of US$393,695, seems almost reasonable compared to the Bugatti‘s $1.7million price tag.
There are quite a few cars now which can top 200 mph, others worth noting are the SSC Ultimate Aero (256 mph), Koenigsegg CCR (242 mph), Aston Martin One-77 (220 mph) and Jaguar XJ220 (217 mph).
In Gran Turismo 6, my first car costing over a million credits was a McLaren F1 GTR – BMW (Kokusai Kaihatsu UK Racing) ’95, I also have an Aventador in my virtual garage and had to control a Bugatti Veyron around the Ascari cicuit to qualify for my Special Licence.