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Ten Cars which have been the Fastest in the World since 1980

Updated on July 14, 2014

When it comes to the fastest cars in the world, we all know that the Bugatti Veyron is the current topper. But the question is if we know who the title holders were prior to the Bugatti Veyron? If you do not know the answer then you are at the right place. Let’s look at the Fastest Cars in the World over the years, until our current leader Bugatti Veyron Super Sport took over.

We will go from the current to the past. Fasten your seat belts ladies and gentlemen.

1. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

Let us start with the all conquering Bugatti Veyron. This is the car to beat and now it has been at the top for three years, albeit a small hick-up with the Hennessey taking the top spot for a month. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport was developed to take on the SSC Ultimate Aero’s speed of 256 mph which was the fastest in 2007 and was recorded by Guinness Book of World Records. The Bugatti team was successful in toppling the SSC in 2010 and have remained at the top ever since.

Take a look at the car’s stats:

  • Redline: 267 mph or 429.87 kmph
  • Standstill to 60: in 2.4 seconds
  • Power: 1200 hp
  • Period at the top: June 2013 till date

These figures ensure that the Bugatti remains the fastest car in the world officially.

Hennessey Venom GT
Hennessey Venom GT

2. Hennessey Venom GT

Hennessey happens to be the most serious competitor for the Bugatti and in fact had toppled the Bugatti for a month. However, the toppling was not the result of going past the Bugatti’s top speed rather an allegation that the Bugatti could not achieve the top speed without some additional fitment. This allegation stripped the Bugatti of the crown but was reinstated once a clarification was presented.

This meant that our super car was numero uno only for a month. This happens to be the shortest stay at the top for any car ever in automobile history.

  • Redline: 265.5 mph or 427.46 kmph
  • Standstill to 60: in 2.5 seconds
  • Power: 1200 hp
  • Period at the top: May 2013

All was not lost since the Hennessey bagged the fastest accelerating car from 0-300 kmph in just 13.63 seconds and it has Guinness Record validation on that one. This is one area that the Bugatti, at least for the time being cannot beat the Hennessey.

But here comes the cropper. The Hennessey actually did a 270.49 mph, which was faster than the Bugatti, but still did not make it to the record books. Why?

All these hiccups notwithstanding, the Bugatti stays at the top.

Hennessey Venom GT doing a 300 kmph in 13.63 sec

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

3. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

This is the same car which is at the current top position but is addressed once again since the Hennessey broke its continuous reign by a month. This car was powered up to beat the SSC Ultimate Aero, originally but it ended up doing better than that. It beat all top speed records and now other cars are finding it tough to catch up.

  • Redline: 267 mph or 429.87 kmph
  • Standstill to 60: in 2.4 seconds
  • Power: 1200 hp
  • Period at the top: 2010 – May 2013

Ultimate Aero SSC
Ultimate Aero SSC

4. SSC Ultimate Aero

The Shelby Super Car (SSC) Ultimate Aero is the only American car which reigned at the top and therefore, makes itself to a list which is dominated by European cars. The SSC Aero was built to be the fastest car and it did so by toppling the first generation Bugatti Veyron; mind you Bugatti Veyron and not Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

The speed test was witnessed by Guinness Records team and they certified the car for the top speed, which at that time was at 256 mph beating the Bugatti Veyron’s top speed of 253 mph. Here are the car’s stats:

  • Redline: 256 mph or 412.16 kmph
  • Standstill to 60: in 2.7 seconds
  • Power: 1183 hp
  • Period at the top: 2007 – 2010

At the time the SSC Ultimate Aero toppled the Bugatti, there were only two cars in the world which could go beyond the 250 miles per hour mark. Incredible achievement!!

Bugatti Veyron - Looks similar to the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
Bugatti Veyron - Looks similar to the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

5. Bugatti Veyron

This is the first version of the Bugatti and the first car in the world to go beyond the 250 miles per hour barrier. Bugatti’s from the times bygone have been known to build technically sound and fast cars. The Bugatti Veyron was the epitome of that. The car that was to be beaten at that time was the McLaren F1 and the Bugatti did it in style. Here are the stats of the first generation Veyron.

  • Redline: 253 mph or 407.33 kmph
  • Standstill to 60: in 2.9 seconds
  • Power: 1000 hp
  • Period at the top: 2005 – 2007

Unknown to the Bugatti team in 2005, they would have made a clincher of a car which would remain at the top for a long time, but for minor falls.

At the time the SSC Ultimate Aero was toppled the Bugatti there were only two cars in the world which could go beyond the 250 miles per hour mark. Incredible achievement!!

McLaren F1
McLaren F1

6. McLaren F1

McLaren F1 was the car which dominated the top spot for most part of the late 20th century and the early 21st century. It is the only car to have been at the top spot for most number of years, if we consider all cars from the 80s. The McLaren made a car which had a heart of gold, quite literally. The engine was coated with a layer of gold since gold was a good conductor of heat. The car makes it to the all time list of the Titans. They could have fallen but they still are the Titans.

McLaren’s impressive stats are as follows:

  • Redline: 240 mph or 386.4 kmph
  • Standstill to 60: in 3.2 seconds
  • Power: 627 hp
  • Period at the top: 1993 – 2005

Bugatti Veyron vs. McLaren F1

Jaguar XJ220
Jaguar XJ220

7. Jaguar XJ220

Jaguar XJ220 held the record for the fastest car for a period of two years from 1992 to 1993, until the McLaren F1 came by. The car has a humble beginning in the sense that it was made by a group of Jaguar employees who spent time in creating it in their spare time. The intention, like all other fast production cars, was to make a speed demon and they ended up being successful at that. The stats are as follows:

  • Redline: 213 mph or 343 kmph
  • Standstill to 60: in 3.6 seconds
  • Power: 540 hp
  • Period at the top: 1992 – 1993

This particular Jaguar was being built with an intention of reaching the 220 mph target and hence was named as XJ220. Although the car never reached the intended top speed, the top speed which it did achieve was good enough for the fastest car tag in 1992.

Bugatti EB110 - GT
Bugatti EB110 - GT

8. Bugatti EB110 GT

We have one more Bugatti making it to the top. This was the Bugatti EB110 which was partly made famous by its purchase by the Formula 1 Legend Michael Schumacher in 1994. The car was an attempt by the Bugatti to reach the pinnacle which at that time was occupied by its other famous European peers; read the Ferraris, McLarens, Jaguars and one American company – Porsche. They were successful and made a car which had hot stats. Here they are:

  • Redline: 209 mph or 336 kmph
  • Standstill to 60: in 4.2 seconds
  • Power: 553 hp
  • Period at the top: 1991 – 1992

This was also the beginning of the reign of the Bugattis, which would eventually, only get better until they conquer the world.

Ferrari F40
Ferrari F40

9. Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40 was designed and made to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Ferrari and is allegedly the last Ferrari to be approved by Enzo Ferrari himself. The car was the fastest, most ferocious looking and the costliest car sold at that time. Only about a 1000 were ever sold. The car held on to the crown of the fastest car for good four years. Here are the stats:

  • Redline: 202 mph or 326 kmph
  • Standstill to 60: in 3.8 seconds
  • Power: 471 hp
  • Period at the top: 1987 – 1991

The Ferrari F40 was the first car ever to break the 200 mph barrier. The car was designed to take over its main competitor of its time the Porsche 959 and it did so in style. The car still remains one of the best manufactured cars ever. This therefore, takes the car to the list of the Titans.

Ferrari F40

Prosche 959
Prosche 959

10. Porsche 959

The Porsche 959 came into the global view after smoking another Ferrari – the 288 GTO, ending a reign of two Ferrari cars at the top since 1968. So, it came as no surprise that Ferrari chose to hit back with the Ferrari F40. The Porsche 959 was hailed as the technologically most advanced car of its time, capable of reaching a top speed of 195 mph. Here are the stats:

  • Redline: 195 mph or 314 kmph
  • Standstill to 60: in 3.7 seconds
  • Power: 444 hp
  • Period at the top: 1986 – 1987

The Porsche therefore completes the list of top 10 fastest cars spanning three decades.

The fastest cars keep getting faster and some day we may even see some Asian or Middle East super cars. Till such time, it is good to delve in the era of the Ferraris to the Bugattis.

Which according to you is the best car of all time?

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    • Savio Dawson profile image

      Savio Koman 4 years ago from Mumbai, India

      Thank you so much rose-the planner! You are very kind in your analysis and glad you enjoyed reading!

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Great article! By the way, I can't decide in which one I like the most. They are all amazing to me. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose