Note: an updated version of this article, listing 2011's fastest cars
is now available.
Finding the world's fastest car isn't so easy as you might expect. Some models are well known for their 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration, some have engines with horsepower outputs compared to those of rockets, especially if they've been heavily modified in terms of fuel, engine size or type and the number of superchargers.
We will now look at the 10 street-legal factory made fastest cars in the world in terms of maximum speed, as declared by the manufacturers (we'll mostly have to take their word for it).
10. Aston Martin V12 Vanquish S
Made of lightweight aluminium and carbon fiber, it has a V12 engine that puts out 520 hp, enough to get this British Lady to a maximum speed of 200 mph (320 km/h). It can get from 0 to 60 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.8 seconds and it's a car built with understated elegance and excellent craftsmanship, a symbol of luxury and technology combined into an elegant design.
9. Ruf RT 12 Porsche
The German carmaker Ruf is doing a lot more than copying Porsche models and shoving steroids up their throats. Over the years, it has imposed itself as a serious, hard-working official tuner, much like AMG is for Mercedes and M-Power for BMW. This model also has a 200 mph (320 km/h) top speed, but a slightly improved acceleration, of 4.6 seconds from 0 to 60 mph (0-100 km/h).
8. Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren "722 Edition"
It's enough to say Mercedes to think of great cars and German technical perfection, but when adding the name McLaren, which requires no further presentation, you can be sure that the outcome can only be a superb car. She has a 650 hp, 5.5 liter V8 engine, a 209 mph top speed and gets from 0 to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds.
7. Lamborghini Murcielago LP640
Lamborghini was the supreme supercar of the 90s with the now classical and forever great Diablo. The new Murcielago in this limited edition can only be the proud successor of a true legend. It has a 6.5 L version of the legendary Lamborghini V12 engine, 640 hp and a top speed of 211 mph (339 km/h), with a 0-60 mph acceleration of 3.5 s
6. Pagani Zonda C12 F
A not so famous car, produced by Argentinan car manufacturer Pagani in Italy, again, but lacking a long history behind the brand name, but a truly magnificent piece of work, having a 600 hp engine and a 3.5 second sprint to 62 mph (97 km/h), with a top speed over 217 mph (350 km/h).
5. Bristol Fighter T
An even more anonymous car was produced in small numbers in 2004 by British manufacturer Bristol Cars. She's a huge rocket, having a V10 engine producing 1012 hp and huge 1036 lb ft of torque, with 225 mph + top speed (+362 km/h). Fighter T gets from 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds.
4. McLaren F1
The brand name says it all. What it doesn't say is that it was conceived as an exercise in creating what its designers hoped would be considered the ultimate road car. She's strange looking, having the driver's seat mounted in the center and two passenger seats on each side, but to the back. She was the fastest production car ever built (having achieved a top speed of 240.14 mph, 386.5 km/h) until surpassed in 2005 by the Koenigsegg CCR and then the Bugatti Veyron a few months later.
3. Koenigsegg CCR
The second latest supercar form the Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg, she has a 4.7 L twin supercharged DOHC V8 engine, 806 hp, a 0-60 mph acceleration of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 251 mph (403 km/h)
2. Bugatti EB 16/4 Veyron
Many people think this monster is still the fastest, most powerful and most expensive street-legal production car in the world. Indeed, she has a proven top speed of 253.2 mph (407.9 km/h). Built by the German carmaker Volkswagen through its subsidiary Bugatti Automobiles SAS, in France, it represents almost 70 years or racing history, with the Bugatti cars ruling the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours competition in the 1930s and 1940s. She has a monster of an engine, too, a 8.0 L quad-turbo W16 that puts out a massive 1001 hp of thrust.
1. Barabus TKR
Few people know this, but this is now the fastest car ever made, having dethroned the Bugatti beast. The name is not to be confused with the German tuner Brabus, as she's built by the British company Barabus Sportscars Ltd and will be produced in Italy. She has 1005 horsepower, it can do 0 to 60 mph (0-100 km/h) in...unbelievably...1.67 seconds (manufacturer's results). And, surprisingly, this power doesn't come from a huge engine, but rather from a "small" 6.0 liter V8 twin-turbocharged with dual intercoolers.
This declared speed is impressive and some people think that such a figure is not even possible: 270 mph (435km/h), nearly 20 more than the Veyron.
So, this top is a picture of today's most outstanding performances in the field of car engineering, but no one knows when the next "road-runner" will be made and how fast it will travel without taking off.