People have been asking the same question since the horseless carriage took over as a mode of transportation: What is the quickest car? Speed enthusiasts have been going to places like the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah since 1914, hoping to find a definite answer. Teddy Tetzlaff, a pioneering performance driver, pushed a modified Benz racer to a respectable 141 mph (227 km/h) in 1914. Around the same time, the sport of land speed racing began to develop its own set of rules.
The Federation Internationale de L'Automobile (FiA) has standardised the most significant of these rules: a driver must perform a high-speed run in one direction, then turn around and perform it in the opposite direction. To accommodate for tiny changes in wind resistance and road surface, the two speeds are averaged together.
Land Speed Record
According to the FiA, a racecar named the ThrustSSC presently holds the "Outright World Land Speed Record" for any wheeled vehicle over 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) with a rolling start. It reached a top speed of 763.035 mph (1,227.985 kph) in October 1997 and has been unbeaten for nearly two decades. At Mach 1.016, ThrustSSC was also the first land vehicle to ever break the sound barrier.
Looking at it, it's hard to call it a car, isn't it? It's propelled by two huge jet engines, giving it the appearance of a plane with no wings. So, what is the fastest automobile that a person can purchase? This is a more difficult question to answer.
Production Car with the Fastest Time
The 1,400-horsepower Koenigsegg Agera RS hit the Nevada desert in 2017 and averaged 277.9 mph (447 kilometres per hour). The results of that run were also attested to by RaceLogic, a motor sports statistics business. Bugatti retaliated in 2019 with a Chiron SS capable of 304 mph (489 kilometres per hour). That run, however, can barely be credited because the car was equipped with nonproduction aerodynamic alterations specifically designed to exceed 300 mph and only drove in one way.
SSC (not to be confused with ThrustSSC) will thereafter make its global debut in 2020 with a new Tuatara hypercar. The automobile appeared to hit 331 miles per hour (532.6 kilometres per hour) one way in a video published by the firm, with a two-way average of 317 miles per hour (510 kilometres per hour). However, because there were no other sources to check the data, many viewers were suspicious that the cockpit footage had been doctored or was otherwise erroneous.
Guinness World Records officials were also present to watch the run, according to SSC, although Guinness later told CNBC that they were "not present in any capacity, and have not confirmed this as a new record." There is now only one Tuatara prototype, while the business claims that another 100 are in the works.
SSC quickly organised another test, this time with Racelogic verification, to dispel any remaining doubts. The Tuatara was then able to achieve a top speed of 282.9 miles per hour (455 kilometres per hour). That's a big figure, but it's still a long way from SSC's previous assertion. The firm then stated that it would shortly breach the 300-barrier once more. The Tuatara was on its way to a testing location in Florida in May 2021 when its cargo trailer flipped, causing the automobile to be damaged. The car is in repairable condition, according to SSC, and could be roadworthy again in a matter of weeks, but no third attempt has been announced as of yet.
Despite the fact that certain cars are physically capable of moving quicker, we will continue to regard the Koenigsegg Agera RS as the current fastest production automobile. This is based on the fact that the manufacturer sold numerous road-legal versions of the car used in the race, followed the proper two-pass procedure, and had an independent data collector on-site.