6. Bugatti Chiron (261+ mph, claimed)
The Bugatti Veyron was a monumental feat of engineering, a supercar whose performance was so marvelous that Top Gear presenter James May compared it to the automobile equivalent of the Concorde airplane. The Chiron has now taken the torch from the Veyron.
Named for French racing driver Louis Chiron, the latest Bugatti is intended to improve upon the Veyron in every way. Hitting 261 mph using street-legal settings, the 1500-hp Chiron is like a beast in chains. On the racetrack, Bugatti aims to break those chains, as well as the current speed record. For now, its top speed remains a mystery to the public. Although the Chiron is built like a race car, one needn’t be a professional to operate it — the car is engineered to automatically adjust its machinery as the speed increases or decreases, ensuring optimal performance.
The Chiron isn’t a mere speedster but a comprehensive luxury vehicle as well. In addition to a beautiful leather interior, the car also sports a decadent sound system, with a diamond diaphragm inside each speaker. The dashboard features high-resolution digital displays that will adjust as the car’s speed changes, showing only crucial information at higher speeds. The Chiron looks to be a king among supercars, which is fitting, as kings will be among the few to obtain one. Bugatti will end production after making the 500th example. Each one costs close to $3 million.
7. Rimac Concept Two (258 mph, claimed)
In 2016, Croatian firm Rimac Automobili got the world’s attention with the Concept One, an electric supercar so potent it nearly killed The Grand Tour’s Richard Hammond. At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the company unleashed an even faster successor: The Concept Two.
Everything about the Concept Two is absurd. Rimac claims its four electric motors produce a combined 1,914 hp and 1,696 lb-ft of torque, and that the Concept Two will do 0 to 60 mph in 1.85 seconds. That would make it the quickest-accelerating production car in the world — electric or otherwise. Top speed is a claimed 258 mph, and Rimac claims the 120-kilowatt-hour battery pack will provide 404 miles of range on the New European Driving Cycle testing standard.
No one will be able to verify these claims until 2020, however, which is when Rimac plans to start production. The company only plans to make 150 cars (including some for the U.S.), with pricing expected to be somewhere north of $1 million. But Rimac recently scored an investment from Porsche, so it’s possible the company’s technology will make it into (slightly) more affordable cars in the future.
8. SSC Ultimate Aero (256 mph)
Briefly, the might of the Volkswagen Group and the prestige of the Bugatti name were bested by a car company no one had ever heard of.
For a moment, the SSC Ultimate Aero was the fastest production car in the world. It hit 256 mph in 2007, beating the non-Super Sport version of the Veyron.
Helping it achieve that velocity is a 6.3-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 1,287 hp. There are no electronic driver aids to help control that power either, which creates a purer driving experience for those with talent, and a scenario for certain death for those without it.
9. Aston Martin Valkyrie (250 mph, claimed)
Aston Martin teamed up with Red Bull Racing to develop the Valkyrie, a supercar that benefits from technology fine-tuned in the Formula 1 paddock. Though the final version hasn’t been released yet, we know it will use a mid-mounted, 6.5-liter V12 engine tuned to make 900 hp. That’s an impressive stat on its own, but the 12-cylinder is part of a hybrid powertrain in this application. Aston predicts the Valkyrie’s total output will lie in the vicinity of 1,130 hp, enough for a 250-hp top speed. Check back to see if the production figure lives up to those predictions.
10. Tesla Roadster (250 mph, claimed)
The original Tesla Roadster was a sports car based on the Lotus Elise, and although its performance was certainly impressive, it’s more known for establishing Tesla as a legitimate player in the automotive world. The new Roadster, with its bona fide supercar levels of performance, is another thing altogether.
Revealed as a surprise at the end of the Tesla Semi unveiling, the second-generation Roadster features the most impressive spec sheet of any EV before it: 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, 0 to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds, and a claimed top speed of 250 mph. While these numbers remain unconfirmed at this time, the Roadster’s 200kWh battery pack is absolutely massive and will undoubtedly push performance EVs to an entirely new level. The biggest battery you can get in a Model S or Model X is half that size, by the way.
In addition to the ridiculous acceleration and speed, Tesla founder Elon Musk claims the Roadster will boast a range of 620 miles. We’ll see if Tesla can walk the walk when it starts production of the Roadster.