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Koenigsegg’s Agera RS is the fastest car in the world — for now

As Hennessey was introducing the 300-mph Venom F5 in Las Vegas, Swedish boutique carmaker Koenigsegg prepared to make headlines with its own record-breaking car. The company asked the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to close an 11-mile stretch of Route 160 between Sin City and Pahrump to allow the company to put its ultra-exclusive, ultra-expensive supercar through its paces on a public highway.

The excitement was palpable as the winged, dark red Agera RS lined up right in the middle of Route 160 with factory test driver Niklas Lilja behind the wheel. To beat the record, he needed to make two runs down the same stretch of road at an average speed of over 268 mph, the record set by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in 2010. Company officials chose Nevada due to the state’s abundance of long, straight stretches of relatively flat roads, and its low population density. The Las Vegas Review Journal nonetheless wrote motorists traveling through the area faced 20-minute delays.

Koenigsegg published a video showing Lilja briefly hitting 284.55 mph during his first run. He maxed out at 271.19 mph during the second run, which averages out to 277.9 mph. And as a result, ladies and gentlemen, the Agera RS is officially the world’s fastest production car. The record was verified by officials from the Guinness Book of World Records.

Setting a speed record is no small feat, but the Agera RS packs a serious amount of firepower. The company’s official website explains power comes from a twin-turbocharged, all-aluminum 5.0-liter V8 engine tuned to make a monstrous 1,160 horsepower at 7,800 rpm and 944 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. Those figures aren’t jaw-dropping, not when the Bugatti Chiron offers 1,500 hp, but the Agera RS benefits from the widespread use of lightweight materials like carbon fiber (which is even found in the suspension system) and aluminum. It tips the scale at a little over 3,000 pounds, while the 16-cylinder Chiron checks in at about 4,400 pounds.

The Agera RS recently broke another speed record. It might not keep its title for very long, though. Hennessey promised the Venom F5 can reach over 300 mph, a figure that has left many skeptical due in part to the limited availability of street-legal tires capable of hitting such high speeds without shredding into pieces like mozzarella on a Domino’s pizza. Promising to break the 300-mph threshold is easy, but Hennessey will need to prove it in order to be taken seriously. The Agera will lose its crown when and if that happens — unless Koenigsegg has another trick up its sleeve.

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