World's 10 fastest cars, ranked: A newcomer beats them all

HAMBURG: Apart from stretches of Germany's autobahn with no speed limit, there are few public highways in the world where drivers can use more than a fraction of the power turned out by the world's 10 fastest cars.

That has scarcely dented demand among deep-pocketed enthusiasts for these near mythical beasts which cost as much to buy as several homes. Most are quickly sold out.

Fuel consumption is not something that concerns buyers of these gas-guzzlers. But as a sign of our changing times, electric or hybrid power has made some of them less harmful to the environment.

Exotic, expensive and rare, these top contenders are mostly from Europe - and there is not a Porsche in sight.

1. Top of the pile is the Bugatti Bolide which is due out later in 2024. The wickedest version of the Chiron has a 16-cylinder engine and is set to reach an estimated 500kph. Rollercoaster-style G forces may make some drivers feel light-headed, as will the price tag. Only 40 of these cars will be made for around US$4 million each.

2. Not far behind and currently the fastest on the block in early 2024 is the car's kid brother, the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport which is a more hardcore version of the original Chiron. It was the first supercar to manage 490kph. Hardly surprising then that this hypercar uses up to 35.2 litres per 100 km around town.

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3. The muscular Swedish supercar Koenigsegg Jesko Absolute is another would-be gravity beater and it throws down the gauntlet to the Chiron. The makers claim a top speed in excess of 480kph, with theoretical speeds as high as 530–560kph if conditions are optimal. However these claims have not yet been tested, it must be said.

4. Never heard of the SSC Tuatara? Well, it is up there with the halo hypercars and one notable driver who set a two-way speed record of 475kph is a dentist from the US state of Pennsylvania. When the car came out in 2021, the manufacturers claimed it was even faster, but they have since revised their claims.

5. Koenigsegg slots in again at number five with with another remarkable supercar. The spaceship-like Agera R is getting a little long in the tooth but is no slouch. Voted Hypercar of the Year in 2010 by Top Gear magazine it has been clocked at 447kph and a fastest straight-line speed of 458kph. It was dropped from the range in 2018.

6. The US$2.1-million Hennessey Venom F5 from North America once hit 402kph during high-speed testing. Only 24 models of this airbag-less monster were made. The Texas makers have claimed 500kph but have yet to prove it.

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7. The older Bugatti Veyron Supersport uses a 12-cylinder engine to hit 415kph. Truly an icon of its time, it is a testament to the late VW Group's boss Ferdinand Piech who was also chief engineer for the Porsche 917 and Audi Quattro.

8. The lean and mean Rimac Nevera from Croatia is the world's fastest electric car with 1,914 horsepower allowing for a top speed of 412kph. Four electric motors power this exceptional machine, which can streak from 0 to 299.3kph in under 10 seconds. Rimac also has an unusual claim for Nevera - the world's fastest reverse at 275kph.

9. McLaren enters the race for the fastest car with the three-seat Speedtail, which has a top speed of around 403kph. It is fitted with flashy kit such as electrochromic glass, which darkens at the push of a button. The driver sits at the centre of the car, and slightly forward of the two passenger seats.

10. Sweden's Koenigsegg get a third mention in the rankings, with the neat Gemera, the world's first four-seat hypercar. It originally used a small combustion engine coupled to three electric motors. A single electric motor known as Dark Matter has since replaced that set-up. The Gemera has a nine-speed automatic gearbox, searing acceleration and a claimed top speed of 400kph. The car's name is a amalgam of two Swedish words which mean "to give more".