A Timeline of the Fastest Production Car by Top Speed Every Year Since 1949

Written by Carly Hallman

The pace of society has been increasing exponentially over time, and cars are no exception. When comparing the fastest production cars each year since 1949, you can witness the marvelous evolution of engineering unfold. The Jaguar XK120 was the fastest car available to consumers in 1949, reaching a speed of 124.6 mph. In 2020, the fastest production car could achieve more than double that speed! So what is the fastest production car in the world right now? Check out this TitleMax infographic to find out:

Would you like to embed this infographic on your site?

A Timeline of the Fastest Production Car by Top Speed Every Year Since 1949 Transcript

Year Make and model Top speed (mph) Top speed (km/h) Engine Number built
1949 Jaguar XK120 124.6 mph 200.5 km/h 3,442 cm3 (210.0 cu in) inline-6 119 kW (162 PS; 160 hp) 12,000
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 150.7 mph 242.5 km/h 2,996 cm3 (182.8 cu in) inline-6 158 kW (215 PS; 212 hp) 1,400
1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT 152 mph 245 km/h 3,670 cm3 (224 cu in) inline-6 225 kW (306 PS; 302 hp) 75
1963 Iso Grifo GL 365 161 mph 259 km/h 5,354 cm3 (326.7 cu in) V8 268 kW (365 PS; 360 hp) > 400
1965 AC Cobra Mk III 427 165 mph 266 km/h 6,998 cm3 (427.0 cu in) V8 362 kW (492 PS; 485 hp) > 25
1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 171 mph 275 km/h 3,929 cm3 (239.8 cu in) V12 261 kW (355 PS; 350 hp) 275
1968 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona 174 mph 280 km/h 4,390 cm3 (268 cu in) V12 262 kW (357 PS; 352 hp) ~ 1,400
1969 Lamborghini Miura P400S 179.3 mph 288.6 km/h 3,929 cm3 (239.8 cu in) V12 276 kW (375 PS; 370 hp) 338
1982 Lamborghini Countach LP500 S 182 mph 293 km/h 4,754 cm3 (290.1 cu in) V12 280 kW (380 PS; 375 hp) 323
1983 Ruf BTR 190 mph 305 km/h 3,367 cm3 (205.5 cu in) turbocharged flat-6 275 kW (374 PS; 369 hp) 20-30
1986 Porsche 959 198 mph 319 km/h 2,849 cm3 (173.9 cu in) twin-turbocharged flat-6 331 kW (450 PS; 444 hp) 337
1987 Ruf CTR 213 mph 342 km/h 3,367 cm3 (205.5 cu in) twin-turbocharged flat-6 345 kW (469 PS; 463 hp) 29
1993 McLaren F1 221 mph 355 km/h 6,064 cm3 (370.0 cu in) V12 461 kW (627 PS; 618 hp) 64
2005 Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 253.81 mph 408.47 km/h 7,993 cm3 (487.8 cu in) quad-turbocharged W16 736 kW (1,001 PS; 987 hp) 300
2007 SSC Ultimate Aero 256.14 mph 412.22 km/h 6.2 L twin turbo V8 engine 5

What Is the Fastest Street-Legal Production Car?

The fastest production car is the SSC Tuatara, which can reach a staggering 316.11 mph. It’s equipped with a 5.9 L SSC Twin-Turbo V8 motor, which is packed with 1,750 horsepower! The $1.6 million supercar achieved this mind-blowing speed on Jan. 16, 2021. However, Guinness Book of World Records representatives were not on hand to validate the claim, telling CNBC that the organization was “aware of the recent SSC Tuatara attempt, although Guinness World Records was not present in any capacity and we have not verified this as a new record.” While the record may not be official, it is still an impressive feat.

What Is SSC?

SSC North America formerly known as Shelby SuperCars Inc. is an American automobile manufacturer that was founded in 1998 by Jerod Shelby, who still owns the company. It specializes in racing and sports cars and is dedicated to extreme performance and ingenuity. According to the company website, the main goal for establishing the supercar business was to “design and manufacture an American supercar that would stand up against the European-dominated industry of high-performance production cars.”

The Fastest Production Cars

Here are the fastest production cars by year since 1949. Missing years indicate that the preceding vehicle continued to hold the record:

  • 1949: Jaguar XK120 — 124.6 mph
  • 1955: Mercedes-Benz 300SL — 150.7 mph
  • 1959: Aston Martin DB4 GT — 152 mph
  • 1963: Iso Grifo GL 365 — 161 mph
  • 1965: AC Cobra MK III 427 — 165 mph
  • 1967: Lamborghini Miura P400 — 171 mph
  • 1968: Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona — 174 mph
  • 1969: Lamborghini Miura P400S — 179.3 mph
  • 1982: Lamborghini Countach LP500 S — 182 mph
  • 1983: Ruf BTR — 190 mph
  • 1986: Porsche 959 — 198 mph
  • 1987: Ruf CTR — 213 mph
  • 1993: McLaren F1 — 221 mph
  • 2005: Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 — 253.81 mph
  • 2007: SSC Ultimate Aero — 256.14 mph
  • 2010: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport — 267.856 mph
  • 2014: Hennessey Venom GT — 270.49 mph
  • 2017: Koenigsegg Agera RS — 277.87 mph
  • 2020: SSC Tuatara — 316.11 mph

What Is the Fastest a Car Has Ever Gone?

The fastest a non-production car has ever gone is 763.035 mph, which was achieved by the ThrustSSC with driver Andy Green in October 1997. The ThrustSSC is a twin turbofan jet-powered car with 110,000 horsepower. It is currently the only vehicle to have gone faster than the speed of sound.


You might also like...