Photo: via CarBuzz
Over the years, there has been an incredible war amongst manufacturers to build the fastest car in the world.While some have surprised the automakers, others have been devised from the start with one goal in mind: stratospheric top speeds.
Obviously, these cars will rarely, if ever, reach their potential on the road. If they do, the driver is looking at losing the car to the authorities and not getting it back for a long time, mainly because he will be in jail.
Since the 200 mile-per-hour barrier was broken by the Ferrari F40, speeds have only continued to climb. Today, 200 is considered almost mundane for a supercar, and speeds are now approaching 270 miles-per-hour.
This year, American company SSC is looking to reclaim the title of fastest car in the world. Their eloquently named Tuatura is anticipated to hit a top speed of 275 miles-per-hour.
Another American company, Hennessey, also has a weapon on their hands in the form of the Venom GT. The Lotus-based car has 1,200 horsepower and has a claimed top speed between 260-275 miles-per-hour.
Finally, Italian specialty maker Pagani is releasing its 700 horsepower Huayra (another tough name), which has a claimed top speed of 230 miles-per-hour, which almost seems boring.
With that in mind, we decided it was prime time to take a look at some of the fastest cars you can drive home from a dealership today.
We required that the car be available to purchase in 2012 and did not include cars that are not being delivered to customers yet, are not series production cars, or whose top speed is not yet verified.
Sorry SSC, Hennessey, and Pagani.
Price: $2.4 Million
Tidbits: The Veyron could technically appear on this list three separate times.
In addition to the Super Sport, the standard Veyron has a top speed of 253 MPH and the convertible Grand Sport can hit 252 MPH with the roof on, 224 with the top down.
Price: $1.6 million
Tidbits: The Agera is just the latest Koenigsegg to accelerate to crazy speeds. Other cars in the stable, like the CCX, have gone up to 245 without an issue.
While the Agera R cannot, other cars from Koenigsegg can run on bio-ethanol, which technically makes them 'green cars.'
Tidbits: The Apollo is built by Gumpert in Germany. While it has never been accused of winning any beauty contests, this could be one of the ultimate track cars; it ran a time of just 7:11 around the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife.
The Apollo is also powered by a modified Audi engine, meaning you just need to take a ride over to your local Audi dealer for an oil change or service.
Just watch out for speed bumps.
Tidbits: The M600, which is built in England, has an unusual engine sitting behind the driver. In what could be considered one of the least flamboyant choices for a supercar ever, it uses the Yamaha-built powerplant of the Volvo XC90 SUV.
It is turbocharged in the Noble to get to 650 horsepower, so it is far from mundane.
It has also proved to be a delicate car; the M600 featured in the most recent episode of Top Gear broke a clutch after just two days of driving.
Tidbits: The Aventador is only the fifth range-topping supercar from Lamborghini since the 1960s. The Audi-owned company also built its first all new V12 engine since the 1960s for this car.
Lamborghini has included a number of unique features on this car, like pushrod suspension, a super fast single clutch gearbox, and all carbon fibre construction.
Tidbits: GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato, which technically means it is a street version of a race car.
This 599 is the first Ferrari to ever wear the GTO badge without having the initial intention of hitting a race track. Still, the 599 GTO is the fastest way to have a Ferrari on the street. The standard 599 GTB would slot in just below the GTO, as it has a top speed of 205.
Tidbits: The FF is the first Ferrari ever built with all wheel drive. It is also their first hatchback since the incredibly rare 250 'Bread Van' of the 1960s.
The FF is also the fastest four seater on the road today.
Tidbits: The MP4-12C shares a name with McLaren's 1997 Formula One car. Designed and built in the incredible McLaren Technology Centre in England, it's a testament to precision in building a car.
Dynamically, the MP4-12C has been almost universally lauded, but many outlets have criticised the sterile, unemotional feel of the car. The top speed beats out its main competitor, the Ferrari 458 Italia, by a scant 3 miles per hour.
Tidbits: The ZR1 is easily the least expensive way to go over 200 miles per hour. And that does not mean that the ZR1 is lacking for technology. It is equipped with magnetic shock absorbers and the same carbon ceramic brakes that are on the Ferrari FXX.
The ZR1 is no slouch in the corners either, with a time of just 7:19 around the 13-mile Nurburgring.
Tidbits: The Supersports is a stripped out version of the popular Continental GT. It loses the rear seats and gains gobs of power, carbon brakes, and a new aero kit.
The Supersports will be leaving the lineup in 2012, as the new Continental GT just hit the market. A new one may make an appearance a few years down the line.
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