Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Recus. Recus Wonders, “What's the fastest car in the world?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Recus!
Vroom! Vroom! You hear an engine revving in the distance. You wait patiently to see the vehicle reveal itself. It sounds fast…and furious! Suddenly a squeal fills the air as tires spin on asphalt and a cloud of smoke rises into the air.
Your pulse quickens. You can hear the rumble of the engine as the car gets closer and closer. Lights flash around the bend and then there it is: a sleek, beautiful sports car comes screaming past you and vanishes into the night.
Does this sound like a scene from a popular action movie? Probably! That scene has played out in some form or another in hundreds, if not thousands, of movies over the years. Ever since they were invented, people have had a love affair with muscle cars that can jump start the heart.
Years before they can legally take the wheel, young children play with toy cars, dreaming of the day they'll pilot their own automobile. Many of those dreams feature fancy sports cars that can zoom along at dazzling speeds. In reality, though, very few people end up owning or driving such cars.
It doesn't hurt to dream, though, does it? When it comes to cars, there are many things that make certain models of cars stand out from the pack. There's one bragging right in particular that continues to capture the attention of young and old Wonder Friends alike: speed!
Have you ever WONDERed what the fastest car in the world is? Before we look at a couple of the contenders, we should make clear that we're not talking about those special vehicles modified to set land speed records. For example, a land speed record of 763 miles per hour (mph) was set in 1997 by a special vehicle that featured a unique turbofan engine. You won't see one of those on the street anytime soon, though.
When it comes to the fastest cars in the world, we're talking about production vehicles. Those are the vehicles that are street-legal and intended to be sold to consumers for their personal transportation use. Usually, an automobile manufacturer must make at least 20 vehicles of a particular model for it to be considered a production vehicle.
Today, two production vehicles lay claim to the title of fastest car in the world. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the title belongs to the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which boasts a top speed of 268 mph (about 431 km).
In 2014, however, a Hennessey Venom GT reached a top speed of 270.49 mph (about 435 km). The Hennessey laid claim to the title, but there was a dispute as to how top speed was measured. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's speed was measured after two runs — one in each direction — were averaged. The Hennessey Venom GT's top speed was based solely on a run in one direction only.
Automobile experts generally require an average speed based upon two runs in opposite directions, because doing so allows for differences in top speed due to wind. Despite a challenge by Hennessey, Guinness upheld the Bugatti's record based upon its method of top speed calculation.
Not satisfied to rest on its laurels, Bugatti has produced a successor to the Veyron Super Sport. The new Bugatti, called the Chiron, will feature a newly-designed engine with a whopping 1,500 horsepower. Speed tests have not yet been conducted, but Bugatti expects it to eclipse the 271 mph mark. If you're interested in a Bugatti Chiron, you'd better start saving. The company will make only 500 vehicles initially, each one with a $2.6 million price tag!