Despite horsepower losing its place as the sole measure of car performance, there are still plenty of automakers chasing that rare elusive figure of 300mph. Hennessey has earned its stripes with monstrous versions of ballistic supercars, while the Pininfarina Battista and Rimac Nevera can beat it too.
Unlike the others on this list, this Swedish speed machine can hit its rumored top speed using just one gear. It’s pretty incredible.
Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut
The Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut is the company’s latest attempt to break the world record for top speed. It’s a more extreme version of the already-furious Agera RS and can travel on the scary side of 300mph.
It’s a little more practical than the winged Jesko with softer suspension, a smaller frontal area, and a rear wing that can be stowed. It also has a lower drag coefficient at 0.278 Cd which makes it even more capable of running at absurdly high speeds.
Inside, the cabin is decked out with leather and Alcantara and has a driver-oriented layout with climate control and Apple CarPlay. A simple push of the elegant remote controls Autoskin – the pioneering body opening system first shown on the Regera -which operates the dihedral doors using electrohydraulic operation.
A twin-turbocharged 5,1-liter V8 with a flat-plane crank powers the Jesko Absolut. It can reach 8500 rpm and is capable of taking you to 62mph in just 2.5 seconds. Only 125 of the Absolut and Attack spec cars will be made, which is quite a number by Koenigsegg standards.
Despite being lighter and smaller than the Chiron, the Bolide is no pushover. It’s equipped with the same quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16 engine as its bigger brother, but tuned for the track with a higher redline and better cooling system. This results in 1,824 hp, which Bugatti claims is enough to do a lap of Le Mans in 3 minutes 7 seconds – that’s about a minute faster than a purpose-built racing car.
It’s also incredibly downforced, with the huge rear wing capable of taking up to 800 kg of force and the front tires rated to take 3.5 tonnes – that’s more than two Chirons. The massive Michelin racing slicks are absurdly wide too, measuring 340mm at the front and 400mm at the rear.
The roof scoop has a morphable skin that offers active airflow optimization – at low speeds it’s smooth, but at high speeds it changes into a field of bubbles to reduce drag and lower lift forces. It’s a marvel of engineering and a clear indication of where the future of hypercars is headed.
In a time when many cars are trying to go faster than ever using hybridization and other tricks, Bugatti sticks with what works. That means a huge, W16 engine that can take you to double-digit speeds without even breaking a sweat.
This engine creates a lot of heat, so to keep it cool engineers have fitted a total of 10 radiators throughout the engine compartment. They also widened the exhaust system and fed it with bigger turbos to reduce turbo lag. The Chiron can easily clear 250 mph, so finding a straight road is a must.
To make it even more fun, Bugatti offers a version called the Super Sport. This car is designed for the track, and it can reach 261 mph. It does this thanks to new tires from Michelin that can handle the stress of running at these speeds, and massive 420mm front and 400mm rear carbon ceramic brakes built by AP Racing with eight-piston front and six-piston rear calipers. These can haul back the 2-ton Chiron to a stop from 249 mph in just under 10 seconds.
The McLaren Speedtail is the quickest car the company has ever built. It has over 1,000 hp and will do 250 mph. It is also the fastest road-legal car in the world. It’s not available in the United States, however. It is a limited production run of 106 cars, and the price starts at around $2 million. In order to optimize the aerodynamics, the McLaren Speedtail doesn’t have side mirrors and instead uses pop-out cameras. It also doesn’t have sun visors, as the windshield and doors are made of electrochromic glass that can be dimmed or brightened as needed.
The car is powered by a hybrid powertrain that combines a twin-turbo V8 and an electric motor. It has a unique monocoque with dihedral doors, and it can accommodate two passengers in carbon-fiber seats.
It takes only 12.8 seconds to reach 186 mph from a standstill, which is 3.7 seconds faster than the McLaren P1. That’s pretty incredible. However, McLaren doesn’t say whether it will go even faster than that. It might be able to, but it would require bigger compromises than the ones it has already made.
Aston Martin Valkyrie
When it comes to road-legal cars that can actually handle the speed of light, the Aston Martin Valkyrie is unmatched. Seven years in the making, this hypercar took Adrian Newey’s F1-winning genius and refracted it through a road-going hybrid hypercar prism. The result is an exhilaratingly fast, incredibly exclusive machine.
The car features an extremely lightweight carbon fiber monocell tub, which Aston Martin developed with Canadian motorsports supplier Multimatic (who also made the One-77 and Vulcan). It carries an engine that combines the naturally aspirated Cosworth 6.5-liter V-12 with a 160-hp electric motor from Rimac and Integral Powertrain. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Aston Martin says the Valkyrie can carry two people, but they’ll be sitting with their feet up, just like in a modern F1 or LMP1 racer. That’s because the cockpit was 3D-scanned to match the contour of each owner’s body and is designed to accommodate a driver and passenger of up to 98th percentile height. There’s even a frunk that can fit a first aid kit.