How fast is too fast? How fast do you really want to go? Are cars that go well in excess of 200 mph ever appropriate for the street, or are they just for controlled race driving on a track?
These are some of the questions people ask when they pass one of these eye-popping pieces of road candy on the street. These are also the questions that even the one-percenters who can afford these cars ask before they write the check.
Most of these speed machines cost hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- of dollars, reserving them for only the world's wealthiest as playthings.
But if you can afford one, you certainly get what you pay for: A sleek, state-of-the-art vehicle that can get you from A to B at white-knuckle speeds.
What follows are the top 10 fastest cars in the world. Click through to see how speed junkies and the richest of rich get around.
The Gumpert Apollo debuted in 2005, the brainchild of auto executive Roland Gumpert, a former Volkswagen-Audi executive. Gumpert set out to build a fast suprcar that could be easily driven on the street or the track.
IT is powered by a 4.2-liter Audi V8 engine that can reach a top speed of 225 mph. Gumpert, a designer, says, “It has always been my dream to have a car with so much downforce, such aero-dynamic efficiency that you could drive on the roof of a tunnel at high speed. This car can do it.”
Depending on the level of creature comforts and accessories you order, the car will cost you between $300,000 to $450,000, a relative bargain on our list.
The British have a storied and illustrious, if dated, tradition of producing great race cars. There is a color, after all, that is "British Racing Green."
But there is a lot of Swede and Japanese in this car to be sure. The M600 engine uses a 4439 cc 60-degree Yamaha-derived Volvo V8 engine that is actually used in the Volvo XC90 SUV. Got that? Of course the engine has been modified a bit with twin turbochargers equipped with variable boost to produce 650 horses.
The Noble M600 goes from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 225 mph. The base prices is about $330,000.
The Danes are not known the world over for great car engineering. But the Zenvo has certainly changed a few minds among the super car cognoscenti. The STI, powered by a 7.0-liter BMW V8, 1,250 horsepower engine, reaches a top speed of 233 mph.
The base price is about $1.8 million. You like exclusivity? The company only produces three of these cars a year. Zenvo calls the car a "supercar you can drive everyday."
The F1 set a speed record for its day back in 1998, reaching 242.95 mph, achieving 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. Only about 106 were produced between 1992 and 1998. It is known for its batwing doors, as well as its 627 horsepower, V12 engine.
Its base price was around $970,000.
In 1994, the British car magazine Autocar stated in a road test regarding the F1, "The McLaren F1 is the finest driving machine yet built for the public road." and that "The F1 will be remembered as one of the great events in the history of the car, and it may possibly be the fastest production road car the world will ever see."
Of course, technology keep getting better, and engineers keep chasing higher speeds.
The Koenigsegg CCX is built by the Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg, and has been tested to reach 245 mph. But this is not even the company's fastest car.
The company, founded in 1994 by Christian von Koenigsegg, has a mission of building the world's "most perfect" sports car. The story goes that Christian was inspired to chase the dream of building the world's fastest street car when he was five years old and saw the Norwegian animated film Flåklypa Grand Prix; in the movie a local bicycle repairman makes his own racing car.
The CCX's V8 with 806 horsepower will get up to 245 mph and only cost about $550,000. If you want one, it won't be a 2013 model as the company stopped building it in 2010, giving way to an even faster car, the Agera.
You can also buy a "green" version of the car. No, not the color of the car. There is a version of this car called the CCXR, which is engineered and tuned to run on biofuel. The different fuel allows the CCXR to produce 25% more power than the CCX.
The Saleen S7 is a built in the U.S. by specialty car builder Steve Saleen, and has been certified to reach 248 mph.
The car had its coming out party on August 19, 2000 at the Monterey Historic Races. At that time, it was powered by a Ford 427 big block, naturally aspirated V8 engine with 550 horsepower. In 2005, though, Saleen replaced the Ford powerplant with an S7 Twin Turbo engine designed by Saleen, which boosted engine power to 750 horsepower.
Leather appears throughout the cabin, with aluminum accents, and the S7 comes with a set of custom-fit luggage. Because of the car's mid-engine layout, it has two trunks, front and rear.
Base price is about $655,000.
The SSC mid-engine sports car built by the company that was formerly known as Shelby SuprCars, held the speed record until 2010 when the Bugatti Veyron knocked it off its perch,. The car had been certified to reach 256.19 mph in 2007.
SSC North America is out to reclaim the title, it seems, and has claimed that its new engine, is capable of a top speed of over 270 mph. The starting price is around $650,000. That does not include cup-holders, though.
The Koenigsegg Agera R, built by the Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg, and has been tested to reach 260 mph, reaching 0-60 in 2.9 seconds. It displaced the company's CCX model also on the list of world's fastest cars.
The Agera is powered by the company's own Koenigsegg aluminum 5.0-liter V8, which produces 1,140 horsepower. The price for the 2013 model is still pending, but earlier versions stickered for $1.6 million.
The Hennessey Venom GT is fitted out by Hennessey Performance Engineering. The car is actually built off a modified Lotis Exige chassis and powered by a General Motors 6.2 liter twin-tubocharged V8 engine that is also found in the Chevy Corvette ZR1. The company sais it has been tested up to 260 mph. The car goes from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds, and 0-200 12.8 seconds. How many horsepower you ask? About 1,200 hp. Price you ask? $1 million.
When the Volkswagen Group--that's right, the company that is literally named "people's car"--bought the Bugatti name in 1998, there was a lot of head-scratching going on. But the idea from the start in buying the French racing name was to build cars that would give the company bragging rights.
Today, the company can boast building the fastest production car. Guinness World Records says so anyway. The Veyron Super Sport, which has a certified top speed of 268 miles per hour, will set you back between $2.4 million and $2.6 million depending on exchange rates when the deal is done.
There is one big vacate to buyers, though. Though it has been certified at 268 mph, the one that will ship to your high-security garage will only get up to 258 mph, a measure designed to keep the tires from shredding if you get tree speedometer that high whilst going out for milk and a newspaper.
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