Speed has always fascinated human beings. Everything has to become faster, more efficient and even better. Of course this also applies to cars. Curtain up for the world’s fastest hypercars.
It’s almost an obsession: scientists and adrenaline junkies have been chasing speed for the past 120 years and set a number of records in the process. On April 29, 1899, the Belgian engineer and racing driver Camille Jenatzy took his electric car “La Jamais Contente” to over 100 km/h for the first time. No-one had ever traveled that fast on the roads before. A record-breaking Mercedes-Benz W 125 driven by Rudolf Caracciola reached 432.7 km/h on January 28, 1938, on a section of freeway between Frankfurt am Main and Darmstadt. Fun fact: the engine of the “Silver Arrow” was encased in a box containing 500 liters of ice and water to cool it. Around 60 years later, the Californian drag racer Gary Gabelich broke through the 1,000 km/h mark in a natural-gas-powered rocket car called “The Blue Flame” developing 58,000 hp. On October 15, 1997, the fighter pilot Andy Green set a new land speed record of 1,227.985 km/h, driving the jet-propelled “Thrust SCC” in Black Rock Desert (Nevada), and became the first person to break the sound barrier in a “car” by traveling at Mach 1.01. The two Rolls-Royce jet engines produced a combined thrust of 110,000 hp, nearly twice as much as the previous record holder. The potential successor is the “Bloodhound SSC” – a cross between a jet fighter and a Formula 1 sports car – which Green hopes will set a new land speed record. His aim is to exceed 1,600 km/h. But we won’t be seeing the record-breaking cars on our roads (any more). IAA Mobility will therefore have the fastest modern cars on display.
Fans of superfast cars will be familiar with the exclusive sports cars from Sweden. The term “hypercars” was invented especially for the hand-finished small series from makers such as Koenigsegg. What do they have in common? All the models have more than 1,000 hp under the hood and cost several million euros. Vehicles from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and even McLaren almost look “mass produced” by comparison. Koenigsegg’s construction facility is located on the grounds of a former air force base. Here the new models are put through their paces on a 1.7-kilometer runway. In 2015 the Koenigsegg Agera RS made its debut with 1,160 hp. Only 25 of these cars were built. On November 4, 2017, Niklas Lilja drove the RS in the Nevada desert, breaking the speed record for a road-legal production car. The Agera’s highest-ever road speed is an incredible 457 km/h.
Apart from the Mustang, Ford generally produces less eye-catching models known more as good everyday cars than for their speed. So it was the Texan tuners from M2K Motorsports who souped up a 2006 Ford GT with a 5.4-liter V8 engine enabling it to reach 483 km/h in a standing mile in March 2019. According to M2K Motorsports, the Ford produces 2,500 hp. Two years previously, the GT had already achieved a speed of 472.5 km/h. The complete overhaul took it closer to 500 km/h. The superfast Mustang is certainly destined for higher speeds, given that it can still accelerate impressively after covering that first mile.
Bugatti – this beautiful name stands for a dynasty of sports cars dating back to 1909. Super sports cars are created in loving precision at Molsheim (France), in close proximity to Château St. Jean, the Bugatti family home. In 2010 Bugatti unveiled the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, the new star among the super sports cars, under the Volkswagen umbrella. In the same year, the 1,200 hp hypercar achieved 431 km/h and a place in the Guinness Book of Records. This world record lasted for seven years, until the Koenigsegg Agera RS snatched the title. Now Bugatti’s Chiron Super Sport 300+ has reclaimed the top spot. On August 2, 2019, test driver Andy Wallace took the vehicle to a sensational 490.5 km/h on the VW test track in Ehra-Lessien (Germany). The Chiron was aerodynamically optimized for the record-breaking run and produced 1.600 hp. But records don’t last forever. Already new super sports cars are waiting in the wings to take Bugatti’s crown away once more.
Stage Photo: 2020 Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
The IAA 2021 will focus on innovative mobility in all its forms. Intelligent traffic solutions, visionary mindsets, automobiles and entire mobility chains. Everything that will shape the mobility of tomorrow and make it an experience. Be there!