Catch me if you can: The 10 fastest road cars of 2016
From practical new hatchbacks to ground-hugging hypercars with tight links to the world of Formula 1, 2016 has had its share of exciting new automotive announcements. In terms of pure speed, these 10 production cars sit at the top of this year's class. From ornate Dutch supercars to brutish British four-doors, it's a varied list with one thing in common – they're all lightning quick in a straight line.
10: Spyker C8 Preliator - 201 mph (323 km/h)
- 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.7 seconds
- Fifty examples to be built, price starting at US$345,900
Spyker has faced some serious financial troubles over the past few years, but the Preliator proves the boutique Dutch manufacturer is still alive and kicking. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show, the C8 Preliator follows on from the Spyker Aileron, with an aviation-focused design and 518 hp (386 kW) of Audi V8 power.
To keep weight down to just 3065 lb (1390 kg), the car is built around an aluminum frame with carbon fiber body panels, and the fully independent, double-wishbone suspension was developed by Lotus. But, as is often the case with Spyker, what's under the skin fades into the background and the interior steals the spotlight. From the exposed gear linkage to the brown leather, everything about the cabin has been designed to delight the crowds.
9: Bentley Flying Spur W12 S - 202 mph (325 km/h)
- 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.5 seconds
- Price starting at $228,025
The Bentley Flying Spur W12 S might be like a stately English manor on the inside, but it's is very, very fast stately English manor. With 626 hp (467 kW) of power and 800 Nm on tap from a reworked 6.0-liter W12 engine, this is the first ever Bentley to crack to the 200 mph mark. It's also the only four-door to make it onto this list, and one of only two British cars.
To make sure it all doesn't fall apart in the corners, the extra power is accompanied by a totally reworked suspension and revised stability control tuning. Carbon ceramic brakes are on the option list, but really should be standard considering the car's monstrous weight and terrifying turn of speed.
8: Ferrari GTC4 Lusso - 208 mph (335 km/h)
- 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.4 seconds
- Price starting at $300,000
It might be the only four-door on the list, but the Bentley isn't the only car capable of ferrying a family at ludicrous speeds. The Ferrari GTC4 Lusso is a reworked version of the FF, powered by a 680 hp (507 kW) V12 that has room for four people and their luggage.
Ferrari didn't mess with the FF formula too much in the transition to GTC4, keeping the complex four-wheel drive system, although it has added rear-wheel steering to the mix for a smaller turning circle and better high-speed stability. On the inside, there's an all-new infotainment system and steering wheel design, and passengers have access to a wealth of information, thanks to a revised readout sitting above the glovebox.
7: Lamborghini Centenario - 217 mph (349 km/h)
- 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.8 seconds | 0-186 mph (300 km/h) in 23.5 seconds
- Twenty coupes and twenty roadsters to be built, price starting at $1.3 million before taxes
Lamborghini sure knows how to give a good birthday present. The Centenario was created to celebrate (what would have been) Ferrucio Lamborghini's 100th birthday. Just 40 examples will be built, with a sky-high pricetag of €1.75 million (US$1.3 million) before tax. Exclusivity doesn't come cheap, after all.
In keeping with Lamborghini tradition, power comes from a 770 hp (566 kW) version of the Aventador's V12. It's the most powerful engine the brand has ever produced, and gives the 3351 lb (1520 kg) Centenario a weight-to-power ratio of 1.97 kg/hp (4.4 lb/hp). If those crazy figures weren't enough, the way the car looks might just to grab your attention.
6: Rimac Concept_One - 221 mph (356 km/h)
- 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.6 seconds | 0-124 mph (200 km/h) in 6.2 seconds | 0-186 mph (300 km/h) in 14.2 seconds
- Price starting at $980,000
Even among the boutique manufacturers that make up much of this list, Rimac Automobili is a relative unknown. The Concept_One is the brand's first car, and promises to be something seriously special, with a gorgeous low-slung design and unique electric powertrain.
With a peak power output of 1088 hp (800 kW) and 1600 Nm of torque on tap, its clever torque-vectoring system allows its handling characteristics to be tweaked endlessly. Apparently it even has a Drift Mode, although we're not sure if many owners ever drift (or even drive) their multi-million dollar hypercars.
5: Apollo Arrow - 224 mph (360 km/h)
- 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.9 seconds | 0-124 mph (200 km/h) in 8.8 seconds.
- One hundred examples to be built, price starting at $1.1 million (est.)
It's been a while since we've heard from Gumpert, the small German manufacturer behind the Apollo supercar built between 2005 and 2012. After a corporate reshuffle, it's back with a new name, a new car and a new lease on life. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, the Arrow debuts a new design direction for the brand, which has long been a subscriber to the "function over form" theory.
Hiding behind the car's shark-inspired bodywork is a mid-mounted Audi V8 engine with 986 hp (735 kW) of power and a nice, round 1000 Nm of torque. Up to 100 examples will be built, all of which is likely to be different thanks to the endless range of personalization options on offer.
4: Zenvo TS1 - 233 mph (375 km/h)
- 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.0 seconds.
- Fifteen examples to be built, pricing yet to be announced
The TS1 is the latest supercar to come from Danish manufacturer Zenvo. Back in 2007, it released the ST1, a limited-run hypercar best known for catching fire on Top Gear. The TS1 might have (very, very) similar name, but plenty has changed under the skin.
Power comes from a new twin-turbo 5.9-liter V8 engine, although Zenvo is yet to publish power and torque figures. Considering its top speed is identical to the outgoing ST1, you can expect it to make around 1100 hp (820 kW) and 1424 Nm.
3: Pagani Huayra BC - 238 mph (383 km/h)
- 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.8 seconds.
- Twenty examples to be built, price starting at $2.5 million
The Pagani Huayra was already one of the fastest cars in the world, but the BC takes its performance to new levels. Although it's well-established in 2016, the Pagani brand is still very young, especially compared to Ferrari and Lamborghini. The BC, or Benny Caiola, is named after the first ever person to buy a Pagani. Caiola passed away in 2010, and the track-focused Huayra is Horacio Pagani's way of saying thank you.
As tributes go, the Huayra BC seems like a pretty good one. It's fitted with a new seven-speed automated manual gearbox, which is 40 percent lighter than the unit in the regular Huayra. The twin-turbo AMG V12 has been boosted, too, and the car sits on an all-new suspension system which makes use of HiForg - a high-strength aeronautical aluminum alloy.
2: Koenigsegg Regera - 255 mph (410 km/h)
- 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.8 seconds | 0-124 mph (200 km/h) in 6.6 seconds | 0-184 mph (300 km/h) in 10.9 seconds
- Price starting at $1.9 million
Christian von Koenigsegg has always had a unique take on the supercar, but the Regera is crazy even by his standards. Rather than trying to harness the power of a 5.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 and three electric motors using a heavy, complex gearbox, the car makes use of Koenigsegg Direct Drive. In other words, it's a totally new take on the hypercar.
Like every other Koenigsegg, the Regera isn't just about its powertrain. For one, it's absolutely gorgeous, with a totally unique look compared to the rest of the hypercar establishment, both inside and out. The company also says the Regera works as a grand tourer, eschewing the razor-sharp focus of the Agera RS for a more relaxed suspension tune. What other 255 mph screamer has that breadth of ability?
1: Bugatti Chiron - 260 mph (420 km/h)
- 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.5 seconds.
- Five hundred examples to be built, price starting at $2.612 million
When it comes to extracting incredible top speed figures, Bugatti has more experience than most. The Chiron is the follow up to the incredible Veyron, tasked with picking up where the world's fastest car left off. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show, it's powered by a 1500 hp (1119 kW) W16 engine, putting its power to the road through an all-wheel drive system.
Although its speed and acceleration figures are impressive, Bugatti is determined for the Chiron to be more than a one-trick pony. The four-wheel drive system has been completely redesigned to allow for controlled drifts, and the interior has been given a new look to match the exterior. Bugatti says it's the "world's fastest concert hall," a concert hall worth at least €2,400,000 (US $2,612,000).
Ed's note: This list is based on official manufacturer figures. No official body has put all of these cars to the test, and (very) unfortunately we haven't had the chance to line them up on an air strip and verify the claims ourselves. By the stopwatch, the official title of the world's fastest production car was set by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in 2010 with a speed of 257.87 mph (415 km/h), though the Hennessey Venom GT topped that with an unofficial run of 270.49 mph (435.31 km/h) in 2014. We'll take a closer look at these speed demons in an upcoming feature on the fastest cars in history.