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World's Fastest Cars

by Mashfique H. Chowdhury

Supercars - the realm of dreams and the garages of multi-millionaires. The fastest cars in the world are in the possession of a lucky few, and with good reason. Most of the rich may not have the skill to pilot these expensive machines, but they have the money and they like to flaunt it. Numerous exotics have made their debut in the past decade, and a few are so exceptional that they are hard to replace. One such piece of automotive history is the king of all supercars - the McLaren F1.

Jaguar XJ220The McLaren F1 is the current holder of the "fastest production car in the world" title, but only because other capable competitors, for some reason or other, haven't yet been subjected to a top speed test. Manufacturers have been chasing this title for years. There was once a time when the 352 hp Lamborghini Miura was the world's fastest production car, with its V12 engine powering it to 170 mph back in 1966. A current-generation 350 hp V8 Corvette can best this figure nowadays, at a cost of only about 40 grand. More recently, the Porsche 959 held that title back in 1987. Powered by a 450 hp twin turbo six cylinder engine, it reached a top speed of 197 mph. By 1992, Jaguar had entered the game and a 542 hp V6 turbo powered its XJ220 to an official 212 mph, becoming well-known as the fastest street-legal production car at the time. Then, only a year later, McLaren burst onto the scene and took the title without much effort, jetting away to speeds in excess of 220 mph.

Pagani Zonda C12 S 7.3Holding on to its title for a decade is a feat in itself, but, as of July 2003, the McLaren has managed to do just that. But it is now facing stiff new competition in the new millenium from the likes of established stalwart Ferrari, mega-tuner Saleen and upstarts Koenigsegg. Earlier competition, which included the likes of Lamborghini's Diablo GTR, Mercedes Benz's CLK-GTR, Ferrari's F50, Pagani's Zonda and Mosler's MT900 almost caught it - almost. Are the new breed of overpriced speedsters any good? Take a look at the legend alongside three of its newest competitors - Saleen S7, Ferrari Enzo and Koenigsegg CC.


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The Fastest Cars in the World

McLaren F1
Saleen S7
Ferrari Enzo
Koenigsegg CC
Side-by-side Performance
The Future : Bugatti Veyron 16/4


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