Most public roads in the world have speed limits, making cars that go well over 200 mph superfluous. But companies still build cars that cannot nearly exercise their true potential on the streets, and will rarely, if ever, be taken to the track, and people keep buying them. Here are the 10 fastest current production cars in the world.
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
Top speed: 268 mph How does it do it? At over 2 tons, the Veyron Super Sport is not the lightest car around, but its 8-liter, 16-cylinder engine makes use of four turbochargers to produce 1,200 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque.
Top speed: 266 mph How does it do it? Hennessey keeps the weight low, at only 2,685 pounds, by using a Lotus Exige chassis. The company packs in a 7-liter V-8 engine with dual turbochargers, producing over 1,200 horsepower.
Top speed: 260 mph How does it do it? The Agera R makes use of lightweight components on its 5-liter V-8 engine, but overall weight still comes in at 3,160 pounds. The engine's two turbochargers boost output to 1,140 horsepower. As a green bonus, the Agera R can run on E85, a mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent petroleum-based gasoline.
Top speed: 254 mph How does it do it? Like its hard-top sibling, which tops this list, the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse features 16 cylinders boosted by four turbochargers. It holds the title of fastest production convertible in the world.
Top speed: 233 mph How does it do it? The Danish-built ST1 comes in at a curb weight of just over 3,000 pounds and features a 7-liter V-8 engine. A unique combination of a supercharger and turbocharger boosts engine output to 1,250 horsepower. Zenvo began production in 2009, and produces only three cars per year. The company only plans on producing 15 examples.
Top speed: 231 mph How does it do it? Italian company Pagani sources the Huayra's engine, a 6-liter V-12 with dual turbochargers, from Mercedes-Benz's AMG division. The Huayra boasts only 720 horsepower to push its 3,000-pound curb weight.
Top speed: 225 mph How does it do it? German maker Gumpert uses an Audi engine, a twin turbocharged 4.2-liter V-8 producing 640 horsepower, to power the Apollo. It's a true lightweight at only 2,600 pounds.
Top speed: 225 mph How does it do it? The English-built M600 reaches its top speed with the same Yamaha-derived 4.4-liter V-8 that Volvo uses in the S80 sedan. However, twin turbochargers boost output to 650 horsepower, and carbon-fiber materials help keep the weight down to 2,645 pounds.
Top speed: 221 mph How does it do it? Based on the Lamborghini Aventador, the Veneno one-ups its bullish brother by wringing 740 horsepower out of that car's naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V-12 engine. As a special edition, Lamborghini said it would only make three examples of the Veneno.
Top speed: 220 mph How does it do it? The only hybrid car on this list, LaFerrari combines a 6.3-liter V-12 engine making 789 horsepower with an electric motor delivering an extra 163 horsepower. This car was introduced at the 2013 Geneva auto show, and its top speed has only been estimated at this point, but Ferrari suggests it may hit more than 230 mph.