These Incredible Vehicles Are the Fastest in Their Class
If you love a good speed boat, car or anything else, then these are the vehicles for you. They’re insanely quick and usually pretty unique looking. Each of these machines is considered the fastest in its class.
Many of these machines are unique in their features and designs, and all of them can move faster than you can believe. Sit back, read and satisfy your need for speed.
One of the fastest aircraft to fly in the skies is the now-retired Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. This plane is a long-range, high-altitude craft intended for reconnaissance. It’s capable of reaching more than Mach 3 — that means an astonishing 2,300 miles per hour.
The aircraft was in service with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. The price tag per plane was $33 million each. Due to the staggering production and maintenance costs, only 32 of these aircraft were ever built. Of those, 12 were lost due to accidents. None were lost due to combat.
Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit
The B-2 Spirit, commonly known as a stealth bomber, is a U.S. Air Force heavy bomber flown by the U.S. Air Force. It comes with stealth technology and the capability for conventional and thermonuclear weapons. It’s also the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons while remaining in stealth.
The B-2 Spirit can maintain stealth while flying at almost Mach 1.. These impressive aircraft cost an average of $2.1 billion to develop and maintain back in 1997. Imagine how much that would be now.
As far as fast cars go, the McLaren F1 is known to be among the absolute fastest. It has set numerous records, including a spot in the 1998 Guinness World Records as the fastest production car with a maximum speed of 240.1 mph.
While some cars have since reached a higher speed, the F1 still has a few tricks up its sleeve. Unlike comparable vehicles, this car is a three-seater designed for everyday use on the road as well as high-end speed. Only 106 of these cars were ever produced, so if you get a chance to drive one, consider yourself lucky.
ALFA-X Bullet Train
Japan is world-famous for its Shinkansen train, known in the English-speaking world as the bullet train. The Class E956 is a 10-car experimental train operated by the East Japan Railway Company. It can reach a maximum speed of 220 mph.
In addition to passenger service, this train is actively studied to gain further insight into high-speed rail/ The hope is to make trains that are even safer with better dampers to reduce vibration and less likelihood of a derailment in the event of a major earthquake.
SSC Ultimate Aero
The SSC Ultimate Aero was designed from the ground up to be a driver’s car. That means no electronic driver aids such as traction control and antilock brakes — it’s all up to the person behind the wheel.
The driver can use their right foot to throttle the engine and even steer via a sensor. From 2007-2010, the car was the fastest production car in the world. Guinness World Records officially timed the car running at 256.18 mph.
This vehicle is a streamliner car that operates on a diesel engine. It was crafted specifically to break the land speed record for a diesel engine vehicles, and it did not disappoint.
On August 23, 2006, the Dieselmax set the current record of 350.092 mph (563.418 km/h) over a distance of one mile. The pilot for this record was wing commander Andy Green, who also holds the absolute land record while driving the ThrustSSC. Speaking of which …
The Thrust SSC is a supersonic jet car designed in Britain. This vehicle achieved the land speed record on October 15th, 1997. Not only did it reach 763 mph (1,228 km/h), but it was the first land vehicle capable of breaking the sound barrier.
The car was tested in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada by RAF fighter pilot and wing commander Andy Green. The car itself measures 54 feet long and 12 feet wide, weighing in at almost 10 tons. It’s powered by two afterburning Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan fighter jet engines.
The X-15 was an experimental hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and NASA during the 1950s and 1960s. Throughout its operational lifetime, the craft was used to set both speed and altitude records. It even reached the very edge of outer space.
The highest speed achieved by the X-15 was when William J. Knight flew at Mach 6.7 (4,520 mph) at an altitude of 102,100 feet. As of 2019, the speed record has yet to be broken.
Japanese Maglev Train
The Superconducting Maglev (also know as the SCMaglev or MLU) is a magnetic levitation railway system developed in Japan by the Central Japan Railway Company. On April 21, 2015, a manned seven-car SCMaglev train reached a speed of 375 mph.
The train uses an electrodynamic suspension (EDS) system. As the train speeds up, magnets in the train induce current into the coils of the track. At 93 mph, there is enough current to lift the train 4 inches above the track.
Spirit of Australia
The Spirit of Australia was a speed boat that broke the world water speed record in the 1970s. Part of what makes this such an unusual record is that the speed boat was built in a backyard, the boat was made of wood and it was powered by a Westinghouse J34 jet engine.
Ken Warby was both the creator and pilot of this speedboat. After finishing it, Warby spent several years building up speed and claiming records. On October 8th, 1978, he broke the world record by reaching 317.58 mph.
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
According to Guinness World Records, the fastest street-legal production car in the world is the Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4. This German-made, mid-engine sports car was designed by the Volkswagen Group and manufactured by Bugatti.
While the original version vehicle had a top speed of 254 mph, the supersport version that gained Guinness World Record reached 267.856 mph. However, in order to prevent the tires from disintegrating, models that were sold to the public with electronic limiters to stop the car from going above 258 mph.
The Bluebird K7 is notable for being not only the first successful jet-powered hydroplane but also the vehicle in which Britain’s Donald Campbell set seven world water speed records between the years of 1955 and 1967.
The K7 was a three-point hydroplane was built by Samlesbury Engineering and had a steel frame and aluminum body. The final record Campbell set was at 276 mph (444 km/h). Tragically, Campbell was killed in his attempt to set an eighth record and push the speed to over 300 miles per hour.
The Soviet Union’s MiG-25 was the fastest plane developed by the USSR. This stainless-steel jet was Mikoyan Gurevich’s final plane design, and it was built with hunting fast-moving American bombers in mind.
The prototype flew in 1964, and the jet entered official service in 1970. The MiG-25 had a safe top speed of Mach 2.83 but was capable of an emergency boost up to Mach 3.2, However, going up to that speed risked causing the engines to disintegrate.
Koenigsegg Agera RS
The Koenigsegg Agera is a record-setting mid-engine sports car created and produced by Swedish car manufacturer Koenigsegg. The name of the car is derived from the Swedish verb “agera,” which means “to act” or “you act,” as if the car commands its driver to move.
In 2017, a variant of the Agera called the RS became the world’s fastest production car. It set a two-way average high speed of 278 mph and a straight-line speed of 285 mph with both records verified by GPS.
General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark
The F-111 Aardvark was designed by General Dynamics as a supersonic mid-range interdictor and tactical attack craft that could fill a variety of niche roles. The jet first entered service in the late 1960s, and they were used for over 30 years.
Because it was designed to intercept enemy aircraft, the top speed of the F-111 Aardvark was 1,650 mph. This speed also gave it flexibility to conduct electronic warfare, serve as a strategic nuclear bomber and conduct aerial reconnaissance.
Hennessey Venom GT
Another high-performing sports car is the Hennessey Venom GT. This car set a world record on January 21, 2013 for fastest road-legal car. It’s able to go from zero to 186 mph within 13.63 seconds.
While the Venom GT was able to accelerate to a top speed of 270.49 mph, it was unable to qualify for the Guinness World Records. Guinness requires that a minimum of 30 cars be produced, and Hennessey built only 29 Venom GTs.
This sportbike was first manufactured by Suzuki in 1999, and it immediately became the world’s fastest production motorcycle. The top speed for the machine was 312 mph.
The Hayabusa was acclaimed by many reviewers for not letting its speed take away from other features like comfort, handling, reliability, noise levels and fuel consumption. According to Jay Koblenz, “The Hayabusa is speed in all its glory. But speed is not all the Hayabusa is.”
Westland Helicopter Company’s Lynx helicopter was designed as a utility craft for civil and naval usage. Military interest led to the development of battlefield variations for use in combat
The Lynx is a fully aerobatic helicopter, meaning it’s able to perform rolls and loops. There was a specially modified Lynx that was able to set the FAI’s official airspeed record for helicopters — 249.09 mph. The Lynx still holds the record as of 2019.
Bell V-280 Valor
The Bell V-280 was developed by Bell and Lockheed Martin as a tiltrotor aircraft for the United States Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. The chopper was unveiled in 2013 at the Army Aviation Association of America’s (AAAA) Annual Professional Forum and Exposition in Fort Worth, Texas.
This vehicle has a cruising speed of 320 mph top speed of 350 mph and range 2,400 miles. Its effective combat range is 920 miles. With its flexible takeoff method and powerful engine, it’s truly an amazing aircraft.
The Aerospatiale/BAC Concorde is a British-French turbojet-powered supersonic airliner with a maximum speed of over twice the speed of sound, or Mach 2.04. This intense airliner has seating for up to 128 passengers.
The aircraft was first flown in 1969, and it entered service in 1976. It’s one of the only two supersonic transports to ever have been operated commercially. Twenty of the planes were built. British Airways and Air France were the only companies to purchase these incredible machines, and they were retired in 2003.
The TOP 1 Ack Attack is a streamliner motorcycle that was specifically constructed to take the land-speed record. After reaching a two-way speed average of 376.363 mph, it took the record on September 25, 2010.
The Ack Attack’s fastest one-way speed was recorded officially as 394.084 mph. It broke the record for land speed three different times in just four years, which landed it in the Guinness World Records book. The machine was designed from the ground up by Mike Akatiff.
Kawasaki Ninja H2R
While the Kawasaki Ninja H2 does not hold a world record, it does boast high but unconfirmed speed. Its engine can produce a maximum of 326 horsepower.
Kenan Sofuoglu, a world champion Supersport circuit-racer, made a top speed attempt on June 30, 2016 across the Osman Gazi Bridge. His maximum speed was 250 mph (400 km/h). However, the speed was never independently verified by the use of fixed-point optical sensors.
As far as fast bikes go, few can rival the theoretical power of Dodge’s Tomahawk. While experts argue whether or not it should count as a true motorcycle, the bike itself has a 10-cylinder car engine and four close-coupled wheels.
In press releases, Dodge gave various hypothetical top speeds that ranged from as low as 300 mph (480 km/h) to as high as an absurd 420 mph (680 km/h). However, there have been no independent road tests, and internal testing never rode the bike above 100 mph (160 km/h)
BUB Seven Streamliner
The BUB Seven Streamliner is an American-built streamliner motorcycle that held the land-speed record for motorcycles from 2006 to 2008 and again from 2009 to 2010. The BUB Seven and two other streamliner motorcycles traded off the title for the world’s fastest motorcycle in summer 2006 at the Bonneville Speedway.
The design for this machine is attributed to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee Denis Manning. According to Manning, the unique shape of the Streamliner was inspired by a Coho salmon that Manning observed swimming at over 50 mph.
North American XB-70 Valkyrie
The XB-70 Valkyrie was a prototype version of the North American Aviation’s planned B-70 nuclear-armed strategic bomber designed for deep penetration by the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command. The original design came about in the late 1950s.
This six-engined aircraft was capable of cruising at a whopping Mach 3+, making it practically immune to interception. It could also spend a brief time at elevations below where radar can detect before flying out of range.
Apollo 10 Spaceship
The Apollo 10 mission took place in May 1969. It was the fourth manned mission in the United States Apollo program and only the second to orbit the moon. The mission was undertaken as a dress rehearsal of sorts for the first Moon landing, and it continued just short of actually landing.
After circling the moon 31 times, the most notable part of Apollo 10’s trip occurred. On the return trip to Earth, the ship set the highest speed attained by a crewed vehicle at an unbelievable 24,791 mph (39,897 km/h).
Mallard Steam Train
As far as fast steam locomotives go, the LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard is the fastest in the world, reaching a top speed of 126 mph. However its everyday service rarely required it to achieve such a high speed.
During its lifetime, the train covered almost 1.5 million miles before being retired in 1963. The world record achievement occurred on July 3, 1938. The train was on a slight downward grade when its highest speed was recorded.
NASA’s X-43 was an unmanned experimental hypersonic jet that was part of the Hyper-X program. This jet broke several records and holds the fasted record for an aircraft by traveling at approximately Mach 9.6. To fly, a winged booster rocket with the X-34 on top was drop-launched from a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.
The booster rocket fell away after bringing the jet to its target speed, at which point the X-43 flew using a scramjet. Because the jet’s high speeds caused its metal to melt, each one was single-use only.
The Guinness World record holder for the fastest production tank in the world is the British FV101 Scorpion. Its maximum speed was 51.10 mph, and it could accelerate from zero to 30 miles per hour in 16 seconds.
When deployed with a floatation screen, the tank could move across the water at a speed of 3.6 mph. More than 3,000 F101 Scorpions were produced. Due to the versatile nature of the vehicle, it was used as both a light tank and a reconnaissance vehicle.
One of the fastest business jets in the world is the Global 6000. It was designed and manufactured by Bombardier Aviation. Since its introduction in July 1999, numerous models have been created, including one for military use.
The Global 6000 has a large cabin able to seat between eight and 19 passengers with a crew of two to four. It’s capable of traveling up to 6,000 miles with a maximum speed of 590 mph, or about Mach 0.89.