On Sunday’s show, James opined that car-based numbers are tawdry and meaningless. Luckily, Richard correctly pointed out that more is more. Power is EVERYTHING. A dictum John Hennessey, creator of the world’s fastest car - the 270.49mph Venom - takes very seriously.
But he’s not the first person to value speed. And we can predict with some certainty that he won’t be the last. Since the motorcar’s inception, the pursuit of covering more distance in less time has in some way defined nearly each major car manufacturer. Apart from Dacia.
Proof, if it was needed, is a few clicks away - these are the fastest road-legal production cars in history. Mostly.
*Excuse us while we slide our glasses back up our nose, but this list only includes post-war cars (save for the first one) that have had no fewer than 20 examples built to the same spec as the record breaker (with the exception of the Venom, which should reach that figure soon), and were available to the general public. That said, as the Venom run proves, there’s much variability in the definition of a ‘production car’, and indeed how a record run should be timed. Please address all complaints to James May’s Bureau Of Statistical Pedantry, London, W12