Worlds Fastest Production Car
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On Sept. 13, 2007, the Shelby SuperCars' Ultimate Aero became the fastest production car in the world. The event took place on a temporarily closed, two-lane stretch of public highway in Washington State. In accordance with Guinness World Records' strict policies, the car had to drive down the highway, turn around, and make a second pass in the opposite direction within one hour.
The Ultimate Aero posted 257.41 mph on the first pass and 254.88 mph on the second for an average of 256.18 mph. Official data were collected via a GPS tracking system from Austrian data acquisition company Dewetron. Guinness World Records later verified data for an official top-speed announcement on Oct. 9, 2007. At that speed the Ultimate Aero broke the official record held by the Koenigsegg CCR (242 mph) and the unofficial record (253 mph) held by Volkswagen's $1.6 million Bugatti.
And the car could go even faster. NASA's wind tunnel testing facility in Langley, Va., found the Ultimate Aero to be aerodynamically stable at speeds up to 273 mph. It just ran out of road. "If there was additional straight pavement on which to accelerate, the top speed would have been considerably higher, so if anyone challenges our record there is tons left on the table," says Chuck Bigelow, the brave soul who piloted the Ultimate Aero on its record-breaking run.