As technology and production processes for automobiles have improved over the years, manufacturers have been able to design cars to be increasingly faster and higher performing. Today, there are 14 commercially available vehicles that have been proven in third party tests to reach speeds in excess of 265 miles per hour.

Of course, this is not even taking into account concept cars and cars that are not available on the retail market. There are concept cars that have been tested and proven up to 257 mph, with some rumored to be even faster.

Top 5 Fastest Commercially Available Automobiles

While there are some incredibly fast cars available on the market, that speed unfortunately comes at a hefty price. Each of the fastest cars in the world listed below will cost you between $330,000 and $2.4 million.

The current record holder for the fastest automobile in the world (independently tested and verified) is the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. This car has an astonishing 1200 horsepower and has been clocked at 267 mph. It can go from zero to 60 in 2.4 seconds. The Bugatti Veyron is the most expensive of the world’s fastest cars, with a base price of $2.4 million.

Close on the Bugatti’s heels is the Hennessey Venom GT. With a reported 260+ mph top speed and 1200 horsepower, it could conceivably surpass the Bugatti Veyron as the fastest commercially available car in the world. It is also a relative bargain in comparison, with a price tag of only $950,000.

The Koenigsegg Agera R ties the Hennessey Venom GT for speed at 260 mph. This versatile vehicle is also available with a snow package, although there is no evidence it has ever been tested in inclement weather. With a base price of $1.6 million, it is also one of the world’s most expensive cars.

The SSC Ultimate Aero is the fastest American designed car currently on the market. It boasts a top speed of 257 miles per hour and until 2011, when it was surpassed by the Agera, it was the fastest car in the world. The vehicle has a twin turbo V8 engine and can go from zero to 60 in only 2.7 seconds. The Ultimate Aero retails for $654,400.

The Saleen S7 Twin Turbo rounds out the list of the top five fastest cars in the world. This aggressively styled gull wing car has been clocked at 248 mph and goes zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. The Saleen S7 has 750 horsepower and is available for $555,000.

The World’s Fastest Concept Cars

In addition to these production vehicles, there is also a myriad of stunningly fast concept cars that have been developed. Concept cars are single production automobiles that are made to showcase new designs or technological innovations. They are sometimes developed into production models, but more often will never reach the production line and are not sold to consumers or collectors.

Surprisingly, one of the fastest concept cars is not a recent development with innovative technology. In fact, the Oldsmobile Aerotech I is more than 20 years old. However, the Aerotech still holds a record with a top speed of over 257 mph set in 1987.

The Weber Sportscars Faster One is close behind with a reported top speed of 249 mph. This Swiss built car has over 900 horsepower. The company advertises that the car can be custom built for a reported $1.6 million.

The Chrysler ME Four Twelve is another concept car, forged of a now defunct alliance between Chrysler and Mercedes Benz. With a reputed 248 mph and a 12-cylinder turbo engine, the ME Four Twelve could have been an amazing production car. Unfortunately, the partnership between the two companies ended before the vehicle could be mass-produced.

There are dozens of other concept cars with theoretical top speeds that rival or exceed those of the fastest cars in the world, but most of them have not been actually proven on a course.

Future Development of Fast Cars

With records being broken almost every year and competition between manufacturers fierce, it is safe to say that newer and faster cars will continue to be developed and built. In fact, there are several cars slated to reach production in the next year or two that could shatter the speed records held by the current leaders.

In Britain, development is currently underway on the Bloodhound SSC, a car equipped with jet engine power and a hybrid rocket. While it’s not exactly street legal, the vehicle is reported to be able to reach a top speed of 1000 mph, which is faster than the speed of sound.

The cost of producing the Bloodhound is rumored to be $20 million, far exceeding the cost of any of the fast cars currently available on the market. However, with both Shelby Sports Cars and Bugatti coming out with new models in development, there is sure to be more fast cars on the market in years to come.