Sparesbox Blog

10 Cars that Redefined “Horsepower” for the World

By Brad Nash

Tue Nov 03 2015

Here at Spares Box, we believe that Melbourne Cup Day should be a celebration of horsepower in every way, shape or form. To commemorate the 2015 edition of the race that stops the nation, we’ve decided to provide the definitive list of the greatest horsepower-making machines in history.

Note: Some variants of the same models that feature on this that may rank higher or lower in the list than others have been emitted for the sake of writing an article that people actually want to read. 


10. McLaren P1

Year: 2013

Horsepower: 902bhp @ 9000rpm

Top Speed: 217 mph (350km/h)

Units made: 375

McLaren P1 Spares Box Horsepower
Image: Car and Driver


By far the craziest Hybrid ever made, the P1 is the fastest of the 3 Hybrid Hypercars that rocked the automotive world back in 2013 (the other two being the Ferrari LaFerrari and the Porsche 918). The twin turbo charged V8 produces 727bhp of it’s own merit, before being boosted by an electric motor that can be used to power the car on it’s own for emissions-free driving. Combined, they boost the car’s total power to 902bhp, and McLaren claim that if its top speed weren’t electronically limited, it could achieve 395km/h, making it one of the true fastest cars in the world.


9. TVR Cerbera Speed 12

Year: 2000

Horsepower: Anywhere between 800-1000

Top Speed: Claimed to be over 240mph (388km/h)

Units made: 0 (aside from prototypes)

TVR Cerbera Speed 12 Spares Box Horsepower
Image: 3D Tuning


The truth of the matter is that no one really knows how powerful the Cerbera Speed 12 would have been capable of producing had it ever gone into production. The race-bred 7.7L V8 inside it was never truly tested for it’s amount of power, and so few prototypes were made it became impossible to get an official reading. TVR claimed the mark was around 800, and that the car was good for a top speed above 240mph. However, a prototype that was dyno tested by it’s owner was so powerful that it BROKE the input shaft of the machine testing it, a machine that was rated up to 1000bhp. To counteract this, they split the engine into 2 banks, each of which gave off a reading of 480bhp. This puts the TVR’s theoretical bhp at 960, but since it’s never really been tested, it stays in number 9 for now.


8. SSC Aero SC

Year: 2005

Horsepower: 908bhp @ 6600rpm

Top Speed: 242mph (390km/h)

Units Made: 1

SSC Aero SC Spares Box Horsepower
Image: Top Car Rating


Only 1 prototype of the Aero SC was made at a time and number 1 was the most powerful, achieving a total power of 908 horsepower after it’s upgrade in 2005. Despite this and it’s mind boggling top speed, it sold at an auction in 2008 for just under $200,000. Free of the luxuries that came with it’s German/Italian rival, this was a true drivers car, free of any stability controls or ABS, and designed to be steered just as much with the throttle as it was the suspension.


6. Koenigsegg CCX/R

Years: 2006 – 2015

Horsepower: 1004bhp @ 7000rpm

Top Speed: 249mph (400km/h)

Units Made: 49

Koenigsegg CCX/R Spares Box Horsepower
Image: Koenigsegg


The first car on this list to officially crack the 1000bhp mark is the the first of two cars in this article made by the beacon that the entirety of Swedish insanity is poured into every year. I can only assume that Sweden don’t have insane asylums, instead they put all their craziest people into the design department at Koenigsegg so the rest can concentrate on things like flat-pack furniture and meatballs. As you can imagine, Koenigsegg are yet to release a car that isn’t properly mental. The CCX R is one of their finest achievements, notable for it’s mind boggling speed almost killing The Stig on an episode of Top Gear. 3 special “Trevita editions” of the CCX R were made, featuring a diamond-weave carbon fibre body and selling for just under US$5 million a piece.


6. Bugatti Veyron 16.4

Year: 2005 – 2011

Horsepower: 1020bhp @ 6000rpm

Top Speed: 253mph (407km/h)

Units made: 300 across all variant

Bugatti Veyron Spares Box Horsepower
Image: Uncrate

After beating Captain Slow and the Hamster in a plane to London on the show previously known as Top Gear, the Bugatti Veyron became one of the most famous and sought after cars in history. At the time the fastest production car in the world, the Veyron’s insane W16 engine, automatic spoiler and def-con modes instantly became the stuff of boyhood dream and turned it into the ultimate status symbol. It truly was a leap forward in automotive engineering that (depending on who you ask) wasn’t really matched until the release of the P1, LaFerrari and 918 almost 10 years later.


5. 9ff GT9R

Year: 2008

Power: 1,120bhp

Top Speed: (Claimed) 257mph (414km/h)

Units made: 20

9ff GT9R Spares Box Horsepower
Image: Clutchd


While it may look like a mental 911, the GT9-R isn’t actually made by Porsche. Instead it’s a 911 GT3 bought by 9FF, one of the many Porsche tuning firms that exist throughout Europe. Once it reaches 9ff, the GT3 is essentially pulled apart and rebuilt into a true monster, named the GT9 (or in the case of the fastest version, the GT9-R). Originally designed to try for the production speed record, the 9ff GT9-R is the ultimate in raw performance that you can achieve from a Porsche, even if it’s not quite Porsche’s doing. While over 150 GT9s were made in total, only 20 were given the engine capable of making the monstrous power figure that puts it at number 5 on this list.


4. Bugatti Veyron SuperSport

Year: 2010-11

Power: 1200bhp

Top Speed: 267mph (431km/h)

Units made: 30


Bugatti Veyron SuperSport Spares Box Horsepower
Image: Autoblog


Number 4 on this list is currently the official fastest car in the world, the Bugatti Veyron Supersport is essentially a leaner, stronger version of it’s more luxury (but also blisteringly fast) predecessor, with a body made of carbon fibre. The SuperSport’s 1200bhp engine and revised aerodynamics stole the record back from the aforementioned SSC Aero TT in 2011, with a verified maximum speed of 267.856mph. Earlier in the same day, Top Gear’s James May clocked the Supersport at 259.49mph. And people call him Captain Slow…


3. Hennessey Venom GT

Year: 2011 – Present

Power: 1244bhp @ 7000rpm

Top Speed: Disputed, recorded at 270.49mph on a single run

Units made: 16 

Hennessey Venom GT Spares Box Horsepower
Image: Gearheads


Now we’re getting into the territory of world record challengers. Essentially a Lotus Exige on copious amounts of steroids, the Hennessey Venom GT is one of the true epitome’s of speed. Arguably the fastest accelerating car in the world, the Venom GT’s twin-turbo V8 reportedly propels it’s Carbon Fibre body from 0-200mph in under 15 seconds, and onto an alleged top speed of 270mph. If Hennessey were able to replicate this on two separate runs, and sell more than 30 cars, the Venom GT would hold the official crown as fastest production car in the world, if it weren’t potentially for…


2. SSC Ultimate Aero TT

Year: 2009

Horsepower: 1287bhp @ 6075rpm

Top Speed: (Predicted) in excess of 270mph (430km/h)

Units made: Unknown

SSC Ultimate Aero TT Spares Box Horsepower


The first car to claim the production car speed record from the original Bugatti Veyron was the SSC Ultimate Aero TT. Originally wielding 1,183bhp, the first edition of the Ultimate Aero TT was recorded by Guinness at 256.14 mph, making it the world’s fastest production car at the time. A later update increased the power to 1,284bhp and the car’s predicted top speed to over 270mph, although this has never been verified. With a new gearbox fitted from the upcoming SSC Tuatara, the Ultimate Aero was able to accelerate from 0-200mph in under 16 seconds.


1. Koenigsegg One:1

Year: 2015

Horsepower: 1,341bhp @ 7,500rpm

Top Speed: (theoretical) 282 mph (454 km/h)

Units made: 7 (6 were actually sold)

Koenigsegg One:1 Spares Box Horsepower
Image: Car and Driver


Put simply, the Koenigsegg One:1 is probably the fastest car in the world in pretty much every way. Based on the already insane Agera R, the One:1 is the world’s first Megacar, meaning that in metric terms it actually produces 1 Megawatt of power, or the equivalent of around 1,341bhp. The One:1 holds 6 separate acceleration and deceleration world records, capable of going from 0 to 300km/h and back to 0 again in 17.95 seconds. All that’s really waiting is for Guinness to come knocking really, but it looks like Bugatti’s reign as speed king is over.