Home » What’s The Fastest You’ve Driven And In What? Autopian Asks

What’s The Fastest You’ve Driven And In What? Autopian Asks

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One of the greatest joys in driving is being able to max out your vehicle, be it hitting apexes or clocking in low numbers at the drag strip. We often champion the idea of “slow car fast,” or a vehicle you can push to its limit without hitting Warp. Still, the far end of a speedometer is a temptress, and sometimes a car enthusiast just wants to register triple-digit speeds. What’s the fastest you’ve driven? What were you driving or riding when you hit it?

Now, to be clear here, we are not the police. At least, when I pinched myself this morning I was pretty sure I still work at a transportation publication. I’m not going to tattle on you. That said, you should always be careful what you say on the Internet!

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I’ve lived with slow vehicles all of my life. My first car, a 2001 Kia Rio, wouldn’t go any faster than 110 mph indicated, which was probably closer to 105 mph actual. Things got slower from there. The fastest I’ve gotten in my 2012 Smart Fortwo was 98 mph, beating the electronic limiter by 8 mph. GPS confirmed that as well as uh … the police officer who pulled me over. As a twist, he was laughing way so hard at the thought of my car going that fast that he didn’t even give me a ticket for it. The Honda Prelude driver that blew by going even faster wasn’t as lucky.

Ok, so Peter made this as the original topshot and I have to put it here. It’s not a 2012 Smart but it makes me giggle:

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I’m generally familiar with the far end of the speedometers of everything I drive. I’ve hit 83 mph in my Honda Beat, 70 mph in my Suzuki Every, 70 mph in my bus, and about 130 mph in my Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI.

The absolute fastest I’ve been in a car was about 155 mph behind the wheel of the second-generation Acura NSX. Sadly, the course was too short for more, but there’s only one other time in life when my heart pumped that hard, and that had nothing to do with cars.

Weirdly, I have owned some fast-ish motorcycles, but haven’t gone that fast on them. At one point, I owned a Honda CBR600F3, which could theoretically hit around 173 mph. However, mine never went faster than the speed limit during my ownership. Instead, the fastest I’ve been on a bike was my Triumph Rocket III, which hit a touch over 130 mph before my senses kicked in and I slowed down. Before that, it was 120 mph on a modified and naked 1980 Honda GL1100.

A part of me is afraid to own my “unattainable” dream car, a first-generation Audi R8 V10. Will I bury the needle and end up under a jail somewhere? Will I become an insatiable speed junkie and have to tie myself to faster and faster vehicles? I don’t have the answers to these questions right now. For now, I will happily continue putt-putting around on 20 HP Royal Enfields and giving myself occasional blasts of speed via Triumphs with threatening auras and supercharged Ford trucks that exist to convert rubber into smoke.

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What about you? What’s the fastest you’ve gone and in what vehicle?

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Jatkat
Jatkat
1 month ago

~112 mph or so in my 1997 Grand Marquis, in 100 something degree weather with the AC on. Fancy digital temp reading didn’t budge, was extremely proud of it for that.
98 mph in my 2001 Chevy Tracker, downhill. Very downhill.
150? Or so in a c5 z06 corvette. I stopped glancing at the speedo past 135.

EXL500
EXL500
1 month ago

An indicated 105 in a 1963 Valiant convertible in the early 1970s. I doubt it was really that fast, but it sure was stupid.

Also, an indicated 95 in my 2015 Fit in the Dakotas a few years back where there were total sightlines. Fun, but I’m too old for this tomfoolery, so it didn’t last long…each time I did it.

Smoke&Mears
Smoke&Mears
1 month ago

Indicated 155 in my e46 M3. That was some random country road in the middle of Oahu. Whatever I could get my ZX10r up to at the end of the main straight at Summit. Was really hard to look and still make the breaking point, but I had to have tapped 170 at times. Maybe. The ZX14 I have now has touched 165 via cell-phone GPS. I’m just waiting for the right morning to really top it out on the interstate, but it REALLY needs to be empty.

Johnpmac
Johnpmac
1 month ago

I was in the desert on a day with 70mph winds. At one point, I noticed that the car was quiet, and realized that the winds had gotten behind me. A look at the speedo and it was pegged at 130. It took a while of easy slowing down for the needle to creep down from there again. So, 98 Subaru legacy wagon full of ski gear – 140 or so.

Tangent
Tangent
1 month ago

About 155mph in my BMW M4. This was on the front straight of California Speedway during a track day so it’s even nice and legal!

FlyingMonstera
FlyingMonstera
1 month ago

When we first started living in Germany (I was about 12) I’d egg on my father to go faster on the autobahn and he’d say that he could, but he wasn’t confident to stop in an emergency. So we never got beyond 115mph in his Rover 3500. To be fair two-lane autobahns had their fair share of (mainly Dutch) people towing caravans who had no perception of relative speed when pulling out to overtake. Funnily enough he never made that excuse after he got an S-Class Mercedes. I guess that taught me to not go faster than your surroundings permit but I’d still like to know what the VMax on that Rover was.

Acrimonious Mofo
Acrimonious Mofo
1 month ago

An indicated 142 mph in a *ahem* slightly modified Abarth 500. It felt like it was still pulling at that point, but the car was already sketchy AF at 125, and I may have not been in the most appropriate places for such shenanigans (allegedly), so I eased off before Bad Things (TM) could happen. I also know for certain that an Opel Minerva will top out at about 185 km/h whilst going down hill (probably with a tail wind), because what else are you going to do with a rental car on the Autobahn.

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
1 month ago

There is this rumor I hit 150mph on the Hoan bridge in MKE.. Flying off that however would be bad news, no bueno

Citrus
Citrus
1 month ago

Slightly above 180 km/h (112 mph) in a Hyundai Elantra GT because I needed to get my mom to a thing on time.

Credit to how smooth that car is at speed: She didn’t even know that I was driving that fast.

Also: This was possibly not the smartest thing I’ve ever done but she got there early.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
1 month ago

I think most cars I’ve have that could actually hit triple digits were governed to about 115mph or less. Think I did hit triple digits with my Dodge Neon though, probably like 110. Southern highways in the 90s were a lot more open back in the day.

M K
M K
1 month ago

~230 km/h Opel Speedster (Lotus Elise) on an unrestricted portion of autobahn with light traffic. Wasn’t particularly confidence inspiring at those speeds and didn’t care to repeat it. Much prefer the autobahn in big/solid cruisers.

NeverAgain4cyl
NeverAgain4cyl
1 month ago

305km/h (~190 MPH) indicated and electronically limited in a 2008 MB CLS63, the M156 is the best engine Mercedes ever made but it did blow up at about 275km/h the last time I tried it.
Also 302km/h (~188) MPH indicated and electronically limited in a 2016 MB S65 as apparently the limiter is more aggressive now, the V12 remains assembled with all it’s fluids where they should be.
(All speeds recorded on a private track south of the border. Might cause heart palpitations, sweeting of the hands, increased fuel consumption and/or divorce, please consult your doctor.)

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  NeverAgain4cyl

Noted that you are definitely living your screen name
<thumbs up>

Paul D McCoy
Paul D McCoy
1 month ago

152mph. Buick Lacrosse super

Morgan Thomas
Morgan Thomas
1 month ago

240km/h on my Kawasaki GPZ750-A3. But then I decided it was probably a sensible idea to slow down, since the limit was 80. Unfortunately that meant the unmarked police car that I had blasted by without spotting was able to catch up and pull me over, so I spent a year without a licence as a result.
Most of my cars have been older and exhibited worrying driveline vibrations when taken much above 140km/h, so I generally didn’t wind them right out. But I did explore the top speed of the Datsun 1000 wagon I had, that had been fitted with a larger A12 engine. Despite 4.35:1 rear gears, 12″ wheels and a 4 speed gearbox, given plenty of room on a long, empty country back road one night it got to 180km/h, which was a fair bit above its rated top speed.

Dennis Ames
Dennis Ames
1 month ago

Same speed in 2 different cars, 120 MPH, First time in a friends V8 76 Monza (technically the Speedo was at the 6 o’clock position on the 90 MPH speedo) and in my ’72 AMC AMX. Both times late at night on highways (Stupid I know).

Sandy Eggo
Sandy Eggo
1 month ago

155 mph (indicated), on the autobahn, in an e60 5er rental. Diesel automatic. Appeared to have some kind of M Sport package. And nearly brand new – around 400km on the clock.

ClutchAbuse
ClutchAbuse
1 month ago

165 according to the speedo on my old Ninja but that thing tended to read pretty high. It was probably closer to the 150ish range. I did that on an empty stretch of highway with no driveways or cross roads in the middle of nowhere. After doing it once, I had zero desire to ever do anything like that again.

Defiant
Defiant
1 month ago

Allegedly 174 (speedo indicated) in ’11 SLS. Stable (like 75 in a normal car?) up through 130… then allegedly thrilling through 150ish, but beyond that was sphicter-factor-5 (allegedly). She had more to give than the driver. Sunday AM after sunrise, East-to-West on Gator Alley a decade or so ago.

Last edited 1 month ago by Defiant
Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
1 month ago

260km/h (158mph or so?) in a BMW M140i. The funny thing was that if it wasn’t for the limiter that thing would’ve kept going. That straight six was anazing.

In my current car (A110 GT), 243km/h (151mph?). It feels fast, but nowhere near as convincing as the Bimmer…

JDS
JDS
1 month ago

135-ish (tire-limited) in my 1984 BMW 533I sometime in the mid-90s on I70 West of Green River, UT. There’s a stretch of about 120 miles with no services, just empty exit ramps marked only with “Ranch Exit – no services”. Low clouds so no speed checks via aircraft, no wind, and good visibility. My wife (at the time) slept thru most of it, even though I cruised at 110+ for about an hour.

Eventually she woke up and asked where we were. I told her, she looked at the clock and said only “We’re making good time”.

My mom still has me beat. She claims 165 in the C2 Corvette 427 (I think a ’65) she had before kids, on a deserted highway outside Indio CA in 1967 or so. I believe her.

W124
W124
1 month ago

260 kph (about 160 freedom units per Hour) in (on?) Honda CBR600. In a car I guess about 220 kph (about 140 fuph) in a E39 BMW 540. I’ve also ridden shotgun in a W124 diesel Merc going 200 kph sideways. Yep, it had a huuuge turbo.

Last edited 1 month ago by W124
Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 month ago

Based on tire diameter / gear ratio calculations, 6000rpm in top gear in my Firebird corresponds to roughly 140mph. This has been confirmed on the GPS app I use, and is typically seen coming into Turn 5 at Road America.

I don’t trust most speedometers at those speeds, and since it’s a 1980 Firebird, the needle is up against the post at 85 anyway, so I’ve been ignoring it for years.

Dad’s car is a little faster, I’ve driven it a few times but was too busy on track to really mentally note rpm and all that.

Last edited 1 month ago by Matt Sexton
David Fernandez
David Fernandez
1 month ago

180 in a C6 grand sport
165 in a Genesis Coupe
155 in a CLS 55 AMG
125 in a Chevy Avalanche

A new Ioniq 5 is electronically limited to 118 – it must be in some literature somewhere
A new Chevy Suburban is electronically limited to 112 – it must be in the owners manual somewhere

I guess some famous quote in a 1980s movies about navy airplanes must apply to me *insert tongue out emoji here*

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
1 month ago

Thats quite the list there! I bet the V8 sounded wonderful in that C6 GS.

My 06 Sierra was limited to 99 so kudos on getting that ‘Lanch up to 125, nice work sir.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 month ago

162 in a Porsche 996 Turbo, outside of Scottsdale Arizona.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
1 month ago

124 mph in a Saab 9000 turbo. I haven’t really driven many fast cars in a while.

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