Ever since the first ever cars started rolling into the streets, mankind got to understand the undeniable need for speed that always lurked inside of us. We suddenly knew that the thrill that speed brings is second to none and in fact it was indeed thoroughly understandable if we spend our entire just in pursuit of speed and to being the fastest person on a given day, hence racing in its truest form came into being. With every passing year cars became faster than ever and the eyes of the automotive world were set upon a grand benchmark, hitting the 200 Mph speed barrier in a production car. The world already had specifically built machines that were fast beyond comprehension; however, going fast in a production car still took some time to arrive. It is interesting to note that in a history that goes way back to more than a 100 years, the first ever cars that broke the 200 Mph barrier only arrived not even 30 years ago. Here we talk about the origins of the double ton club, the first cars to ever hit 200 mph.
The holy grail for the speed freaks and for the manufacturers to want to be known for their pursuit of speed alike, the 200 Mph barrier was one that took its own sweet time to come and like every great feat, it was followed by a slew of record breaking cars that pushed the envelope of what a ‘mere’ production car could achieve in the form of performance and outright speed. These days when you go around searching for cars that can do 200 Mph easily, you would find more than a dozen cars easily, cars that are GT’s, supercars, track days cars and even saloons, they all have attained the holy grail of automotive performance. However, what were those cars which started it all? Let’s find out in our first cars to ever hit 200 mph list here.
The First Cars to Ever Hit 200 mph
Ferrari F40 – 202 MPH- 1987:
What better car than the absolutely legendary Ferrari F40 to break the 200 Mph barrier for a production car for the time? We bet there cannot be any car in the history to be as iconic as this Ferrari. The one on the top of the first cars to ever hit 200mph list, the F40 was the last ever car which was personally approved for production by the motoring legend, Enzo Ferrari and t was also the last car the great man showcased to the world before he died. It was in 1987, at the peak of the supercar wars between the Italian racing legend Ferrari and the German powerhouse, Porsche, the Ferrari F40 became the first ever production car to break the 200mph barrier, reaching 202.687 mph against the formidable Porsche 959 which laid the foundation of the era of electronic aids and computer dominated supercars that we see everywhere now. The Ferrari F40 had a 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 supercar churning out 478 bhp and with a 0-62 time of a shade less than four seconds. In 1987, the F40 was the world’s fastest, most powerful and most expensive car and none of its rivals (read Porsche 959 and Lamborghini Countach) capable to touching the holy grail number of 200mph.
Lamborghini Diablo -202MPH – 1991:
Next up in first cars to ever hit 200 mph list, is a Lamborghini that was designed to replace the legendary Countach and to make sure that Lamborghini catch its fierce competition Ferrari to the 200mph mark. The Lamborghini Diablo crossed the 200mph barrier in 1991 when it came out for sale and this flamboyant Lamborghini could do a top speed of 202mph. The car featured a monstrous 5.7-litre V12 that produced a maximum power of 492bhp and a staggering 580Nm of peak torque. The car was produced from 1991 to 2001 when it was replaced by the madder, meaner, badder, bigger, and faster Murcielago.
Bugatti EB110 GT – 209MPH – 1991:
The car that could have been the reason of Bugatti’s resurgence is our next car in our first cars to ever hit 200mph list. The Bugatti EB110 GT has a 550bhp V12 engine that could take this car to 62mph in just 3.2 seconds and to a top whack of 213mph and all that in 1991. Oh Yes, one of these Bugatti EB110 GT’s was owned by none other than the greatest Formula 1 racer of all time, Michael Schumacher.
Jaguar XJ220 – 212.3MPH – 1992:
Bringing in a British entry to the first cars to ever hit 200 mph club was the amazing and legendary Jaguar XJ220 that hit 212.3mph in 1992. The car was also a Nürburgring production car lap record holder between 1992 and 2000 with a time of 7:46.36. The production XJ220 used a 3.5-litre (3498 cc) twin turbocharged engine and produced a staggering 540bhp and 644Nm. The car was first shown to the public in 1988 and after a great response Jaguar had put the car into production and a 1992 schedule for launch, however, the financial crisis in the early 90’s meant that only 271 examples of the XJ220 were ever produced.
McLaren F1 – 240.1 MPH – 1998:
The year 1993 changed everything in the world’s understanding of what a production car can truly be capable of achieving in terms of sheer speed and drivability. The superstar in the club of the first cars to ever hit 200mph came from a new(er) company that was foraying into the passenger car market. The McLaren F1, drenched in the Formula 1 technology tore through the record books and awed a generation of speed freaks and petrolheads with its sheer speed and brilliant design philosophy. The McLaren F1 hit a staggering 240.1mph in 1999, meaning that its dominance on the top speed charts would continues for many years. The McLaren F1 was powered by a BMW M division developed 6.1 Liter V12 that produced 618bhp and weighed just 266kgs. The McLaren F1 is considered to be the coolest and greatest car ever made and just about everything about the F1 was unheard of and absolutely awesome such as the iconic central seating position or the engine bay that swathed in gold! Recently Autocar had called the McLaren F1, “the finest driving machine yet built for the public road”, and that is when the car was launched 24 years ago.
So these first cars to ever hit 200 mph, cars that re-defined engineering prowess and utter determination of designers and of companies to charter unknown territories and keep striving for excellence previously unheard of. In 2005, when arguably the greatest car ever made showed up at the scene and decimated every single record the books and the public have had in their minds, the car was the original 967bhp Bugatti Veyron, powered by a 8.0-litre, W16, quad-turbocharged engine it touched a top speed of 253.81mph and as they say rest is history….