These Are The Fastest Cars Of The 2000s, Ranked

The 2000s was an amazing decade for the performance car segment. A new decade, century, and millennium brought forth new automotive technologies, resulting in sports cars with power and performance that had never been seen before. This was also the decade of the electronic uprising in sports cars. Manufacturers equipped their cars with a host of electronic aids that helped drivers maintain control even at record-breaking speeds.



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The competition for dominance also became more intense than ever. Established automakers like Ferrari and Bugatti wanted to show that they were still the performance car kings, while newbies like Pagani and Koenigsegg were determined to prove that they could take on the big boys, despite being less than a decade old. So let’s explore ten of the fastest 2000s performance cars.

10 2009 Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss – 217mph

The SLR McLaren is a grand tourer developed jointly by Mercedes-Benz and McLaren as a spiritual successor to the 1950s Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Six years after the SLR’s introduction, Mercedes-Benz developed the fastest variant – the limited edition SLR Stirling Moss.

Named after the legendary British racing driver, the SLR Stirling Moss had a unique speedster styling that didn’t include a roof or windscreen – which is interesting, considering that it could hit top speeds of 217 mph. Only 75 examples were built, all of which are highly sought-after collectibles today.

9 2009 Pagani Zonda Cinque – 217mph

Introduced in 1999, the Zonda was the first car built by Pagani, eight years after its founding in 1992. The Zonda caused a wave of excitement when it was first unveiled at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show, largely thanks to its unique jet-fighter- inspired design.

Pagani produced several Zonda variants throughout the 2000s, but the best was the 2009 Cinque. The Cinque was based on the track-focused Zonda R and was powered by a 7.3-liter Mercedes-Benz M297 V12 engine cranking out 678 hp. With only five examples built, the Cinque is incredibly rare.​​​​​​​

8th 2003 Ferrari Enzo -218mph

When an automaker names a car after its founder, it has to be beyond perfection. That’s exactly what the Ferrari Enzo was. Introduced in 2003, the Enzo is a world-beating, benchmark-setting hypercar that demonstrates just how much more advanced the Italian marque is.​​​​​​​

Developed to celebrate Ferrari’s F1 success, the Enzo was designed around science and had all sorts of advanced technology. Under the Enzo’s hood is a 6.0-liter V12 pumping out 651 horsepower and 485 pound-feet of torque, making it one of the most powerful naturally aspirated cars of all time.​​​​​​​

7 2005 Gumpert Apollo – 223mph

Before Gumpert went into bankruptcy, it left us with one of the fastest German cars ever made – the Apollo. Introduced in the mid-2000s, the Apollo was designed to be a street-legal sports car that drivers could also use on the racetrack with no modifications.​​​​​​​

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The Apollo was powered by an Audi-sourced 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 tuned to produce 641 hp, enough to give it a 0-60 mph time of 3 seconds and a top speed of 223 mph. Gumpert may be long gone, but the Apollo will always be remembered for setting a record of 7:11:15 minutes at the Nürburgring.​​​​​​​

6 2002 Koenigsegg CC8S – 240mph

In 1994, Swedish businessman and car enthusiast Christian Von Koenigsegg established Koenigsegg Automotive with one goal — to produce a world-class sports car that could take on the best of the best. After almost a decade of development, Koenigsegg introduced its first-ever production car — the CC8S.​​​​​​​

The CC8S won over the hearts of many gearheads with its fantastic two-seat Targa top design and the never-seen-before dihedral-synchro helix actuation doors. The CC8S was also extremely fast, thanks to a Ford-sourced 4.7-liter supercharged V8 with 655 hp on tap. Only six examples were built.​​​​​​​

5 2004 Koenigsegg CCR – 241mph

After testing the waters with the CC8S, Koenigsegg went back to the drawing board and came up with a worthy successor in 2004 – the CCR. The CCR had a similar design to its predecessor but with a few improvements, including a bigger front splitter to improve downforce, a rear wing, a tweaked headlight arrangement, and larger wheels and tires.​​​​​​​

Koenigsegg also equipped the CCR with a more powerful twin-supercharged V8 engine, resulting in a power output of 806 hp and 679 lb-ft of torque. The CCR achieved a top speed of 241.01 mph at the Nardo test track in 2005.​​​​​​​

4 2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo – 248mph

The Saleen S7 is a hand-built, high-performance supercar developed by little-known American automaker Saleen Automotive in 2000. The S7 was Saleen’s first car, but you wouldn’t tell, as it had a fantastic design, carbon fiber construction, and a Ford-sourced V8 in the middle.​​​​​​​

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The S7 was a decent sports car, but it wasn’t until 2005 that Saleen upgraded its engine with Garrett twin-turbochargers, raising the power output from 550 hp to 750 hp. A top speed of 248 mph meant that the S7 Twin Turbo could easily crush some of the fastest European sports cars in a race.​​​​​​​

3 2006 Koenigsegg CCX – 249mph

With two amazing cars already produced, Koenigsegg was confident that it could produce a hypercar for the global market. Koenigsegg specifically wanted to enter the US market, so it had to make several changes to the CCR’s design.​​​​​​​

The most significant change was the engine — Koenigsegg replaced the Ford Modular engine it had used in its previous cars with an in-house developed all-aluminum 4.7-liter twin-supercharged V8 designed to run on 91 Octane fuel. With 806 hp on tap, the CCX was the most powerful and fastest Koenigsegg at the time.​​​​​​​

2 2005 Bugatti Veyron – 253mph

The ’90s were terrible for Bugatti. Financial woes resulting from its acquisition of Lotus led to bankruptcy, almost leading to its demise. Thankfully, Volkswagen swooped in and acquired Bugatti in 1998, breathing new life into the iconic company.​​​​​​​

The first car Bugatti built under its new ownership was the awe-inspiring Veyron. Introduced in 2005, the Veyron shocked the motoring world with its incredible stats. Under the hood, the Veyron had a mighty 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine producing 987 horsepower and 922 pound-feet of torque. Despite weighing over 4,000 pounds, the Veyron had a record-breaking top speed of 253 mph.​​​​​​​

1 2005 SSC Ultimate Aero – 256mph

SSC recently came into the limelight after the Tuatara controversially broke the production car speed record. Most gearheads thought that that was the first time the small American automaker has broken the record, but they’re wrong. In 2007, the SSC Ultimate Aero stunned the world when it recorded a top speed of 256.14 mph, defeating the Veyron mentioned above.​​​​​​​

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To accomplish this incredible feat, SSC equipped the Ultimate Aero with a twin-turbocharged V8 blurting out a monstrous 1,300 hp and 1,004 lb-ft of torque.

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