The CAR Top 10: record breakers

Published: 10 March 2017 Updated: 10 March 2017

► Fastest/slowest, priciest/cheapest
► Biggest/smallest, thirstiest/thriftiest
► ‘If you wanna be a record breaker…’

For good or bad, these production cars have gone down in history – some of them probably very briefly.

Fastest: Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

The Guinness rules are clear. Yes the Hennessey Venom did 270mph, but it was a one-direction run and not enough of them have been sold. Would you rather do 270mph in a 1000bhp Elise or 2mph less in a German car that cost £5m to build?

Slowest: Peugeot Expert Tepee L2 HDi 98


That this version of the Expert Tepee takes 20.7 seconds to reach 62mph is terrifying enough, but bear in mind that the Veyron can do 0-100-0mph in the same time – twice. Think about that when you’re next in a Tepee taxi hoping to catch a flight.

Most expensive: Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO

This one’s all about the measurement. The most expensive new car is a stretched Rolls-Royce Phantom at £373,824, but you could have a fleet of 10 for the price of the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for $38,115,00 at Quail in 2014. Bet the owner doesn’t have a Ferrari polo shirt. 

From the CAR archive: ‘Born on the Wind – Mel Nichols drives the Ferrari 250 GTO

Smallest: Peel P50

Peel P50

The shortest modern car we know is the Smart ForTwo. The Peel P50 may be from a different age, but it is 2.5cm shy of being half the length of the Smart, which makes us wonder if you drive it or wear it like a pair of pants – suitably reinforced for coping with the stresses of today’s traffic.

Cheapest: Dacia Sandero


There’s not much argument about this one, with the Sandero’s headline £5995 figure taking the Value Biscuit. Unless you include the Tata Nano, currently on sale for about 199,000 Rupees (£2340) as a second-generation model that has definitely passed some kind of crash test.

Click here for all CAR’s reviews and stories on the Dacia Sandero

Best selling: Volkswagen Beetle


The best-selling nameplate of all time is the Toyota Corolla’s, with 39 million owners – few of them excited – since 1966. But the Beetle is the best-selling single model, and that is unlikely to be surpassed with 21,529,464 examples of flat-four deafness registered.

Most fuel-efficient: Peugeot 208 1.6 Blue HDi

Peugeot 208

A touchy subject, this. Include the BMW i3 and you can have a claimed 470.8mpg, but the best conventional car is the 208 which stands a chance of hitting its official 94.2mpg. Once they change the rules everything will be less economical, of course. 

Click here for CAR’s long-term review BMW i3 test diary

Largest: Mercedes-Maybach Pullman


You can draw your own conclusions about the size of a car and its owner, but the current tape-buster is the stretched Maybach Pullman at 6.49 metres.

Thirstiest: Lamborghini Aventador Roadster

Aventador Roadster

To achieve the combined consumption figure in most cars you have to drive as if the throttle pedal also actuates electrodes attached to your scrotum. Do that in the Aventador and you’ll still only get 16.4mpg. A year’s motoring will cost you four grand, but worth it.

CAR’s review of the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster

Lightest: Ariel Atom

Lightest: Ariel Atom

Give it 50 years and someone might come up with an unobtanium-bodied car that ducks under the Atom’s 465kg quoted kerbweight, but don’t hold your breath. Unless you’re driving an Atom at speed of course – you should definitely keep your mouth, at the very least, very firmly closed.

25 British cars you must drive: Ariel Atom 3.5R meets Radical RXC and Caterham 620R

By Matt Joy

Former associate editor of CAR magazine