Do you want to find out which are the fastest vehicles ever known to the human race? Of course you do! After all, the human race is obsessed with speed. In fact, speed has fascinated the human race for centuries. At almost any given point in our history, there’s evidence of our attempts to push speed boundaries to new and faster heights. From training the fastest horses to the invention of the automobile it seems the human race has had a strong, obsessive fascination with going faster. Now in the 21st century, technology has enabled us to create some of the fastest inventions imaginable. Whether its a motorcycle, submarine, car, train, helicopter, tank or sled, it’s hard to believe the speeds we have been able to achieve. From a supersonic car to a the fastest boat in the world these are the 25 fastest vehicles known to the human race.
In April 2007, the TGV POS train, a French train operated by the French National Rail Company, set a new world speed record for travel on conventional rails. Between Meuse and Champagne-Ardenne TGV stations, the train reached a speed of 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph).
With an officially recorded top speed of 634.217 km/h (394.084 mph), the TOP 1 Ack Attack, a specially constructed land-speed record streamliner motorcycle powered by two Suzuki Hayabusa engines, boasts the title of the world´s fastest motorcycle.
The world record of the fastest snowmobile is currently held by a vehicle known as the G-Force-1 made by Canadian G-Force Division. In 2013, the snowmobile broke its former record of 210.8 mph (339.25 km/h) on the wide open salt flats at Bonneville’s landspeed shootout, reaching a top speed of 211.5 mph (340.38 km/h). On side note, they are planning to break the record again sometime in 2016. Check out their video to see this bad boy in action:
Diesel-powered land vehicle
Designed for the purpose of breaking the land speed record for a diesel-engined vehicle, the JCB Dieselmax was driven to 350.5 miles per hour (564 km/h) by Andy Green, a British Royal Air Force fighter pilot, in 2006.
In 2010, Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, a sport car designed and developed in Germany by the Volkswagen Group and manufactured in France, reached a speed of 267.857 mph (431.074 km/h), creating a new speed world record for street-legal production cars.
Developed and operated by the Central Japan Railway Company, The L0 Series high-speed maglev train set a new land speed world record for rail vehicles of 603 km/h (375 mph) in April 2015. At the same time, it has become the fastest manned train in the world.
Unmanned rocket sled
In April 2003, an unnamed rocket-powered sled called Super Roadrunner became the fastest vehicle ever recorded on land, accelerating to Mach 8.5 and reaching a top speed of 6,416 mph (10,326 km/h) at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
Manned rocket sled
Ridden by John Stapp, a U.S. Air Force officer known as “the fastest man on earth“, rocket sled Sonic Wind No. 1 reached a speed of 1,017 k/h (632mph) in December 1954, claiming the title fastest unmanned rocket sled in the world.
Not a traditional vehicle but still a vehicle worth including in the list, the fastest roller coaster in the world can be found at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Known as Formula Rossa, the roller coaster boasts a top speed of 240 km/h (150 mph).
Human powered vehicle
In September 2013, J.B Bowier, a Dutch cyclist, reached a speed of 133.78 km/h (83.13 mph) on a special recumbent bicycle named VeloX3. He achieved the speed over a 200 m (660 ft) stretch of road in Battle Mountain, Nevada, after a run-up of 8 km (5 miles).
Thrust Supersonic Car (commonly known just as Thrust SCC), a British jet-propelled car, holds the title of the world´s fastest rocket-powered car and the fastest manned land vehicle ever. Driven by Andy Green, it achieved a speed of 1,228 km/h (763 mph) in 1997.
Top speed of 125.88 mph (202.58 km/h) for a train might not seem as astonishing these days but considering this speed was achieved in 1938 by a steam locomotive (4468 Mallard), the record absolutely deserves to be on the list.
Operated by an American pilot Roger Schroer, a student-built, alternative-fuel race car known as the Buckeye-Bullet 2.5 has become the world´s fastest electric-powered vehicle after it achieved a speed of 308 mph (495 km/h) in August 2010.
In February 2014, Hennessey Venom GT recorded a speed of 270.49 mph (435.31 km/h) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida but as the run was just in a single direction, and only few of these cars were sold by that date, it did not qualify as the world’s fastest production car in the Guinness Book of Records, Nevertheless, it’s currently the world´s fastest street-legal car.
A production standard S 2000 Scorpion Peacekeeper armored reconnaissance tank developed by Repaircraft PLC (UK), achieved a speed of 82.23 kilometers per hour (51.10 mph) at the QinetiQ vehicle test track, Chertsey, UK, on 26 March 2002.
An experimental high-speed compound helicopter developed by Eurocopter, the Eurocopter X3 achieved 255 knots (472 km/h; 293 mph) in level flight on 7 June 2013, setting an unofficial speed record for a helicopter.
Developed as part of the DARPA Falcon Project, the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (or HTV-2) is a crewless, experimental rocket glider that reached a speed of 13,201 mph (21,245 km/h) in a test launch. The purpose of this vehicle is to provide the United States with the capability to reach any target in the world within one hour.
Even among lunar vehicles there is a speed world record holder. With a maximum speed of 17 km/h (10.6 mph), the Lunar Roving Vehicle (Commonly known as the “moon buggy”) is the current world record holder. The vehicle was used in the last three missions of the American Apollo program (15, 16, and 17).
Manned space vehicle
The spacecraft used in the fourth manned mission in the United States Apollo space program, Apollo 10 holds the Guinness World Record for highest speed attained by any manned vehicle, at 24,791 mph (39,897 km/h), during the return from the Moon on May 26, 1969.
Unmanned space vehicle
The title of the world´s fastest unmanned spacecraft and fastest vehicle ever belongs to Helios 1 and Helios 2 – a pair of probes launched into heliocentric orbit for the purpose of studying solar processes. Launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in December 1974, and January 1976, respectively, the probes hurtled through space at 252,792 km/h (157,078 mph).
Driven by Charles Burnet III, a British steam car nicknamed the “fastest kettle in the world”, currently holds the title for the fastest steam-powered vehicle. In 2009, the car achieved a speed of 140 mph (225 km/h) at the Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In December 2006, pilots Klaus Ohlmann and Matias Garcia Mazzaro set a new world record for the fastest glider by reaching a speed of 306.8 km/h (190.6 mph) with their high-performance two-seat glider Schempp-Hirth Nimbus-4.
In 2001, just a year before he died, Don Vesco, an American businessperson and famous motorcycle racer, set the wheel-driven land speed world record of 458.440 miles per hour (737.788 km/h) in his turbo-shaft powered streamliner called “Turbinator”.
Powered by a Westinghouse J34 jet engine, the Spirit of Australia, a wooden speed boat, is the fastest vehicle that has ever touched water. In 1978, Ken Warby, an Australian motorboat racer, set the record by reaching a speed of 317.596 mph (511.11 km/h) with this boat.
Another vehicle designed in Australia, the Sunswift IV (IVy) broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest solar powered vehicle at the Royal Australian Navy Airbase in 2007 by reaching a top speed of 88.5 kilometers per hour (55 mph), beating the previous record of 22 years by over 10 km/h (6.2 mph).