FAST FOR­WARD

Autocar - - ROAD TEST AT 90 -

Delv­ing into some pretty straight­for­ward top-speed data al­lows us to see how the rate of progress in road car per­for­mance has changed over the years. Or rather, how lit­tle that rate of progress has changed, be­cause the sta­tis­tics show a very sta­ble rate of de­vel­op­ment.

Plot­ting those points on a line chart shows a quite lin­ear rate of progress, the big­gest leap for­ward com­ing with the ar­rival of the sem­i­nal Mclaren F1. To demon­strate just how lin­ear it has been, con­sider this: in the four decades lead­ing up to the 1970s, the top speed of the fastest car in­creased by 77mph; in the four decades since, it has in­creased by 75mph. Ex­trap­o­lat­ing that out over the next 40 years, is it re­ally pos­si­ble there will be a road-le­gal pro­duc­tion car ca­pa­ble of 334mph come the 2050s?

Ch­i­ron’s (lim­ited) top speed is 261mph

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