What’s the fastest car in sci-fi? It’s a tough question to answer since some vehicles are real cars and some are fictional, but I listed some of the most famous ones, plus some cult hits and researched their statistics. Below is a list from fast to fastest. For the purposes of this list, we didn’t include motorcycles and the car had to be able to travel by land. If it flew, okay, but it had to be primarily for traveling across land. Because it’s sci-fi, we decided wheels were not necessary.
The car: Bessie
The specs: The Third Doctor on Doctor Who was stuck on Earth so he built himself a really lame car that he called Bessie. It was embarrassing. It was based on the Ford Popular 103E, produced from 1953-1959. It was powered by a Ford Sidevalve 1172 cc, 30 bhp (22 kW), four-cylinder engine. It was tested by The Motor Magazine in 1954 and was determined to have a top speed of 60.3 MPH.
Verdict: Pathetic. A technical genius who travels through time should have been able to make something faster. All we can figure is he just didn’t feel like it.
The car: The Batmobile (Tumbler)
The specs: There are several Batmobiles but the one we see race down highways the most has got to be the Tumbler from the Christopher Nolan trilogy of Batman movies. It was built by movie car engineers Chris Corbould and Andy Smith. Their primary focus was to make this Batmobile as real as possible: at 9 feet wide and 15 feet long, the car weighed in at 2.5 tons but was still capable of 0-60MPH in under six seconds with a top speed of 110 MPH. Thanks to its unique design, it was also capable of making unassisted jumps up to 30 feet.
Verdict: Fast, but far from the fastest.
The car: Doc’s DeLorean
The specs: THE car from Back to the Future. It’s capable of time travel at 88 mph (as long as the time circuits are on and it has 1.21 Gigawatts of power) and later capable of flight (thanks to advanced 2015 technology). But it’s all built on an actual DeLorean. The car’s real-life max speed was only 130 MPH (although the speedometer only displayed up through 85 MPH.
Verdict: It was just a 3-speed automatic. Looked sleak, not quite as fast as it looks. Then again, if you can travel through time, I guess you could win any race.
The car: The Spinner
The specs: The police cruiser from Blade Runner is iconic. Versions of it have later appeared in The Fifth Element and Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones. Doc’s DeLorean from parts 2 and 3 of Back to the Future also evoke the Spinner. Deckard mentions a fellow cop was “going 150 mph when he went off a cliff.” It had vertical take off and lift capabilities so it could fly or drive around on the ground like a regular car.
Verdict: Decently fast and probably feels even faster if you’re flying. Iconic, but not the fastest.
The car: Pursuit Special
The specs: The ultimate car of the MFP (Main Force Patrol) in Mad Max. Max drives this at the end of Mad Max and the beginning of the sequel, The Road Warrior. The car is a modified 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe. The car, with a supercharger, had a top speed in real life of 130 MPH with 224 kW of horsepower behind it. But we see that Max has done a lot of custom work. A number of fans believe it could attain a top speed of 160 MPH.
Verdict: Faster than most motorcycles and cars in the wasteland, but still bound by the limits of 1980s technology and a post-apocalyptic world with limited resources.
The car: Bumblebee
The specs: Who knows how fast the Transformers can go or why? They show up as orbs that fly through space and then can pick a vehicle to scan and blend in. But by that logic, they should be able to turn into anything they want. But Bumblebee stays a Camaro across four movies. Anyway, none of the Transformers ever seem to exhibit the ability to do anything their real-world counterpart vehicle can do (except for turn into a robot). Bumblebee turns into a Chevrolet Camaro. The fastest version of this is the SS which was powered by a 6.2 L V8 engine, producing 426 hp (318 kW). He has a top speed around 160 MPH.
Verdict: Bumblebee doesn’t drive that much faster than he runs as a robot, probably.
The car: James Bond’s Aston Martin
The specs: In James Bond’s 20th official movie, Die Another Day, he drove a Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. And while the movies overall are spy movies with gadgets, Die Another Day pushed itself into sci-fi territory with a massive space laser weapon and this version of Bond’s car which could turn invisible. Yeah, no matter how you explain it, that’s sci-fi. The car had a 5,935 cc V12 engine. It had a very impressive top speed of 190 MPH.
Verdict: Impressive in the real world but not compared to cars that can fly or think for themselves.
The car: The Wraith
The specs: The Wraith is a 1986 supernatural version of Fast & Furious, basically. It’s got Charlie Sheen and some other 80s up and comers racing cars. The Wraith’s car is based on a Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor. The mid-engined car had a top speed of 194.8 miles per hour (313.5 km/h) and could go from 0 to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in 4.1 seconds, with more than 440 horsepower (330 kW) under the hood using a twin-turbocharged Dodge 2.2 inline four cylinder engine. Reportedly, there are only four M4S prototypes in existence.
Verdict: Very fast but a ghost should really be able to go faster if you ask us. Spoilers!
The car: Buckaroo Banzai’s Jet Car
The specs: The car from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension was a ramshackle combination of parts but the actual basis is a Ford F-350 pickup truck from somewhere around 1981 or so. It also had a jet engine on it. The jet car needed to exceed Mach 1 and one script says it could go up to Mach 1.3. That translates to about 198 MPH.
Verdict: It wasn’t about being the fastest. It was about being fast enough to utilize the oscillation overthruster which allowed the vehicle to drive through solid matter. Mission accomplished.
The car: Luke’s Landspeeder
The specs: Luke’s “car” from Star Wars. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia is as official a source as we can get with this vehicle. It listed a top speed of 250 MPH. That makes sense. The vehicle hovered (no wheels) and was used by people like Luke – farmers out in the desert who needed to quickly cross vast distances to get to far away city hubs.
Verdict: Pretty damn fast, and decently agile if we include the terrible Special Edition scene that shows it weaving through CG monsters.
The car: KITT
The specs: There have been a few attempts at rebooting Knight Rider but since they were all duds, we’ll stick with the original. KITT was the Knight Industries Two Thousand, a custom car with its own AI and a number of gadgets. Michael Knight drove KITT (or got driven by him, depending on what they felt like) and worked for altruistic organization Knight Industries to help those who needed help. Usually this involved driving fast or having KITT drive himself. KITT was based on a 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am sports model. The real life car had a V-8 engine and 165 horsepower, but KITT was described as being able to somehow go up to 300 MPH thanks to his Turbo Boost feature.
Verdict: Good luck controlling a car at those speeds. This is one of the fastest vehicles around! And it can think for itself and rotate its license plate or release smoke and stuff like that. KITT’s pretty damn fast.
The car: Lexus from Minority Report
The specs: From the future of 2054 seen in Minority Report comes this self-driving Lexus. According to the movie, it’s an electric car capable of moving 350 MPH. Good lord! If you’ve seen the movie, you can believe it. The cars on those highways are MOVING.
Verdict: If you’re gonna set a movie in the future with auto-driving cars, I guess you can attribute any speed you want to it. It’s nice to think we’ll have switched to electric cars in 40 years, too.
So who ultimately is the fastest? Well that should be obvious. Vin Diesel in whatever he drives in a Fast & Furious movie because he can infinitely upshift for a faster speed if he needs it!