'What's the fastest car in GTA Online?' is a tricky question. Is it the fastest car in a short drag race? Around a standard circuit with corners? With the highest top speed? Going in reverse then pulling a J-turn and accelerating up to 60mph?
There are a lot of variables, but for the purposes of this article I'm going to focus on two of the most useful—lap times and top speed. Listed below will be the five fastest non-rocket-powered cars around a regular circuit in GTA online (where braking, cornering and acceleration all play a part in getting a quick lap time), followed by the five fastest non-rocket powered cars on a long straight piece of road (when all cars are travelling at their maximum speed).
The Expanded & Enhanced versions of the game on PS5 & Xbox Series X have access to Hao’s Special Works, which is a special mod shop within the Los Santos Car Meet. Taking vehicles and upgrading them there into their “HSW” versions gives them significantly increased top speeds and better lap times as a result. While the lap time list mixes these cars in with regular cars, the top speed list has been separated so those on PC can see the best cars on that metric without HSW versions dominating—also for those who disable HSW cars in races on PS5 & XSX.
This article has also been updated in September 2022 to be correct as of the Criminal Enterprises DLC, and only focuses on 'normal' cars (those that don’t get a benefit from external boosts and can be used in regular races). Notable exceptions are the Rocket Voltic, Scramjet, Vigilante, and Arena War vehicles with nitrous boost upgrades. If you're interested in the performance of those or future cars, vehicles from other classes, or what's below fifth place in these lists check out these videos covering lap times and top speeds for all vehicles in the game, as well as tier lists for the raceable classes.
The fastest car in GTA Online by lap times and top speed
- 1st: Benefactor BR8 (0:54.788) [Class: Open Wheel]
- 2nd: HSW Pegassi Weaponized Ignus (0:55.589) [Class: Supers]
- 3rd: HSW Coil Cyclone II (0:55.823) [Class: Supers]
- 4th: Progen PR4 (0:56.424) [Class: Open Wheel]
- 5th: Declasse DR1 (0:56.790) [Class: Open Wheel]
- 6th: Ocelot R88 (0:56.791) [Class: Open Wheel]
- 7th: Progen Emerus (0:58.291) [Class: Supers]
- 8th: HSW Principe Deveste Eight (0:58.359) [Class: Supers]
- 9th: Benefactor Krieger (0:58.526) [Class: Supers]
- 10th: Benefactor LM87 (0:58.658) [Class: Supers]
Non-HSW upgraded (all platforms)
- 1st: Ocelot Pariah (136.0 mph) [Class: Sports]
- 2nd: Grotti Itali RSX (135.3 mph) [Class: Sports]
- 3rd: Pfister 811 (132.5 mph) [Class: Supers]
- 4th: Principe Deveste Eight (131.8 mph) [Class: Supers]
- 5th: Lampadati Corsita (131.3 mph) [Class: Supers]
HSW upgraded (PS5 and Xbox Series X only)
- 1st: HSW Declasse Vigero ZX (157.5 mph) [Class: Muscle]
- 2nd: HSW Benefactor Stirling GT (156.8 mph) [Class: Sports Classics]
- 3rd: HSW Karin S95 (155.5 mph) [Class: Sports]
- 4th: HSW Bravado Banshee (153.0 mph) [Class: Sports]
- 5th: HSW Principe Deveste Eight (151.8 mph) [Class: Supers]
From the above you now know the cars you want if you have a corner-heavy race and a long top speed race. But having the best in one situation doesn't necessarily mean you'll have the best in the other. For example, the 811 is nowhere to be seen when it comes to the overall lap times list (around 100th) despite being in the top five for top speeds.
In addition, the best top speed any Open Wheel car can muster is almost 10mph slower than that of the Pariah from the Sports class, despite dominating around a track due to their cornering abilities.
So what should you buy? Well there are a number of different situations you could find yourself in, and you’ll want a different car for each.
The best cars in GTA Online by activity
Sports class races
The Sports class currently has some of the best balance we’ve ever seen at the top. While the Itali GTO remains the likely best on most tracks, it’s also possible to be competitive with a Pariah, Itali RSX, Neo, and for the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game, HSW Banshee, HSW Stirling GT, and HSW S95. Take your pick!
Rockstar created stunt tracks
In this kind of situation a good balance between lap time and top speed is essential, since most Rockstar stunt races are frankly not that challenging from a cornering perspective. However they do still require a car to be able to take corners at high speed when it isn’t focusing on utilising its top speed 90-95% of the time. The Deveste Eight fits the bill perfectly here by having a top speed good enough to get into our top 5 list, while also having a lap time that’s just outside of the top 10 for the Supers class. The HSW Deveste Eight is naturally an excellent option here for those on the new gen versions of the game.
Long highway races
If you’re going to be spending your time racing around the highways of Los Santos you might as well try to get it done as quickly as possible (since you’ll probably be bored after 30 seconds). In this case top speed matters most as corners are few and far between, so simply go with the cars listed at the top of the top speed rankings on this article depending on which game version you’re running.
Supers class races
If you’re driving on a track that is either primarily corners or has a balance of corners and straights, and is set up like most regular racing circuits you’d see in real life, there are usually only a few options that you need to consider. When HSW is available and enabled, the Weaponized Ignus and Cyclone II go toe-to-toe depending on the makeup of the track. If HSW is unavailable then the top three options are the Emerus, Krieger, and LM87, all of which will be competitive with each other and demolish anything else when driven properly.
The introduction of Open Wheel cars and races added some complexity to things, because (unlike in other cars) different body modifications change their cornering and top speed abilities by affecting the amount of downforce the cars have. However apart from top speed where it’s the DR1 that is fractionally the quickest in the lowest downforce setup, you generally always want to stick to the BR8.
As can be seen from the lap times list it’s just that much quicker than the rest. A middle downforce setup is often the right option too, and more information on which modifications affect downforce, as well as the effects of each modification, is explained in this video. Good luck out there!
Muscle class races
The Buffalo STX was released with the recent Contract DLC and is basically a sports car in the Muscle class, blowing everything else out of the water from a competitive standpoint. If you’re using anything other than a Buffalo STX in a Muscle class race these days, you’ll be severely off the pace. Unless HSW is available of course, in which case the HSW Vigero ZX is the one to go for unless there aren’t any long straights with which it can use to stretch its significant top speed legs.
Tuner street races
Street races are limited to the "Tuner" sub-class, which contains a number of new cars from the Los Santos Tuners DLC that are in other classes (like Sports, Muscle, etc) but can also be raced together. There are three main contenders here if you want to be competitive: the Sultan RS Classic, Vectre, and Calico GTF. The Growler and Jester RR lie in 4th and 5th places for Tuner races respectively, but are somewhat off the pace of the top three, who are all separated by around two tenths of a second across all of them.
With the Vectre having the best cornering ability, the Calico boasting the best acceleration, and the Sultan being the best all-rounder, it’s up to your own personal tastes which one you pick. Keep in mind that some tracks will also be better in one of these cars than the others, but choosing any of the top three ensures you’ll always be competitive.
On the new gen versions of the game, HSW races are those that can only be raced with HSW upgraded vehicles. There are 3 classes that these races can be set to. Tier 1 contains vehicles from the Coupes & Compacts classes, with Tier 2 being for Muscle, Sports Classics & SUVs, and Tier 3 including Motorcycles, Supercars and Sports Cars. The best car to use for Tier 1 HSW races is the Sentinel XS coupe, and for Tier 2 HSW races it’s the Turismo Classic or Stirling GT sports classics. For Tier 3 HSW races you want to stick to the Hakuchou Drag motorcycle. All of the cars listed here are the quickest for lap time in their respective collection of classes, and will give you the best chance to get those wins.
If you’re looking for something for free roam, the speed of a car doesn’t matter as much as its ability to survive gunshots, explosions, and whatever else the general GTA populace can throw at you. The best cars for online public sessions are those that combine decent performance (it doesn’t matter if you’re well armoured if you’re only travelling 5 mph) with decent protection (it equally doesn’t matter if you’re travelling at 150 mph if you’ll explode from a single gunshot). For these reasons, you should take a good look at the Nightshark. It can take many explosions without breaking a sweat, it's mostly bulletproof, and isn’t too slow either. It’s certainly your best chance to get to your destination if you’ve got a griefer shadowing you. When it comes to missions, the best car is arguably still the Armored Kuruma, which is still relatively quick, good off road, and completely impervious to gunshots from NPCs. Just don’t expect it to survive an RPG.