What is the fastest RC car in the world?

Wales, UK - On a long strip of runway near a small town in Wales, James Whomsley managed to push his specially designed and produced remote-controlled vehicle to speeds that'd be illegal on most roads.

There's something remarkable about a high-speed well-made RC car.
There's something remarkable about a high-speed well-made RC car.  © Unsplash/Apryan Widodo

It's quite unusual for a remote-controlled car to reach speeds of more than around 10 MPH, with their tiny wheels, double-A batteries, and less-than-powerful engines.

Considering the fact that most remotes are pretty weak and useless as well, it's probably a good thing that most RC cars are so slow.

With all this in mind, the world record holder for the fastest RC car in the world fits none of the boxes we just taped up above. Packed with power and speed and capable of extraordinary feats, this is an achievement to write home about.

While the record was 94.76 MPH, its fastest speed was even quicker.
While the record was 94.76 MPH, its fastest speed was even quicker.  © Screenshot/YouTube/@guinnessworldrecords

What is the world's fastest RC car?

The fastest remote-controlled car in the world was a jet-powdered vehicle built by James Whomsley earlier this year. Given the record by Guinness World Records, the vehicle was built and operated to utilize jet technology to propel it as fast as possible across the ground and, as such, it had to be tested on a vacant runway in western Wales.

Whomsley's crazily impressive piece of engineering managed to reach a whopping 94.76 MPH, breaking the ROSSA (Radio Operated Scale Speed Association) speed record and getting him a world record on July 1, 2023. While unproven, it is suspected that the car had managed to double this speed in a separate, though unmeasured, test.

He built the car to "shake up the competition" at the ROSSA event he attended to get himself the record. As he described in a breakdown of how he achieved the world record posted by Guinness World Records, Whomsley spent over a year perfecting his new design.

"This car is powered by a rather large jet cap 220 engine, fixed to a strong aluminum chassis with a 3D printed nose and lots of electric gizmos to make it all work," he explained in the video, among various pictures of a remarkably impressive piece of kit.

"At its first shakedown at a local racetrack, it had performed brilliantly," he told Guinness World Records. It was apparently "Super stable thanks to its streamlined bodywork and large fins... On its first day, we got it to 70 MPH, but knew that there was plenty more that this car had to offer..."

After a number of tests, Whomsley attended an event in which many were racing RC cars and trying to beat a variety of records. Upon launch, the car reached 94.76 MPH before safely slowing down to a stop, breaking the record.

Can you buy the fastest RC car?

While many who attended the event apparently used off-the-shelf RC cars with modifications made to them, Whomsley's car was made up of sophisticated or homemade pieces and is, therefore, impossible to purchase yourself. If you wanted it (which we wouldn't recommend; this could be a rather dangerous device), you'd need to make it yourself.

To bring home the point of how dangerous these devices can be, Whomsley's car had to be tested multiple times before it could be used to its full capacity. Multiple tests were made to guarantee that the brakes worked and that the engines would automatically cut out if they went out of range of the remote control.

Both sadly and interestingly, on a subsequent test, the RC car managed to meet 137 miles per hour, but the record couldn't be made official as the nose cone fell off mid-journey, disqualifying it from the award.

Why make such a fast RC car?

While there's no real use for a remote-controlled car of the kind you'll see in most toy shops or even in the workshop of a bloke like James Whomsley, that doesn't mean that high-speed RC isn't without its uses. For starters, high-speed remote control devices have a variety of military or law enforcement uses that are worthy of note.

In terms of James Whomsley's achievement, though, it was purely based on the work he does for his YouTube channel and, of course, a desire to achieve one of those sweet, sweet Guinness World Records. He certainly achieved both of those goals!

Cover photo: Unsplash/Apryan Widodo

More on World Records: