This article covers details on vehicle top speeds in Grand Theft Auto and the method GTA Wiki carries out to standardize this information.


While files for Grand Theft Auto, particularly Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V, list all vehicle performance-related values and variables, these values mean nothing without testing the output they give. The raw top speed of a vehicle referenced in the game files is in no way similar to the result it gives in-game.

Each independent value in the game files are run through the game's engine (RAGE in the HD universe titles) and are processed. During this process, the raw top speed is affected dramatically by other values in the file data, including mass, clutch rate and suspension.

To gain a true, statistical output top speed, the vehicles need to be each tested in-game, however, since roads in the Grand Theft Auto universe are not flat, it would be biased to use these to test vehicles as a running mile. Even the flattest of roads in GTA have minor bumps or inclines which give vehicles sudden boosts in speed, or reduce the speed further.

We believe it is important that vehicle speeds on any article are justified and referenced. For the purpose of this Manual of Style, a special reference template paramter can be attached to any vehicle speed to create a reference section explaining the testing process:


Which produces:

How do we gain these statistics?: GTA Wiki: Manual of Style/Vehicles/Speed Testing
These top speeds are not suitable for comparing cars and their performance on the road. Roads are bumpy, and bumps in the game give vehicles random boosts of speed, increasing the overall road top speed. These top speeds simply show which car has the highest statistical speed, essentially a speed which considers all the variables added to the initial raw top speed in the handling files, and do not reflect the top speed each of these cars could reach on the road or even travelling through air. Finally, these speeds do not determine which car is "quickest" or "fastest" - competing vehicles in drag races may result in unexpected outcomes, due to the fact that restricting the drag race distance may not allow certain vehicles to reach their top speed, as the acceleration of vehicles has a massive affect on their performance and reliability in racing. These statistical top speeds give all vehicles plenty of time to reach their highest top speed on a flat, indefinitely-long strip of straight track.

Testing Vehicles

3D Universe

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Grand Theft Auto IV

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Grand Theft Auto V

In Grand Theft Auto V, the PC version allows the player to use a third-party Trainer to access a speedometer display. Speedometers provided in trainers simply enable a visual display of the vehicle's current speed and do not mislead the player. However, this does not mean that enabling vehicle speed modifications (such as "realistic speed mod") is acceptable - this is misleading.

We can use stunt tracks for the test ground, as these are the flattest possible surfaces that give us an extremely accurate, stable speed value. There is, on almost every vehicle, a 'steady' top speed at which the vehicle will stay at for almost 20 seconds, and a slightly higher 'top' top speed which will randomly be counted up to after around 20 seconds. Since the stunt track is flat, the z-value coordinate should not change throughout the test and as such, the top speed of the vehicle remains steady. All vehicles should be given enough time to reach a speed which the vehicle will settle at.

Adding vehicle engine customization (EMS) is also acceptable to test the vehicle's performance when it is modified in Los Santos Customs or other vehicle mod shops. These engine modifications act as multipliers and increase the vehicle's top speed, some more than others. Only EMS upgrades affect the top speed of a vehicle, however other modifications, such as transmission, suspension and the type of wheels the vehicle has, can affect the vehicle's overall performance around a track and thus may affect it's capabilities and competitiveness, hence statistical top speeds gained during these tests are in no way an accurate representation of the vehicle's capabilities against other vehicles, and are simply a measure of speed in a straight line.

Other forms of gaining speed

Grand Theft Auto V

  • "Double-clutching" - this popular method in the GTA V community utilises the handbrake and accelerator, timing the handbrake's activation during gear shifts to gain sudden increases in speed and much quicker acceleration. This method shouldn't allow the player to reach a higher statistical top speed, as eventually the vehicle will return to its stock top speed, however, to avoid mislead testing, this method should be avoided. The method is caused by a bug with traction.
  • Boosts - several cars in GTA Online feature rocket boosts. These allow vehicles to reach a higher top speed temporarily, and increase overall acceleration. Since these are entirely valid, legitimate means of reaching higher top speeds, data for this can be collected, however given the fast decline of speed after boosting, it will likely be an average.
  • "Wheelie-ing" - Motorcycles in GTA V can travel at a faster top speed when the player pulls a wheelie or ducks. This is again caused by a bug and shouldn't really be documented.

In-game measures

Grand Theft Auto V

  • First person speedometers - almost all vehicles in the enhanced version of GTA V feature interior dashboards with functioning speedometers. The needle itself does function according to the output speed of the vehicle and is accurate, however because some of the dial textures are poorly scaled, both in terms of the measurements they are read in, the distance between each value on the dial, or the size, shape and position of the dial entirely, most vehicles' speeds displayed on these dials are incorrect. It's best to avoid using them as they present inaccurate information.
  • Vehicle top speed challenge - a Freemode Challenge in GTA Online displays the player's vehicle's travelling speed. This is an output value and is as such correct, however given the player will likely be using San Andreas' roads during the challenge, it's inaccurate to use the speed presented. It's possible to achieve speeds of more than 150 mph, which is entirely legitimate on San Andreas' bumpy, uneven road surfaces, but is not a statistical top speed given the surface and conditions. It's best to avoid using these speeds.

Important notes

  • "Output" - in-game result. The input values in the game files are worked through the game's engine (RAGE) and give an output. The output it the speed and/or time we collect using the aforementioned method.
  • "Defined/Stated" - in-game claims and statements. Websites commonly list vehicle speeds and other important details. They aren't necessarily accurate, but are in-game facts and should be documented.
  • "Input" - i.e, handling.meta/data. These speeds are raw and are listed in kilometers per hour, so the format listed in the Overview table of Performance sections will require a km/h to mph converter to write it in the correct format on the GTA Wiki. On all Overview tables in Performance sections, the mph number is first, followed by the km/h number.For example, 140 mph would be written as "140 / 225" (140 mph = 225 km/h). The section lists the metric/imperial systems used and therefore "mph" or "km/h" do not need to be written after the numbers in this format.


Grand Theft Auto V

The following video was created by GTA Wiki Staff member Monkeypolice188 and covers how this testing process is completed. While a Trainer was used, the trainer was not used to affect the performance of vehicles and merely allowed us to enable a speedometer display.

GTA V - Vehicle Top Speeds

GTA V - Vehicle Top Speeds


Contact any Member of Staff who will either help or pass you on to another member of staff who can answer your question. Alternatively, post a question on the Talk Page of this article.

Last updated by Monkeypolice188 on 15th February, 2018.
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