"JORDAN! ARE YOU BEING PAID TO ADVERTISE FIREBOLTS? GET ON WITH THE COMMENTARY!
-- Minerva McGonagall (PA13)
The Firebolt, released in the summer of 1993, is the fastest racing broom in the world at that time. Developed by Randolph Spudmore, it is ground-breaking in that it has goblin-made ironwork parts – although working with goblins leads to frequent strikes, making this quite a rare broom.
streamlined, superfine handle of ash (or ebony), treated with a diamond-hard polish
hand-numbered with its own registration number
tail twigs of birch, individually selected and honed to aerodynamic perfection
acceleration of 150 mph in 10 seconds
unbreakable Braking Charm
when you pick it up then let go, it hovers at exactly the right height to mount
turns with the lightest touch, seems to obey thought rather than grip
superbly smooth action
Harry saw a prototype in Quality Quidditch Supplies the summer it came out and was sorely tempted to empty his Gringotts vault to buy one (PA4). He resisted the temptation, however, and to his surprise receives a Firebolt for Christmas from his godfather, Sirius Black (PA11).
Professor McGonagall took his away his Firebolt on Christmas Day, to have it checked for hexes and jinxes, since the gift had arrived anonymously. Both his friend Ron Weasley and the team captain of Gryffindor, Oliver Wood, considered that stripping the broom down would be a crime. However, it was returned intact before the next match (PA11, PA12, PA13).
A fire-bolt is defined as a "thunderbolt" or "flash of lightning" (Oxford English Dictionary).
The placard in the window of Quality Quidditch Supplies has the Firebolt's broom handle described as being "ash" (PA4), but in the description written by J K Rowling for Pottermore it is listed as "ebony" (QWC).
The Firebolt Supreme, possibly a new improved model of the classic Firebolt broom from the same manufacturer, was chosen by the Bulgarian National Team at the 2014 Quidditch World Cup (QWC).
Lexicon timeline of Quidditch
Lexicon list of Broom Manufacturers
From the Web
Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld (Pottermore): Firebolt
WizardingWorld.com (Pottermore) features:
Harry Potter Wiki: Firebolt