The Most Powerful Cars Ever Made
Last week, car enthusiasts the world-over braced themselves. California-based online car magazine, Inside Line, published its highly anticipated list of The 100 Most Powerful Cars of All Time. The list, complied by the team at Inside Line after months upon months of “grueling” test drives and fast car research, features a mouth watering selection of some of the world’s most desirable vehicles. This really is the stuff that dreams are made of.
The list was put together based on a number of factors, mainly horsepower as claimed by each car’s manufacturer. Other factors that contributed included including torque, acceleration and top speed. Cars featured in the list included those designed and manufactured in countries across the globe in Europe, America and Japan.
The “weakest” car of the top 100 was the 1996 Porsche 911 GT1 Straßenversion, which measured in at 544 hp at 7,000 rpm. The 3.1 liter , 24 valve, twin turbo monster of a machine just made it onto the list as the 100th most powerful vehicle ever made. Porsche – of course – had plenty more entries in the list, with the 2012 Panamera Turbo S coming in joint 88th place with 550 hp at 6,000 rpm. 54th spot went to its 2004 Carrera GT model at 605 hp at 8,000 rpm and 49th spot went to its 2011 911 GT2 RS – which roared in at 620 hp.
The other usual suspects were heavily present in the list; Lamborghini filled up an impressive nine spots for models such as its beefy Aventador, Murcielogo, Gallordo and its super rare Reventon.
Mercedes took up a fifth of the list, with no fewer than 20 of its vehicles being hailed as worthy enough. However, the German giant only managed to squeeze one of its vehicles into the top fifth – its 2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Super Sport — 720 hp at 6,700 rpm – piped in at 20th place.
A notable Ferrari that featured on the list was the amazingly unusual Enzo, dubbed “the first Ferrari good enough to be named after the company’s founder.” The 2003 model, which would probably costs more to insure than insuring a fleet of ordinary cars, reaches an eye-popping 651 hp at 7,800 rpm. Its gas-guzzling 6.0 liter engine is a V12 48 valve, making it basically “a two seat F1 car for the street.”
The much loved Pagani Zonda was of course present in the list, but was beaten by the Italian manufacturer’s newer supercar, the Huayra. At 21st place, the 2012 vehicle boasts power of 700 hp. The Zonda Cinque wasn’t far behind though; it took 25th place at 660 hp.
Some of the more intriguing vehicles to be featured on Inside Line’s list included three from German supercar manufacturers, Koenigsegg. Reaching towards the top of the list, its 2006 CCX model was awarded the honor of being the 12th most powerful car ever built, reaching rip-roaring power of 806 hp at 6,900 rpm. A more powerful Koenigsegg, the CCXR, just beat its team mate, finishing in 9th place by topping the 1,000 mark – 1,004 hp to be precise. An even more powerful Koenigsegg – the Agera R – is the company’s top finisher; 1,140 hp at 7,100 rpm.
In 14th place was the 2007 Ruf CTR3. Ruf, a sub-company of Porsche, has made its own supercar that measures in at 750 hp and reaches top speeds of 236 mph. 15th place was occupied by the striking Saleen S7 Turbo – an intimidating looking motor that has an additional two turbos that increase its output by 50%. Canada’s claim to fame was the HTT Pléthore LC-750, which took an impressive 13th place. The beautiful car, which is still a prototype, also reaches 750 hp and can accelerate to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds.
However, after much drooling over the first 99 cars, we come to the top spot. Taken by a car that has had little exposure to the outside world – Inside Lane stresses that the company has not made the car available to test drive yet – the top spot provokes much intrigue. For the most powerful road car ever built in the history of automotive engineering and manufacturing is not a Ferrari or a Lamborghini… but a Shelby. The 2009 SSC Ultimate Aero.
Much to Bugatti’s disappointment, the Ultimate Aero beat both of its hot contenders – the 2011 Super Sport and the 2012 Grand Sport Vitesse (which both finished in joint 3rd place at 1,200 hp at 6,400 rpm). As did Hennessey’s Venom GT, with 1,200 hp at 6,500 rpm, which earned it the honor of second place.
The Ultimate Aero, which reaches a third of the speed of sound at 257.41 mph and gets from 0 – 60 in just under 2.8 seconds, features a 6.3 liter engine and 16 valve V8 twin turbo engine. The brainchild of ex-racer, Jerod Shelby, the Ultimate Aero also previously held the Guinness World Record for the fastest production car in the world. It costs around $650,000 to buy. Environmentalists can sleep easily though – Shelby recently announced plans to produce the Ultimate Aero EV – a fully electric version of the monster sports car.