2012’s Top Ten Fastest Production Sports Cars: Intro
Nothing captures the imagination of motoring enthusiasts like exotic sports cars. At the top of the heap of exotic sports cars are the 200+ MPH models that occupy the pantheon of the world’s fastest sports cars.
Yes, we said 200+ miles per hour.
These days, if your car won’t do at least 195 you have no shot at making this list.
Speaking of making this list, when we created it, we decided to limit the models listed to volume produced sports cars from primarily mainstream manufacturers. For that reason, one-off cars like the SSC Ultimate Aero, Hennessey Venom GT, and Koenigsegg Agera R were omitted from the list—though each will do around 260 miles per hour. Similarly, the McLaren MP4 12C didn’t make the cut, even though it too qualifies as one of the fastest sports cars for 2012.
The thing is, those manufacturers build in such excruciatingly small numbers the likelihood of seeing one of their cars on the road is just slightly better than seeing a fast-food loving cigarette smoker besting Michael Phelps’ Olympic medal count. Granted, when you’re building cars capable of traveling faster than a 747 is going when it takes off, and charging high six- and even seven-figure prices for them, you’re going to crank them out in relatively small numbers. Cars like those are built primarily for bragging rights.
The cars on the list of the fastest sports cars of 2012 represent the meat of what the industry is all about.
2012’s Top Ten Fastest Production Sports Cars: Aston Martin One-77
With a top speed in excess of 220 miles per hour, the Aston Martin One-77 features a 7.3-liter V12 producing some 750 horsepower and 533 ft-lbs. of torque. O-60 is claimed to be 3.5 seconds. Aston Martin officials say only 77 examples of the car will ever be built—hence the name. Completely hand built in the finest Aston Martin tradition; each iteration of the car is also customized to its buyer’s specification. Thus no two will ever be exactly alike, and pricing varies according to specification. Base price is $1.5 million.
2012’s Top Ten Fastest Production Sports Cars: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
The undisputed fastest production car in the world, Bugatti’s Veyron Super Sport has been tested and verified at 268 miles per hour. It will run from 0 – 60 in 2.2 seconds. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport uses an 8.0-liter quad turbocharged (yes, four turbochargers) 16-cylinder engine producing 1,200 horsepower and 1,106 ft-lbs of torque. Its tires were designed specifically for the Bugatti, and replacements cost $36,000 for a set. Its brakes are made of reinforced silicon carbide composite. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission routes the engine’s output to all four wheels.
2012’s Top Ten Fastest Production Sports Cars: Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
The “King Of The Hill” Corvette, the ZR1 is the fastest mainstream production American road car ever offered to the public. The ZR1’s hand-built 638-horsepower supercharged V8 engine displaces 6.2-liters and makes 604 ft-lbs of torque. Its intake valves and connecting rods are made of titanium. Other components crafted of exotic materials include carbon fiber body panels, an aluminum frame, and carbon ceramic brakes. Curb weight is 3,352 pounds. Zero to 60 is quoted at 3.4 seconds and the Corvette ZR1 earns its place on the list of the fastest sports car fro 2012 with a 205 miles per hour top speed.
2012’s Top Ten Fastest Production Sports Cars: Ferrari 599 GTO
With a curb weight of 3850 pounds, 661 horsepower and 457 foot-pounds of torque screaming out of its 6.0-liter V12, the Ferrari 599 GTO easily qualifies for our list of fast sports cars for 2012. It takes a mere 3.2 seconds for the GTO to hit 60 from a standstill, and its top speed is 208 miles per hour. When it was introduced, Ferrari spokespeople called the rear-drive 599 GTO the most extreme sports car the company has ever built. The V12 winds to 8,400 rpm, emitting a shrieking wail unlike that of any other internal combustion engine. For a company that built the likes of the Formula 1 inspired Enzo to have called the 599 GTO the most extreme sports car it ever built is significant. What’s absolutely amazing is that rather than the million-dollar price tag the Enzo carried, the 599 GTO only costs a mere $450,000. However, the entire production run is already sold.
2012’s Top Ten Fastest Production Sports Cars: Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
Which brings us to the newest, most extreme sports car Ferrari has ever built—the F12 Berlinetta. This time they get 731 horsepower and 509 ft-lbs of torque out of the 6.3-liter V12, which is tasked with moving 3,800 pounds thanks to an all-new lightweight aluminum space frame chassis. This gives the F12 Berlinetta the bragging rights of the being the fastest road-going Ferrari ever built. How fast? Zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 211 miles per hour. The rear-drive powertrain of this member of the fastest sports cars of 2012 club uses a seven-speed dual-clutch sequential manual transmission.
2012’s Top Ten Fastest Production Sports Cars: Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4
The latest raging bull from Lamborghini’s hometown of Sant’ Agata Bolognese is an extreme performance wonder car capable of a top speed of 217 miles per hour and a shoo-in for our list of the fastest sports cars. A 700-horsepower V12 displacing 6.5-liters generates 507 ft-lbs of torque to propel the Lamborghini to 60 miles per hour in 2.7 seconds. A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is an integral part of the Aventador’s all-wheel drive powertrain system. Its exceptionally light 3500-pound curb weight is attributable to the only carbon fiber monocoque body in series production. The Lamborghini’s subframe, doors and cargo cover are made of aluminum; the rest of the Aventador’s body is constructed of carbon fiber.
2012’s Top Ten Fastest Production Sports Cars: Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera
Lamborghini’s “entry level” model comes in a variety of configurations, including open (Spyder) versions. The fastest Gallardo of all (currently) is the LP 570-4 Superleggera. The word superleggera in Italian means “super fast” and this Gallardo model certainly is, with a top speed of 202 miles per hour, readily qualifying it for ranking among the fastest sports cars for 2012. Its 5.2-liter V10 engine delivers 562 horsepower and 397 ft-lbs of torque to accelerate the Gallardo Superleggera to 60 in 3.2 seconds. A six-speed sequential shift gearbox transmits the engine’s output to all four wheels.
2012’s Top Ten Fastest Production Sports Cars: Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package
Yes, there is a Lexus on the list of the fastest sports cars for 2012. Constructed primarily of carbon fiber, the high-powered Lexus weighs a mere 3500 pounds. With 571 horsepower and 354 ft-lbs of torque, the LFA muscles its way onto the fastest sports cars list with a top speed of 202 miles per hour. The Lexus will accelerate to 60 in 3.6 seconds. Yamaha helped Lexus engineer the 9000-rpm, 4.8-liter V10 powerplant. The rear drive LFA uses a six-speed automated manual gearbox and, of course, a limited-slip differential.
2012’s Top Ten Fastest Production Sports Cars: Porsche 911 GT2 RS
The combination of 620 horsepower, 516 ft-lbs of torque and a curb weight of 3075 pounds make for one very fast sports car. One of the top ten fastest sports cars for 2012 in fact. The 911 GT2 RS uses a rear drive powertrain comprised of a rear-mounted 3.6-liter turbocharged horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and a limited slip rear differential. To get to RS status from a “mere” GT2, Porsche used a carbon fiber hood and aluminum suspension pieces to add lightness to the car. Engine modifications up the power output 90 horsepower over the standard GT2. The resulting power increase and weight reduction, in addition to endowing the car with superior speed, aided handling as well, easily making the 2012 Porsche 911 GT2 RS one of the fastest sports cars for 2012.
2012’s Top Ten Fastest Production Sports Cars: Porsche 911 Turbo S
If the GT2 RS is a bit too raucous, consider instead the standard Porsche Turbo S. Packed with creature comforts omitted form the hard core GT2 RS turbo 911 model, the 911 Turbo S incorporates many of the vestiges of grand touring cars, but delivers them in a sports car package. This means you’ll travel mile after mile after mile at high speeds in the car, while benefitting from its exceptional comfort. Meanwhile you’ll also benefit from a 3.8-liter, 500 horsepower, turbocharged direct injected flat six-cylinder engine, which generates 480 ft-lbs of torque. The all-wheel drive powertrain uses a six-speed manual transmission. The 3,461 pound 911 Turbo S does zero to 60 in 3.1 seconds and makes our list of the 10 fastest sports cars with a top speed of 196 miles per hour.