The fastest accelerating cars from 0-60 miles per hour represent some of the most expensive - and exotic - vehicles in the world. Of course, there are a few more common models mixed in amongst the unobtainable super sports cars that make up this universe of speed, which is a testament to the level of technology that has trickled down into the hands of affluent, but far from mega-rich car buyers over the course of the past decade.
We've put together a list of 10 of the fastest accelerating cars from 0-60 currently on the market. While not exhaustive, and certainly not in any order, it's hard to argue with the inclusion of any of the vehicles below in a speed freak's dream garage.
Sweden might seem like an unlikely origin for a supercar, but Koenigsegg has been producing crazy machines for a number of years now and shows no signs of stopping. The latest effort from the boutique automaker is the Koenigsegg Agera R, a coupe that features 1140 horsepower from a turbocharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine that consumes Biofuel, rather than gasoline. Mounted behind the driver, the motor sends its output to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission, which allows the car to blaze to 60-mph from a standing start in just 2.9 seconds.
The Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce is a mouthful to say, and it's even more of a handful to drive with its 661 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque from a 6.5-liter, twelve-cylinder engine. Thankfully, all-wheel drive is on hand to help corral the car's ferocious power production, and the SuperVeloce's lighter weight helps the vehicle accomplish the sprint to 60-mph faster than any other Murcielago available (2.8 seconds). That's on top of the car's terminal velocity of 212 miles per hour, making this one of the fiercest machines to have ever been exported from Italy.
Photo by ericnvntr via Wikimedia Commons
SSC North America has been around for over a decade, but not everyone is familiar with the SSC Ultimate Aero TT - a vehicle that once held the title of 'fastest production car in the world.' The SSC Ultimate Aero TT may have now ceded that claim to the Bugatti Veyron, but it's still exceptionally quick off of the line, with a 0-60-mph time of 2.8 seconds. How does it do it? The Ultimate Aero TT is outfitted with a 6.3-liter V-8 that makes use of twin turbochargers to churn out 1,28 horsepower and 1,112 lb-ft of torque, which is in turn fed to the rear wheels by a six-speed manual transmission that doesn't benefit from any kind of traction control other than the driver's right foot and quick reflexes.
The Nissan GT-R is a familiar supercar player, and while the current model year's $101,770 starting price is a long way from its more budget friendly origins, it's impossible to deny that the car's performance hasn't grown along with it. The Nissan GT-R comes with a 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine that is good for 545 horsepower and 463 lb-ft of torque, but the secret to its astounding 0-60-mph time of 2.9 seconds is its trick all-wheel drive design. Featuring a launch control system that is able to make maximum use of all available grip, you don't have to be a superstar to scorch off the line and shift the GT-R through its six dual-clutch automated manual gears.
Photo by Lyndon Bell
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport Vitesse puts an exclamation mark on what was already the most dominant production car on the planet. Just when you thought it wasn't possible to make the Veyron's land missile performance any more impressive, Bugatti finds a way with the Super Sport Vitesse edition. The Vitesse generates 1,200 horsepower and 1,106 lb-ft of torque from its unique 16-cylinder engine (which comes with four - that's right - four turbochargers), and its all-wheel drive system gives the car enough purchase on the pavement to reach 60-mpg in only 2.4 seconds. Toss in a top speed of close to 270 miles per hour, and you've got a recipe for automotive madness.
The Ariel Atom doesn't look like much of a street car, although you can take it out onto public roads if you absolutely have to. While most Ariel Atoms are used as track toys, there's no doubt that the Ariel Atom V8 model destroys almost all high performance cars in any setting by way of its lightweight design and 3.3-liter, eight-cylinder engine. 475 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque might not sound like a lot, but considering that the power to weight ratio of the Atom V8 is 748 horsepower per ton (about that of a sport bike), it's perhaps no surprise that the minimalist model can hit 60-mph in a scant 2.3 seconds.
The all-new 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S is notable for being one of the few vehicles on this list that is almost unbeatable in a 0-60-mph drag race while still being civilized enough for daily use on the street. The Porsche 911 Turbo S features all-wheel drive, a comfortable interior, and a usable back seat - and it also boasts 560 horsepower from its 3.8-liter, twin-turbo six-cylinder engine. Combined with 516 lb-ft of torque and a seven-speed automated manual transmission with launch control, the Turbo S screams to 60-mpg in 2.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 197 miles per hour.
Intended as a successor to the record-setting McLaren F1, the McLaren MP4-12C is a remarkable automotive achievement. A seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission combines with a 3.8-liter, twin-turbo eight-cylinder engine to ensure that the vehicle's 616 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque make it to the car's rear wheels with as little drama as possible. The light-by-design McLaren rushes to the 60-mph mark in 3.1 seconds, but the car is better appreciated for its casual dispatch of even the toughest race tracks, as well as exterior styling that is a cut above many supercars.
The Ferrari F12berlinetta might have an unusual name, but all of that is quickly forgotten in a roar of pure acceleration once the go-pedal is mashed to the floor. The F12berlinetta maintains the Ferrari tradition of sticking a V-12 under the hood and offering exceptional power: the coupe produces 730 horses and 509 lb-ft of torque from its 6.3-liters of displacement. A seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission is tasked with steering that output to the rear wheels (there's no all-wheel drive system available with the Ferrari), and the end result is a 0-60-mph time of 3.1 seconds.
It's no surprise that Lamborghini has placed two vehicles on our list of the 10 fastest accelerating cars, as the Italian automaker has always been about brute force and startling speed. The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 (yes, it's also all-wheel drive like the Murcielago) features 691 horsepower and 509 lb-ft of torque thanks to a 6.5-liter, twelve-cylinder engine mounted amidships. 60-mph arrives in 2.9 seconds when the full bore of the Aventador's might is brought to bear on the tarmac below its super-wide tires, and the car's high performance attitude matches its flamboyant road presence.