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Top 10:Fastest Cars
For many it’s the only question that needs answered: "what’ll it do?". There have been some new arrivals here recently, so here is the latest list of the top ten fastest production cars currently on sale in the UK.
We start at the ‘slowest’ and make our way to the fastest. Vote for your favourite out of the fastest five at the bottom. :
Aston Martin Vanquish S 200mph, 0-62mph 4.8 secs
Aston Martin Vanquish S
The original Vanquish could never really be accused of being short of power, but such is the pace of development these days its cheaper DB9 relative was snapping at its heals in the performance department. Costing some £60,000 more than the DB9 that simply wouldn’t do. So the Vanquish S was born, raising power from its front-mounted V12 to 520bhp, a hike of 60bhp. That also pushes the top speed of this British bruiser up beyond the 200mph barrier. As well as the engine modifications the S has a tweaked chassis to provide a more focussed, rawer driving experience, marking it out from the still available regular Vanquish and the DB9. Still largely hand built, in tiny numbers, the Vanquish S is a perfect British riposte to the thoroughbred Italians here; sophisticated, yet brutally fast Aston Martin’s flagship is a very desirable and useable 200mph+ machine.
Ferrari 575M Maranello 202mph, 0-62mph 4.2 secs
Ferrari 575M Maranello
200mph+ performance with GT civility, the Ferrari 575M Maranello and its 550 Maranello predecessor changed our expectations of what to expect from a series production Ferrari flagship. Its 508bhp V12 engine is mounted in front of the driver, allowing Ferrari to add some day-to-day usability to its supercar. Far less overt than the Testarossas and 512TR spin-offs that it replaced, the 575M Maranello is a hugely accomplished supercar with few compromises. A hugely successful car - it’s sold in massive numbers for something costing £160,000+ - though as it's now the oldest Ferrari in the line-up a replacement featuring an engine based on the Enzo’s (the Enzo not included on this list as it’s sold out) is expected late 2005/early 2006. It’ll certainly be faster too...
Lamborghini Murciélago 205mph, 0-62mph 3.8 secs
Here’s a 200mph+ machine that looks positively cheap compared to its rivals. You’ll get little change from £400,000 for some of the cars here and indeed for some you’ll need to dig behind the sofa for several thousand more, but the Murciélago comes in at just £168,000. That’s genuine 200mph+ capability for British bungalow rather than Mediterranean seafront villa, money. The most useable Lamborghini ever, Audi’s input has refined the bull, but not restrained it. Lamborghini’s should be about drama and the Murciélago doesn’t disappoint, the 6.2-litre V12 producing 570bhp, more than enough to propel it beyond 200mph. Four-wheel-drive and active bodywork to cool that mighty V12 means you can actually use its performance too, while the fantastic looks, scissor doors and fantastic engine note are pure undiluted Lamborghini.
Porsche Carrera GT 205mph, 0-62mph 3.9 secs
Porsche Carrera GT
Unveiled to a surprised audience at the Paris motor show a few years back the Carrera GT is the result of an aborted race programme due to a change in the racing authority’s rulebooks. Rather than leave the virtually finished project to languish in a corner of the factory in Stuttgart Porsche instead decided to make the Carrera GT into a hypercar for the road. And what a job it’s done too. While it might be unable to match the lofty top speeds of some of its rivals the Carrera GT remains one of the best cars of its type. A tricky, involving drive its V10 punches out 604bhp enabling it to reach 205mph – which really is plenty. It’s open-topped too, meaning if you’re brave you can reach maximum velocity with wind tearing at your hair follicles. Sure, it’s not as fast as some, but it’s the hypercar you’d be happy to use all day on road and track.
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 208mph, 0-62mph 3.8 secs
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
Two famous names collaborate to produce the mighty SLR. An unusual car in 200mph club due to its grand touring credentials and automatic transmission, the SLR sledgehammers its way to 208mph in comfort that’s more akin to a Mercedes saloon than your usual edgy, focussed supercar. The supercharged 5.4-litre V8 engine produces 626bhp and a sound like a Merlin engine from a Spitfire warplane, the side exiting exhausts, and cooling strakes on the wings being very reminiscent of classic Mercedes 60’s supercars like the 300SL Gullwing. At £313,465 they’re not a common sight, but some buyers have been rumoured to have bought several for each of their houses worldwide. Ever faster production AMG Mercedes models are already near the SLR’s top speed, but to counter this Brabus offers some choice upgrades to further enhance your SLR’s performance. For some people it seems 208mph simply isn’t enough...
Bristol Fighter 210mph, 0-62mph 4.0 secs
Bristol is almost a national secret in the UK, producing bespoke, hand built cars for a tiny and discerning audience. The Fighter is its latest, providing gentlemanly comfort and refinement at speeds in excess of 200mph. Its unusual style is more coupe-esque and discreet than the more wedgy dramatic shapes you’d expect from a car that’ll travel at over three miles a minute, but Bristol does things its own way. Always has. Talk of speeds and 0-62mph times is slightly vulgar, so Bristol quietly claims a top speed of ‘around’ 210mph and is similarly vague about the benchmark sprint time. It’ll happily tell you about the 8-litre V10 engine which produces in excess of 500bhp. That might not sound huge in this company, but the Bristol is very efficient wind cheating shape. Few, if any of its owners are likely to verify the top speeds, instead using their Fighters (and slightly more powerful and focused Fighter S) to commute from their country piles to the hedge-funds they run in the city.
Pagani Zonda F 214mph, 0-62mph 3.5 secs
The Zonda has been around long enough to be familiar to most supercar enthusiasts but only now with the Zonda F (for ‘Fangio’) can this dramatic machine make a real impact in our 200mph+ top ten. Borrowing its power from Mercedes Benz the Zonda F features a 7.3-litre V12 with 602bhp (or 650bhp in Clubsport guise – why would you have it in any other?) allowing it to reach a top speed of around 214mph and produce a 0-62mph time of 3.5 seconds. An old-school supercar for shear drama the Zonda is a sensational looking machine, its carbon fibre construction, leather interior and shear attention in its build something to behold. Like so many of these cars it’s the dream of just one man, Horacio Pagani – who learned his trade at Lamborghini before setting up on his own.
The Zonda arguably out-Lamborghinis Lamborghinis for real supercar impact, Pagani one of the few new supercar manufacturers to really compete against more established opposition. The Zonda F is the latest in that evolution, and one that underlines the company as a serious player.
Gumpert Apollo 224mph, 0-62mph 3.0 secs
Sure, Gumpert Apollo may not have the same exotic ring to it as some of the other machinery here, but its brutal name is apt given its brutish performance and looks. Performance with the Apollo seems to have been the primary goal, beauty coming far down the list of priorities. The result is racecar effective and not pretty, the Apollo using an Audi-sourced 4.2-litre V8 (with a couple of huge turbos bolted on) to produce 650bhp. It drives the rear wheels through a sequential six-speed transmission. Developed by Roland Gumpert, the Apollo’s pedigree couldn’t be better, Roland responsible for developing Audi’s first four-wheel-drive cars and was in charge of the Audi Sports Department when Audi was cleaning up in rallying. The Apollo might not be pretty, but with a claimed top speed of around 224mph it’s certainly deserving of a place in our top ten and has apparently resulted in a very busy order book for the fledgling manufacturer.
Koenigsegg CCR 240mph+, 0-62mph 3.2 secs
This little known Swedish manufacturer has been officially clocked at above 242mph beating the McLaren F1’s long standing top speed. Bugatti might since have come along to steal Koenigsegg’s top speed glory but despite the pairing’s similar ability for ludicrous velocity they go about it in completely different ways. Powering the CCR is a fairly conventional supercharged 4.7-litre V8 engine (some eight cylinders down on the Bugatti’s 16-cylinder engine), admittedly producing a rather unconventional 806bhp. Eschewing the hugely complex route Bugatti has taken with the Veyron the Koenigsegg CCR’s mighty engine drives the rear wheels only, through a six-speed manual transmission (a sequential option is offered). As such Koenigsegg claims its CCR as having not only that headline top speed, but class leading agility around a racetrack.
A recent test at the Nurburgring Nordschleife setting a lap time of 7 minutes 34 seconds. Only a handful of these beautiful carbon-fibre hypercars are sold each year. At £400,000+, that’s hardly surprising.
Bugatti EB 16.4 Veyron 253mph+, 0-62mph 2.5 secs
Bugatti EB 16.4 Veyron
It might have been constantly delayed but Bugatti - and its owner Volkswagen - finally fulfilled its promise to offer a 250+mph hypercar earlier this year. To do so has caused the company serious headaches but the result is extraordinary with the Veyron officially able to reach 253mph (407kph). Unbelievably it’s actually electronically restricted – it could go faster... With a 1001bhp from its 16-cylinders and four turbos that top speed is hardly surprising, but what’s really amazing is that Bugatti has somehow managed to offer all that power and speed in a driveable package. Four wheel drive, a seven speed DSG transmission and wings sprouting automatically from the bodywork all help here but it’s likely few owners will ever actually drive the Veyron as Bugatti intended.
A technological marvel, that’s redefined the boundaries much like McLaren F1 did back in 1990s the Veyron proves just about anything is possible with a huge budget and talented engineers.
As the top five cars here show merely 200mph just isn’t enough these days with de-redistricted AMGs and BMW M Cars easily able to breach the once impossible 200mph barrier. There are plenty of others, too, and a good few like the Enzo, Maserati MC12 and Ford GT that can easily match and better many of the cars listed here. However, we’re talking about current production models here – ones that you can place an order for today (if you’re minted). As the list shows, 250mph is now the goal. It’s only a matter of time until someone raises that bar to 300mph. Pointless? Absolutely. But fantastic, too. The land speed record is currently at 763mph so there’s plenty of headroom left...!
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