We’re rounding off our Best of 2011 lists with one that is near and dear to our hearts. This list is all about top speed and top speed only, those who have it and one who hopes to achieve it.
Of course, speed hopes are nothing new. The battle for the fastest car in the world has been ongoing since the sports and super cars first made their appearance and more than likely, it will never end. These past couple years have been a game of one-upmanship between SSC and Bugatti with both succeeding in one way or another. But who tops the list for 2011?
Before getting into that, we think it is important to note that we only incorporated vehicles that were sold in 2011. For example, the Koenigsegg CCX may have a top speed of 240 mph, but that production ended in 2010, which takes the supercar out of the running for this list in particular. Don’t worry, though, Koenigsegg is still well-represented.
Hit the jump to see the top ten list of the fastest cars of 2011.
Top Speed: 197 mph
For 2011, Mercedes thought they had come up with their next supercar, one to match wits with the brand’s iconic Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing. They named it the SLS AMG and handed its development to their in house tuning arm AMG. After recently developing their first engine from the ground up, this was their chance to prove themselves to the world as a competent car developer.
What they were left with was the stunning SLS AMG, powered by the same 6.3-liter V8 engine located front-mid that develops 563 HP and 479 lbs-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, while top speed will go up to 197 mph.
gallery: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Top Speed: 202 mph
The Lexus LF-A made its world debut at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show and stunned the crowd with its lightweight and power. The LF-A is powered by a 4.8 liter V10 that delivers a maximum output of 560 HP at 9,000 RPM and a peak torque of 354 lb-ft at 6,800 RPM, with 90% of the total torque being available between the 3,700 RPM mark and the super car’s 9,000 RPM red line. As a result of such a road torque curve, the LF-A can sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.7 seconds and won’t stop until it reaches a top speed of 202 MPH.
In order to ensure that the LF-A handles as well as it goes in a straight line, the Lexus design team incorporated lightweight materials like aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys and titanium alloys as well as some carbon fiber to ensure that the LF-A is as rigid as possible while maintaining a low curb weight.
gallery: Lexus LF-A
Top Speed: 205 mph
The McLaren MP4-12C has been a long time coming, with years of design and production difficulties stalling the eventual debut for far too long. It finally did come out, though, with a few more last minute revisions before it rolled out the door.
The most important factor for this vehicle is the M838T engine that was designed specifically for the 12C and has several unique features. It is a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 weighing only 439 lbs. The engine produces 592hp @7,000rpm and 443 lb-ft. of torque between 3,000 and 7,000rpm. With the use of the company’s carbon-fiber structure and other lightweight components, such as an optional exhaust made from Inconel, the car achieves a stellar power-to-weight ratio of 455bhp/tonne. It’s a simple racing fact that low weight and high power are key ingredients to speed. The 12C will reach 60mph in 3.3 seconds and an even faster 3.1 seconds with the optional high-performance tire option. As this car will undoubtedly be compared to the McLaren F1 of the past, the new team made sure the top speed of the 12C would be formidable topping out at 205mph.
The McLaren MP4-12C recently proved its power when it reported a Nurburgring lap time of 7:28 at the hands of Horst von Saurma, Editor-in-Chief of Sport Auto. This put the MP4-12C one notch above the Ferrari 458 Italia (7:38), but falling short of the Porsche GT2 RS and Lexus LF-A Nurburgring Package .
gallery: McLaren MP4-12C
Top Speed: 217 mph
Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso, GTA Spano. What do these three names have in common? They are all revolutionary automotive icons in Spain’s recent history. The rally driver Sainz is more commonly referred to as “King” Carlos, and is more popular than the entire Real Madrid soccer team. Formula 1 World Champion Alonso made car racing more popular than MotoGP in the two wheeled enthused country. Now comes the Spano, a Spanish supercar that took the automotive world by storm and established a presence in a country best known for making SEATs.
The Spano is powered by an 8.3-liter V10 engine placed in a longitudinal rear position that produces 780 horsepower and 920 Nm of torque. If 780 ponies aren’t good enough for you, GTA is offering a Bioethanol version that bumps up the power all the way up to 820 horsepower. The supercar can hit 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds with a top speed of 217 mph. GTA is also offering three transmission options for the Spano, including an seven-speed automatic sequential engine, a paddle shift version of the same format, and a seven-speed manual transmission.
gallery: GTA Spano
Top Speed: 217 mph
The almighty "BullGod" came charging out of the Lamborghini factory this year, packing more than just good looks.
Okay, so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the new Aventador LP700-4 follows the same design language as with the latest Reventon and Sesto Elemento concept. The model was designed at the Centro Stile Lamborghini in Sant’Agata Bolognese and takes its inspiration from modern aeronautics and from the world’s fastest and most agile aircraft. The sleek and speed-ready exterior is matched up with a new 6.5-liter V12 engine with an AWD layout that produces 700 HP at 8,250 rpm and 509 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm. It is the first all-new Lamborghini developed engine since the Countach. This engine will be able to get from 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds while blasting off a top speed of 217 mph. With a total weight of 1,575 kilograms (3,472 lb) it will deliver a power to weight ratio of 2.25 Kg/hp.
gallery: Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4
Top Speed: 220 mph
The Aston Martin One-77 took its sweet time getting here, but like all Aston Martin products, this one is stunning in every category, from exterior styling to power, making the wait worth it. What they have done with the One-77 is fuse advanced technology with a stunning design to create possibly the world’s most desirable automotive art form.
The One-77 features a full carbon fiber monocoque chassis and a handcrafted aluminum body. That body was designed in typical Aston fashion, as it carries over that unique grille, just with more flair. The beautiful body was conceived and designed at Aston Martin’s Gaydon HQ and the monocoque has been built in partnership with Multimatic (MTC). As world leaders in carbon composite technology, advanced vehicle analysis and dynamic simulation, MTC brings unrivalled specialist capabilities to the One-77.
Under the hood, the One-77 will be powered by a naturally aspirated 7.3-liter V12, derived from Aston’s 6.0-liter powerplant. That massive motor will crank out 750 horsepower with torque checking in at about 533 pound-feet. Those astronomical performance numbers and the One-77’s 3,300 pound curb weight should allow for a top speed around the 220 mph mark, with a 0-60 mph time of around 3.5 seconds or less. The car will also use a strengthened version of the DB9’s 6-speed automated manual transmission.
gallery: Aston Martin One-77
Top Speed: 224 mph
The Gumpert Apollo has been around since 2006 and still maintains the high-powered and impressive stature of the original. It is a mid-engine supercar that combines the extreme aerodynamic requirements of a performance-oriented, purist super sports car while also taking the shape of a vehicle that stands out from the rest of the pack. The car’s streamlined look underlies the ideal dimensions - 4,460 mm x 1,998 mm x 1,114 mm with a wheelbase measuring 2,700 mm - set forth to provide the best value of aesthetics and performance all rolled into one.
The Apollo is powered by a 4163 cc bi-turbo intercooled version of the Audi V8 engine that produces 650 horsepower with a 0-62 mph time of just 3.0 and a 0-124 mph time of a little under nine seconds - 8.9 seconds, to be in fact. Top speed of the supercar hits 224 mph.
gallery: Gumpert Apollo
Top Speed: 225 mph
Noble finally introduced the production version of the M600 and it was as good as advertised. The supercar’s appearance maintains a slender and contoured shape that doesn’t scream for attention every time you look at it, unlike other supercars we’ve seen in the past. For those of you that think a subtle yet aggressive design on a supercar doesn’t work, the M600 is proof that it definitely can.
More than the full carbon body that the M600 is built on, the car’s overall design kind of reminds us of a combination of a McLaren MP4-12C , an Audi R8 , and a Nissan GT-R , with the same amazing power as other vehicles. It is powered by a Volvo-sourced mid-mounted 4.4-liter V8 engine with a couple of turbochargers in it. Noble is produced three power variants of the M600– a 450 horsepower, a 550 horsepower, and a range topping 650 horsepower with 654 lb/ft of torque – giving customers a choice of how much pony power they prefer to have on their supercar. All these models are then mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
For the top-of-the-line model, the car is capable of blasting from 0-60 mph in less than three seconds with a top speed of 225 mph.
gallery: Noble M600
Top Speed: 230 mph
In the world of follow-ups, the Huayra is massive. Sort of like the Godfather II following the Godfather. It incorporates the radical design and outrageous performance typical of Pagani.
The C9 will feature a carbon-titanium chassis like the Cinque, forged aluminum alloy suspension, specially developed tires from Pirelli, Bosch electronics, and emission standards that should allow the new Pagani to be sold everywhere, except for the fact that it was denied them the airbag waiver provided to Tesla and Lamborghini in the past. This denial left them with the need to install advanced airbags if they ever hope to see the vehicle on this side of the pond.
The Pagani Huayra is powered by a Mercedes-AMG 60° V-12 engine hooked up with dual turbochargers that produces a massive 700 horsepower and 730 pound-feet of tire smoking torque. That sensational motor should be able to take the new C9 to 60 miles per hour in under three seconds and if you keep going, the Pagani will hit speeds of 230 mph. The motor will be connected to a single clutch transmission and will truly be a mother of violence.
gallery: Pagani Huayra
Top Speed: 233 mph
Who would have imagined that such a car would come from such a non-car place. Denmark might be a fantastic country to live in, with its low crime rates and very uncorrupt government, but nobody could have dreamed of them making a supercar, let alone a machine with 1104 horsepower.
Creating that massive amount of power is a 7.0-liter supercharged V8 that will put out 103 more horsepower than the Veyron and 1,050 pound-feet of torque. The top speed is limited to 233 miles per hour and it’ll hit 60mph in just three seconds. Only fifteen ST1 examples will be made for the wealthy people that can afford to pay the $1.125 million price tag.Zenvo ST1
Top Speed: 233 mph
The Koenigsegg Agera R was the result of the brand’s intense work coming up with a way to beat out the Bugatti Veyron . They came close with their initial numbers, but were unable to take over the crown. Regardless of that small failure, the Agera R is a remarkable supercar with stunning good looks and amazing performance capability.
The Agera R uses an in-house developed 5.0-liter V8 with twin turbos. It can produce 1,115hp at 6,900 rpm and scream all the way up to 7,250 rpm. Torque output is in the range of 885 lb-ft. of torque at 4,100rpm. The specs for the car really start to get exciting when you see how fast it can accelerate and to what end. It makes the sprint from 0-60 in a mind blowing 2.9 seconds. In the time a normal high-performance car has gone through the quarter-mile, the Koenigsegg has gone from 0-124mph in 12.7 seconds. Because the car needed to be a Veyron killer, Michelin helped make sure the tire would stand up to the task and has created the highest speed rated tire in the world capable of reaching 261mph.
gallery: Koenigsegg Agera R
Top Speed:267 mph
The mighty Bugatti Veyron is - for how long we don’t know - the king of top speed. It’s not the most beautiful or the most elegant car in the world, but honestly, it doesn’t really matter. This car wasn’t built to catch your eye, but to stop your heart with its speed.
The most impressive feature of the Veyron Super Sport lies under its hood. The standard Veyron is considered one of the fastest vehicles on the planet, but things change quickly and Bugatti has to keep changing it up to keep up with the ever-growing group of high speed machines.
For that, Bugatti engineers have used four enlarged turbochargers and bigger intercoolers in order to boost the power of the 16-cylinder engine. The result is an output of 1200 HP and a peak torque of 1106 lbs-ft. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is being made in 2.5 seconds, and the top speed has already been recorded at an impressive 267 mph.
gallery: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
Claimed Top Speed: 275 mph
Ahhh, the American supercar. We’re so proud of the SSC Tuatara that there was no way we could possibly leave it off of this list. Scheduled to take on Bugatti once again in the war for the title of “World’s Fastest Production car,” SSC went to work to produce this powerful and beautifully designed work of art.
Speaking of design, the Tuatara was penned by none other than Italian American designer Jason Castriota, who has designed cars for the very best in the industry: Ferrari , Pininfarina, Rolls Royce, and Bertone to name but a few. What he ended up with was a car with a classic but pivotal shape and a stunning contrast of power and beauty with a very low drag co-efficient.
The proposed record breaker is powered by a quad-cam, twin-turbo V8 displacing 6.8 liters. The engine, like all the other mechanical parts, are all developed in-house by SSC themselves and is joined by a four-valves-per-cylinder overhead cam (OHC) setup as opposed to push rods and new SSC spec turbochargers. The new setup is good for a colossal 1350HP and will rev to 9000RPM! Zero to 62mph will arrive in around 2.8 seconds and SSC claims a top speed of 275mph!
Because it’s RWD rather than 4WD like our friend the Veyron, it’s lighter...much lighter. The Aero II weighs 1200kgs, a full 638kgs lighter than the comparatively pudgy Bugatti – and it produces more power. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the power to weight ratio is over 1000HP per tonne, putting it in the league of the Caparo T1.