• Speed Thrills: Meet the animal that can outsprint your Ferrari

Okay, we know we generally talk about fast cars on our site, but sometimes it is just necessary to admit there are faster things out there. In fact, there are some things that are surprisingly faster than your average motor vehicle so we deemed these things necessary in our TopSpeed world. In our first car vs. the world category, we present the fastest animal out there: the cheetah.

Sure, they’re cute and cuddly, but these overgrown cats are also wicked fast. A human can only hit a top speed of 25mph, while a greyhound can go up to 40mph. These two are followed by a racehorse that can hit 50mph and an antelope clocking in at 60mph. These numbers, however, are nothing compared to the graceful jungle cat called the cheetah. This statuesque animal can hit a top speed of 70-75 mph and can "sprint" from 0-60 mph in just three seconds. By comparison, a Bugatti Veyron has a sprint time of 2.46 seconds, an Audi R8hits the 0-60 mph mark in 4.5 seconds, and a Ferrari 458 Italiadoes it in about about 3.1 seconds. Guess we know where these automakers are taking their inspiration from now!

UPDATE 06/06/11: We know that the cheetah is insanely fast, but how fast is the fastest cheetah in the world? The answer, apparently, can be found at the Cincinnati Zoo, which recorded the speed of a female cheetah - her name was Sarah - that covered 6.13 seconds, breaking the previous record set by Nyana, a male South African cheetah that clocked in 6.19 seconds back in 2001. You can check out the video of Sarah’s record-setting run after the jump.

Hit the jump to learn more about the cheetah.

An adult cheetah weighs between 36 to 65 kg (79 to 140 lb). Its total body length ranges from 115 to 135 cm (45 to 53 in), while the tail can measure up to 84 cm (33 in) in length. Cheetahs are 67 to 94 cm (26 to 37 in) in height at the shoulder. Compared to your typical super car, these dimensions are minuscule, but they get the animal where it needs to go, and fast. The giant cat is so fast that its tail, much like a rear spoiler, helps to balance the animal as it powers its long, super streamlined body. This body, which serves as the animal’s suspension of sorts, helps to control those quick turns when the cheetah is in pursuit of its prey. The cheetah’s powerful legs sprint the animal along, while its paws with their semi-retractable claws dig into the ground like a good set of high performance tires.

Speed Thrills: Meet the animal that can outsprint your Ferrari
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The cheetah is nature-provided with some of the best features known to man, but unfortunately, it is not a machine so it can only power out to no more than 800 meters before it gets overheated and has to stop. It’s similar to a car running out of gas, but it takes a bit longer for the cheetah to fuel back up. That being said, this animal is crazy fast and should be highly respected in the world of speed.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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  (580) posted on 06.23.2011

This one is actually a rather basic fact about the cheetah. However, may will still find it amazing, considering that a lot of folks think that there wouldn’t be something that fast.

  (488) posted on 06.6.2011

Before I thought, horse is the fastest animal in the world, however, as I go through this information I realized that chettah is the one. Chettah in the only animal that can really run the way a car runs.

  (530) posted on 06.3.2011

Well, this one is quite an interesting information. You should really pack your site with a lot more of these, to make more interesting. Looking forward to the next installment.

  (503) posted on 06.2.2011

Everybody knows that cheetah is the fastest animal in the world but I was shocked and amazed to know that they can also outrun cars like Audi and Ferrari in a sprint time. If a car beats a cheetah in this category, I’ll praise its automaker.

  (599) posted on 06.1.2011

If Ferrari was inspired by this distinctive mammal then what’s the sense of the prancing horse on their logo? I do believe that cheetah is the fastest animal of its kind. And needless to say, nature and machine have a lot of differences and this dissimilarity is sometimes self explanatory.

  (9) posted on 05.31.2011

Very nice post!

It’s great to see some respect being paid back to nature.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve long been inspired by the cheetah primarily because it’s the fastest mammal on earth.

It looks lean and fast and I love the markings it has on its face that tie the eyes and the mouth together.

One thing I don’t know is what kind of g-forces take effect on the cheetah when it turns and wonder if that has ever been measured.

  (142) posted on 05.31.2011

If I could, I’d take that cat for a pet before I’d take any car. BTW Ken Franklin recorded Peregrine Falcon at 242mph dive, but at low air pressure and/or high altitude, they can go much faster. Nature is beautiful. Lets help preserve it.

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