Monday, January 14, 2008

World's Fastest Cars

One of the measures of sporting performance that’s rarely used but highly relevant when measuring extreme automotive performance is the zero to 100mph and back to zero time. It incorporates both acceleration to a suitably ridiculous speed and braking from that speed to the safety of standstill again and it’s more of a guide to sporting prowess than simple standing start quarter mile times. Each year in the U.K., the world’s oldest motoring magazine runs the fastest cars against each other using this test and this year there has been a new entrant which has wiped the floor with all others. Not surprisingly, given that it has a 987bhp 16-cylinder engine and a top speed of 400 kmh, the UKP 880,000 Bugatti Veyron has blitzed everything else on four wheels by a massive margin – what is surprising is that it has also blitzed a credible representative of the fastest of the two wheel brigade as well, managing to beat a Suzuki GSX-R1000 superbike by nearly a full second. Read on for the complete list of the times by 25 of the world’s fastest cars, from the 14th placed UKP79,995 Aston Martin V8 Vantage to the second-placed UKP34,995 Ariel Atom.

The Veyron wasn’t necessarily the favourite to win as “a low weight tends to be the key to a good 0-100-0mph car," said Autocar’s road test editor Adam Towler. "Cars like the Ariel Atom and Caterham Superlight historically dominate this contest." See the 2004 times here and the 2005 video here.

But the 1890kg £880,000 Bugatti ripped through the gears to hit 60mph in 2.8sec and 100mph in an astonishing 5.5sec. It then stopped in just 3.4sec, giving a 0-100-0mph time of 9.9sec.
Not only is the Bugatti faster than the Suzuki, it creates more g-force at maximum acceleration than you’d experience in an F-16 jet fighter at take off or when skydiving.

But the lightweights still turned in an impressive performance, from the relatively unknown £32k Brooke Double R in fourth place to the £35k Ariel Atom 300 in second.

"Although the Veyron is undoubtedly the quickest road car ever, you can still have nearly as much fun for much less money," said Adam Towler. "It’s good to see British sports cars doing so well against such an impressive machine as the Bugatti."

Autocar also brought along an A1 GP car, driven by Brit Robbie Kerr, to see how a purpose-built race car would compare with road-going machinery. The 550bhp single seater weighs just 695kg, and proved to be the fastest vehicle on the day with a 0-100-0mph time of 8.4sec.
Competing Cars 0-100-0 Time (seconds)

A1 GP 8.40 Bugatti Veyron 9.90 Suzuki GSX-R1000 10.70 Ariel Atom S'Charged 11.00 Ariel Atom 450 11.05 Atom Private Owned 11.05 Caterham CSR260 11.95 Brooke Double R 12.50 Porsche 911 Turbo 12.50 Ford Focus WRC 13.57 Lambo Gallardo 13.65 Ascari KZ1 13.80 Corvette Z06 13.80 Alpina B6 14.80 BMW M6 14.95 TVR Tuscan 2 15.00 BMW M5 15.20 Audi RS4 15.80 Aston V8 Vantage 15.81 BMW Z4M Roadster 15.95 Porsche Cayman S 16.46 Lotus Exige S 16.60 Nissan 350Z 18.80 Vauxhall Astra Sprint 18.85 Vauxhall Astra VXR 19.05 Renault Megane F1 20.55 Mazda 6MPS 21.00 Ford Focus ST 21.35 Vauxhall Vectra VXR 22.35 Vauxhall Astra Thurlby 22.65

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