This year’s Los Angeles motor show highlighted some of the most powerful production cars available
17 November 2011

This year’s Los Angeles motor show highlighted some of the fastest, most powerful production cars available today. Here, Autocar runs through five of the best.

Starting with Ford, the brutal Ford Shelby GT500 ‘takes muscle car performance to new heights’ and is the ‘ultimate’ version of the car, according to Blue Oval chiefs. Power is courtesy of a 5.8-litre supercharged V8 engine, which produces 650bhp and 600lb ft torque.

See show pics of LA's most powerful cars

The power output of the 1750kg machine is a boost of more than 100bhp over the current, 5.4-litre engined version, which is enough to enable the Ford Shelby GT500 to reach 200mph.

The all-new Jaguar XKR-S cabriolet also features a supercharged V8 unit, albeit smaller at 5.0-litres in capacity. Like the XKR-S coupe, the hot drop-top produces 542bhp and 502lb ft of torque - up 38bhp and 40lb ft on the XKR’s engine.

Although it weighs 1800kg, the XKR-S cabrio can sprint to 62mph in just 4.2sec and has a limited top speed of 186mph.

One of the most talked about LA show cars was the harder-edged Porsche Panamera GTS. The new model - on sale in the UK next February, priced from £90,409 – is powered by a 424bhp, 383lb ft version of the naturally aspirated V8 motor (up some 30bhp and 15lb ft on the standard car), and can crack the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.5sec. Top speed is reached at 179mph.

To keep the GTS on the straight and narrow, the car also gets lowered air suspension, larger brakes and Panamera Turbo styling tweaks.

Also from Stuttgart came the new Mercedes ML63 AMG. Unlike most of its top five rivals, the ML applies twin-turbochargers to its 5.5-litre V8 engine (down from its predecessors 6.3-litre naturally aspirated V8 unit). Power is up by 15bhp and a 51lb ft to 518bhp and 516lb ft of torque. The sprint to 62mph is covered in 4.8sec and top speed is reached at 155mph.

An optional AMG Performance Pack (which adds a carbonfibre engine cover, red brake calipers and an AMG steering wheel) pushes the engine¹s output to 550bhp and 560lb ft, although it shaves the 0-62mph sprint back by only a tenth of a second.

Back on US soils, latest Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible is billed as the ‘world’s fastest convertible,’ thanks to a supercharged 6.2-litre V8, which puts out a peak 572bhp and 556lb ft of torque.

Although official performance figures haven't been released yet, the Coupe version of the Camaro ZL1 cover 0-60mph in 3.9sec and has a top speed of 184mph.

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