Out of all the production cars that have come and gone in the last decade, just 131 of them are worthy of entering the Autocar Speed Club.
“Zero-to-sixty miles-an-hour in 2.6 seconds,” – easy to say, isn’t it? Heinously difficult to actually accelerate a car from a standing start to 60mph in the time it takes to say it, though. Not to mention costly. Just ask Bugatti.
It’s widely accepted that the Veyron – the fastest production car ever tested by Autocar – will never contribute a single bean to VW Group coffers. And that’s in spite of the fact that the company has sold 450 examples of the car, combining coupes and convertibles, at between £840,000- and a cool £2mil-a-piece, raising… well, you do the adding up.
That’s what it takes to top our new Speed Club. Below you’ll find a collection of cars tested by Autocar over the last decade, all of which are born out of the single-minded pursuit of speed. These cars have, to the last line, set new standards on performance right across the car market. This – as far as we’re concerned – is the cutting edge. These are the fastest production cars in the world, as experienced by our test team.
And if you’re wondering if any of them actually matter to the motoring public at large, consider this: the aforementioned pursuit of speed in road cars has improved every new model you can buy today.
Materials and technologies first applied to performance cars – from aluminium and carbonfibre to turbochargers, direct injection and variable valve timing – are now being applied to superminis to save weight and boost efficiency. Active aerodynamics now feature on diesel hatchbacks, driving down fuel consumption. Traction and stability control systems originally conceived for the track save more lives on our roads by the day.
So the cars you’re about to read about aren’t just fast: they’re pioneers. And we salute ‘em.
Bugatti Veyron SS - 2.5 secs, 268mph
Pagani Zonda R - 2.7 secs, 217mph
Nissan GT-R Track Pack - 2.8 secs, 196mph
BAC Mono - 2.8 secs, 170mph
Lamborghini Aventador LP700 4 - 2.9 secs, 217mph
Ferrari 599XX - 2.9 secs, 196mph
Ariel Atom V8 - 3.0 secs, 170mph
James Lewis-Barned / James Mortimore / Roberto Antonio Pace
Ariel Atom 3 Mugen - 3.0 secs. 150mph