Although racers may concentrate on 1/4 mile times, the 0 to 60 mph time has become the standard performance metric when comparing street cars. Which cars are the fastest to this speed?
Quickest Car Under $30,000: Subaru WRX
Want to know how fast a car can be with an MSRP in line with the average new vehicle price in the U.S.? Its new turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer engine only produces 268 hp, but turbo lag has been reduced dramatically, giving it more low-end grunt than the pricier STi. Add in an advanced AWD system and some clever suspension tuning, and this Impreza-based sedan can put the power down better than any FWD or RWD car in this price range. With a 0 to 60 mph time of just 4.8 seconds, the WRX can run with a V8-powered Camaro or Mustang, yet it only costs as much as their V6 versions.
Quickest Production Car: Porsche 918
Yes, the fastest 0 to 60 mph time achieved in a production car was done in a hybrid. Porsche claims a time of 2.5 seconds, but when “Car and Driver” tested the car, they were able to consistently reach the mark in 2.2 seconds. This supercar uses an F1-style power unit with two electric motors supporting the 600 hp V8 that take up the slack while the turbo spools up to bring the total output to almost 900 hp. Even cars that can barely be called “production” like the Ferrari LaFerrari can’t keep up with this performance combination.
Quickest Street-legal Vehicles: Larry Larson’s S-10 and Andy Frost’s Red Victor 3
Andy Frost has been turning Vauxhall VX4’s into record holders for years. The first was with the Red Victor 1, then its evolution, the Red Victor 2, and recently with the all-new Red Victor 3. It came as quite a shock when Larry Larson took the fastest production car title away from Frost at Drag Week 2014, setting a 1/4 mile time of 5.95 seconds. His truck, an S10 with a tube frame and a turbocharged 620ci V8, became not only the fastest street-legal car but also the fastest drag truck in history. Frost promises to take the title again next racing season with an entirely revised powerplant.
Which one’s faster to 60 mph? Unfortunately, times haven’t been measured because the cars are so fast. By the time either car reaches the 60-foot mark, the first time measurement on a drag strip, they’re both doing well above 60 mph. In any case, both 0 to 60 times are well under one second, making measurements more an issue of reaction times and track conditions than the vehicles’ performance.
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