The world’s fastest-accelerating cars come in all shapes and sizes. From petrol to hybrid to electric, bare-bones sports cars to ludicrous saloons, they all show that there’s not a single formula for sub-three-second sprints to 60mph.
This list is based on manufacturers’ official claimed times, and only includes production cars. Modified models and track-only machines don’t make the grade. No one-foot rollout acceleration runs, either. Didn’t manage less than three seconds? Then you aren’t on this list.
And what about those outlandish claims by up and coming hypercars, especially those of an electric persuasion? We haven’t included cars that have yet to go on sale, but we’ve listed some potential record-breakers after our top ten countdown.
Breaking the three second barrier is no mean feat, and yet multiple cars can now claim to achieve it. McLaren’s 620R is effectively a road-legal version of the company’s 570S GT4 race car, with weight reduction and a major aerodynamics package as well as a power boost to 612bhp. Ferrari and Lamborghini, meanwhile, achieve the same time with their ‘mainstream’ supercars, the F8 Tribute and Huracán Evo.
Woking’s hybrid hypercar shares its position with another British creation, but one that uses extreme lightness instead of electrification to achieve such a blistering sprint time. The Briggs Automotive Company has been steadily improving the Mono, a single seater for the road with a 305bhp Ford engine, for a number of years. The 2.8 time refers to the old Mono – the new one was only announced in March 2020, and promises to shave a tenth of a second off a car that already moves like greased manure from a carbonfibre spade. The limited-run carbon-clad Mono R promises 0-62mph in an even quicker 2.5s, though we’ve yet to see that theory proven.
7. Caterham 620R, 2.79s to 60mph
All Caterhams feel insanely fast by their very nature, but the 620R backs up the impression it gives with actual statistics. Powered by a 310bhp supercharged 2.0-litre Ford engine, it’s an evolution of the already-crazy R500 and ekes even more performance out of a design that, in essence, has changed little since the 1960s.
6. Hennessy Venom GT – 2.7s to 60mph
Built from a Lotus Exige in the heart of Texas and shipped all over the world, the Venom won’t win an prizes for luxury but boy does it go fast. As if 2.7sec to 60mph wasn’t quick enough, the team that makes the 1244bhp Venom GT have had one at 270mph in a straight line.
5. Porsche 911 Turbo S (992) – 2.6s to 62mph
With more torque than the most extreme road-going 911 to date, the GT2 RS, Porsche’s 992-generation Turbo S delivers astonishing acceleration from its 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged flat six. It’s the fastest series-production 911 yet, even besting the legendary GT1 – a homologated Le Mans race car.
4. Rimac Concept One – 2.5sec to 62mph
If the Rimac name is familiar to you, then rest assured it’s not a depilation company but a Croatian firm that’s built an all-electric hypercar. The Concept_One has smoked both a LaFerrari and a Tesla Model S in drag races using its four electric motors. The limited-run EV was sold for £700,000 – but it was a mere taster of the main event, the £2 million C_Two
Porsche’s 918 Spyder hypercar went down the hybrid route to achieve such a blistering sprint time, while Koenigsegg’s One:1 balanced power and weight perfectly with 986bhp per tonne when run on E85 Ethanol. Both are absurdly fast, and both sold out almost as quickly.
The fastest Tesla to date was an iterative effort, with Ludicrous mode and several software tweaks chipping away at its sprint time over several years. Porsche’s debut electric effort matched it out of the gate, with the Taycan Turbo S also managing 2.4s. This is also how long it takes a Bugatti Chiron to make the sprint, still the daddy as far as luxury performance goes, but needing 1500bhp from a quad-turbocharged W16 engine to do it.
The term ‘race car for the road’ is bandied around fairly liberally, but it’s hard to envisage a more accurate description for the 1020bhp, 6.8-litre supercharged V8-engined Ultima Evolution Coupé. Meanwhile, Dodge strapped a mammoth supercharger and other performance parts to the Challenger Hellcat to create the wheelie-pulling, 829bhp SRT Demon.