Monday, February 8, 2016

Car and Driver Tested: The Quickest Cars from the 1950s to Today

One of the pillars of Car and Driver—and Sports Cars Illustrated, which was our name from our founding in 1955 until 1961—has always been recording objective performance data for a wide variety of automobiles. This tradition began in 1955, and our approach progressively became increasingly scientific as manufacturers became ever more adept at wringing performance from their wares. It’s worth a note that in the fast-and-loose ’60s, carmakers regularly sent magazines “ringers” that were far quicker than what someone could buy off a showroom floor, and these same companies also often vastly underreported output figures. One of the most egregious cases of this practice involved a certain 421-cubic-inch 1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2 that appeared in our March 1965 issue. Capable of demolishing the zero-to-60-mph measure in a blazing 3.9 seconds, that particular Catalina, we openly revealed, had been “properly set up” by famed tuner Royal Pontiac. Massive V-8s began to give way to turbocharged muscle in the ’70s, and the 5.4-second zero-to-60 time put down by the mighty 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454 was tied by the 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo. The trend continued in the ’80s, and the ’90s were all about the supercar. But it’s after the turn of the century when things got real—or rather unreal—with every single car on our list of cars from 2000 to present day bursting from zero to 60 mph before the second hand ticks three times. It’s hard to imagine that cars will continue to get quicker at the same pace we’ve witnessed over the decades, but we’re eagerly awaiting the first car that breaks the mile-a-minute barrier in less than two seconds. You know it’s coming—we’re already at 2.2 seconds with the Porsche 918 Spyder. Here, find the quickest cars we tested in each decade, starting with the 1950s and continuing through today. Enjoy!1958 Chevrolet Corvette1956 Chevrolet Corvette1959 Ferrari 250GT California Spyder1958 Chevrolet 315 Delray1957 Porsche 1500 RS Spyder1957 Chevrolet Corvette (dual quad)1959 Chevrolet Corvette1957 Chevrolet Corvette (fuel injection)1958 Ferrari 250GT Europa1958 Ferrari 4.9 Superfast1969 Chevrolet Corvette 4271968 Chevrolet Camaro Z/281966 Plymouth Satellite 426 Hemi1964 Porsche 9041965 Ford Mustang GT1969 Plymouth Road Runner 426 Hemi1967 Ford GT40 Mark III1968 Dodge Charger 426 Hemi1967 Chevrolet Corvette 4271964 Pontiac Tempest GTO1963 Shelby Cobra 2601965 Shelby Cobra 4271971 Chevrolet Corvette LS51970-Pontiac-Firebird-Trans-Am1978 Porsche 911 SC1972-Jaguar-V-12-E-TypeAugust 1971--As you skim over the pavement in the Pantera you can't help feeling smug. You hear the engine rumbling along from its station back by your shoulder blades—a mechanical arrangement even novitiate automotive visionaries will recognize as a little piece of tomorrow today. And the looks. Oh wow—like something that just rolled out of the Turin Show. In every lane for blocks you leave a wake of typical American motorists—all suckers for a pretty fender—with their necks wound up like rubber band airplane motors. No doubt about it. The Pantera is the very hottest item in this year's automotive haute couture. READ MORE >>Porsche 930 Turbo carrera1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454Zora Arkus-Duntov with the 1971 Chevrolet Corvette1978 Porsche 911 Turbo1975-Porsche-Turbo-Carrera1986 Ferrari Testarossa1985 Ferrari 288GTO1985 Ferrari Testarossa1981 Ferrari 512BB1987 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet Slant Nose1986 Buick Regal Grand National1989 Lotus Esprit Turbo SE1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 41987 Buick GNX1989 Pontiac Firebird Trans AmJanuary 19861989 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-11987 Porsche 9591998 Dodge Viper RT/101997 Dodge Viper GTS1997 Dodge Viper GTS1996 Dodge Viper GTS1994 Porsche 911 Turbo1998 Dodge Viper GTS1996 Mosler Raptor1997 Ferrari F501991 Vector W8 Twin Turbo1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S1995 Porsche 911 Turbo1994 McLaren F12014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S2014 McLaren P12011 Porsche 911 Turbo S2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S2015 Ferrari LaFerrariSeptember 2014You may know the Nardò Ring as the 7.8-mile asphalt track where the world’s automakers take their top-speed vacations. A traffic-free circular autobahn in the heel of Italy’s boot, the Porsche-owned test track is banked such that you can take your hands off any car’s steering wheel at 149 mph in the outer lane. It’s one of the few places on the planet where Lamborghini’s new 10-cylinder wedge, the Huracán, could prove to us how aerodynamically sound it is approaching its claimed top speed of 202 mph. READ MORE >>2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S2008 Bugatti Veyron2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
from Car and Driver Blog

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