Have you ever wondered what the speediest model of vehicle is from each brand? We did, and we assumed you were curious, too, or you probably wouldn’t be here. We’ve covered all kinds of “fastest” lists — luxury cars, electric cars, motorcycles, cars costing less than $30,000, and so on — but here, we present a near-comprehensive list of the fastest factory vehicles available from the 40 or so brands doing business in the United States.
The findings were not all that surprising. Luxury brands make faster and more powerful cars, for the most part. Companies like Toyota and Honda seem to have forfeited their pursuit of speed for cars of a more practical nature. Others have been dead set on producing the fastest cars possible.
For the sake of this list, we excluded ultra-low-volume vehicles like Lamborghini’s Veneno, which only has three models on the road, but some lower-volume vehicles in the hundreds were included. Modified or tuned vehicles (sorry, Hennessey), or vehicles no longer in production like the Ram SRT10 or Mazda’s excellent MazdaSpeed3 were left out. Vehicles on this list are available in the United States, either now or in the near future.
We covered major brands that do a fair amount of business in America and offer more than one vehicle (so companies like Bugatti were also excluded, since it only is producing 450 units of the Veyron). Discontinued lines — here’s looking at you, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, and Hummer — were also left off the list.
Here are the fastest production cars representing the quickest models off the factory floor from their respective brands. Since in many cases the horsepower figures for different models were quite close or the same, 0-60 times and top speeds were also taken into account; also, the most powerful vehicle in the lineup may not be the fastest. The following are ranked alphabetically:
1. Acura: RLX Sport Hybrid
Acura’s RLX Sport Hybrid sedan is not only the biggest, but is also be the most powerful vehicle in the brand’s lineup with 377 combined system horsepower. Acura has notably not jumped into the power race with its vehicles, instead relying on build quality and fuel efficiency to sell its products.
The RLX will nail 60 in five seconds on the nose, besting the smaller, lighter, but significantly less powerful TLX by about three seconds (in four-cylinder kit). It may not handle like a small compact, but as far as speed goes, the RLX will be the fastest in Acura’s stable until the NSX reaches showroom floors.
2. Aston Martin: V12 Vantage S
There are few cars on the road that combine beauty, performance, comfort, and prestige as well as the Aston Martin Vantage V12. The Vantage V12 produces 565 horsepower from a creamy, well-renowned 6.0 liter V12. Sixty miles per hour comes up in a short 3.7 seconds, and its top speed of 205 is the fastest for any production Aston Martin car ever made.
3. Audi: R8 V10
With 610 horsepower on tap, Audi’s new R8 V10 became the fastest production Audi ever made. Zero to 62 miles per hour happens in a brief 3.2 seconds, on the way to a terminal velocity of 205.1 miles per hour. Advance sales started earlier this year, so the new R8s should be trickling into showrooms soon. Though it doesn’t look markedly different from the outgoing model, why fix what’s not broken?
4. Bentley: Continental GT Speed
From Bentley, the Continental GT Speed has taken the crown as the company’s fastest car ever (non-racing, that is). The 2015 model has been spruced up with even more power than ever before; driven by a herd of 626 horses, the Continental GT Speed can hit an eye-popping top speed of 206 miles per hour, as it’s powered by a 6.0 liter twin-turbo W12 engine.
It only takes 4.2 seconds to go from 0-60 and 9 seconds to go from 0-100 miles per hour. The convertible variant is capable of speeds up to 203 miles per hour, but for top performance, the standard GT Speed wins out.