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by Adam Lynton
There’s no room for Italian supercar makers on the list, with the US taking the top two spots.
Over the past couple of decades carmakers from across the world have obsessed over automotive power. So when perusing Inside Line's 100 most powerful cars of all-time list, we weren't in the least surprised to find that not one of the machines came from the '60s, '70's or even the '80's. Built in 1990, the oldest machine to grace the list is the Vector W8, which with 625hp at 5,700rpm thanks to its 6.0-liter 16-valve V8 twin turbo engine, comes in at #41.
The list, which apparently took months of research to construct, is limited to manufacturers only, so no tuner machines or kit cars, and the horsepower figure used is the rating claimed by the cars' manufacturers. Mercedes-Benz appears twenty times on the list more than any other manufacturer; their most potent creation being the 720hp CLK GTR Super Sport from 2000 that comes in at #20 and whose AMG-built 7.3-liter V12 engine would later go on to be installed in Pagani vehicles. What we're most interested in is the top ten however, and all the cars that make the cut top out at over 1,000 horses.
Bringing up the rear in tenth spot is the 2005 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 with 1,001hp courtesy of its 8.0-liter W16 engine with quad turbos. In ninth place is the 2008 Koenigsegg CCXR that develops 1,004hp from the 4.8-liter twin-supercharged V8. The 2006 Bristol Fighter T has an 8.0-liter twin-turbo V10 good for 1,012hp, which puts in eighth place. Bristol claims the Fighter also produces 1,036lb-ft of torque. In seventh we have the 2007 Zenvo ST1 - a turbocharged, supercharged 7.0-liter V8 animal that puts out 1,100hp and 1,054lb-ft of torque.
Sixth place is taken by another Koenigsegg. The twin-supercharged V8 grows to 5.0-liters and spins faster in the Agera R and the result is 1,140hp. Taking fifth spot is the much-maligned 2004 Lotec Sirius powered by the same 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 that sits in the Zonda. The high-tech mid-engine German supercar is good for 1,200hp. Fourth and third places are taken up by Bugatti's Super Sport and Grand Sport Vitesse Veyron models released in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Both are powered by the same quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16 engine that powers the Veyron 16.4.
However these bad boys are good for 1,200hp and 1,106lb-ft of torque thanks to slighter bigger turbos and other tweaks. The 2010 Hennessey Venom GT takes second spot on the list. It's 6.2-liter twin-turbo V8 putting up numbers of 1,200hp and 1,155lb-ft of torque, and a theoretical top speed of 272mph. At the top of the esteemed pile is the 2009 SSC Ultimate Aero, a 1,287hp monster powered by a 6.3-liter twin-turbo V8. Shelby Supercars has yet to give the media a test drive in the Ultimate Aero, although all 16 models made have now been sold.