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by Adam Lynton
Membership of the 1,000-horsepower club is highly exclusive.
Over the past couple of decades carmakers from across the world have obsessed over automotive power and today there are scores of cars that lay claim to having the power of over 1000 horses at the crank. Taking away tuner machines and kit cars, there are still at least a dozen manufacturer-built supercars on the road, and here we present our top 5. In no particular order of power or speed, the list includes the fastest car in the world as well as the fastest accelerating production car on the planet.
Following the car's unveiling at Pebble Beach during The Quail and the McCall Motorworks Revival, the Swedish-made Agera R garnered enough attention from interested parties for Koenigsegg to launch it in the US. With a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 generating 1,100 horsepower and 885 lb-ft of torque, the Agera R boasts one of the highest power-to-weight ratios in the business and can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 2.9 seconds and hit a top speed in excess of 245 mph.
The 2007 Zenvo ST1 is a turbocharged, supercharged 7.0-liter V8 animal that puts out 1,100hp and 1,054lb-ft of torque. Due to tire liability issues there's an electronically-limited top speed of 233mph on the ST1, which manages 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds. The Danish supercar maker also created a "50S" model for the US limited to only three units available in Mediterranean Blue, Intense Red and Crystal White. Each comes with an exclusive complimentary Swiss-made ASPEN Zenvo watch valued at $49,000. The retail price for the 50S begins at a mere $1,800,000.
The Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse is the most powerful and fastest convertible in the world, featuring a 7.9-liter W16 engine with four enlarged turbochargers. The monstrous output of 1,200hp and 1,106 lb-ft of torque allow the open-top French automobile to hit a staggering 255mph. The Grand Sport Vitesse sits on a set of lightweight 20-inch bespoke wheels and features aerodynamic parts from the Super Sport. A new front spoiler, larger air intakes on the front-end and a double diffuser in the rear along with centrally-positioned dual tailpipes highlight the Grand Sport Vitesse's added attributes.
Based on the Lotus Exige, the Hennessey Venom GT is powered by a 7.0-liter Hennessey-built twin-turbo V8, and can be ordered with 800, 1000, or, 1200 horsepower. Torque comes in at 1,155lb-ft, and Hennessey claim the Venom GT can reach a top speed of 275mph. The American hypercar recently smashed the 0-300 kph world record, taking the title from the Agera R with a time of 13.63 seconds.
The SSC Ultimate Aero is 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. For the uninitiated, the SSC Ultimate Aero is the car that, despite its modest background, set the record for the fastest car on earth when the Ultimate Aero TT hit a top speed of 255.83 mph. That's what prompted Bugatti to make the Veyron Super Sport, reclaiming the record at 268 mph. Next up for SSC is the Tuatara, which is tipped to regain the mantel of world's fastest car from Bugatti.