How fast is fast? Is it the highest top speed, the quickest quarter-mile or the first to cross 100 km/h? All of these are good yardsticks, for sure, but the eyeball-flattening nature of a launch to 60 mph (97 km/h) is the gold standard by which most manufacturers measure a car’s performance, the one regularly trotted out by fans or friends to officially settle the score about which favourite car is fastest.
Plenty of factors affect zero to 100 km/h times, of course. Stats from British or U.S. manufacturers are made in runs to 60 mph, not 100 km/h (62 mph); or, they’re crudely converted. Other rankings might exclude initial “rollout,” the distance a vehicle can move before a timing device is activated, which can account for fractions of seconds. Tires, driver weight, atmospheric conditions, track surface and temperature can also play a role. When striving for under three seconds to 60 mph, however, every millimetre and every fraction of a second counts.
Wikipedia, however, has updated its fastest production cars by acceleration by reconciling manufacturer claims with reliable, independent and verifiable sources, then ranking the quickest to 60 mph, as well as the quickest in the quarter-mile (402 metres). According to the online encyclopedia, the list is exclusive to “production vehicles” — those “being constructed principally for retail sale to consumers, for their personal use, and to transport people on public roads.” To be called a production car and be eligible for the under 3.0-second club, the original manufacturer must have built 25 or more units (those by tuners not included, nor are limited hand-built models), as well as be fully street-legal, passing all government tests, in the market for which they will be sold.
Here is the countdown of the top 10 fastest production vehicles to 60 mph (all prices in U.S. dollars):
10. Porsche 911 (997) Turbo S
Independently measured time: 2.7 seconds
Time shown by manufacturer: 3.1 seconds
Engine: 3.8L twin-turbo flat-six
Horsepower/torque: 530 hp, 516 lb.-ft.
Notes: Second 911 Turbo S to crack the 3.0-second mark