Enthusiasts consider 0 to 60 mph acceleration a standard litmus test for sports car performance. Unlike top speed or quarter-mile times, nearly every vehicle on the road is capable of firing off a quick burst to highway speeds without attracting too much attention from the law.
Thanks to an all-out horsepower war, the “quickest accelerating car” number is a moving target. Just twenty-five years ago, the Porsche 911 Turbo was the fastest accelerating production car on the planet with a 0-60 mph time of just 4.9 seconds. While that number was considered rocket-fast in the mid-1980s, there are dozens of vehicles that would leave that old benchmark coupe in their dust today. In fact, the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon (view photos) beats that old Porsche (read all Porsche articles) by more than a second. Remember, we’re talking about a family wagon here.
We’ve done our homework to come up with a list of the five fastest 0 to 60 cars in the world in 2011. Instead of writing about low-volume vehicles like the Mosler MT900 and Koenigsegg CCR, which are as rare as a pack of albino zebras in downtown Manhattan, our team has chosen a handful of vehicles that, if you’re lucky, you might even spot on public roads.
A quick glance at our fastest cars list reveals a common theme. Each of the supercars make at least 500 horsepower and all are fitted with automatic (single- or dual-clutch) gearboxes — truth is, humans simply cannot shift as quickly as computers. The fastest four are also engineered with permanent all-wheel drive, as wheelspin is a significant obstacle when gobs of torque are sent through just two wheels. Keep that point in mind when you wonder why the 638 horsepower Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 isn’t on our list — the coupe only comes with a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. All vehicles are listed from slowest to fastest.
BMW’S top U.S. sales executive says he is disappointed in the 5-series GT, Automotive News reports. “The disappointment I have is that I thought a lot of our 5-series station wagon customers would go with the GT,” Jim O’Donnell says. “In point of fact, that is not happening. We have lost those customers to the competition — mainly to Mercedes-Benz.
With its ungainly lift back and high load floor, the 5-series GT produced a lot of comments along the lines of “What were they thinking?” when it was introduced two years ago, but now it is official: Even BMW makes mistakes.
Designing and engineering new models is part art, part science: a billion-dollar bet on what the car buying public will want for years into the future. The deepest pitfalls come in trying to head off in a new direction, like a convertible minivan or an SUV with a coupe body. Despite all the market research, focus groups, and educated guesses, car companies can get it wrong. The design fails to catch hold, the market doesn’t develop, competition proves stronger than expected. Bottom line: They blew it.
Herewith, ten of the biggest mistakes currently on the market — plus two lulus from years past. Read More
If you were going to come up with a list of the most famous people in the car industry in the last 50 years, you would probably include names like Lee Iacocca, Richard Petty, A.J. Foyt, Dale Earnhardt, Don Garlits, Andy Granatelli, Mario Andretti, or Wally Parks. But the two men in this picture definitely deserve to be included in that group.
Parnelli Jones was just one of those names I knew when I was a kid in the 60’s. Maybe it was because in 1963 he won the Indy 500. Throughout the late 50’s and 60’s, Parnelli won races in all kinds of racing. He won 15 races in the NASCAR Pacific Coast Late Model Series. He won the USAC Sprint Car Championship 3 times. He was the USAC stock car champion in 1964. He had 25 midget car feature wins in occasional races between 1960 and 1967. Later in his career, Parnelli started Off-Road racing, winning the Mexican 1000 twice, as well as the Mint 500 and the Baja 500.
Carroll Shelby is best know for the cars he developed like the Shelby Cobra, Shelby GT500 and even the Dodge Viper. Many do not realize the he began his career as a pilot and a race car driver. Carroll served as a flight instructor and test pilot for the Army Air Corps in World War II. He was the Sports Illustrated’s driver of the year in 1956 and 1957. He went to Europe in 1958 and 1959 and raced in the Formula One Series. In 1959, Carroll driving an Aston Martin, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He retired the following year and started a race car driving school and the now famous Shelby American Company. He teamed with Lee Iacocca at Ford to produce high performance Mustangs and then later Iacocca asked Shelby to join him at Chrysler to help develop the Dodge Viper. He is still going strong, can be seen regularly at car events, and his cars are more popular than ever.