The cars of the 1960s may be high-powered fun machines in our memories, but muscle cars from that era just don’t have what it takes to make Edmunds INSIDE LINE’s list of the 100 most powerful cars of all time.
And that’s not just an opinion. INSIDE LINE says each car’s ranking is determined by the horsepower rating as claimed by its manufacturer.
The only Corvette to make the list is, of course, the 2009 ZR1, which is rated at 638-hp, though there were two other Corvette-powered creations that made the top 10.
The ZR1 came in at No. 38, and here’s what INSIDE LINE had to say about it:
“6.2-liter, OHV, 16-valve V8, supercharged. Chevrolet exceeds itself with the most powerful Corvette ever. It’s no secret the trick is the Roots-style blower heaving into the LS-series V8. Will run zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds and destroy the quarter-mile in 11.5 seconds at 128.3 mph.”
Meanwhile, the 2010 Hennessey Venom GT, rated at 1,200-hp with a theoretical top speed of 272 mph thanks to its version of the Corvette ZR1 motor, was No. 2.
Says INSIDE LINE of the Hennessey creation: “Just the idea of stuffing a hot-rodded LS9 power plant in the back of a Lotus Elise is enough to make our loins ache. And it’s exactly the kind of overkill Hennessey Performance Engineering loves to create. Hennessey’s Venom GT is available with several power options which shouldn’t make any difference in its sub-100-mph performance. And above that, this thing will be insanely quick. Fortunately, Hennessey has done computational fluid dynamics on this most menacing machine. This is just a nice way of saying that it shouldn’t get airborne when the speed gets silly.”
And, coming in at No. 7 was the 2007 Zenvo ST1, rated at 1,100-hp with its Corvette Z06 engine. “7.0-liter, OHV, 16-valve V8, turbocharged and supercharged. 1,054 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm. Straight out of the tough back alleys of Denmark comes the midengine Zenvo ST1 powered by a supercharged and turbocharged version of the Corvette Z06’s V8. The company claims zero to 62 mph takes 3.0 seconds and the car boasts a 233-mph top speed,” INSIDE LINE writes.
So what was the No. 1 car? The 2009 SSC Ultimate Aero — rated at a whopping 1,287-hp at 6,075 rpm. Says INSIDE LINE of the winner: “6.3-liter, OHV, 16-valve V8, twin turbos. Shelby Supercars hasn’t (as far as IL knows) made the Ultimate Aero available for media outlets to test or drive. But the company’s claims of zero to 60 in under 2.8 seconds and a 257.41-mph tested top speed have earned it attention anyhow.”
Two other recent General Motors creations also made the list, both with Corvette-derived engines.
At No. 81 is the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V, rated at 556-hp at 6,000 rpm.
“6.2-liter, OHV, 16-valve V8, supercharged. Cadillac brazenly stakes its claim to high performance with a CTS sedan that shares much of its supercharged LS-series V8 with the Corvette ZR1. Runs to 60 in 4.3 seconds and nails the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 115 mph. Later joined by coupe and wagon version,” INSIDE LINE says.
And at No. 66 is the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 580 hp at 6,000 rpm. “6.2-liter, OHV, 16-valve V8, supercharged. A legendary name on a true American muscle car. The V8 is a variant of the engine used in the awesome Corvette ZR1,” INSIDE LINE writes.
If you take a look at the list, make a note that we may be living in the Golden Age of power.
“Incredibly,” writes INSIDE LINE, “the weakest of the bunch packs 544 hp and the oldest hasn’t even hit its 23rd birthday. This list isn’t based on opinion, but fact. Each machine’s spot on the list was determined by its horsepower rating as claimed by its manufacturer. After months of research, we included every obscure supercar we could find, from Ascari to Zenvo, but we left out tuner machines and kit cars. This list is for ‘manufacturers’ only.”
Edmunds Inside Line