We live in a motoring world dominated by numbers. While some car manufacturers brag about their latest creation's Nurburgring laptime, others claim theirs will outrun anything else to wear a numberplate. It seems carmakers are becoming enthralled in the pursuit of laptimes and top speed.
For some though, the savage surge of acceleration felt when powering off from a standing start is the most exhilarating visceral experience available in a supercar.
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Below, we list the road legal cars most capable of providing this neck-snapping experience. None of the cars listed takes more than 3sec to reach 60mph...
Ariel Atom V8 500 (2010): 2.3sec
evo says: ‘The Ariel Atom V8 is bonkers. 500bhp in a car that weighs 550kg, giving a power to weight ratio of over 900bhp per ton and 0-60mph in a claimed 2.3sec. The bespoke 3.0-litre flat-plane crank 32-valve V8 is developed in America by Hartley and produces 500bhp and 284lb ft. It’s derived from a pair of Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle engines, which explains why peak torque arrives at 7750rpm and power at a scarcely credible 10,600rpm.’
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (2010): 2.5sec
evo says: ‘The SS is the very finest high-performance engineering statement. Not as loud or brash as Italian hypercars – perhaps not as emotional – but faster and better than them all. Anyone who calls it ‘boring’ hasn’t had their vertebra squashed by one. No question, the heart of the Super Sport is its phenomenal, 8-litre, quad-turbo W16 engine. Changes compared with the ‘regular’ Veyron engine include new, larger turbochargers, freer-flowing inlet manifolds, remapped ECU and bigger charge-coolers. The results are just startling.’
Hennessey Venom GT (2012): 2.5sec
evo says: ‘The Venom GT is in the mould of the Porsche Carrera GT and, in some respects, the McLaren F1. Its defiantly analogue approach makes it unique amongst its contemporaries, while its no-prisoners attitude ensures it will never be less than a challenge to master. If anything, the Hennessey’s handling is a little more flattering and forgiving than either, though there’s no doubt it’ll bite if you take liberties.’
Porsche 918 Spyder (2013): 2.6sec
evo says: ‘There are shades of 458 and MP4-12C about the V8’s sound and response, but when you really stretch it this motor is sharper and even more feral. It sounds mighty, too, thanks to a huge amount of work on the top-exit exhaust system. Coupled to the latest generation PDK transmission it makes for a searing race car-like experience.’
SSC Ultimate Aero TT (2012): 2.78sec
As an 1183bhp monster, the SSC Ultimate Aero TT can easily stake a claim for possessing one of the most unhinged powertrains in recent, if not all, automotive history. The Aero develops its monster power from a twin-turbocharged V8 originating from the last-gen Corvette, which propels the slippery carbonfibre body to a recorded top speed of 257mph.
McLaren P1 (2013): 2.8sec
evo says: ‘The McLaren P1, the British supercar manufacturer’s successor to the mighty McLaren F1. Being limited to 217mph, it doesn’t have the top speed to topple its legendary forebear, but the P1 has been designed to be the ‘best drivers’ car in the world’, and in pretty much every other performance metric the P1 has moved the game on.’
Koenigsegg Agera R (2011): 2.8sec
evo says: ‘The performance is insane (0-200mph is dispatched in 17.68sec, as verified by the Guinness Book of Records), while the soundtrack is a hard-edged V8 howl. But what’s surprising is that all this monstrous power feels pretty manageable too. The engine is bolted directly to the rear of the carbon passenger cell, yet there are no nasty vibrations coming through (unlike in a Ferrari F50).
'The result is that the cabin is a busy place to be but not in a harsh way, and the wealth of information coming from the engine, steering and chassis makes you feel like you’re right at the mechanical heart of the car and better able to read what’s going on around you than you can be in more ‘insulated’ cars.’
9ff GT9R (2008): 2.9sec
Acceleration is what the GT9R is all about. It's not your conventional 0-60 sprinter however, because, as we discovered when we drove the non-R version, it’s a bit tricky getting over 1000bhp hooked up through the rear wheels. Plus, if you don’t get it right, you'll quickly find yourself making lots of noise and spinning wheels, but making little progress off the line. Once moving though, perform a roll-on acceleration test and there's little else on the road that could keep up...
Lamborghini Aventador (2012): 2.9sec
evo says: ‘The acceleration is shocking in its ferocity. A deep roar segues into a howling mid-range bellow that rises in pitch and decibels until you slam another gear home – which is exactly how it feels if you are in Corsa mode: like you’ve been hit on the back of the head with a giant table-tennis bat.’