What is the strongest car ever?
These are the 10 most powerful cars in production right now
It wasn’t long ago that only the most exotic of supercars had north of 500 hp, but today you can get more than double that in family crossovers and sedans.
Yes, the performance scene has changed a lot, with high horsepower having been democratized thanks to recent leaps in electric vehicle technology, but also tire technology and traction and stability control systems that allow us to make greater use of the available power.
To help you chart the waters, we’ve put together a list ranking the ten most powerful cars in production right now.
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport
1) Bugatti Chiron Super Sport: It’s probably no surprise that a Bugatti sits at the top of this list. The French hypercar maker has been setting performance records since the Veyron dropped in 2005, and the trend will likely continue well into the future now that Bugatti has teamed up with EV technology company Rimac. The most powerful Bugatti in production right now is the Chiron Super Sport. The car’s 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W-16 spits out 1,578 hp, or enough to take the unrestricted 300+ version of the car to a top speed of over 300 mph.
Hennessey Venom F5 aerodynamics testing
2) Hennessey Venom F5: For anyone who keeps up with the hypercar scene it’s no real shock that a vehicle with a Hennessey badge sits near the top of this list. The Texas-based tuner created a separate business called Hennessey Special Vehicles and the first product to arrive is the Venom F5 hypercar. On pump gas (91 octane) the Venom F5 produces 1,542 hp, though that increases to 1,817 hp on E85, which would make it the most powerful car in production today, though the fuel isn’t available everywhere, which is why the Bugatti is still at the top of the list. However, if, or when, the Venom F5 attempts a top-speed run it might set a new production car speed record.
Koenigsegg Regera, 2017 Geneva auto show
3) Koenigsegg Regera: The Regera has been with us since 2015 but even today you’ll be hard-pressed to find a car that can top its performance. This is due mostly to its sophisticated drivetrain that combines an internal-combustion engine, in this case a 5.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, with a three-motor electric drive system Koenigsegg calls Direct Drive. Combined output is an incredible 1,500 hp. Koenigsegg should be close to building all 80 examples of the car, after which the company will start production of the 1,280-hp Jesko and 1,700-hp Gemera models.
SSC Tuatara record run
4) SSC Tuatara: SSC finally started deliveries of its Tuatara last year after more than a decade of development. The resulting car is able to generate 1,350 hp on 91 octane from a twin-turbocharged 5.9-liter V-8. On E85, power output rises to 1,750 hp, which would make it the second most powerful production car, second only to the Hennessey Venom F5. There’s been controversy surrounding the Tuatara since its launch, as SSC claimed in 2020 to have hit 331 mph but later said this was false. Earlier this year the company redeemed itself somewhat when it took a Tuatara to a speed of 282.9 mph, which is officially the land speed record for production cars, as a required two runs, one each in opposite directions, was made. This wasn’t the case during Bugatti’s run to 304 mph in the Chiron Super Sport 300+ in 2019.
5) Zenvo TSR-S: The TSR-S is probably a car you haven’t heard about before, and even if you have heard about it you’ve probably never seen one. That’s because the Danish hypercar maker that is Zenvo only produces about five cars per year, and its most powerful street-legal car is the TSR-S. It generates a peak 1,177 hp from a bespoke 5.8-liter V-8 with a flat-plane, twin-supercharged design. Beyond the insane power output, the TSR-S also stands out due to its rear wing which pivots like a seesaw. According to Zenvo, the wing is able to generate an inward force together with the conventional downforce, boosting grip of the inside tire during hard cornering.
Aston Martin Valkyrie production in Gaydon, U.K.
6) Aston Martin Valkyrie: If you’re looking for the closest experience to driving a Formula One car on the road, then Aston Martin’s Valkyrie hypercar could be the ticket. It was designed by Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing’s talented aerodynamicist responsible for multiple championship-winning F1 race cars (including 2021’s winning RB16B), and features a Cosworth-developed V-12 that screams to 11,000 rpm. The naturally aspirated engine is paired with a KERS-style hybrid system to deliver a peak 1,139 hp.
2021 Lucid Air Dream Edition
7) Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance: The Lucid is a surprise on this list because it isn’t a hypercar but rather a luxury sedan. It goes to show the impressive performance electric motors can bring as the car’s output is 1,111 hp. The power is generated by a dual-motor powertrain which draws energy from a 113-kilowatt-hour battery. And even though this is the performance flagship of the Air family, the car still manages 471 miles of EPA-rated range. Of course, the figure is achieved when driving at street-legal speeds.
8) McLaren Speedtail: The current flagship at McLaren is the Speedtail, a car McLaren is happy to call the spiritual successor to the F1, since like the original Gordon Murray design the new Speedtail is a grand tourer rather than a track car. It even has a three-seat layout with the driver sitting center, just like in the F1, and the Speedtail’s 106-car production run matches the number of F1s built, when you include both road and racing versions of the older car. Sadly there’s no V-12 here. Instead, McLaren relies on the same 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 found in multiple models, though here the engine is paired with an electric motor for a combined output of 1,055 hp.
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid
9) Tesla Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid: Tesla shocked the world when it unveiled the Plaid versions of its Model S and Model X earlier this year. With 1,020 hp generated from a three-motor powertrain, the cars are among the quickest in the world. In fact, the Model S Plaid has set production car records for 0-60 mph acceleration and the quarter-mile, with its official times coming in at 1.99 seconds and 9.23 seconds, respectively. The Model S Plaid also holds the record for EVs at the Nürburgring, with its time coming in at 7:35.579.
2022 GMC Hummer EV VIN 001 rolls off the assembly line
10) GMC Hummer EV Edition 1: If you’re looking for the most affordable vehicle on the list, then look no further than GMC’s Hummer EV, which in Edition 1 grade offers up 1,000 hp for $112,595. That price goes even lower if you’re willing to wait a year, as GMC plans to add a Hummer EV 3X grade with the same three-motor powertrain as the Edition 1 in the fall of 2022. It will start at $99,995. Beyond the powertrain, there are 35-inch off-road tires, air suspension, rear-wheel steering, and an estimated 329 miles of driving range. An SUV body is also in the works, though it isn’t clear if this model will also be offered with the full 1,000 hp.
It’s a weird world, and timeline, where a Ferrari didn’t make the list of most powerful cars in production. The current range-topper in the Prancing Horse stable, the SF90 Stradale, is a plug-in hybrid with an electrified all-wheel-drive system and total output of 986 hp, meaning it just missed out. We should also mention that a new era of electric hypercars boasting outputs close to 2,000 hp is almost upon us. Three have already been revealed in the form of the 1,973-hp Lotus Evija, 1,914-hp Rimac Nevera, and 1,877-hp Pininfarina Battista, with production of these models expected to start in 2022.
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The most powerful American cars ever
The horsepower wars are transitioning from gas to electric
Test drive: 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
The 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is the only car of its kind you can buy today, and Fox News Autos Editor Gary Gastelu says there may never be another one like it again.
Just like the stock market, the never-ending American horsepower war has had its ups and downs over the years, but records keep getting broken and the long-term outlook remains bullish.
And it’s not just bigger and better versions of the classic V8 engine that are packing a punch.
The transition from gas to electric has unlocked another level of performance and automakers are taking full advantage of the technology.
Here’s where things stand among volume models for 2022:
2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance 1,111 hp
The Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance is sold out. (Lucid)
The Lucid Air may be a luxury sedan, but it’s powered by a dynamo. The top version of the all-wheel-drive Arizona-built car is rated at 1,111 hp and can accelerate to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds while providing one of the roomiest interiors in its class. And while the $169,000 model is sold out, an Air Grand Touring with 1,050 hp is still available for $154,000.
2021 Tesla Model S and Model S Plaid: 1,020 hp
The Tesla Model S Plaid is the automaker’s new top model. (Tesla)
The Tesla Model S sedan and Model X SUV are both available with a Plaid powertrain that’s a reference to the movie «Spaceballs» and uses three electric motors to provide 1,020 hp in the $135,900 and $138,900 vehicles.
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon: 808 hp
The resurrected Demon is so extreme that one leading automotive publication has called for it to be banned (and was promptly shouted down by the muscle car’s fans.) The beast came with drag radials, a transmission brake, just one seat and can pop a wheelie. Its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 makes 808 hp on pump gas, and if somehow you don’t think that’s enough, Dodge can make it compatible with 100 octane race gas that bumps it up to 840 hp.
2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock: 807 hp
The Challenger SRT Super Stock was designed primarily for drag racers. (Dodge)
Dodge only built 3,300 Demons and promised owners it wouldn’t make any more. It kept that promise, but only just. The 2020 Challenger SRT Super Stock checks in with 807 hp from its Hellcat V8. It doesn’t have a transmission brake and can’t pop a wheelie, but it will cover a quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds and Dodge will build as many as the market wants.
2022 Dodge Challenger SRT and Charger SRT Jailbreak
The Charger and Challenger Jailbreaks allow a wide range of customization. (Dodge)
Dodge offers a motor on par with the Challenger SRT Super Stock’s in the Challenger and Charger Jailbreak models, which allow customers to mix a wide variety paint, trim and packages to create truly unique cars starting at $87,120 and $89,190.
2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye: 797 hp
Dodge says the Hellcat Redeye is possessed by the Demon. We don’t know about that, but its 797 hp engine does scream like a banshee.
2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: 760 hp
The Shelby GT500 has always been a drag racing special, but Ford promises this upcoming edition will be able to take turns as well as go in a straight line.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: 755 hp
The 2019 Corvette ZR1 was the most powerful front-engine Corvette ever built. (Chevrolet)
The 2019 ZR1 is the most powerful front-engine Corvette in history and will likely be for eternity, because the Corvette was replaced an all-new mid-engine version in 2020.
2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat 717 hp
The Challenger SRT Hellcat got a 10 hp boost in 2019. (Dodge)
To celebrate its fourth anniversary, the standard Challenger SRT Hellcat got a 10 hp boost. It really didn’t need it.
2015 Dodge Challenger/Charger SRT Hellcat: 707 hp
The Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats kicked off the current era of ridiculously powered muscle cars. (Dodge)
Dodge’s original Hellcat bros seem tame compared to their successors, but are still serious forces to be reckoned with. If you can’t decide between the two, here’s something to keep in mind: while the Challenger can hit 199 mph, the Charger’s slightly more aerodynamic body is good for 204 mph.
2022 CADILLAC CT5-V BLACKWING: 668 hp
The CT5-V Blackwing is the most powerful Cadillac sedan in history. (Cadillac)
The $84,940 CT5-V Blackwing is a luxury sedan powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that has just two less horsepower than a NASCAR Cup Series car and a top speed over 200 mph. Don’t expect to see something like it again, because Cadillac has vowed to go all-electric by 2030.
2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: 662 hp
When it was new, the last Shelby GT500 was the most powerful American car ever, but it looks like a 98-pound weakling today. Still, there’s no denying the potency of its 5.8-liter supercharged V8. And who’s going to complain about a Mustang that can go 202 mph?
2020 Ford GT: 660 hp (up from 647 hp in 2017)
What a world we live in where a Mustang is more powerful than a $450,000 supercar, but the carbon fiber GT has a 216 mph top speed to go with it, so it’s got nothing to be ashamed of.
2018 Chevrolet Corvette Z06/Camaro ZL1: 650 hp
It’s share and share a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 alike with the Corvette Z06 and Camaro ZL1. (Chevrolet)
Two high performance cars from the same company with 6.2-liter supercharged V8s? Hmmm, sounds familiar. But while the power outputs of these two are identical, their engines are a little different. The Corvette gets a dry sump oiling system that’s better for the track, while the ZL1 uses a tried and true wet sump design. The ‘Vette also beats the Camaro on manual transmission gear count 7 to 6. But the ZL1 automatic comes back strong with an all-new 10-speed automatic, while the one in the Z06 makes do with just eight.
2017 Dodge Viper: 645 hp
The Viper was Dodge’s last true sports car. (Dodge)
The Viper’s 8.4-liter V10 was the largest engine in any car of its day.
This story has been updated with the latest data
The 10 Most Powerful Cars of All-Time
When it comes to motorheads and their love of cars, there is one factor usually used to judge vehicles over all others – power. And by power, we mean the engine that is under the hood. The bigger, tougher, and more powerful the engine, the more valuable a car is in the minds of many gearheads. We’re talking stock horsepower here, not cars that can win street races with many after-market modifications, or out-of-this-world rocket cars that have been built specifically to break land speed records out on the Salt Flats. We’re referring to the most powerful cars that have been manufactured by top flight car companies, and cars that people can actually buy and enjoy on city streets and highways. Here’s a list of the 10 most powerful cars of all time.
- Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (2011)
- Saleen S7 (2000)
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (2012)
- Aston Martin Vantage GT12 (2015)
- Dodge Viper SRT-10 (2008)
- Vector W8 (1990)
- Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (2013)
- Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (2014)
- Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (2015)
- Ferrari F12 TdF (2015)
10. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (2011)
It seems appropriate to open this list with a Mustang – the quintessential muscle car. And the 2011 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a beauty of a car. Stylish, sleek and as cool as Mustangs come, this car was first produced only five years ago. And while this is a recent vehicle, many automotive journalists and car lovers consider the Shelby GT500 to be a modern classic. And, in addition to its style, the Shelby GT500 also boasts an exceptional engine under the hood. The car has a 5.4-liter V8 engine that produces 550 horsepower. If that weren’t enough, the car has a wicked maximum speed of nearly 200 miles per hour. Add to this a lighter body in comparison to previous Mustangs, and you’ve got a car that has plenty of pick-up and superfast acceleration. Ford has continued to push the envelope on its Mustangs, but the Shelby GT500 is a definite standout in terms of pure power.
9. Saleen S7 (2000)
Another relatively recent car that pushes boundaries in terms of power and speed is the Saleen S7, a supercar that was unveiled in 2000 by engineering company Ray Mallock Ltd. The Saleen S7 was expected to become an intense competitor in the coveted supercar sales segment. However, this vehicle never reached the lofty expectations that were set for it for one main reason – it was considered too fast. Reviewers labeled the car “unstoppable” and “uncontrollable,” and those monikers scared off potential buyers. Some people still bought it as a collector’s item though, but the car was viewed to be too powerful for regular use. Built out with a 7-liter V8 engine that had 16 valves and produced 550 horsepower, the Saleen S7 goes down as one of the most powerful cars ever. It’s design concept was based on a popular Ford V8 block-mounted engine, only taken to extremes by the engineers who designed the S7.
8. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (2012)
Ticking up a notch in terms of horsepower is the Chevy Camaro ZL1, which came out in 2012. Another classic in the American tradition of muscle cars, the Camaro is a legendary nameplate that is revered by car enthusiasts. And the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is one of the most powerful cars ever built that bares the Camaro brand. This version of the Camaro is also one of the most powerful vehicles ever produced by Chevrolet. It has it all – style, power, force and an excellent automotive pedigree. This model of Camaro, produced in 2012, has a V8, 6.2-liter engine with 16 valves, which is a modified version of the Corvette ZR1 V8 motor. The Camaro ZL1 purrs with 580 horsepower under the hood making it a near perfect muscle car, and certainly one of the most powerful vehicles of all time.
7. Aston Martin Vantage GT12 (2015)
In addition to making some extremely elegant cars over the years, Aston Martin has also made some extremely fast and powerful vehicles. One of its more recent tour de forces has been the Vantage GT12. A race car that is street approved, the Aston Martin Vantage GT12 is fired by a V12 engine that produces 595 horsepower and can reach speeds of 185 miles per hour. Impressive! Described by critics who test drove the car as “angry” and “challenging,” the GT12 is also known for being very loud and noisy. The engine’s sound is magnified by a titanium exhaust that amplifies the growls and roars. Also known for loud cylinder explosions during acceleration. A car that has earned a reputation for both power and speed.
6. Dodge Viper SRT-10 (2008)
It’s almost impossible not to love the Dodge Viper. A perfect combination of style and power, Dodge Vipers are beloved around the world. And the Viper SRT-10 produced in 2008 is a standout in this line of cars. Labeled a “supercar,” the Dodge Viper SRT-10 was produced to meet the competition from rivals head-on. The Dodge Viper SRT-10 not only competed in the segment, it won hands down. Really, how do you compete against an 8.4-liter V10 20-valve engine that cranks out 600 horsepower? What other car can match that power and take on that challenge? Nobody, that’s who. The engine in this Viper contains several special features that add to its power, including separate ignition coils for every separate spark plug. Engineers claim that this engine is perfect for tuning. In case you have a need for even more horsepower, special turbocharged kits are available for speed buffs who want even more power from the engine. The allure of the Dodge Viper SRT-10 is undeniable.
5. Vector W8 (1990)
Another curiosity from the past is the Vector W8 supercar, produced at the dawn of the 1990s. With style to spare, the Vector W8 was the type of car that was plastered on the bedroom walls of teenage boys back in the day. The Vector W8, manufactured by the Vector Aeromotive Corporation, was more than a pretty face. It also had award-winning power. With a maximum speed of 258 miles per hour, the Vector W8 attracted a lot of attention concerning the engine housed under the car’s bonnet. Tricked out with a 6 liter V8 twin-turbo charged engine with 16 valves and 625 horsepower, the Vector W8 blazed a path across the automotive world similar to a comet back in 1990. Additionally, the engine also had an aluminum small-block with an intercooler and twin turbochargers to make it that much more impressive.
4. Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (2013)
You can’t compile a list like this without including a Vette on it. And the Chevy Corvette Z06 is one of the fastest and most powerful of the brand ever assembled. Adored by car snobs everywhere, the Camaro Z06 is a true super sports car. It has a 6.2-liter V8 engine, which produces 650 horsepower (“wow” is right). This car, which debuted in 2013, is actually a racing car that is legally designed for driving on urban streets. It has become extremely popular with consumers not only in the U.S. but in Europe and the Middle East too. In fact, this car has proved to be so popular that Chevy has announced plans to continue manufacturing new models of it past 2017 and likely through 2020. Of course at a starting price of $80,000, you’ll need to save your pennies to be able to afford one.
3. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (2014)
Another impressive Mustang on this list is the Shelby GT500 that rolled off the assembly line in 2014. How does this model differ from the first entry on this list? The main difference is that it has a more powerful engine that produces a heavy 662 horsepower. That alone makes it one of the most powerful cars you can take on civilian roads. Other things to like about this version of the Shelby GT500 include a six speed manual transmission, rear wheel drive, break neck acceleration and optional Recaro sport seats. Regularly ranked among the best Mustangs of all time, this car is certainly one of the most powerful that the Ford Motor Company has ever produced.
2. Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (2015)
It’s called a “Hellcat” for a reason. The Dodge Challenger SRT manufactured in 2015 is one of the most powerful cars ever made. It has pick-up and then some. A modern update of the original SRT Hellcat that is beloved by car aficionados all over the globe, this Dodge Challenger won numerous awards for its style and power. It is equipped with a fiery 6.4-liter V8 engine that produces 707 horsepower. That makes the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat more powerful than most Lamborghinis and Ferraris. Plus, the look of this car is super awesome. It looks like a vintage muscle car from the 1960s. Easy to see why this car set pre-order sales records when it was first announced. It is the epitome of what a muscle car should be.
1. Ferrari F12 TdF (2015)
Capable of producing 770 horsepower and reaching speeds of 211 miles per hour, the Ferrari F12 TdF makes it to the top of this power poll. Amazing on both the track and the highway, this Ferrari is known for being both fast and stable. A Ferrari in the truest sense, this car combines expert engineering with beautiful design. It is both powerful and luxurious. And it has impressed automotive critics and consumers worldwide. The Ferrari F12 TdF has proven that it belongs in the pantheon of great cars produced by Ferrari. And, being a Ferrari, it comes in the traditional color of Ferrari red, of course. It also costs north of $100,000 to own. But with 770 horsepower under the hood, it may well be worth the investment.
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