Vehicles serve a practical purpose; to get us from point A to point B, but for many a car is much more than a mere mode of transportation, it’s part of our identity and represents who we are. Those who desire performance, style and prestige in an automobile have a plethora of choice to get where they’re going, plus look and feel good in the process. This article will identify the fastest 2015 model production cars in various price categories and recommend the best bang for the buck performance sports cars rolling off assembly lines.
When we talk about fast cars, top speed is one benchmark but to own a million dollar Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, with a world’s fastest top speed of 431 km/h (268 mph), how many owners are really going to explore the upper echelon of 400 plus km/h? Unless you’re on the German Autobahn, responsible Canadians do not drive double the speed limit in our country. Bear in mind, being caught going 50 km/h above the speed limit in Ontario results in an automatic licence suspension.
A more relevant way to think about fast cars is acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 60 mph) and quarter mile time. Street racing is illegal however many with fast cars enjoy testing their performance and driving skills on a sanctioned racetrack under safe and legal conditions. There are many performance characteristics to consider when choosing a fast car. My recommendations are based on acceleration for normal driving conditions plus value and style. Below are 12 of the fastest street legal cars of 2015 in production sold at Canadian dealerships.
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Fastest cars under $50,000
2015 marks the release of an all-new sixth-generation of Ford’s iconic pony car – going stronger than ever 50 years into production. The affordable performance coupe starts at $24,068 for the base V6 model. Step up to the muscular 5.0L V8 GT and this Detroit built bad boy pounds the pavement with a whopping 400 lb-ft of torque and 435 horsepower accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 264 km/h. Available as a convertible and with several special editions, the Mustang will climb north of 50K however, the best bang for the buck performer is the Mustang GT Coupe, an excellent value starting at $33,867.
The Subaru WRX STI has a cult following of loyal “Sube” enthusiasts. Subaru’s high performance sport sedan is a winner on the rally circuit thanks to its all-wheel drive capability. Refreshed for 2015, the WRX STI is powered by a 2.5L turbocharged Boxer 4 cylinder engine producing 305 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque to propel it from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 4.5 seconds. Six-speed manual transmission is standard. With a staring price of $37,995, the STI offers Japanese quality and reliability with street and track credibility.
Honourable mention: Honda Civic Si, starting MSRP $26,850, Volkswagen Golf GTI, starting MSRP $27,995
Fastest cars $50,000 – $100,000
Another American sports car icon has had a recent rebirth with the seventh generation Chevrolet Corvette. The base Stingray model has a starting MSRP of $63,395. The powerful V8 produces 460 horsepower and 456 lb-ft of torque to catapult the Stingray from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. If that isn’t enough power then shell out another 27K for the supercharged Z06 delivering 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque launching the Corvette into super car stratosphere for less than half the price of European exotics boasting the same performance stats (0 to 100 in under 3 seconds). The Z06 can be had for as little as $90,895. Seems like a bargain for that kind of performance.
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The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is the fastest production sedan in the world. This top trim Charger is equipped with a 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8 with TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic delivering 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. The Hellcat can claw its way from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds thanks to wide 275/40ZR20 rubber. Massive Brembo brakes complete the sport appearance package and provide incredible stopping power. Just imagine, for a mere $78,080 you can take the family out in style and blow the doors off any high performance coupe on the road.
Honourable mention: Dodge Viper SRT, starting MSRP $92,995
Fastest cars $100,000 – 150,000
Aptly dubbed “Godzilla” the GT-R is Nissan’s halo car embodying all the performance and technology that the Japanese automaker has to offer. The GT-R comes from a proud lineage of “Skylines” from the Japanese domestic market and was made available to purchase in North America with the introduction of the 2009 R35 model. The GT-R Nismo is considered one of the best handling production cars achieving the third fastest time at the famed Nürburgring racetrack, just behind the Porsche 918 Spyder and Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce, two super exotics more than triple the price of the GT-R Nismo. The GT-R features a smooth dual clutch 6-speed transmission, all-wheel drive, 20″ RAYS wheels and 8 piston Brembo brakes. The 3.8L V6 Twin Turbo produces 545 horsepower to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.7 seconds. The GT-R is undoubtedly one of the fastest cars in its price range starting at $110,000. A Black edition and NISMO are also available.
One of the most beautiful cars on the road, the F-Type R Coupe is the total package with distinctive style, performance and brand cache. Its 5.0L supercharged V8 engine produces 550 horsepower, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 300 km/h. The interior is one of the nicest I’ve ever seen. Jaguar Canada president Lindsay Duffield joined me in the cockpit of the F-Type R at the Canadian International Auto Show and with great pride explained the layout and design that puts all controls at the finger tips of the driver. If I were to spend (in the ballpark of) $117,500 on a sports car, this would be my choice.
Honourable mention: BMW M6 Gran Coupé, starting MSRP $129,000
Fastest cars $150,000 – $200,000
The 911 Turbo has greatly improved in every way over five decades of evolution. The low, wide stance has always maintained a curvaceous figure making this one of the sexiest sports cars and a pin up poster classic. There are numerous versions of the 911 within a 100,000 dollar price range however the Turbo version comes in near the top with an MSRP of $172,400 and has the performance to justify the price. The 6 cylinder Turbo produces 520 horsepower, goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 315 km/h.
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If someone were to give me 200,000 dollars to spend on any car, it would be the Audi R8 V10 for $170,500. This would (hopefully) leave me enough money to pay for insurance, gas and maintenance for a few years. You don’t see an R8 on the road every day but when you do, it turns heads and if you don’t see it right away, the exhilarating tuned exhaust note will grab your attention. The 5.2L FSI Quattro V10 makes 540 horsepower propelling the R8 from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds. Audi interiors are amongst the best in the automotive world. Choose from a 6 speed manual transmission or the smooth shifting Quattro S-tronic dual clutch transmission.
Honourable mention: Aston Martin DB9 Coupe, starting MSRP $198,132
Fastest cars $200,000 – $500,000
The Lamborghini Aventador is the ultimate exotic super car with distinctive angles and incredible performance. You don’t have to be a celebrity to own an Aventador but you do have to come up with $440,500 (sell your house). This raging bull churns out 700 horsepower from its enormous V12 engine, goes 0 to 100km/h in a scant 2.9 seconds and hits a top speed of 350 km/h. Of course the doors open vertically on this top of the line Lambo.
Ferrari 458 Speciale
When we think of exotic sports cars Ferrari is one of the first names that comes to mind. The 458 Speciale is the epitome of performance and Marenallo Italian design. This thoroughbred stallion is visually stunning with jaw dropping performance. The 4.5L V8 boasts 570 horsepower rocketing the 458 Speciale from 0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds flat. Costing $275,900, there are faster cars for less but none look as striking as the Ferrari 458 Speciale.
Honourable mention: McLaren 650S, starting MSRP $258,900
When we go beyond the half-million dollar mark there are several limited production super exotics that blast from zero to 100 km/h in less than three seconds and reach top speeds in excess of 300 km/h. However comparing these models is like splitting hairs in terms of performance stats and outrageous values that often exceed the listed MSRP. The fastest car from 0 to 100 is the 2015 Porsche 918 with a 2.2 second sprint and an $847,015 price tag. The current top speed champion is the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport which maxes out at 431 km/h and costs seven figures.
Anything over $500,000 is amazing and very subjective however let’s think for a moment, if I were to win the lottery, what would my ultimate dream car be? When price is no object, it can be a difficult decision but here are a few of my personal favourites:
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Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
The fastest production car in the world, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, achieves a top speed of 431 km/h and goes 0 to 100 in 2.4 seconds. The monstrous 8L W16 engine explodes with 1200 horsepower. It will cost you over two million dollars to buy this car so it had better be a big lottery jackpot!
Image Source: Bugatti
The Pagani Huayra looks and performs like a super exotic with its gull wing doors and outrageous sculpted silhouette. Accelerating 0 to 100 takes a scant 3 seconds and keeps going up to a top speed of 370 km/h. The twin turbo charged 6.0L V12 puts out 720 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. The limited and exclusive Pagani Huayra costs over one million dollars.
Bottom line, if you crave speed and performance consider what you’re willing to spend and there are several sports cars in each price bracket to choose from. I place as much value in safety, fuel efficiency, technology, comfort and ride characteristics plus overall quality of the vehicle, as pure performance stats. After all, you want a fast car to also be reliable and practical and suit your personal taste. It’s a great feeling to turn heads with what you’re driving but you don’t want to draw the wrong kind of attention and see flashing lights in your rear view mirror. When driving a fast car, always be aware of the speed limit.
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