The 100 Most Powerful Cars of All Time
Every Car Ever Made With at Least 544 HP
Forget Hemi 'Cudas, Boss 429s, Tri-Power Corvettes and every other muscle machine from the 1960s and '70s. None of them are powerful enough to make this list. Not. Even. Close.
Today is the golden age of automotive power. And the vehicles listed here have more horsepower than all the others through more than a century of automotive history. Incredibly, 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.
Ties were broken, when possible, using peak torque ratings without reference to the engine speeds at which those numbers were achieved. That didn't eliminate all ties, however, as many vehicles were (or are) powered by identical engines. Go ahead and blame BMW's M division and Mercedes' AMG for that.
In the end we ended up with a list of the 100 most powerful cars and trucks from America, Europe and Japan. Hopefully we didn't miss any worthy machines. If we did, make your case.
100. 1996 Porsche 911 GT1 Straßenversion — 544 hp at 7,000 rpm: 3.1-liter, DOHC, 24-valve flat-6, twin turbo. 443 pound-feet at 4,250 rpm. Midengine supercar built to homologate the 911 GT1 for racing. The front of the car was based on the 993-series 911. The rest was a tube frame under carbon fiber.
99. 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG — 544 hp at 5,250 rpm: 5.5-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, twin turbo. 560 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. When your army is moving quickly across your vanquished enemy's territory, this bolt-upright off-roader has the power to stay ahead of it.
98. 2013 Nissan GT-R Premium — 545 hp at 6,400 rpm: 3.8-liter, DOHC, 24-valve V6, twin turbo. Nissan ups the GT-R ante for 2013 by adding another 15 hp to the car and fortifying it with new brakes and a recalibrated suspension.
97. 2001 Pagani Zonda S 7.3 — 547 hp at 7,000 rpm: 7.3-liter, DOHC, 48-valve V12, twin turbo. Pagani drops in the larger AMG-built V12 and calls it the Zonda S. Power and price increased as expected.
96. 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni — 550 hp at 8,000 rpm: 5.2-liter, DOHC, 40-valve V10. 397 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm. The first two-wheel-drive version of the Gallardo is powered by a new version of the familiar V10. Would lead to subsequent Gallardo variants also rated at 550 hp.
95. 2005 Ford GT — 550 hp at 6,000 rpm: 5.4-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, supercharged. 500 lb-ft at 3,750 rpm. Ford resurrects the GT40 racecar as a larger, midengine supercar for the street. It's bold, brilliant, gorgeous and utterly fast.
94. 2012 Jaguar XKR-S — 550 hp at 6,000 rpm: 5.0-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, supercharged. 502 lb-ft at 2,500 rpm. Jaguar beefs up the already healthy 510-hp XKR to supercar status. Thanks to a revised exhaust and fuel map, it's the fastest and most powerful Jag ever. It runs from zero to 60 in 3.6 seconds.
93. 2011 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 — 550 hp at 6,500 rpm: 5.4-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, supercharged. 510 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm. A new, all-aluminum version of Ford's supercharged 5.4-liter V8 is plugged into the GT500 Mustang. It's slightly more powerful and about 100 pounds lighter than before.
92. 2000 Saleen S7 — 550 hp at 6,500 rpm: 7.0-liter, OHV, 16-valve V8. 525 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm. Steve Saleen's ambitious S7 uses a 7.0-liter version of the Ford small-block V8 mounted midship. It's a beast even before you add the turbos.
91. 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG — 550 hp at 5,750 rpm: 5.5-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, twin turbo. 560 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. The AMG twin-turbo V8 finds yet another home, this time under the hood of Mercedes' mainstream SUV, although with a bit less torque. Still, the result is the fastest car at AYSO practice.
90-88. (Tie) 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG — 550 hp at 5,250 rpm: 5.5-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, twin turbo. 590 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. AMG's next-gen V8 drops to 5.5 liters and picks up two turbos. The result is 518 hp and 516 lb-ft of peak torque. Add the "Performance Pack" and output leaps to 550 hp.
90-88. (Tie) 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG — 550 hp at 5,250 rpm: 5.5-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, twin turbo. 590 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. The AMG twin-turbo V8 installed into the coupelike CLS four-door. It's the second generation of the CLS. "Power Pack" ups output to 550 hp.
90-88. (Tie) 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S — 550 hp at 6,000 rpm: 4.8-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, twin turbo. 590 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm. S version of Porsche's four-door gets a power shot with bigger turbochargers and enough thrust to run from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.
87. 2012 Lexus LFA — 552 hp at 8,700 rpm: 4.8-liter, DOHC, 40-valve V10. 354 lb-ft at 7,000 rpm. Lexus' highest-tech car spins its V10 all the way to 8,700 rpm to make peak power. With its 9,000-rpm redline, it's also the one car out of Japan that is a true exotic — and priced that way.
86-85. (Tie) 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur — 552 hp at 6,100 rpm: 6.0-liter, DOHC, 48-valve W12, twin turbo. 479 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm. Four-door version of Bentley's "entry-level" Continental uses the unique W12 engine from its Audi cousin. The 479-lb-ft of torque is down at 1,600 rpm. Will take 4.8 seconds to get to 60 and does the quarter-mile in 13.1 seconds at 105 mph.
86-85. (Tie) 2006 Bentley Continental GT — 552 hp at 6,100 rpm: 6.0-liter, DOHC, 48-valve W12, twin turbo. 479 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm. Two-door version of Bentley's "entry-level" all-wheel-drive Continental. Gets to 60 in 4.6 seconds on its way to 13.0 seconds at 106 mph for the quarter-mile.
84. 1992 Bugatti EB110 — 553 hp at 8,000 rpm: 3.5-liter, DOHC, 60-valve V12, quad turbo. Before the Veyron was the nearly-as-insane EB110. Its V12 used 60 valves, four cams, four turbos and a disdain for compromise. All done before VW bought the Bugatti name.
83-82. (Tie) 2010 BMW X5 M — 555 hp at 6,000 rpm: 4.4-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, twin turbo. 500 lb-ft at 1,500 rpm. BMW embraces turbocharging with the Motorsport division's first SUV. Backed by a six-speed automatic, this 5,368-pound, all-wheel-drive rhino will leap to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 12.8 seconds at 108.5 mph.
83-82. (Tie) 2010 BMW X6 M — 555 hp at 6,000 rpm: 4.4-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, twin turbo. 500 lb-ft at 1,500 rpm. Brother to the X5 M, it's more stylish thanks to a sloping rear deck.
81. 2009 Cadillac CTS-V — 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 versions.
80. 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG — 557 hp at 5,500 rpm: 5.5-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, twin turbo. Mercedes' new big roadster gets AMG's twin-turbo V8 making 530 horses and 590 lb-ft of peak torque. Add the "Power Pack" and the output goes up to 557 hp.
79. 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 — 560 hp at 8,000 rpm: 5.2-liter, DOHC, 40-valve V10. 397 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm. Lamborghini revises its V10 to slam output up to 560 hp. The engine finds its way into several Gallardo models and special editions that we dare you to try and keep track of.
78. 2011 Audi R8 GT — 560 hp at 8,000 rpm: 5.2-liter, DOHC, 20-valve V10. 398 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm. A lightweight version of the midengine, all-wheel-drive R8 powered by a version of the Lamborghini's V10. It's an Audi with a hard-core performance edge.
77-76. (Tie) 2012 BMW M5 — 560 hp at 6,000 rpm: 4.4-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, twin turbo. 500 lb-ft at 1,500 rpm. BMW reinvents the great M5 sedan around a new turbocharged V8. The 560 hp is routed through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to the rear wheels. BMW claims a 4.4-second blast from zero to 60 mph.
77-76. (Tie) 2012 BMW M6 — 560 hp at 6,000 rpm: 4.4-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8, twin turbo. 500 lb-ft at 1,500 rpm. Essentially a two-door coupe or cabriolet version of the M5. At more than 2 tons it's not small, but it should be as quick and competent as the M5.