I created a blog post showing a list of cars that were built for speed which is a verb that can be defined as the rate at which someone or something is able to move or operate. Now I am going to create a list of 14 cars that were built for power which can be defined as the ability to do something or act in a particular way and believe me that these cars are definitely very powerful.
Starting at number 14 is the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster. This German beauty was introduced at the 1936 Paris Motor Show, the Friedrich Geiger designed car was a development to the 500K, itself a development of the SSK. Available as a two-seater cabriolet, four seater coupé or seven seater limousine with armoured sides and armoured glass, it was one of the largest cars of the time.
The straight-8 cylinder engine of the 500K was enlarged in displacement to 329.6 cubic inches and it was fed by twin pressurized updraft carburetors, developing a 115 hp (very powerful for its time). In addition, there was an attached Roots supercharger, which could either be engaged manually for short periods, or automatically when the accelerator was pushed fully to the floor. This increased power to 180 hp which enabled a top speed of 110 miles per hour.
Dass mein Freund ein leistungsfähiges Auto ist. Es ist gut, Auto versierte sein. Which is German for…….That my friend is a powerful car. It is good to be Car Savvy.
The next car on my list of automobiles that were built for power is the 1963 Corvette Stingray. The 1963 Corvette (C2 generation) received a major restyling and new mechanics. Zora Arkus-Duntov (Belgian-born) convinced the brass at GM to include independent rear suspension on the ’63 because he convinced them he could sell 30,000 cars if they had it. The passenger compartment was still kept far to the rear of the car to allow the engine/transmission to sit behind the centerline of the front wheels. This allowed for a better weight ration (47/53) that improved handling. The ’63 Corvette included new twin headlights that are hidden behind an electrically operating cover. This added to the aerodynamics of the car when the headlights were not in use. The fastback coupe was also new, it included a fixed roof with a large back window that was split down the center with a body colored bar. This design was taken from the Alfa Romeo “Bat Cars” as posted on here a while ago. This bar was very controversial and was removed in 1964 so it makes the ’63 very unique and valuable. The car now had recessed non-functional hood louvers. Front fender louvers and ribbed rocker panels replaced the coves on the earlier models. The coupe also has louvers at the back of the side windows. The dash has circular gauges with black faces and the earlier models have storage space under the seats. Air conditioning, power brakes and power assisted steering were now available options.
Just one look at this Vette and you know that it was built for one purpose.
Taking the 12th position on my list of cars that were built for power is the 1967 Corvette Sting Ray with the 427 Tri-power motor. This Vette is my favorite out of all the Corvettes because the beastly motor under the angular hood of this monster just makes me smile every time I hear it. A lightweight two seater made from fiberglass that packs a 427-cid 435-hp V-8 with 11.0:1 compression ratio and 3 two-barrel carburetors that is mated to a 4-speed manual transmission has only one purpose. If you have to ask what that purpose is then I feel sorry for you.
This Vette is the Grandfather to all other Corvettes thus far.
The next car on my list of cars that were built for power is the 1967 Shelby AC Cobra 427. This is Carroll Shelby’s version of a very light weight car that had a big block placed under the hood in order to shred tires at will. These cars were built from 1965 up to the middle of 1968 and can fetch between $1,400,000 to $1,800,000 USD.
This is one car that everyone needs to see or drive as this snake always turns heads.
Earning the 10th position on my list of cars that were built for power is the 1985 Lamborghini Countach. The Lamborghini Countach was a supercar produced by Lamborghini in Italy. The first prototype actually emerged in 1971, and production lasted until 1990. The aerodynamics of this car were quite poor for such a sleek-looking automobile but looking fast was the key element to Lamborghini. The Countach popularized the wedge-shaped, sharply angled look popular in many high performance cars since.
The word Countach (pronounced Koon-tash) is an exclamation of astonishment in the local Piedmontese dialect – generally used by men on seeing an extremely beautiful woman. The name stuck when Nuccio Bertone, first saw “Project 112” in his studio. The prototype was introduced to the world at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. All previous Lamborghini names were associated with bullfighting (Ferruccio Lamborghini being an aficionado of the sport).
In 1985 the engine was improved again (which is why I chose this particular year) as it was bored and stroked to 5.2 liters and given four valves per cylinder (quattrovalvole in Italian). The carburetors were moved from the sides to the top of the engine for better breathing – unfortunately this created a hump on the engine deck, reducing the already poor rear visibility to almost nothing and the only way to back the car up was to open the door and lean out of the side of the car in order to see. Some of the body panels were also replaced by Kevlar. In later versions of the engine, the carburetors were replaced with fuel-injection.
For the first time, a US specification model was produced by the factory, with styling changes to allow bumpers to meet US federal standards (large, bulky bumpers were used that, to many people, ruined the smooth lines of the car). Although this change was the most notable on the exterior, the most prominent change under the hood was the use of Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, rather than the six Weber carburetors used in the Euro-spec model.
La Lamborghini Countach potrebbe non essere molto aerodinamica, ma è sicuramente molto potente. È bello essere auto Savvy which is Italian for….. the Lamborghini Countach may not be very aerodynamic but it is definitely very powerful. It is good to be Car Savvy.
The Ferrari F-40 is one of my favorites from this breed of car and it takes the 9th slot on my list of cars built for power. The F40 is equipped with rear wheel drive, a mid positioned engine and a Pininfarina-designed 2 door coupé body style. Its 8 cylinder, double overhead camshaft turbocharged powerplant has 4 valves per cylinder and a capacity of 2.9 litres which is only 177 cubic inches. The ability of an engine this small to be as powerful as it is amazes me as it has 471 bhp at 7000 rpm and 426 foot pounds of torque at 4000 rpm respectively. It also features dry sump-type lubrication. The quoted curb weight is 2,425 pounds and its maximum speed is 201 mph. The fuel consumption is around 9 miles to the gallon in the city and about 18 miles to the gallon on the highway but if you have to worry about fuel consumption in a car like this then maybe you should consider a different car.
The car taking the number 8 spot is none other than the 1992 Dodge Viper RT-10. I can personally tell you from experience that this beast is extremely powerful as I saw one destroyed in front of me due to driver inexperience. I will not go into the details because the crash was gruesome but I can tell you this……if you ever want to drive a fast or powerful car you need to let the tires get warm (or sticky if racing) before you go crazy in it because if you don’t do that you will loose control.
I can also tell you that when you get this car to 130 mph in sixth gear, the Viper’s fuel-injected 400-horsepower engine spins at an incredibly low 2,300 rpm which I found to be incredible as that is a very low RPM (rotations per minute) for that speed. The Viper is also blessed with loads of torque which is why the one I just mentioned lost control and crashed.
I will leave you with this final statement about the 1992 Viper RT-10, imagine that you are tooling along in second gear at 25 mph and you decide to floor it. A few heartbeats later – after a quick shift to third – you’re doing more than 100 mph and the speedometer needle still is sweeping over the numbers.
If that is not a powerful car than I do not know what is.
Stay smart and safe when driving and always remember that if you want to go fast you have to be smart.
The car at the number 7 position on my list of powerful cars is the 1995 Lamborghini Diablo VT. The Diablo VT was introduced in 1993. Although the VT differed from the standard Diablo in a number of ways, by far the most notable change was the addition of all wheel drive, which made use of a viscous center differential (a modified version of LM002’s 4WD system). This provided the new nomenclature for the car (VT stands for viscous traction). The new drivetrain could direct up to 25% of the torque to the front wheels to aid traction during rear wheel slip, thus significantly improving the handling characteristics of the car.
Other improvements debuting on the VT included front air intakes below the driving lamps to improve brake cooling, larger intakes in the rear arches, a more ergonomic interior with a revised electronically adjustable dampers, four-piston brake calipers, power steering, and minor engine refinements.
I have yet to drive one of these cars but I can tell you based upon what I know from other drivers experiences these supercars are extremely powerful and fast.
Taking the number 6 spot on my list of cars that were built for power is the 1999 Shelby Series 1 Roadster. Believe it or not, this supercar was powered by Oldsmobile’s 4.0 L L47 Aurora V8 DOHC engine. This motor was rated as producing 320 horsepower at 6500 rpm, 290 lb·ft at 5000 rpm and will do 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and records 12.8 seconds in the quarter mile at 112 mph. The top speed for this car is 170 mph which is 15 mph faster than the 427 Shelby Cobra.
The Series 1 is the only car ever designed and engineered by Carroll Shelby from a clean sheet of paper, and built from the ground up. All other Shelbys are re-engineered models produced by other manufacturers (Ford, AC from England, Chrysler) and modified by Shelby.
Since I am a guy that likes to take parts from varying manufacturers in order to obtain the best results I can appreciate a car like this. It is good to be Car Savvy. 😀
Earning the number 5 position on my list of cars built for speed is the 2001 Saleen S7. The exotic, high performance S7 was designed and engineered by Saleen, Inc., a specialty vehicle manufacturer headquartered in Irvine, California. This car is capable of over 200 miles per hour and the 0 to 60 time is under four seconds. The S7 chassis and suspension are the result of Saleen’s years of racing, racecar building and high performance road car manufacturing experience. Famed British racing house Ray Mallock, Ltd. (RML) was enlisted to assist with the design and building of the chassis and packaging of the S7’s advanced suspension system. While the S7 would be at home on any racetrack, it is also a car that can be driven with pleasure on highways and back roads. The Saleen S7’s 427 cubic inch engine is a technical tour de force, producing 550 horsepower at 6400 rpm. Based on a Ford form factor, the Saleen-massaged all-aluminum V-8 follows traditional American cam-in-block design to produce significant horsepower and torque with high reliability. This engine also generates 520 foot-pounds of torque at 4000 rpm and is transferred to the rear wheels through a new generation six-speed transaxle.
So, what does all of that mean? Well, this supercar handles like it is on rails plus it will put you back in your seat when you hit the gas and that is what a powerful car should do.
Once every decade or so, Ferrari comes out with a world-beating, benchmark-setting supercar that demonstrates the Italian company’s latest technology and insatiable thirst for speed and power. Taking the number 4 spot on my list of cars that were built for power is the 2003 Ferrari Enzo. This supercar was designed by Ken Okuyama, Pininfarina’s chief designer at the time, the Enzo featured styling cues previously unseen on a Ferrari. Although the F50 was a design evolution of the F40, the Enzo had nothing in common with its predecessor. Okuyama designed an F1-inspired front fascia, which featured a pointy nose mounted ahead of a V-shaped front lid. The air vents in the bumper were also crafted to resemble an F1 car’s front wing. In all, the front end of the Enzo depicted how a F1 car would’ve looked like if the FIA had abandoned the open-wheel design. For the headlamps, Ferrari opted for a pair of elongated, almost trapezoidal units mounted on each side of the nose. Two additional vents flanked the V-shaped hood.
When Ferrari developed the 288 GTO, F40, and the F50, they made sure each of these cars used an engine design that closely followed the concept Maranello used in Formula One. With F1 having switched to V-10s, and given Ferrari never used a V-10 in a road car, that tradition came to an end when the company built an entirely new 6.0-liter V-12 for the Enzo.
The mid-mounted engine had four valves per cylinder, dual overhead cams, variable valve timing, Bosch Motronic fuel injection, and a redline of 8,200 rpm (I love high revving motors). The output was rated at 651 horsepower and 485 pound-feet of torque, an impressive figure for 2002. This supercar needed only 3.14 second to hit 60 mph and 6.6 seconds to reach 100 mph. It ran the quarter-mile in 11 seconds flat at 136 mph. The Enzo’s top speed has been recorded to be as high as 221 mph. Lastly, a race-spec, six-speed sequntial transmission handled shifting.
The Enzo also holds a 7:25-minute lap time on the Nurburgring Nordschleife which not only makes this car very fast but also extremely powerful.
A car that is powerful usually comes with an expensive price tag but there is one car that is very powerful and it will not take every last dollar you have in order to own it. Taking the 3rd slot on my list of cars that were built for power is the 2005 C6 Corvette. 2005 was the first year for the sixth generation and it was more of an evolution of the C5 than an all-new car. The 2005 Corvette C6 did take giant steps forward in performance and refinement and it was smaller, more nimble, and more precise than its predecessor. The newfound refinement was a pleasant surprise, and performance was more satisfying than ever. This Vette produced 400 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 400 foot pounds of torque at 4,400 RPM. Now, keep in mind that I am not posting about the Z06 (upgraded performance option) version of this Vette because I am focusing upon a powerful car that is extremely affordable, as a matter of fact, the hatchback 2005 C6 Corvette cost almost $44,000 USD when it was new.
Also keep in mind that this Vette was the foundation for the ZR1 which was to be released a couple of years later with the new LS9 6.2-litre V8 that was mated to an Eaton supercharger. This version of the LS3 block produces 638 horsepower and 604 foot pounds of torque.
So, if you seek a powerful sports car that is extremely affordable then the 2005 C6 Corvette is the car to have.
I am down to the last two cars on my list of automobiles that were built for power and coming in at second place is the 2007 Ford Shelby GT 500. This particular Shelby reminds me of the iconic 1967 model, especially when you look at this car from the front and while there are some styling cues from 1967 this car is considerably stronger. The engine delivers more power, more torque, better handling, and more visual intimidation. The heart of the GT500 is a supercharged 5.4-liter DOHC 32-valve V-8. If those specs sound familiar, it’s because they’re interchangeable with the description for the mid-engined Ford GT of the same genre but there are important distinctions. The GT V-8 is all aluminum with a dry-sump lubrication system, whereas the GT500 has an iron block and a wet sump. The GT engine is force-fed by a Lysholm screw-type supercharger; the GT500 will use an Eaton R122 Roots-type blower and an air-to-liquid intercooler, adding 10 psi to the intake system at peak boost.
Long story short, when you hit the gas the 500 horses under the hood come alive and easily twist the rear wheels with 480 foot pounds of torque. If you want to know what it is like to be pushed back into a car seat then drive one of these “bad boys” and you will quickly find out.
Taking first place on my list of cars that were built for power is the 2008 Viper SRT10. This is arguably the pick of the litter from the Viper clan because it received a significantly revised V-10 packing a nice round 600 horses and 560 pound-feet of tire shredding torque. Dodge and the SRT gang were the first to have managed the seemingly impossible — variable exhaust-valve timing in a single-cam engine. The system is trademarked CamInCam, which aptly describes how it works. In simple terms, when the engine is between idle and 3000 rpm, depending on throttle position, the overlap increases to the maximum amount. This system is less expensive than two or four cam phasers on a DOHC engine, this engine created the technology that spread among other high-end OHV engines. Since Dodge turned up the juice, it was obligated to go through all the rest of the vehicle systems to make sure everything can withstand the high stress 600 horses can exert and still meet durability targets without torpedoing the car’s warranty repair record. That drives changes to the powertrain, chassis, and even the body in the case of a high-speed supercar like the Viper.
The technology from this particular Viper not only went into the current Hellcat and Demon but other manufactures have adopted as well.