In business, time is of the essence, but in a car enthusiast’s world, speed is of the essence. For us, a car needs to have that cheetah-like acceleration capability or something is deemed amiss. Perhaps, you remember the time when you tried to beat the car next to you at a red traffic light. No sooner did the light turn green then your foot pressed the gas pedal as hard as it could… only to realize that after four seconds, you were still climbing the 30-mph ladder. How sad!
But things have, of course, changed. With a focus on a more powerful engine, car makers can replicate - excuse me - surpass the acceleration of a cheetah. The more powerful the engine, the more horsepower it has to do the magic. In addition, weight and design are other factors contributing to the speed of a car. The design needs to be appealing yet be physics-friendly to obtain that 60 mph in under 4 seconds. Weight is a contributing factor also. Car manufacturers are always in search of a durable, lightweight material to build a car with, as lighter cars travel faster than heavier ones, all else being equal. While those of you who've always sought an adrenaline rush from the speed of cars may know that Bugatti and Lamborghini have some of the best acceleration prowess, here are 20 cars you probably didn’t know could go 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds:
20 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: 3.9 seconds
This supercharged Chevrolet Camaro with a 6.2-liter V8 engine can take you from 0 to 60 mph in exactly 3.9 seconds. While it looks “speedy,” you never could've guessed it would be this fast. According to the vice president of Chevrolet marketing, it was the most technically advanced Camaro in 2012. With a maximum speed of 184 mph, the Chevrolet Camaro left everyone in awe at its time of appearance. The new design of the front body, including the extractors on the hood, and the leather seats in black, along with some more modifications made up for the subpar mileage for some. Besides the sporty look, the car was also economically feasible, with a price tag of $54,350. Considering the relatively cheap price, the 0 to 60 mph haul in a little under 4 seconds wasn't a bad deal at all.
19 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (Z51 Package): 3.9 seconds
This Chevrolet Corvette has about the same take-off time to reach the destination of 60 mph as does the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: about 3.9 seconds. With the same engine as the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 but a little less horsepower, the Corvette looks a bit more pleasing to the eyes, personally speaking. The Z51 Package was an enhancement to the basic 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray, though. The Z51 had a number of improvements in both the exterior and its performance: it had 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels, more athletic gear ratios, and improved suspensions. The body itself was more worked up to become more compatible with high speed, giving the highly desired high performance. The price for this was affordable also: $54,795. Not bad at all.
18 2010 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan: 3.9 seconds
When you think of Cadillac, you might picture an old, wealthy businessman driving it. But that’s an old belief. You can be young and still own the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V sedan. Made as the performance version of Cadillac CTS, the CTS-V sedan costs only around $60,000—a good reason for anyone, old or not, to own a car that can chase the 60mph mark in 3.9 seconds. While other car manufacturers use the dual-overhead camshaft, General Motors made the CTS-V with an overhead-valve arrangement; the engine of this bad boy is able to pump out 556 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque. Also, the CTS-V series, in general, has 3 body styles available: 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan, and 5-door station wagon - seems like an economically viable option for a lot of people.
17 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Manual Coupe: 3.9 seconds
While you might have known that the automatic is faster than the manual Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Coupe, you probably didn’t know that the manual roared to the 60mph mark in 3.9 seconds. Built with a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI engine generating 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, this one has two different key fob options. The black one limits your moves to 500 hp, but the red one, ooh... the red one authorizes you to scare the crap out of a living being as you utilize that 707 hp. It also has a good braking system. Requiring only 109 ft to come to rest from 60 mph, it can also save you from discoloring your pants. 61,000 dollars for this is very reasonable also.
16 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed: 3.9 seconds
While Bentley is famous for prestige and speed, not every single Bentley is made with such intentions. The 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed, a two-door coupe capable of seating almost four people, is one of them. With 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque coming out of the twin-turbo dual overhead camshaft, this beauty can seamlessly cross the 60mph line in 3.9 seconds. The speed is an improvement from the Continental GT. The improvements have made the weight lighter, and the front body dynamic and the speed faster - it has a maximum speed of 202 mph. That’s quite impressive. The car is still suitable for a family; it's sporty yet has that feel of a sleeper car also. It might be a big-ticket item, though: the base price itself ranges from $175,000 to 200,000.
15 2013 Lotus Exige S Roadster: 3.8 seconds
The 2013 Lotus Exige S Roadster is like Lotus Exige, minus the solid rooftop. Let’s look at it in more detail. Offering a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine capable of producing 345 hp, it can run to 60 mph from rest in 3.8 seconds. It has two transmissions and two suspension options available, a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic and standard or race, respectively. The race mode enables you to use the launch-control system, making the maneuvering swifter on tracks. One of the best things about the 2013 Lotus Exige S Roadster is its sub-2425 lb weight - maybe the lighter rooftop helped reduce the weight! Jokes aside (although the removable soft-top arguably reduced the weight to give it an edge in performance), this was, unfortunately, only available in Europe and Asia at the time of its appearance. Price tag: $79,000.
14 2016 Jaguar XJR: 3.8 seconds
Jaguar XJ didn’t receive as much as attention in the U.S. as some of the other rival companies, such as Mercedes and BMW, did with their editions. While Jaguar arises out of United Kingdom and has a more receptive audience there than it does in the U.S., this model still has a lot to offer; it's capable of enticing those who haven’t seen it. Jaguar XJR is the performance version of the XJ, the flagship sedan. Equipped with an engine capable of producing 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque, this beast can run from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and let’s not forget it's a four-door sleeper sedan. The staggering price tag of $120,000 may be a concern for most, but the body and the performance might be able to make up for the loss.
13 2016 Audi S8 Plus: 3.7 seconds
The Audi name is also one of the top brand names in the market, but maybe you didn’t know that compared to the regular A8, the derivative S8 Plus brings 85 more horsepower to bring about a staggering total of 605 hp and 517 lb-ft of torque from the 4-liter twin-turbocharged V8, in tandem with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It can carry you to 60mph from rest in 3.7 seconds. With the Dynamic package, a top speed of 190 mph is also feasible on the S8 Plus. The Dynamic package also has the option of a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, a sport exhaust system, and carbon-ceramic brakes. Did I mention it was a luxury sedan? You can easily and comfortably travel with three other people on long-distance drives; on highways, you'll get about 25 mpg. While the price tag reaches low six figures, it's still well within the “Audi range.”
12 2013 BMW M5: 3.6 seconds
When you think of a BMW, luxury and performance come to mind. After all, you're familiar with this brand and see it quite frequently on the road. But 3.6 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph from rest probably doesn’t cross your mind. You thought of performance - but not that good of a performance, right? From the outside, it looks like the usual Germany-based manufacturer’s car: luxurious and attractive, but not necessarily high-performing. But the M5 is equipped with a twin-turbocharged V8 engine, producing 560 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque, giving an unprecedented performance from BMW. This is truly one of the best sleeper cars out there. You would find yourself being fooled if you thought this was just another BMW! Its price is moderate: only $91,795.
11 2017 BMW Alpina B7 Biturbo: 3.6 seconds
This is another surprise from BMW. It’s a full-sized luxury sedan that seems more appropriate for the modest chief-level executive or even for a high-class family, rather than for a car enthusiast. If it was this and a Porsche next to me at a red traffic light, I would've never even thought this car could zoom past the 60-mph mark in 3.6 seconds. But with 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque coming out of the turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine, performance and efficiency are bound to ooze out of it. Additionally, the Alpina B7 can attain a maximum speed of 200 mph, and don’t forget - it’s a full-sized sedan. The exterior, while attractive, is still relatively unassuming compared to what other cars have going for them. Compared to the above BMW, this one is a bit pricier, with a price tag of $137,995.
10 2011 Lexus LFA: 3.6 seconds
After reading about the likes of the BMWs and Lotus above, this might come as a surprise. But just because it's a Lexus doesn’t mean it can’t be super fast. The 4.8-liter V10 engine produces 552 hp, taking you to 60 mph from standstill in 3.6 seconds. It also has a relatively high maximum speed of 202 mph. The unique thing about this car is the sound of the engine. With the help of Yamaha’s musical division team, LFA’s engineers meant to replicate the sound system of an Ovation guitar on the LFA’s engine. And now, LFA has a very soothing and pleasing engine sound. I guess you could say the 2011 Lexus LFA sings its way to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds - you can hear it even with a helmet, thankfully. The price tag won't be pleasant to the ears, though: even the base price starts at $375,000.
9 2010 Subaru Impreza Cosworth STI CS400: 3.6 seconds
This is another one of those cars that can fool you with its modest exterior - and the interior also, which I was fooled by recently myself. With an engine producing only 395 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, both of which are respectable, although nothing out of the blue, it can still zoom past the 60-mph mark from rest in only 3.6 seconds. Of help were the upgraded suspension and exhaust. Notable also were the 6-pot brake calipers. At its time of inception, only about 75 units were made. The CS400 Impreza had a moderately reasonable price tag of approximately $72,000; for a car which only had 75 units, that’s not bad at all. While meek in appearance, it did its magic as it outperformed several well-known high-performance road cars and supercars.
8 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: 3.5 seconds
The 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is the real deal. Compared to the previous versions, the supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine churns out 662 hp and 631 lb-ft of torque, reaching 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. That’s a lot of horsepower. The 2013 Shelby GT500 has a 6-speed manual gearbox and averages 15 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. The stability control, traction control, and antilock disc brakes make it safer, requiring only 110 feet to stop from 60 mph. Additionally, the run of the mill MyKey system limits the top speed to 190 mph for safety reasons. And rightly so. With a price tag of only $54,995, it was easily within the reach of the middle class. And we didn’t want every other Shelby GT500 owner to try to reach the maximum on highways.
7 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk: 3.5 seconds
A jeep. That’s right - a jeep weighing 5,300 lbs, can do the 0 to 60 mph trick in 3.5 seconds. That’s the power of the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which has the 6.2-liter V8 engine of the Dodge Hellcat, producing 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque; the engine is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Don’t be fooled by the quick acceleration, though. With a towing capacity of 7,200 lbs, this vehicle is apt for towing and driving on roads that are not small-car friendly. On the other side of the coin - and this is being mentioned despite the vehicle having a “Track” mode with Launch Control - it might not be the best idea to use this vehicle for racing. After all, the jeep was built for durability and efficiency on the street. The price of this jeep is $85,900.
6 2017 Bentley Bentayga SUV: 3.5 seconds
With a top speed of 187 mph, Bentayga SUV is the fastest and most luxurious SUV on the planet. The interior is lavish and dust free, protected by the triple seals around any orifice. The dashboard has some physical gauges with real needles that remind you of classical times. It has various off-road options. From snow to sand dunes, such modes can enhance your driving experience. All of this being said, let’s not forget the acceleration. Equipped with a 6-liter W12 engine that's capable of blasting out 600 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque, this beast can sneak up to the 60-mph mark in 3.5 seconds. Did I forget to mention it weighs 5,600-plus pounds? All accolades aside, the cost is a limiting factor of Bentayga (and any Bentley in general); the starting price is around $230,000.
5 2018 Mercedes AMG E63 S Wagon: 3.4 seconds
If you were thinking it was just another mom driving her kids to the playground, think again. Sure, this vehicle can provide luxury and space for driving families. Children can sit in the back with dogs, and large items can be stored in the trunk. But the E63 S Wagon has a little more to offer than meets the eye: You can take the children, dogs, and the stored items from 0 to 60 mph in about 3.4 seconds (just make sure the dogs are in good position and the children seat-belted). And it's all because of the twin-turbocharged 4-liter V8 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission, generating 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque under the elongated hood. That’s an insane amount of power for a wagon. The price tag isn't that bad at all either: $107,000.
4 2013 Tesla Model S P85D: 3.2 seconds
When you think of Tesla, you probably think about fuel economy and an electricity-based car. And that’s absolutely right. The 2013 Tesla Model S P85D is an electric, four-door car. But in addition to saving the environment and money from your pocket by giving you a 104 miles-per-gallon gasoline equivalent, it gives you a staggering time of 3.2 seconds to reach 60 mph from rest when that dual motor outputs 691 hp under the “Insane Mode,” which adds 1g of acceleration. The exterior of the P85D looks just like a normal Tesla, and the interior is spacious, but you wouldn’t know what's hiding under that hood just from the outside. So, be careful next time you're at a red light with a Tesla Model S P85D. The price is around $72,700 and varies depending on the package you choose.
3 2017 Acura NSX: 3.0 seconds
This is also a bit unusual. Serving as the luxury model of Honda, Acura has satisfied many users, although for normal things. But who’s to say 2017 Acura NSX can’t roar from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds? And some have even claimed 2.7 seconds for the deed. After having been silent for 10 years, the NSX has come back with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 573 hp and 623 lb-ft of torque. It also has a nine-speed dual clutch transmission. It looks very pleasing to the eyes, looking all sporty, and the front exterior definitely reminds you of your “standard” newer Acuras. The MSRP of $156,000, although expensive for most, isn't bad for a car in this range of acceleration and year.
2 2012 Nissan GT-R: 2.8 seconds
The 2012 Nissan GT-R was special upon its advent in the market. Equipped with the hand-built twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine, 2012 Nissan GT-R was the first GT-R to be seen in the U.S. With a six-speed dual-clutch automated transmission, it increased its force to 530 hp and torque to 448 lb-ft. This bad boy - not a formula car exactly, remind you - can win the 0 to 60-mph race in around 2.8 seconds and has a price tag of $89,950. A transaxle is used to even out the weight on the rear wheels, making it more manageable for the car to handle swift acceleration, turns, and deceleration; the dual-clutch offers seamless torque to the wheels in all four corners. Although the body weight can be a little more than desirable for some, its performance really makes up for that.
1 2016 Tesla Model S P90D: 2.8 seconds
Back at it again. While the P85D model did the trick in 3.2 seconds, Tesla seems relentless and brings another one to do the magic in just 2.8 seconds. You probably didn’t expect the P90D to have this feature enhanced, though. Sure, it has improved semi-auto-drive where it can change lanes automatically after you flick the indicators in the wanted direction, and it can keep itself in lane without you having to touch the steering wheel all the time, but providing 1.1 g acceleration wasn't expected. The exterior of the car is still rather modest, especially in comparison to some of the other vehicles that also do the deed in 2.8 seconds. Tesla truly is a sleeper car. You would never expect it to zoom past you in the blink of an eye.