Ever since the very first cars made horses obsolete, automotive manufacturers have pushed the limits of every last piece of vehicular technology. For the most part, advances in design and engineering hit competition motorsports first, then slowly filter down to road-going cars as the design is perfected, the manufacturing process is refined, and the materials become more widely available.
The result is that even today's Honda Civic can radically outperform early racing cars in just about every perspective - from handling and power to reliability and efficiency. Most drivers often take their contemporary commuter cars for granted, but the pace of technological advancement hasn't slowed down - if anything, engineers are coming up with even more ingenious ways to create impressive engines, powertrains, suspension setups, and aerodynamic aids.
When Henry Ford made the horseless carriage attainable to the masses by using an assembly line production process to cut costs, he could never have foreseen the eventual development of the entire supercar market that dominates automotive industry headlines today. It seems like every model year brings a new manufacturer to the forefront of supercar design, and the world's wealthiest consumers sit ready and waiting to shell out millions of dollars for exclusive, rare, luxurious, and most of all, powerful cars.
The supercar market only grows all the time, and in some ways has claimed the technological vanguard by poaching engineers who would otherwise find themselves constrained by the incremental changes required by competition-governing bodies. But while most drivers will rarely get to see or drive any of today's most spectacular supercars, a few mainstream manufacturers have cut-and-pasted enormous engines into pickup trucks for some of the world's most utilitarian automotive insanity. Keep scrolling for 20 supercars that can legitimately take on even the world's best race cars, and the 5 most powerful pickup trucks ever to leave the factory.
25 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Demon
The one-year-only Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Demon is essentially a dragstrip race car that leaves the factory so potent that the NHRA even banned it from competition. At its heart is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 cranking out up to 808 horsepower, and buyers are given the option of a variety of weight-saving strategies including a passenger seat delete. The supercharger itself displaces 2.7 liters, more than the entire engines of most commuter cars, and the Demon even utilizes a transmission brake to help build up torque before unleashing a tire-burning quarter mile time of 9.65 seconds at 140 miles per hour.
24 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
The history of automotive manufacturing has been an escalating power arms race as engineering and technology allow for the steady increase of performance capabilities. But the entire industry wasn't ready for the Bugatti Veyron when it took the world by storm in 2005.
With a quad-turbocharged W16 cranking over 1,000 horsepower to all four wheels, the Veyron easily claimed the title of world's fastest street-legal car with a top speed of 267.856 miles per hour.
In many ways, the Veyron set the stage for the current crop of supercars and hypercars that continue to push the envelope today, but still the Veyron's aura reigns supreme thanks to its iconic looks and sumptuous luxury.
23 Bugatti Chiron
For many drivers, the Bugatti Chiron may appear at first glance to be nothing more than a Veyron - still a very special car to catch a glimpse of even more than a decade after its debut. But that larger side vent, integrated into the Chiron's door, and more angular front end reveal that the Chiron is a more modern iteration of the Veyron, and its performance is enhanced to match its beefed-up exterior. Its mid-mounted, quad-turbo W16 produces 1,479 horsepower, or almost 300 more than a Veyron Super Sport and nearly 500 more than a base Veyron. Though official top speed testing remains to be completed, the $2.7 million Chiron already has broken the 0-249mph-0 record with a time of 41.96 seconds.
22 Ferrari LaFerrari
Any time a manufacturer with a legendary history like Ferrari's names its car something like LaFerrari, the result is a vehicle certain to lead the entire industry in technology and performance. And the LaFerrari doesn't disappoint.
Based on testing completed by the track version of the Enzo, the FXX, the LaFerrari packs the Italian manufacturer's first hybrid drivetrain, which creates a total of 950 horsepower when both the V12 gasoline and electric engine are running full bore.
The LaFerrari can sprint to 60 miles per hour in only 2.4 seconds, and lapped the Fiorano Test Circuit faster than any other Ferrari ever built.
21 SSC Ultimate Aero
SSC (formerly Shelby SuperCars) produced the Ultimate Aero from 2006 to 2013, steadily increasing the power output of the long, low sports car throughout its run. Even automotive enthusiasts typically don't realize that the Ultimate Aero held the title of world's fastest production car from 2007 until the Veyron Super Sport broke it in 2010. Completely unrelated to Carroll Shelby, SSC's newest vehicle, the Tuatara, should hit the roads in 2019 with hopes to reclaim the title of world's fastest car, but in the meantime, even an Ultimate Aero that's more than ten years old still stands near the top of the supercar heap.
20 Pagani Huayra
When Horacio Pagani left Lamborghini's composites department in the 1980s, few could have foreseen that one day he would oversee a company that creates some of the world's most spectacular cars.
From both a performance and style perspective, as well as the financial aspect, few cars can match Pagani's second product, the Huayra, which features a bi-turbo V12 created by Mercedes-AMG.
That distinctive exterior allows Huayra to boast insane grip in addition to its power stats, with a maximum of 1.66 g of road-holding at up to 230 miles per hour. Various Huayra iterations have followed the initial run of 100, all of which sold out despite a price tag that started over $1 million.
19 Rimac C Two
Any fan of Elon Musk's forthcoming Tesla Roadster had better keep their ear to the ground for the electric car that seems poised to dominate it in every single statistic. The Rimac C Two, produced in Croatia, boasts 1,914 horsepower powering all four wheels (from four separate motors) with up to 400 miles of range, all while offering Level 4 autonomous driving, butterfly doors that unlock via facial recognition, and a 30-minute charge to 80% capacity. Even its concept predecessor beats the Bugatti Chiron, the Tesla Roadster, and even the Dodge Challenger Demon in acceleration testing, and the C Two is even more powerful.
18 Tesla Model S P100D
Unsuspecting drivers hoping to blast past that big sedan stopped next to them at a stoplight might be in for a big surprise when the Tesla Model S silently walks away from the green light.
In P100D spec, the Model S is one of the quickest cars on the market despite its size thanks to the instantaneous torque availability of its electric motors.
Throw in all wheel drive, a low center of gravity made possible by its battery layout, and a luxurious interior that isn't cramped by a large engine bay or transmission tunnel, and the Model S P100D sits alone at the top of the list of electric super sedans.
17 Hennessey Venom GT
Hennessey Performance unveiled their Venom F5 at Monterey Car Week this past August, a forthcoming supercar that builds on the successes of its Lotus-based Venom GT, which debuted in 2011. The Venom GT features a mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged, GM-sourced LSX V8 engine cranking out up to 1,244 horsepower and 1,155 lb-ft of torque, and even utilizes a good old six-speed stick shift. The Venom GT holds the official record for fastest time to 186 miles per hour, with unofficial records for 0-200 mph and a one-way top speed of 270.49 mph, a speed which additionally can't hold the record because Hennessey only made 13 examples.
16 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Despite the escalating power wars dominating the headlines coming out of Detroit these days, one car still reigns supreme as this country's true mass-produced supercar: the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
While some may compare the Corvette to today's reincarnated Challengers, Camaros, and Mustangs, in reality, those cars don't combine a low center of gravity, sleek exterior, and handling-oriented setup in nearly the same manner.
And with a 755 horsepower V8 motivating the enormous rear tires, the Corvette ZR1 can still hold its own in a straight-up drag race, as well. With a price tag that starts around $120,000, few cars offer more bang for the buck.
15 Hennessey Camaro Exorcist
Texas-based tuners Hennessey Performance have spent their careers building a reputation for modifying factory cars to create insane power specs. With the recently unveiled Venom F5 taking up headlines as Hennessey's first car to be completely built in-house, plenty of drivers will be learning about the company's other wild builds. Their premier Camaro stands out as Hennessey's answer to the Dodge Challenger Demon, though it also offers handling upgrades on top of all-out straight-line power stats. Hennessey claims their high-flow supercharger ups the ante to over 1,000 horsepower and a top speed of 217 miles per hour. And the Camaro Exorcist even comes with the peace of mind of a 2-year/24,000 mile warranty.
14 Ford GT
The original Ford GT40's status as one of this country's most significant automotive achievements of all time is unlikely to change any time soon, but the new Ford GT sure manages to bring the heat on its own.
Inspired by the cars that took the fight to Enzo Ferrari, winning in a 1-2-3 finish at the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, today's GT combines tech with a radical design to allow for race car performance on the street.
Technically the second generation GT, after the original throwback of the early 2000s, it features a twin-turbocharged Ford EcoBoost V6 shared with the F-150 creating 647 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque.
13 Porsche 918 Spyder
Porsche's 918 Spyder looks the part of a futuristic supercar, and under the hood, its hybrid drivetrain certainly doesn't disappoint. With an internal combustion V8 producing 600 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque augmented with a pair of electric motors, one for each axle, that bump power up to a mind-boggling 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque. Those stats allowed Car and Driver to clock a 0-60 time of only 2.2 seconds and a 0-100 time of only 4.9 seconds. The 918 Spyder was a limited-edition car, fully sold out in its less than two-year production run despite a price tag of over $845,000.
12 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid
The Porsche 918 Spyder wasn't Porsche's first hybrid, however. That title, which may seem dubious when taking into consideration hybrid commuter cars, goes to the Panamera S E-Hybrid, which debuted in 2013.
Since then, however, Porsche has clearly mastered the performance-hybrid format, and their Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid in Sport Turismo trim currently holds the title of world's most powerful full-sized factory sedan.
Its twin-turbocharged V8 is complemented by an electric motor for a total output of 671 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, the latter available all the way down at only 1,400 RPM thanks to the electric motor.
11 Koenigsegg Agera RS
The world's current record-holder for fastest production vehicle is the Koenigsegg Agera RS. Koenigsegg may be a bit of an enigma to domestic drivers, but the Swedish manufacturer has been producing supercars for much longer than they've shipped them Stateside. The Agera RS is only the latest iteration, utilizing a twin-turbocharged V8 capable of up to 1,341 horsepower. The car's low aero profile and lightweight combine with that kind of power to allow for a two-way verified speed of 277.9 miles per hour and a one-way top speed of 284.55 mph. The Agera RS's production run has ended, however, and the world awaits Koenigsegg's forthcoming response to the impressive Hennessey Venom F5 and SSC Tuatara.
10 Jaguar XJ220
Jaguar brought the world its first ground-up supercar with the debut of the XJ220 in 1992. With a sleek design that housed a massive twin-turbocharged V6 producing up to 542 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque, the road-going XJ220 was the fastest production car, reigning supreme with a straight-line speed of 217.1 miles per hour with catalytic converters removed, while also setting a Nurburgring lap record of 7:46.36. The XJ220 set the stage for the modern supercar race, including the development of the later world-beating McLaren F1 which demolished the XJ220 with a 240.1 mile per hour run.
9 McLaren Senna
McLaren took the world by storm with its Formula 1-derived F1 supercar in 1993, a car that still sits at the top of many publications' lists of the best supercars ever made.
But today, McLaren has continued building on their tradition of lightweight, powerful cars that focus on nimble handling, with the current McLaren Senna bringing that recipe to its current peak form.
Named after legendary Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna, McLaren's goal with the car is to set track records left and right, and with a curb weight well under 3,000 pounds, an extensive aero package, and a twin-turbocharged V8 sending 789 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, the Senna is only waiting for a driver worthy of its amazing capabilities.
8 Ferrari 488 Pista
Ferrari's track-focused iteration of the 488 GTB brings added power, lightning fast shifts, and significant weight trimmings to the table, just the kinds of tidbits most drivers dream of one day owning. The heart and soul of the 488 Pista is a twin-turbo V8 mounted amidships and cranking out 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque, while tipping the scales at 175 pounds less than a standard 488 GTB. That weight is achieved by the use of a lighter crankshaft and flywheel, as well as titanium connecting rods, which also save up to 17 percent of rotational inertia. Peak torque hits relatively low at 3,000 RPM, while a launch control feature allows for a 0-60 time of only 2.85 seconds.
7 Aston Martin One-77
The Aston Martin One-77 was the English manufacturer's flagship sports car during its 2009-2012 production run. Powered by a naturally-aspirated, 7.3-liter V12 pumping 750 horses and 553 lb-ft to the rear wheels, the One-77 was also the fastest Aston Martin ever made at the time. Its carbon fiber chassis and aluminum body combined to keep weight, which helped make up for the lack of turbo- or supercharging, while its exterior style built on the aggressive language introduced by the Vanquish in 2001. Production was limited to only 77 examples, though one was written off after a crash in Hong Kong.
6 Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Porsche added all-wheel drive to their Turbo models after the legendary 959 established just how effective and confidence-inspiring the setup could make a massively powerful car that might otherwise seem untameable by the average driver.
But in classic Porsche-fan style, enough owners clamored for a rear-wheel-drive variant that the German manufacturer eventually capitulated, releasing the 996-generation GT2.
Compared to the rear-wheel-drive GT3 with its lack of turbos, the GT2 in all its iterations since then brings complete insanity to the market, as a current GT2 RS produces 690 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful 911 of all time.
5 GMC Syclone
GMC only built the Syclone for one year, 1991, but when it hit the market, the souped-up version of the Sonoma pickup truck was the fastest production truck in the world. Even though its exterior received minimal changes other than a body kit and nifty badging, under the hood the Syclone packed a turbocharged V6 pumping 280 horsepower and a walloping 350 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. Those stats were good enough to launch the Syclone to 60 miles per hour in only 4.3 seconds, while its rear-biased all wheel drive allowed for handling that could legitimately rival Ferraris and Corvettes of the era.
4 Dodge Lil' Red Express
Arguably the first pickup truck to receive a true hot-rod makeover from the factory, the Dodge Lil' Red Express hit streets in 1978 packing a mean combination of power and style that easily make it one of the most unique Dodge trucks ever built.
Its high-performance small block V8 produced 225 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, enough power to make it the fastest domestically produced automobile of any class in 1978.
The public loved the Lil' Red Express exterior, with its enormous exhaust, wide rear wheels, and classic design, and Dodge upped production to 5,118 for 1979 before ending the project.
3 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning
Most drivers don't realize that Ford actually produced two generations of their hot-rodded F-150 in SVT Lightning trim. The first edition ran from 1993 to 1995 and featured few external cues to signify a souped-up drivetrain, but for the second generation, Ford went all out on style as well as even further enhanced performance. For 1999, the Lightning received a supercharged 5.4-liter Triton V8 cranking out 360 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque thanks to 8 psi of boost, while 2001 and later Lightnings upped power to 380 horses and 450 lb-ft. A limited-slip rear differential aided with rear-end traction, a common weight distribution problem for high-powered pickups.
2 Dodge Ram SRT-10
After the Dodge Lil' Red Express, it would be more than 20 years before the company returned to the performance pickup truck market - but the return would prove just as wild as the original inspiration.
Between 2004 and 2006, Dodge actually built a truck that housed a Viper V10 under its hood boasting 500 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque.
Impressively, the Viper V10's aluminum construction helped to keep the big pickup's weight to just over 5,000 pounds - even in Quad Cab trim - and all that power was complemented by handling that could manage up to .86 g of lateral grip.
1 Chevrolet El Camino
While supercar and mainstream manufacturers have often focused on high-performance cars and trucks, not many have produced a legitimate high-performance vehicle that blurs the line between the two forms. Of course, the most famous example is Chevrolet's El Camino - the most classically styled cruck ever made, and one that offered serious power in higher-spec trims, as well. In maxed-out Super Sport trim, the third-generation El Camino could be had with a 454 cubic inch LS6 V8 (that's 7.4 liters!) that was conservatively rated at 450 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque, allowing for a quarter mile time in the low 13 second range at a trap speed of around 108 miles per hour.