From the puttering, stuttering Model A to the raw power and aerodynamic design of 21st-century hypercars, the U.S. automotive industry has embraced space-age technologies and innovative materials on its way to becoming a multi-billion dollar business. While classic mid-century muscle cars ushered in an era of unbridled horsepower, blistering acceleration is the hallmark of 21st-century hypercars, with the fastest going from 0-60 in a shade under 2 seconds. We’re talking plastered-to-the-back-of-your-seat acceleration. From the drag strips of the 1960s to the high-performance cars of NASCAR, America’s fascination with fast cars runs deep. So, clip your shoulder harness and cinch your lap belt as 24/7 Wall St. blasts through our list of the 20 fastest American cars ever made, presented in reverse, beep, beep, beep, beep…
20. Cadillac ATS-V: 189 mph
The Cadillac ATS-V, a high-performance blend of luxury and sportiness produced from 2013 to 2019, boasted a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that delivered impressive acceleration, surging from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 3.8 seconds. With a top speed of 189 mph, the ATV was deceptively fast- a supercar disguised as a roadster. Available with an original base sticker price of $68,335, the Cadillac ATS-V was available in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive models.
19. Acura NSX: 191 mph
The Acura NSX, a high-performance sports car produced in Marysville, Ohio, is a hybrid sports car, featuring a mid-engine layout with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine and three electric motors. The NSX goes from 0-60 in 3.0 seconds and tops out at a respectable 191 mph- miles per hybrid. Introduced in 1991 with a base sticker price of 60.6k, the NSX showcased America’s capability to produce a high-performance, cutting-edge sports car. Production ceased in 2022, the result of declining sales coupled with a corporate shift of focus to electric cars.
18. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: 194 mph
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is an iconic American sports car that has been a symbol of performance and style for decades. The eighth-generation Corvette, introduced in 2020, marked a significant shift, adopting a mid-engine layout, for improved balance and handling. Powered by a potent 6.2-liter V8 engine, the Corvette Stingray delivers astounding performance with 490 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, reaching 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. At a speedy 194 mph, the Stingray holds its own at the track. To own this sort of performance, consumers willingly shelled out between 72-75k. The Corvette Stingray, designed as a concept car in 1957, remains in production.
17. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: 198 mph
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a high-performance variant within the Camaro lineup. The ZL1 embodies the essence of American muscle with an extra dose of power in its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine. The ZL1 unleashes a formidable 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, accelerating from 0-60 in 4.0 seconds. With a top speed that could easily be rounded up to 200 mph, the Camaro ZL1 provides more than enough adrenaline-pumping speed. Introduced in 1969 with a price tag of $7,200.00, Chevrolet is suspending production of the Camaro line, including the ZL1, after 2024.
16. Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: 200 mph
The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is the flagship of the Cadillac V-Series. The Blackwing combines comfort, luxury, and speed all under one roof. Its 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine delivers an impressive 668 horsepower and 659 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful Cadillac ever, accelerating from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds. With a top speed of 200 mph, the Blackwing is an intimidating competitor. Reasonably priced in the 100k range, it’s no surprise that there is a waiting list for the 2024 model.
15. Tesla Model S Plaid: 200 mph
Of the 20 fastest American cars ever made, the Tesla stands out as the only all-electric model. The Tesla Model S Plaid is redefining the boundaries of performance in the electric car market. Equipped with a tri-motor setup, the S Plaid delivers an astonishing 1,020 horsepower, propelling it from 0 to 60 mph in 2.1 seconds, placing it among the fastest consumer models on the market. Introduced in 2012, the S Plaid has a top speed of 200 miles an hour, a range of 400 miles, and an MSRP of 136k for the 2024 model. Tesla has consistently refined and upgraded the S Plaid model, a best seller with a waiting list of 1-3 months.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody is a modern take on a classic American muscle car. With its performance-focused design, the Widebody variant takes the Challenger to new heights. Under the hood roars a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine, producing a stupefying 717 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque. The Hellcat Widebody takes a relatively sluggish 3.7 seconds to hit 60 from 0, thanks at least in part to its substantial curb weight of 4,500 pounds. With a top speed of 203 mph, the Challenger demonstrates that it has more than enough power. Introduced in 2015 as the wilder wider Challenger, 2023 marks the end of the Challenger line which is being retired in favor of the electric Charger Daytona SRT.
13. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat/Redeye: 203 mph
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is a high-performance American sedan, representing a fusion of power and practicality. Underneath its unassuming hood is a monstrous supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine that churns out a remarkable 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque, accelerating from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds. This comes as no surprise, as the Charger Hellcat has a similarly hefty curb weight as its cousin, the Challenger Hellcat. The 2023 Charger Hellcat Redeye, with a top speed of 203 mph, bore a base MSRP of $86,365. As of the 2024 model year, gasoline-powered Chargers have been retired in favor of the electric Charger Daytona, which will be introduced on March 5, 2024.
12. 2006 Ford GT: 205 mph
The Ford GT was originally introduced to commemorate Ford’s 1-2-3 victory at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 2006 Ford GT continued that legacy with a stunning, aerodynamic design. Powering this mid-engine supercar is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine, delivering a jaw-dropping 660 horsepower, propelling the GT from 0-60 in a respectable 3.0 seconds. The GT’s lightweight carbon fiber construction and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission contributed to the GT’s exceptional speed and handling. With an original MSRP of $150k and fewer than 2000 manufactured, the 2006 Ford GT is a high-priced, highly prized collectible.
11. SRT Viper: 206 mph
The Viper, specifically the fifth generation, was reintroduced in 2012 under the Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand before later being rebranded as the Dodge Viper. This American sports car is renowned for its high-performance V10 engine. Accelerating from 0-60 in a lackluster 3.5 seconds, the Viper more than makes up for its sluggish start with a top speed of 206 mph. With fewer than 2,500 units produced between 2013-2017, Gen V is the rarest Viper model.
10. Cadillac CTS-V: 208 mph
Of the 20 fastest American cars ever made, the Cadillac CTS-V is perhaps the most unlikely contender. The Cadillac CTS-V is a high-performance luxury sedan that has earned its place among the elite in the world of sports sedans. A combination of refined elegance and exhilarating power, the CTS-V packs a wallop under the hood. The third generation, produced from 2016 to 2019, featured a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine, delivering a commanding 640 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque., allowing the CTS-V to accelerate from 0-60 in just under 4 seconds, ultimately reaching a speed of 208 mph- pretty remarkable for a sedan! The CTS-V had an original (2016) sticker price of 84k. With fewer than 7,000 3rd generation CTS-Vs produced, the car is a rare find.
09. Dodge Challenger SRT Demon: 211 mph
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is a limited-production muscle car that takes the term high-performance to entirely new heights. Unveiled as a drag-focused variant of the already powerful Challenger, the Demon is designed with a singular purpose – to dominate the quarter-mile strip. With a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine, tuned to produce a mind-blowing 808 horsepower on standard fuel and a mind blowing-er 840 horsepower when fed a diet of high-octane race fuel, the Demon can go from 0-60 in a mere 2.3 seconds. Limited production of the third-generation Challenger along with news of its retirement have made the Demon a popular collectible, especially among drag racers.
08. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 C-7: 216 mph
The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 C7 is a track-focused, high-performance variant of the seventh-generation Corvette. The ZR1 is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter LT5 V8 engine, delivering a dazzling 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful Corvette ever when it was unveiled in 2017 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. With a top speed of 216 and the ability to accelerate from 0-60 in under 3 seconds, the Corvette ZR1 is stiff competition at the track. Because fewer than 5,000 units were produced, the Corvette ZR1 C7 is a rare find.
07. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE: 217 mph
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, built for those who crave high-speed thrills on both road and track, features a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine, generating an admirable 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, this Camaro can zero in on sixty in 3.4 seconds. Topping out at a spine-tickling 217 mph, the ZL1 entered the Nascar circuit in 2018., winning the Daytona 500 in its inaugural run. With production limited to 350 units, the ZL1 1LE is a collector’s dream.
06. Vector W8: 242 mph
The Vector W8, introduced in 1989, was designed to push the boundaries of automotive performance and technology. Produced by Vector Motors, the W8 featured a futuristic design with sharp angles and gull-wing doors, reminiscent of the Delorean Z car. Underneath its aerodynamic exterior lay a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing 625 horsepower. Coupled with a three-speed automatic transmission the W8 could accelerate from 0-6 in 3-8 seconds, and 0-100 in 4.3 seconds, and boasted a top speed of 242 mph. Despite its limited production and exclusive status, the Vector W8 struggled to gain widespread recognition, producing fewer than 20 units before ceasing production in 1993.
05. Saleen S7 Twin Turbo: 248 mph
The Saleen S7, produced between 2000 and 2009, featured a timeless aesthetic and an aerodynamic design with distinctive butterfly doors and classic roadster styling. Under the rear hood, a mid-mounted 7.0-liter V8 engine generates a potent 550 horsepower in its original form, which was later upgraded to a twin-turbocharged version producing up to 1,000 horsepower! The S7’s lightweight chassis and carbon-fiber body are an internal part of the S7’s ability to reach a top speed approaching 250 mph and accelerate from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. Limited in production and recognized for its rarity, the Saleen S7 is revered by collectors, cementing its status as an iconic American hypercar.
04. Czinger 21C: 253 mph
The Czinger 21C is a groundbreaking hypercar that exemplifies the pinnacle of performance and innovation in the automotive world. Produced by Czinger Vehicles, a Los Angeles-based company, the 21C is rear-wheel drive, with a hybrid powertrain that combines an in-house developed 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine with an electric motor. This configuration delivers a staggering 1,233 horsepower propelling the 21C from 0 to 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds! Talk about lip-splitting acceleration! Developed through the use of 3-D printing, the company has planned a limited run of 80 units, with a 2 million dollar price tag.
03. SSC Ultimate Aero TT: 257 mph
The SSC Ultimate Aero TT, produced between 2006-2007 by Shelby Super Cars (SSC), is one of the world’s fastest production cars. The Ultimate Aero featured a mid-engine layout and a lightweight carbon-fiber body. Powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.3-liter V8 engine that produced an impressive 1,183 horsepower, the Ultimate Aero would hold the title of the world’s fastest car between 2007-2009 with a record-setting speed of 257 mph. The Ultimate Aero was a quick starter, leaping from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds. Thanks to its limited production of 24 units, the Ultimate Aero is a sought-after collectible, fetching sums nearing $500k.
02. Hennessey Venom GT: 265.6 mph
The Hennessey Venom GT is an extraordinary hypercar with a reputation for speed and performance. Based on a Lotus Exige chassis, the Venom GT boasts a remarkable power-to-weight ratio, propelled by a twin-turbocharged 7.0-liter V8 engine producing up to 1,244 horsepower. This hypercar accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds and held the title for the world’s fastest production car in 2014, reaching a top speed of 265.6 mph. The Venom GT’s distinctive design and limited production (only 13 units were built) add to its allure. Hennessey’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of speed and performance has solidified the Venom GT’s place as a legendary hypercar.
01. SSC Tuatara: 295 mph
The SSC Tuatara is a hypercar manufactured by Shelby Super Cars North America. Unveiled in 2019, the Tuatara is powered by a one-of-a-kind 5.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine, delivering a mind-boggling 1,750 horsepower on E85 ethanol fuel. Mated to a seven-speed automated manual transmission, the Tuatara boasts an aerodynamic design, focused on reducing drag and maximizing downforce. In 2020, the Tuatara gained international acclaim by setting a speed record for a production car, reaching a top speed of 295 mph, and an average high speed of 283 mph during two consecutive high-speed runs. Accelerating from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, Shelby has demonstrated once again why they are a steadfast leader in the U.S. race for speed.
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