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Friday, June 13, 2014

Yankee Doodle Dandies: 10 of the Fastest American-Made Cars

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Speed is as American as baseball, apple pie, and fried foods. Innovative engineering and design has been a strong suit of several car companies around the world, but Americans specifically have a thirst for going fast that is seemingly unquenchable.

 Hearkening back to the days of fast and powerful muscle cars in the 1960s and ’70s, American auto manufacturers have put out some of the most impressive vehicles the world has ever seen, even in the face of stiff competition from Germany, Italy, and the U.K.
Not only have Americans been able to hold their own on the international stage when it comes to speed, the U.S. is also home to the fastest car in the world.

 After generations of design and engineering tweaks, incredible speed is now available to almost everyone with a driver’s license in the form of consumer-friendly sports cars. Longtime torchbearers of speed like Ford (NYSE:F) and Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) are still producing incredible vehicles, and smaller, more exclusive car makers are pushing the boundaries of what many thought was impossible a couple of decades ago.
The fastest American-made vehicles are a sight to behold, and are fairly rare in their own right. If you happen to catch a glance of one, be sure to have the camera ready, as they’ll most likely be gone in the blink of an eye. For reference, we’ve compiled them right here in an easy-to-read list.

Read on to see the ten fastest American-made cars.


10. Cadillac CTS-V – 198 mph

Cadillac’s return to prominence looks to be imminent. As the company’s engineering teams refocus their priorities onto performance, vehicles like the CTS-V are sure to be making some noise in racing circles.

 In fact, the CTS-V is capable of top speeds of 198 miles per hour behind a 6.2-liter V8 supercharged engine supplying 556 horsepower, which puts the CTS-V’s capabilities at the top of the Cadillac lineup. If Cadillac can keep building cars in the same vein as the CTS-V, expect to be hearing a lot from the company in the near future.


9. Equus Bass 770 – 200 mph

A new player to the game, the Equus Bass 770 was unveiled only a short time ago at the 2014 Detroit North American International Auto Show, and went on sale for the first time as a 2015 model. Built in the Detroit area, the Bass 770 employs a design that is easily recognized as being inspired by classic American muscle cars.

 It is composed of carbon fiber and aluminum, and uses a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine, which it borrowed from the Chevrolet Corvette. With the power of a 640-strong herd of horses, the Bass 770 can hit speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour; look for the Bass 770 to make some noise in coming years around the auto world.

Corvette zr1

8. Corvette ZR1 – 205 mph

Chevrolet’s classic Corvette makes a strong showing on our list, with its ZR1 variation capable of speeds in the neighborhood of 205 miles per hour.

 Although the 2015 Corvette Z06 is positioned to topple the ZR1 once it’s ultimately released (that car has 650 horsepower), the ZR1 still reigns supreme over the Chevy lineup for the time being, thanks largely to a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 SFI engine, supplying the car with 638 horsepower.

 With a price tag of around $112,000, the Corvette ZR1 is a flashy and, as far as supercars are concerned, an affordable choice.


7. Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 – 205 mph

The Shelby Mustang GT500 offers bona-fide super car performance with a top speed of 205 miles per hour, despite a price tag at under $60,000.

 Loaded with a well-tuned 5.8-liter supercharged V8 aluminum-block engine, the GT500 can pump out a 662 horsepower punch at 6,500 rpms.

 The GT500 employs a classic design, tailored towards fans of Mustangs from the early years of production. As one of Ford’s most impressive models of all time, it sits in esteemed company on the list of the fastest American cars ever made.


6. Ford GT – 205 mph

A rare model in the Ford lineup, the latest rendition of the GT was a two-seater sports car produced for only two years, 2005 and 2006. Engineers got their inspiration for the GT’s design from sports cars of the past, giving fans of Ford’s older models much reason for excitement. Not only did the GT excite with its looks, but also with its performance.

 The GT could hit speeds of 205 miles per hour, thanks to the 550 horsepower supplied by the 5.4-liter supercharged modular V8 engine. The car also included a manual 6-speed transmission, making it among the most fun vehicles to hit the open road with in recent memory. Though its top speed is tied with the Shelby GT500, it’s half a second quicker to 60, giving it the edge.

2014 SRT Viper GTS Anodized Carbon Special Edition Package

5. SRT Viper – 206 mph

Having survived the Fiat-Chrysler (FIATY.PK) changes, although with a new brand name, the SRT Viper finds its way onto the list with a top speed of 206 miles per hour. The Viper comes with a relatively “low” price tag of $97,000, which may seem like a bargain compared to other cars on the list.

 The newer iterations of the Viper employ an 8.4 liter, 640 horsepower V10 engine, capable of going from 0-60 in around three seconds. SRT is really giving Ford and Chevrolet a run for their money, as the Viper has become a formidable and speedy adversary to the Corvette and Mustang. Despite the new Italian parentage, the Viper is still made in Chrysler’s Conner Avenue Assembly plant in Detroit.


4. Saleen S7 Twin Turbo – 248 mph

Custom-built from the ground up, the Saleen S7 Twin Turbo is capable of hitting incredible speeds of up to 248 miles per hour.

Those speeds come from the 750 horsepower kicked out from the 7.0-liter, Ford-derived V8 engine; while the original S7 was only produced for a short time, between 2000 and 2004, it was eventually supplanted by the Twin Turbo version in 2005.

The Twin Turbo model was known for quickness, capable of going from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, and putting it in the upper echelon of the quickest cars in the world.

ssc ultimate aero

3. SSC Ultimate Aero – 257 mph

At one time the world’s fastest car, the SSC Ultimate Aero is a widely-unknown vehicle that can hit insane speeds of up to 257 miles per hour.
 Produced by SSC North America, the Ultimate Aero is uses a 6.9-liter V8 engine that supplies an astonishing 1,287 horsepower that helped the car set world speed records before being overtaken by the Bugatti Veyron, and later, the Hennessey Venom GT.

 Newer trims and variations have been introduced, continually pushing the boundaries of speed and design.

Shelby 1000

2. Shelby 1000 – 269 mph (estimated)

The new Shelby Mustang 1000 is truly a sight to behold. An upgrade over the Shelby GT500, it is estimated that the Shelby 1000 is capable of speeds up to 269 miles per hour, putting it among the fastest cars in the whole world.

 Equipped with a 5.8-liter V8 engine with a Kenne Bell Supercharger, this car produces 1,200 horsepower, and while Shelby itself doesn’t even make public the full specifications of the car, its top speed is an estimate for the time being. It’s possible it may end up farther down the list after testing is made public.

Hennessy Venom GT

1. Hennessey Venom GT – 270 mph

It’s no secret now that the Hennessey Venom GT has claimed the crown as the fastest car on the road. Capable of speeds of up to 270 miles per hour, the Venom GT has beat out the Bugatti Veyron to be take a hold of the throne (though, for semantics reasons, it won’t be awarded the Guinness World Record for it).

This car can leave blisters on the asphalt, jumping from 0-100 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds thanks to its 1,244 horsepower, supplied by the 7.0-liter Twin Turbocharged V8 engine. Manufactured in Texas, the Venom GT is easily the fastest American-made car in existence.