Saturday, July 19, 2014
Chevr-olè! The 15 Fastest Chevrolet Cars Ever
Chevrolet is one of the most storied auto makers in the world. Its classic ‘bowtie’ logo is as easy to recognize as any corporate logo in the world, and despite troubled recent times, the company has been able to persevere for over a century now.
Chevy’s parent company, General Motors (NYSE:GM), has seen many brands grow under its wing across generations, including Cadillac, Buick, and Pontiac. Some of those brands have died off, but Chevrolet has always been GM’s tent-pole brand.
Chevy has built themselves into one of American’s premier car builders. Blending speed with forward-thinking design became the company’s calling card through the middle of the last century, and over the past decade, Chevy has returned to the same mindset.
Vehicle redesigns, new propulsion systems and cleaner, more efficient technology are all mainstays on newer Chevy models, but there are some things that rest deep in the hearts of car buffs that Chevrolet will never turn a blind eye to.
Speed has been Chevrolet’s bread and butter for years, with sleek like the Corvette, and powerful muscle cars like the Camaro leading the charge. These are the company’s two performance vehicles, and they continue to wow drivers to this day.
We’re taking a look at the fifteen fastest cars Chevrolet has ever built. There have been dozens of concepts, one-offs and variations through the years, but we’re limiting this list to production models that have not been heavily modified by third parties.
Our rankings are built by looking at acceleration times from zero to 60 miles per hour, while taking horsepower and top speed into account. Chevy doesn’t publish performance results for every vehicle, so a variety of factors were taken note of.
Some cars do not make an appearance, including the Monte Carlo, Chevelle, and COPO Camaro. Exclusions were made based on a lack of available official specification and performance data.
Read on to see the fifteen fastest Chevys of all time.
Chevrolet’s performance vehicles aren’t strictly limited to the civilian world. Case in point, Chevy has built the Caprice PPV, a police vehicle built to keep up with the most fast and furious among us.
While you wouldn’t expect to see the Caprice PPV among a list of sports and muscle cars, this sedan can hold its own. This police cruiser can reach 60 miles per hour from rest in 5.9 seconds, and tops out at 154 miles per hour. Not exactly worthy of the Dubai Police Department, but fast nonetheless.
When the Cobalt first hit the streets, it wasn’t considered much of a performance machine. But some fine-tuning eventually led to a specialized variant which did put up some impressive stats, namely a 0-60 time of 5.7 seconds. Released for the 2008 model year, the Cobalt SS Turbo didn’t last long, as the entire Cobalt line would be discontinued shortly thereafter.
This vehicle made the most out of its , which allowed it to reach top speeds in excess of 160 miles per hour. It didn’t put up Corvette-like numbers, but could still carry its own weight on the track.
The Impala has a very long and impressive history, which ultimately led to the release of the Impala SS in 2006 and 2007. The SS model sped past all the other generations to claim the crown as the quickest, posting a zero to 60 time of 5.6 seconds, and showcasing a track limited top speed of 154 miles per hour.
The most recent model of the Impala SS was powered by GM’s 303 horsepower 5.3-liter V8 engine, though according to Car & Driver, the model didn’t exactly live up to snuff.
The V8-powered SS sedan has proven worthy of a spot on the list of the fastest Chevrolet vehicles. The SS isn’t the most well-known Chevy out there, but its performance speaks volumes.
The SS can produce 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque, giving it any easy time hitting an open sprint from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds. While the SS is comparable to many of Chevy’s other sedans, namely the Impala when held up to performance standards, this car still stands above the rest.
The first of several Corvette iterations to litter this list, the 50th Anniversary Edition of the stealthy Corvette clocks in just outside of the top ten. This Corvette, which was built to commemorate the car’s 50th birthday, was built only during the 2003 model year.
It was outfitted with a 350 horsepower V8 engine, which allowed for a drag limited top speed of 160 miles per hour, and pretty fast acceleration from 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds. Although a fairly rare sight these days, more than ten years after its release, the Corvette 50th Anniversary Edition still manages to hold its spot among Chevy’s fastest.
The legendary Camaro; it might possibly be the vehicle of the entire Chevrolet lineup. While the Corvette was tailored to the sporty crowd, the Camaro was built with muscle in mind. That has carried over into the more recent versions, especially with the Camaro SS.
Like the Impala SS and the SS sedan, this model offers greatly improved performance over the . The Camaro SS is rigged with a 6.2-liter V8 engine, making 426 horsepower and rocketing from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in just 4.3 seconds. The Camaro SS is tough and fast enough to make the top ten list of Chevy’s all-time fastest vehicles.
9. Camaro Z/28
Perhaps one of the most popular models of the Camaro is the Z/28 model. Though the model itself has seen multiple production runs, the newest iteration, which debuted in March of this year, is ready to assume the throne as one of the fastest yet.
The Z/28 shakes the ground with a 7.0-liter V8 engine, churning out pure power in the form of 505 horsepower. It’s also light on its feet, handily outperforming the with a 0-60 time of 4 seconds, and an estimated top speed of 170 miles per hour. It’s safe to say the newest Z/28 lives up to its legacy.
Matching the Camaro Z/28′s 0-60 time at 4 seconds is the Corvette Grand Sport. What gives this Corvette the edge over the Z/28 Camaro? Overall top speed, in which it handily tops the Z/28 with a terminal speed of 190 miles per hour, a whole 20 miles per hour faster.
The Grand Sport is doesn’t have the guts of some other Corvette models, lacking a supercharger and large displacement numbers. But it still has plenty of jump, being powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that spits hot fire in the way of 430 horsepower.
It’s also way easier on the wallet, with a price of around $56,000. That’s around half of what other Corvette models cost, though you won’t be getting the same kind of fun.
Another Corvette model that has been around for a long time, the 427 is outfitted for the track with a 7.0-liter V8 engine. What does that engine allow for the 427 to do? Break through the 4 second mark in the 0-60 trial, for starters.
It can hit 60 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds, and also reach a top speed of 181 miles per hour. The newer 427 models are a bit of a ‘Frankensteinian’ creation, as they use different parts from other Corvette models, mostly the Z06, to achieve greatness. In all, the 427 is yet another incredibly fast and capable Corvette variant.
Of all the storied Camaro models to take to the streets throughout the years, the ZL1 reigns supreme as the fastest. The $55,000 Camaro ZL1 is the true definition of a speed demon. The apex of its speed capabilities top out at 184 miles per hour, and its acceleration is topped by only a handful of other Chevy models, as it can go from 0-60 in just 3.9 seconds. A supercharged 6.2-liter engine supplies 580 horsepower, beating out other including the Audi R8 and the Mercedes SLS AMG.
What’s better than a fast Corvette? How about a fast Corvette convertible? That’s exactly what you get with the Z06 Convertible, which comes up a little short of its coupe sibling.
The Z06 Convertible, like the coupe version, uses a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine, making up to 625 horsepower. The estimated 0-60 sprint time is in the 3.6 second neighborhood, which is sure to be challenged once it hits the streets for the 2015 model year.
Perhaps the most formidable of all the Corvette variants produced over the years is the Centennial Edition, released in 2012 to celebrate Chevys 100th birthday. Decked out in black, it’s easy to imagine Darth Vader behind the wheel of this Corvette. The Centennial Edition can sprint from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds, thanks to a 7.0-liter V8 engine, capable of producing 505 horses — and to significant weight savings. The Centennial Edition was a specially-redesigned Z06 Corvette, but the quirks do drag down its performance ever-so-slightly.
The new generation of Corvette models has brought along the Stingray Z51, a 190-mile per hour powerhouse that tweaks the classic design ever-so-slightly to call back to the Stingray models of yesteryear. Housing a 6.2-liter 8-cylinder engine, the new Stingray Z51 kicks out 455 horsepower, making it able to rocket from rest to 60 miles per hour in just 3.8 seconds. The Stingray Z51 offers a new Corvette variant for car buffs to explore, calling back to the older Stingray models of decades past. It’s also loaded with performance-enhancing mechanics, making it one of the fastest Chevrolet cars ever.
The second-fastest vehicle Chevrolet has rolled out of its engineering labs to date is the latest Corvette ZR1. This Corvette variant is a classic supercar; capable of hitting a top speed of roughly 205 miles per hour, and sprinting from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.4 seconds. Those are numbers that are more akin to a Ferrari than a Chevy. How does it get there? A supercharged V8 engine blasts out 638 horsepower, allowing the ZR1 to run with the best of them. This Corvette gives a strong American presence among the fastest cars in the world.
The newest generation of Corvette engineering continues to pump out the fastest Chevys of all time, and the Z06 is right up there at the top. Powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8, this Corvette produces 650 horsepower, coupled with 650 pound-feet of torque. We’re talking serious power here.
When unveiling the Z06, Chevrolet released a vehicle that truly allows the company to shine on the world stage. The ZR1 held the title for a short time, but the release of the Z06 will bring about a new king of the road. The stats speak for themselves, and the design and engineering silently speaks volumes.