Do you have a need for speed? You’re not alone! Perhaps your desire is based on such supercars as the Pagani Huayra BC, McLaren F1 or even the current fastest car in the world, the Hennessey Venom F5. Each has a top speed well over 200 mph. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a mint to acquire top speed. There are several mainstream models that qualify as the fastest cars that are not supercars.
For the record, the cars we’ve picked cost less than $100,000, are currently in production and are measured by 0-60 mph times, not top speed.
1. Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
With a 0-60 mph time of just 2.3 seconds, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the fastest production car in the world, but there is a catch. You must select the single seat model and fuel your ride with 100-octane racing fuel to achieve the full 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque.
Besides being the fastest car in the world, the SRT Demon is the only production model that pops wheelies, thanks to a tremendous amount of downforce sent to the rear wheels in launch control mode, lifting the front tires by a few inches before careening down the racetrack at a neck-snap-back pace.
Just 3,300 copies of the 2018 SRT Demon are being built (3,000 for the US; 300 for Canada). If this model’s scarcity and $86,090 net price are a bit restrictive for you, there is always the 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat — costing just $66,590 with a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds.
2. Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Chevrolet advertises the Corvette Z06 as a supercar, but it’s based on the Corvette Stingray, so we’re not going to elevate it to the likes of Ferrari, Bugatti and Koenigsegg. Plus, its $92,575 price with the Z07 Performance Package is much more reasonable than the others.
What you get in the Z06 is a sports car powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine, which generates a whopping 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and outfitted with the performance package, Chevrolet claims a 0-60 mph time of 2.95 seconds. That puts the Z06 squarely between the two SRT models: the Demon and Hellcat.
3. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Is the Chevrolet Camaro essentially a four-seat Corvette? Certainly, it may seem that way with the Camaro ZL1, which is powered by the same supercharged V8 engine motivating the Corvette Z06. Here, Chevrolet gives you a choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
The ZL1 is a relative bargain too, costing nearly $30,000 less than the Z06 at $63,795. The top-of-the-line Camaro can’t match the Corvette’s speed, however. Then again, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds, according to Car & Driver, it is doubtful anyone would be disappointed.
4. Ford Shelby GT350R
When is a Mustang not a Ford? When it is a Shelby, that’s when. Sporting the name of the late Carroll Shelby, the Shelby GT350 and GT350R are the works of Ford Performance, the Blue Oval brand’s performance division. Instead of Mustang badging, you’ll find a Cobra.
What’s so special about the Shelby is that it has its own engine, courtesy of Ford Performance, of course. The hotted-up ‘Stang is powered by a 5.2-liter V8 engine with flat-plane crank, which provides a shrieking alternative to the typical cross-plank engine. The snaky, high-revving engine makes 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. Importantly, the two-seater GT350R, which costs $65,545, has a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds (4.1 seconds for the four-seat GT350), according to Motor Trend.
As for the “regular” model, the 2018 Ford Mustang GT now boasts its own sub-four-second 0-60 mph time. And with a base price of $35,995, it costs far less than the Shelby, or any other vehicle featured here.
5. Tesla Model S
Tesla says its Model S accelerates from 0-60 mph in as little as 2.5 seconds. However, to achieve that feat, the world’s fastest electric vehicle requires upgrading to the P100D edition with Ludicrous mode. That’ll cost you $135,000, or well above our $100K threshold.
Choose the Tesla Model S 100D, and for $99,000, you’ll get an all-wheel-drive electric vehicle with an estimated 335-mile range and a 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds, placing this model in fifth place among the top fastest cars on our list.
The Fab Five
Do you notice anything common about the featured quintet? All five are manufactured in the United States with the sole exception of the SRT Demon (Canada, eh). Europe may have an overwhelming share of supercars, but for much a lower cost, this North American group puts up strong numbers, proving that some of the fastest cars in the world are not supercars.