The American public has displayed their need for speed by creating and patronizing different racing series. This has caused American carmakers to engage in a never-ending war of horsepower and, in the process, stun the world with fast machines. Apart from that, a desire to produce cars that can successfully compete with Europe's finest have given rise to sports cars like Ford GT40 and SSC Ultimate Aero TT.
On the other hand, the legendary Nissan GT-R, nicknamed "Godzilla," is a beast that hits 60 mph from rest in 3 seconds thanks to its 565 hp twin-turbo V6. Add to that a top speed of 205 mph, and you get a performance powerhouse that intimidates with solid credentials. Although not too many cars can hit 60 mph in less than 3 seconds, here are 10 insanely-fast American sports cars that beat the Japanese monster to 60 mph.
9 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8
For the eighth generation, which began with the 2020 Corvette, Chevrolet dropped the front-engine design it had used since 1953 for a mid-engine design. Designed by Tom Peters and featuring an all-new aluminum architecture, it is offered in coupe and convertible body styles with aggressive aerodynamics.
For motivation, it uses a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine that powers the rear wheels with 495 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. With the Z51 performance upgrade, the 2020 Corvette can hit 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and blast through the quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds. It's easily one of the cheapest sports cars that offer true supercar performance.
8 2020 Tesla Model S P100D
Since its introduction in 2012, Tesla Model S has changed people's perception of electric vehicles as unexciting cars that are only suitable for short drives. While the base trim, the Long Range Plus, offers a superior driving range, the performance variant provides forceful and breathtakingly quick acceleration.
Two electric motors provide the 4 wheels with enough juice for a 2.4-second blast to 60 mph using the Cheetah launch mode. Riding on an adaptive air suspension system, the P100D offers a comfortable and well-composed ride in addition to sharp and responsive steering.
7 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid
Updated for 2021, the Model S got a completely new interior which includes a new steering yoke and a landscape-oriented infotainment touchscreen. The high-performance variant, now known as the Model S Plaid, was the first Tesla powered by 3 electric motors and boasted the lowest drag coefficient of any production car.
Backed by 1020 American ponies and 1050 lb-ft of twist, it hits 60 mph in 2.1 seconds and clears the quarter-mile in 9.4 seconds. It is agile, composed around turns, comfortable, and has an estimated 390 miles range.
6 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06
Unveiled in October 2021, the 2023 Z06 is the performance variant of the C8 Corvette, which will enter production later in the year. For power, it relies on a new hand-built 5.5-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine that churns out a whopping 670 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.
Dubbed the LT6, the engine is a modified version that has powered the C8.R racer since 2019 and is currently the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 in production. Paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, it shoots the Z06 to 60 mph in a track dominating 2.6 seconds.
5 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1
The seventh generation of Corvettes, C7, which debuted in January 2013 at the North American International Auto Show, was the last to feature a front-mounted engine. To give the C7 a proper farewell, ZR1 trim was reintroduced into the Corvette lineup for 2019 as the highest performance model.
Power is supplied by a 6 2-liter supercharged V8 power plant that sends out a stout 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of twist to the rear wheels. Coming off the line like a supercar, it hits 60 mph in 2.85 seconds and the quarter-mile in 10.6 seconds at 134 mph.
4 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Offered for only one model year, the widebody Demon debuted at the 2017 New York Auto Show as the extreme performance variant of the Dodge Challenger lineup. Under the hood, it houses a 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 engine that churns out 808 hp on 91 octane gas or 840 hp on 100 octane or higher.
When you add a torque of 770 lb-ft and a set of super-sticky tires to those figures, its 2.3-second 0-60 mph time makes more sense. Although it didn't hang around for long, the Challenger SRT Demon remains one of the craziest muscle cars to wear the Dodge badge.
3 Hennessey Venom GT
The Hennessey Venom GT was developed by a Texas-based tuning house, Hennessey Performance Engineering, with the sole aim of beating Europe's best manufacturers. Based on the Lotus Exige, the Venom GT, over a 6-year production period, stunned the world with several official and unofficial speed records.
Power is supplied by a mid-mounted 7-liter twin-turbocharged V8 mill that produces a peak output of 1,244 hp at 6600 rpm and 1155 lb-ft of torque. Tipping the scales at 2743 pounds, the Venom GT can hit 60 mph in 2.4 seconds and a top speed of 270.49 mph.
2 SSC Tuatara
It took SSC North America 7 years to develop a worthy successor to the Ultimate Aero from concept form to the production version. Inspired by the aerospace industry and constructed with carbon fiber and aluminum, the Tuatara boasts superior aerodynamics and a dry weight of just 2750 pounds.
The 5.9-liter twin-turbo V8 makes 1350 hp and 984 lb-ft on 91 Octane and 1750 hp and 1322 lb-ft on E85 flex-fuel. Paired with a 7-speed automated manual transmission, it sends the Tuatara from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 282.9 mph.
1 2007 SSC Ultimate Aero TT
The 2007 SSC Ultimate Aero TT was the result of SSC North America's quest to challenge the then world speed record for production cars held by Bugatti Veyron. Debuting in November 2006, it was powered by a 6.3-liter twin-turbo V8 instead of the supercharged unit used on the earlier prototype.
Mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, it sent an output of 1180 hp and 1106 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. With this monstrous output, it could sprint from 0-60 mph in 2.78 seconds, and by the way, it stripped the world record from Bugatti with a top speed of 255.83 mph.