Performance in horsepower, top speed and maximum RPM – speed has fascinated society for centuries.
But one key automotive metric has dominated all others, the 0-60 time. I
t’s a performance benchmark that car enthusiasts could chat – and argue – about for hours.
Whether you’re curious about some of the fastest cars in the world or want to know whether your car is clocking in a decent 0-60 time, then you’re in the right place!
We go over what a respectable 0-60 time is and which cars take the coveted title of the fastest accelerator.
A Brief History of 0-60 MPH Acceleration
Before horseless carriages hit the streets, chariot races in Rome and foot races in ancient Greece gave rise to competitive speed.
It wasn’t until the first vehicles emerged from European garages that society’s need for speed took off.
In the history of automotive acceleration, it took a long time to get to the starting line.
The main reason was that many cars were just not powerful enough to reach speeds of 60 mph (or 100 km/h).
As we know, the ranges in sports, race and electric cars 0-60 times have significantly improved over the years.
Back in the 1960s, a 5-second car was reserved only for the most elite supercar and top horsepower muscle car.
The 0-60 mph time has been a measure of performance for a long time, and cars have continued to shave the seconds off and increase top speed.
Today, production cars with a quick sub 3 seconds 0-60 time are becoming increasingly common.
Even sedans have faster acceleration than ever before!
What is a Respectable 0-60 Time?
The 0-60 mph time is a common vehicle performance benchmark used by American car manufacturers to advertise their cars.
It’s a simple statistic for the average consumer to understand and impress their buddies with.
The 0-60 time has been used for decades because Americans, generally speaking, have long prized powerful, fast cars.
Alternatively, the rest of the world uses the 0-100 km/h metric or 0-62.1 mph.
So, how do you know you’re in a fast car?
Typically, many high-end performance, sports and racing cars clock in at an average time of just under 2 seconds to 3 seconds.
So, we could say this is a fast 0-60 mph.
Times can go above this, typically between the 3-5 second range.
Most compact performance vehicles, such as the popular Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Fiesta ST, will clock around 4-6 seconds.
For the average family “non-sporty” car, anything under 10 seconds to hit 0-60 is considered fast.
Different Types Of Cars And Their 0-60 Times
When it comes to comparing the 0-60 mph times of various cars, it only makes sense to put them into their own categories.
This helps to distinguish why some cars dominate the charts and some are left in the dust.
Fastest Sports Cars
Sports cars have dominated speed trials in recent years, often ranking in the top for 0-60 and 1/4 mile times.
These vehicles proved to be the fastest cars tested in terms of 0-60 mph timing.
- Tesla Model S Plaid (MY21) – 1.98 seconds
- Ferrari SF90 Stradale (MY21) – 2.0 seconds
- Porsche 918 Spyder (MY15) – 2.1 seconds
- Porsche 911 Turbo S (MY20) – 2.1 seconds
- Lamborghini Huracán Performante (MY18) – 2.2 seconds
- Bugatti Chiron Super Sport (MY21) – 2.2 seconds
- Tesla Model S P100D (MY17) – 2.28 seconds
- Tesla Model X Plaid (MY21) – 2.3 seconds
- Bugatti Chiron Sport (MY17) – 2.4 seconds
- Porsche Taycan Turbo S (MY20) – 2.4 seconds
The world’s fastest sedan can meet your need for speed without downsizing your lifestyle to fit in a cramped two-door coupe or convertible cabin. American automakers are gradually stepping up their game to bring road users some of the quickest cars around.
- Tesla Model S Plaid (MY21) – 1.98 seconds
- Porsche Taycan Turbo S (MY21) – 2.6 seconds
- BMW M5 CS (MY21) – 2.9 seconds
- Porsche Panamera Turbo S – 2.9 seconds
- Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S (MY21) – 3.1 seconds
- Alpina B7 (MY22) – 3.5 seconds
- Audi RS7 (MY21) – 3.5 seconds
- Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing (MY21) – 3.7 seconds
- Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (MY21) – 3.8 seconds
- Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (MY21) – 3.8 seconds
Fastest Muscle Cars
Manufacturers such as Ford and Dodge often dominate the muscle car market.
Originally developed for drag racing, you now see many knowledgeable car enthusiasts driving around these mean machines.
- Dodge Challenger SRT Demon (MY18) – 2.3 seconds
- Dodge Challenger SRT SuperStock (MY21) – 3.2 seconds
- Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (MY22) – 3.3 seconds
- Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye (MY21) – 3.4 seconds
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (MY 22) – 3.5 seconds
- Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (MY15) – 3.7 seconds
- Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake (MY66) – 4.5 seconds
- Dodge Charger 426ci Hemi (MY68)- 4.8 seconds
- Plymouth Road Runner 426ci Hemi (MY69) – 5.1 seconds
- Ford Mustang Boss 429 (MY69) – 5.3 seconds
Factors That Influence 0-60 Time
There are a number of factors that go into shaving the seconds off a 0-60 mph time.
These factors include, but are not limited to:
- The style, grip, width and size of the tires
- The race surface
- The weight of the car
- The temperature and weather conditions
- The skills and weight of the driver
- Driver assistance technologies used
As the automotive industry continues to evolve, our need for speed continues to grow.
After all, which speed freak doesn’t want the quickest car with so much power and such impressive speed?
In the debate over which is the fastest car, it’s key to remember that different types of cars are made for different reasons, so it’s clear why some outperform others in terms of 0-60 times and top speed.
A fast 0-60 time is generally in the 2-3 second range.
But don’t feel ashamed if your set of wheels only hits 4 or 5 seconds – that’s pretty fast too!