Dream cars for the autobahn.
German car manufacturers have created some of the most luxurious and fastest cars on the planet. However, when it comes to performance, we tend to think of German cars as corner carving track beasts rather than outright speed monsters. That makes it easy to forget they can be both. Every vehicle on this list is an absolute beast around a track or on a back road, but will also crack 200 mph given a long enough straightaway. We've ignored concepts and stuck with production cars that we know will crack the 200 mph barrier.
The most expensive version of the Audi R8 logs in at $214,995, and it's a beast among beasts. The V10 Decennium celebrates a decade of Audi's V10 engine, and only 50 units of the special edition are available. It comes with an exclusive matte Daytona Gray paint job and bronze finished 20-inch wheels, but, most notably for this list, the 5.2-liter V10 engine produces 620 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. It'll propel this R8 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and top out at 206 mph.
The Mercedes-AMG CLK LM race car was built to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998. The race version weighed just 2,216 lbs and hit 215 mph. The CLK GTR road version's naturally aspirated 6.0-liter V12 LS600 engine used its 600 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque to hit 208 mph in a straight line. It was based around the McLaren F1 GTR, and 25 road cars were required to be built for homologation, although 26 were produced in total.
The oldest car on this list is a legitimate icon. The Porsche 959 was built to meet Group A rally specifications and lead the way for the Porsche 911's all-wheel-drive drivetrain development. Unfortunately, it arrived too late for Group A, but still significantly impacted motorsport and car culture. Using a 2.8-liter twin-turbo flat-six engine, it debuted as the world's fastest street-legal production car and was built from 1986 to 1993. The standard models peaked at 197 and 198 mph, but the Porsche 959S used larger turbochargers to create 508 hp and a top speed of 211 mph.
One of Porsche's purest 911 models yet stands on the shoulders of the 959. Powered by a twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat-six with 700 hp to play with, Porsche claims a top speed of 211.3 mph. It'll also hit 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds, 100 mph in 5.8 secs, then 124 mph in 8.3 seconds. However, independent testing has seen the Porsche 911 GT2 RS hit 219 mph before running out of road. The 911 GT2 RS is a modern marvel for more than its raw power, though. It has also lapped the Nurburgring in a stunningly fast 6:47.30 minutes.
Another roofless car knocking on the door of 217 mph is Porsche's 918 Spyder. It's one of the first hybrid supercars and boasts crazy numbers courtesy of its 4.6-liter V8 hybrid drivetrain and extreme lack of weight. The drivetrain combines to generate 887 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque and will hit 60 mph in a mind-bending and independently tested 2.1 seconds. It will also scream from 0-120 mph in 6.7 seconds and log a quarter-mile time of 9.8 seconds at 148.5 mph. That 214 mph time also comes in under a minute, which is simply staggering.
The collaboration between Mercedes and McLaren to build the SLR is a historical landmark. The rarest version is the 75-unit-run Stirling Moss Edition, built to commemorate the 300 SLR campaigned by Moss in the Mille Miglia race of 1955. It features a 5.4-liter SLR AMG V8 engine, and the speedster lacks a roof or windshield to created drag. While the 722 Edition could hit 211 mph, the slick speedster version tops out at a frightening 217 mph. That's not the kind of speed you would want to catch a bug in your teeth.
RUF grabbed the world's attention with the CTR nicknamed Yellowbird that hit 213 mph and obliterated tracks in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The reborn Anniversary version showed up in 2017, and only 50 were slated to be built. It looks old school, but under the custom carbon-fiber bodywork, everything is designed by RUF. The platform is based around a central monocoque formed using carbon-fiber, and the car weighs a total of 2,645 lbs dry. The Porsche-derived flat-six twin-turbo engine is ramped to make 700 hp and 649 lb-ft of torque. Putting the pedal to the floor brings 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and it'll go on to do 224 mph. And, if you can find one, you'll be doing it with a manual transmission.
Before Gumpert disappeared into the world of bankruptcy then rumor when Hong Kong investors bought it, the Apollo was one of the fastest cars on the planet. It used a tuned 4.1-liter twin-turbocharged Audi V8 engine making 690 hp in the road version, and hit 225 mph in independent testing. It'll also hit 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds, and streak past 120 mph in 9.1 seconds. In 2009, before everyone and his dog were trying to outdo each other on the Nurburgring, an Apollo made it around in 7:11:57 minutes.
One of the rarest RUF cars in the wild is the CTR3 Clubsport. Like the CTR2 above, it may look like a Porsche, but this time the mid-engined platform was designed with Multimatic, the Canadian company that produced Ford's Le Mans class-winning GT. RUF built less than 30 models using a Porsche-derived 3.7-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine making around 690 hp. However, the Clubsport version was boosted to around 760 hp. Top speed is a staggering 236 mph, and the Clubsport clears 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds.
9ff is one of those companies few have heard about, but everyone should know. Like RUF, 9ff is based out of Germany but has only been around since 2001. In 2009, the GT9-R was announced, and 9ff went gunning to break the SSC Ultimate Aero TT's street-legal car speed record. The chassis was a custom mid-mounted design powered by a Porsche-derived twin-turbo 4.0-liter flat-six engine making 1,120 hp. It didn't break SSC Ultimate Aero TT's 256.18 mph record, but it did heroically clock 254 mph on a pass. Bugatti then stole the limelight in 2010 by clocking 260 mph, and the 9ff GT9-R was sadly forgotten. We remember it here, though, as while it may not have been pretty it was incredibly fast.