The revolution will be electric.
Zero to 60 mph times have long been a bone of contention as a benchmark for acceleration. The reality is that it's the best way to convey a car's ability to get up to speed. But also the ideal way to talk about a road car's performance that doesn't involve a track visit with a large variation of corners, a suite of measuring instruments, and a bunch of graphs. Automakers making performance cars have that detailed information, but most people would prefer a shorthand version of performance capabilities, then a description of how the car drives rather than a whole slideshow of graphs.
The second best info for how fast a car gets its power down is the quarter-mile time as it stretches the car's legs and is a real form of motorsport. As electric cars like the Tesla Model S Plaid proliferate, the 0-60 mph time may become outdated with their unreal acceleration off the line. So, in preparation of our new quarter-mile electric overlords, and until the half-mile run becomes ubiquitous, here are some of the fastest quarter-mile cars from the factory in 2022. We say some, because limited production cars like the Koenigsegg Jesko don't have quarter-mile times logged with reputable sources, and likely won't unless someone lends out their $2,800,000, one of 75 units, hypercar.
Porsche's quickest car to date is blisteringly fast under any metric. Independent testing has it at 9.9 seconds for the quarter-mile at 139 mph. Car And Driver doesn't include a one-foot rollout taking 0.1 of a second with its ten-second time, but most of our sources take that into account. If you want the 0-60 mph, the 911 Turbo S Lightweight's 3.7-liter flat-six and crazy fast eight-speed dual-clutch gets there in just 2.1 seconds. Over the quarter-mile, the Porsche matches the McLaren Senna, but the most eye-opening fact about the Turbo S Lightweight is how quickly it taps 30 mph. Zero to 30 mph in 0.8 seconds is just bananas.
The McLaren 720S is a phenomenal car in terms of grip and handling, but it's also capable of running the quarter-mile in under ten seconds. That number comes from independent testing by Road and Track, and beats McLaren's own claim of 10.3 seconds. The twin-turbocharged V8 engine makes 710 horsepower and the car weighs just 3,128 pounds. Zero to 60 mph comes in 2.9 seconds and the quarter-mile records a speed of 148.2 mph. The limited 720-based McLaren 765LT is a little lighter but 755 hp and will clock the quarter-mile in just 9.419!
Our first all-electric vehicle on the list is a crossover. That's how fast EVs are showing themselves to be. Granted, in a Tesla, you have to spend time finding the right setting in the menu and wait for the batteries to sort themselves out, but it is proof-of-concept from Tesla. The time we're quoting here comes from DragTimes, but there are plenty of recorded examples of the Model X landing in the nines on stock rubber. On more sticky tires, it's been clocked in the eights, which is madness that looks like it will, sooner or later, become the new normal. On the 9.83 second run, Tesla's crossover crossed the line at 146.68 mph, and the overall time is faster than the 9.9 seconds Tesla claimed.
Ferrari isn't the first manufacturer you would think of if you were to name a plug-in-hybrid vehicle, but here it is. The SF90 Stradale adds three electric motors to a twin-turbocharged V8 for a combined output of 986 hp. With the instant torque from the electric motors and the long legs of the V8, the SF90 Stradale hits 148 mph on its 9.5-second quarter-mile run. And yes, that's faster than the pricey LaFerrari, and it's hard to believe that supercar is so outdated already. The LaFerrari only completed its quarter-mile run in 10.738 seconds.
Bugatti's Chiron Sport's engineering leans heavily toward top speed performance. However, the quad-turbocharged W16 engine pushing 1,577 horsepower and 1,180 lb-ft of torque is far from slow off the mark. The quarter-mile arrives in just 9.4 seconds at 161 mph. It will, of course, carry on way past that and into the record books with an astonishing amount of stability until around 285 mph. According to Andy Wallace, the race car driver that got the Chiron to 305 mph, that's when you need to start really watching your inputs due to inertia causing a gyroscope effect of the wheels.
It's electric power that has given the world a sedan that, from the factory, can spank the quarter mile in nine seconds. The three electric motors deliver 1,020 hp to all-four wheels and gets up to speed despite weighing 4828 pounds. Tesla claims that the Plaid keeps making 1000 of its 1020 horsepower all the way to 200-mph, but on the quarter-mile it tops out at 144.88 mph. Unfortunately, like the Model X Plaid, to get there you need to click your way through menus to find launch control, except it's called "Drag Strip Mode," then wait eight to 15 minutes for the battery pack to be "preconditioned" to optimum temperature. By that time, you could have walked the quarter-mile.
The fastest quarter-mile car you can have is a $2.4 million one, and only if you are one of 150 people on the list. If you are, then you can have an electric car that obliterates everything on the road straight from the factory. It's 8.58 second time is faster than the National Hot Rod Association's Super Comp class cars 8.90 index. On its run at Famoso Raceway in McFarland, California, the Nevera logged a trap speed of 167.51 mph, Zero to 60 mph came in just 1.9 seconds, and that's on the stock Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires too.
So, why did Rimac put its car on the quarter-mile with Famoso Raceway officials and the DragTimes team present to verify the time? Because it's going to be a while before anyone will beat that, and like a good lawyer, Rimac is smart enough to know the answer to the question before it's asked.