Every year Motor Trend hosts its "World’s Greatest Drag Race" event, which pits some of the most powerful cars on the planet against each other in a quarter-mile sprint, almost always on an airport runway. This year was no different, the seventh installment in the series saw competitors ranging from the electric Tesla Model S P100D, to the 660-horsepower (492-kilowatt) Ferrari 488 GTB, with other high-horsepower vehicles in between.
But does the "World’s Greatest Drag Race" truly live up to its name? We decided to pick 12 of the quickest vehicles you can buy in the U.S. today for our own hypothetical "World’s Greatest Drag Race." Apart from the Model S, each of the cars on this list are unique from MT’s event, and range from an electric motorcycle to a 1,500-hp (1,118-kW) Bugatti.
The Dodge Demon is a hugely quick muscle car, capable of making ferocious starts off the line – see our video for a look at just how hard it launches. But just how does the Demon stack up against some of the other quickest cars money can buy? Much of the Demon's talent is due to how briskly it leaves the line on a prepared drag strip surface. It'd be fascinating to see how this car copes on a runway, especially with incredibly powerful cars lined up next to it.
- Jake Holmes
Even though it may not be the most powerful car on paper, nor the quickest, the McLaren 720S might be one of the most underrated supercars on the market today in terms of overall performance. Power comes courtesy of a 4.0-liter biturbo V8, delivering an estimated 710 hp (529 kW) and 568 lb-ft (770 Nm) of torque. Estimated. Dyno figures from August paint a different picture, suggesting the 720S could produce somewhere closer to 800 hp (596 kW), and a recent video proves the British supercar might be able to outgun hypercars like the Porsche 918.
- Jeff Perez
One can’t have an event called "World’s Greatest Drag Race" and not include the world’s greatest supercar. The Chiron is king of king among supercars and hypercars. Like its predecessor, the Veyron, it was designed to break records and redefine superlatives. In this race, its combination of all-wheel drive and a monster motor with sixteen cylinders and four turbochargers means it’ll leap off the line like a Dodge Demon and continue accelerating like, well, a Chiron, because we’ve never seen anything accelerate like this car can.
- John Neff
Over a quarter mile sprint, I'd put my money on the Lightning Motorcycles LS-218. An electric motorcycle from California, the LS-218 delivers an instant 168 pound-feet (227 Newton-meters) of torque and 200 hp (149 kW) – in a package that weighs less than 500 pounds (226 kilograms). Put that in your power-to-weight ratio pipe and smoke it. The only reason I'd not choose it over a short distance would be the challenge of keeping the front wheel down.
- Chris Cope
Forget about all these other sedans and low-slung supercars when you can have a five-seat, all-wheel-drive, supercharged Jeep with the same amount of thrill. With 707-hp (527-kW) and 645 lb-ft (874 Nm) of torque, the Trackhawk leaps to 60 mph (96 kmh) in a blistering 3.5 seconds. That figure not only embarrasses the likes of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, or BMW X5 M, but also its Dodge Challenger Hellcat and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio distant FCA cousins. It may not win the drag race, but you’ll have helluva soundtrack to listen to during it from the Hellcat-sourced V8 engine.
- Anthony Herta
The Ford GT is as fast as it is beautiful. Though limited to just 250 examples worldwide per year, it’s not impossible to get your hands on one… assuming you have the right connections and plenty of cash in your pocket. With a 647-hp (482-kW) EcoBoost V6 under the hood, the GT is able to sprint to 60 mph (96 kmh) in just 2.9 seconds, and continue on to a top speed of 216 mph (347 kmh). It may not be the most powerful car on this list, but it should give cars like the Chiron a run for their money, that’s for sure.
- Jeff Perez
The Concept_One from Rimac Automobili is my choice for a proper "World's Greatest Drag Race" because it's the best choice. Obviously. An all-electric, technological monster with a motor, inverter, and gearbox for each wheel, it destroys its rivals with a total 1,224 hp (838 kW) and 1,180 lb-ft (1,599 Nm) of torque on tap. Boasting a 2.5-second 0-to-60 time, this thing has previously smacked down the Porsche 918 and Bugatti Veyron in the quarter mile, just to name a few.
- Domenick Yoney
Um, it’s right there in the name: Superfast. More seriously, the 812 Superfast replaces the F12berlinetta as Ferrari’s 12-cylinder brute, with 788 hp (587 kW) and 530 lb-ft (718 Nm) of torque from its 6.3-liter V12. That’s enough, Ferrari claims, to rocket the jaw-dropping car to 62 mph (100 kmh) in just 2.9 seconds. And with that, well, the 812 Superfast out sprints the 488 GTB that was included in the real Drag Race clip by 0.1 second. Above that benchmark, the Superfast has 127 hp (94 kW) more than the GTB, so I can only assume it’ll have a lot of top-end pulling power.
- Jake Holmes
I may have the oldest car at the drag strip, but the Audi RS7 is still an absolute rocket, and quite the looker even after all of these years. With 605 hp (451 kW), the Performance version zaps to 60 mph (96 kmh) in 3.6 seconds on its way to 190 mph (305 kmh), which is amazing considering it weighs a hefty 4,497 pounds (2,039 kilograms) and has a luxurious cabin with enough room to accommodate four people and their luggage. I’m perfectly aware I won’t be the first to cross the finish line, but in my defense, the RS7 is kind of like a dinosaur compared to the others. There’s a hybrid RS7 with 700 hp on the horizon, which might get me closer to the front of the pack. Let's redo the race once the new one is out and see what happens.
- Adrian Padeanu
Chevy claims that its 650-hp (484-kW) Corvette Z06 can sprint to 60 mph (96 kmh) in less than three seconds, making it the fastest Corvette available on the market today (at least until the new ZR1 arrvies). That said, we’d like to put those performance credentials to the test in a quarter mile. The Z06 may not win, granted, but it should be able to keep up for a bit before being outrun by the more powerful cars in the contest.
- Jeff Perez
Sure, it’ll crush other production cars on a race track, having set a sub-seven-minute lap time at the Nürburgring. But the latest, greatest Huracan is no slouch in a straight line, where its 5.2-liter V10 engine helps the supercar scurry to 62 mph (100 kmh) in just 2.9 seconds. With 640 hp (477 kW) on tap, and an 88-pound (39 kilograms) diet, the Performante is the highest-performing road-going Huracan yet. We’d love to see how it stacks up against these other monsters over the quarter-mile sprint.
- Jake Holmes
As the winner of Motor Trend’s "World’s Greatest Drag Race 7," we thought it only fitting to include the Tesla Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode in our own hypothetical drag race. Granted, its biggest competition is no longer just the Porsche 911 Turbo, or the Ferrari 488 GTB, instead the electric sedan will be going up against some of the most potent supercars and hypercars on the planet. Still, with a 0-60 mph (96 kmh) time of around 2.8 seconds, it should give the six- and seven-figure supercars a run for their money.
- Jeff Perez