It's all well and good having a car with a high top speed, but since achieving such a thing on the public roads isn't possible without endangering other road users or having your license taken away, acceleration is one of the major stats that sways buyers towards particular models. For the sake of this blog, we look specifically at the most realistic acceleration figure, the 0-62 mph. There's also manufacturers we haven't included in this list due to a mix of price point and model exclusivity, including Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren.
Abarth - 695 Biposto
By upgrading the same 1.4 litre petrol engine from the 595, Abarth have managed to produce perhaps their most ludicrous road car yet, no, it's not because it costs £33,025 to own, but because they have created a road-legal track car, weighing only 997kg with 190 brake horsepower and a 0-62 of just 5.9 seconds, the 695 Biposto is in a league of its own.
Alfa Romeo - Giulia Quadrifoglio
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is the full-fat version of the Giulia saloon, combining 510 brake horsepower with its light weight and rear wheel drive setup, it certainly competes well in a segment predominantly lead by the German big three, rivalling the Audi RS4, BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63, the styling of the Giulia Quadrifoglio is drastically different. Not only is the Alfa easy on the eye, it also has a beautiful soundtrack thanks to its 2.9 litre V6, capable of going 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph. Price wise, the 'Quad costs around the same as an automatic M3, with the starting price in the UK being £61625 due to the manual variant not being available in the UK.
Aston Martin - DBS Superleggera
Hot off the press is Aston Martin's latest flagship model - the DBS Superleggera. It's a pure-blooded Super GT with a price tag of £225,000 and creates a near unbeatable combination of style, performance and luxury. Its 5.2 litre twin turbo V12 engine produces a whopping 715 brake horsepower and will go from 0-62 mph in 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 211 mph. A car with such a high price tag won't have as much competition as a Volkswagen Golf - in fact the DBS Superleggera's only real competitor is the Ferrari 812 Superfast.
Audi - R8 V10 Plus
The latest generation of the iconic Audi R8 shares its engine with the Lamborghini Huracan, it's a fire breathing 602 brake horsepower V10 with a top speed of 205 mph and flies from 0-62 in just 3.2 seconds. Much like the Huracan, its exterior styling is very muscular yet modern, receiving new LED headlights styled in spirit of the rest of the recent Audi face-lift. With a price tag of £138,000 the R8 is closely pitted against the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S.
Bentley - Continental GT Supersports
Another model given a face-lift for 2018 is Bentley's Continental GT Supersports, it's back and even meaner than the previous generation model, using the same 6 litre W12 Bentley have managed to tease a grand total of 700 brake horsepower out of the Goliath of an engine. It's 0-62 mph time is just 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 209 mph, that's just over a second faster than the previous model.
BMW - M5
Setting recent pointless yet impressive records for the longest continual wet drift (232.5 miles, 8 hours worth of sliding!) and longest tandem drift (49.25 miles), the latest BMW M5 is an impressive super-saloon directly rivalling the Mercedes E63 S. Its punchy 600 brake horsepower 4.4 litre V8 goes from 0-62 mph in 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. With a starting price of £89,705 the M5 is certainly one of the more expensive super-saloons, but considering its as fast as a top of the range Porsche Panamera for significantly less money, its definitely a winner in our books.
Citroen - C4 Cactus
As of recent, Citroen has focused its efforts on creating cars that focus on comfort, well-being and practicality, the C4 Cactus is adorned with its traditional air-bumps to help protect against any car park mishaps, but what makes the C4 Cactus unique is it's quirky interior design shown in the image below. The fastest engine of the range is a humble 1.2 litre Puretech 130, it has 128 brake horsepower, a top speed of 120 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 7.9 seconds, not bad at all for an engine of its size, given the weight it has to pull!
Dacia - Sandero
While not the most glamorous car to grace this list, the Dacia Sandero is the ultimate in affordable utilitarian vehicles. The official figures say the Sandero is capable of 0-62 in 11.1 seconds if you opt for the front wheel drive 0.9 litre 90 brake horsepower petrol model, with a top speed of 109 mph. You may have thought that the new Dacia Duster would beat the little Sandero with its 4x4 capability, but the fastest Duster does the sprint in 11.8 seconds - though we're splitting hairs for the sake of this blog!
DS - DS 3 Performance
If you didn't already know, DS is the premium brand of Peugeot & Citroen, their models typically feature major styling and equipment upgrades over the original model it is based off of, however DS aren't yet known for producing proper 'performance' cars, the DS 3 Performance is the closest they have gotten since their first attempt with the DS 3 'Racing'. In fact the CEO of DS said that "Many of our premium competitors have a focus on brutal mechanical power, but that is not a trend in the market. We believe that the market is evolving differently, and we want to combine avantgarde design with luxury and technology."
Despite this, the DS 3 Performance does have elements seen in modern hot (or warm) hatchbacks, such as a Torsen limited slip differential, a pokey 208 brake horsepower 1.6 litre petrol engine and sportier styling hues. As for speed, the DS3 Performance has a top speed of 143 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 6.5 seconds - quite respectable, when compared to the likes of the Hyundai i30 N which is another underdog in the modern hot hatch world.
Fiat - 124 Spider
While Abarth also have the 124 Spider, Fiat boast it as their fastest car on the market today. The Fiat 124 Spider S Design has a reasonable 0-60 time of 7.3 seconds, which, from a rear wheel drive cabriolet is not exactly slow. The top speed of 134 miles per hour from the 1.4 litre engine producing a little over 100 horse power per litre. Costing just £26,905 brand new, the Fiat 124 Spider is a lower-cost option before you enter into Abarth territory.
Ford - Focus RS
The Focus RS is one of the most iconic bedroom poster cars on this list, desired by many but owned by few. With a skyscraper price tag of £32,795 the RS delivers it's legendary performance from a clever four-wheel drive system laying down 350 brake horsepower to shift the car along to a top speed to rival most track cars at 165 mph and from a standing start the 4WD system slows the Focus to 4.7 seconds but helps the cars traction for accelerating past 60 and maintain speed around corners.
Honda - NSX
Upon release of the new generation model, the Honda NSX certainly was a super car of the future - incorporating three electric motors with a 581 brake horsepower 3.5 litre V6 engine, capable of a top speed of 191 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 2.7 seconds, the NSX is a shadow of its former self in terms of performance capability. With a price tag of £149,950, its closest rival is the McLaren 570S, while the NSX wins in straight line speed, the McLaren is faster overall, with a top speed of 204 mph.
Hyundai - i30 N performance
One of the major under-dogs in the hot hatch world, the Hyundai i30 N is making car enthusiasts look twice and re-assess the way they perceive Hyundai thanks to the first car in their new 'N' performance division, lead by Albert Biermann, the man behind BMW's M division. Developed at the ¼rburgring, the Hyundai i30 N produces 275 brake horsepower, has a 0-62 mph of 6.1 seconds, a top speed of 155 mph and like with most modern hot hatchbacks - a limited slip differential. As for price point, the entry-level N will cost £23,856 whereas the full-fat N Performance model will cost £26,856, the major difference between the two being 25 horsepower, larger alloy wheels and more advanced seating adjustment.
Infiniti - Q60 S
The Infiniti Q60 is a bit of a fringe car, it's not as popular as its German rivals like the Audi A5, BMW 4 Series or Mercedes E Class, but its the one to consider if you are purposefully seeking something unique. The paper stats of the top spec 'S' model are actually quite good - it's powered by a 3.0 litre twin turbo V6 sporting 405 brake horsepower, with a 0-62 time of 5 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. There is speculation that this engine will also be used for the next generation 370Z - fingers crossed!
Jaguar - F-Type SVR
Not much comes close to beating the sound of the exhaust note of the latest Jaguar F-Type, if you prefer the sound of sporty V6 engines, chances are the F-Type will be on your list of dream cars. However, this full-fat SVR variant uses a howling 575 brake horsepower, 5.0 litre V8 engine that has a 0-60 of 3.5 seconds (thanks to it's All Wheel Drive system) and a top speed of 200 mph. Jaguar say that this is the most powerful F-Type they have ever created, it should come as no surprise that it has a price tag to match, costing £112,835 - that's over double the price of the entry-level model, though granted, it's nowhere near the same car.
Jeep - Wrangler
Officially, the fastest Jeep on sale today is the new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, according to CAR magazine rumour has it you can order this UK as of today, though Jeep still hasn't listed it on their website, therefore for the sake of this blog we'll be looking at the the less exclusive Wrangler, which will be available in the UK from September 2018. It's new face-lift brings extra performance in the form of a new 3.6 litre 'Pentastar' petrol engine on top of some much needed styling upgrades on both the interior and exterior. The paper stats are 284 brake horsepower and a 0-62 of roughly 7 seconds.
Kia - Stinger GT S
The Stinger GT is the first proper performance car by Kia, it's a stylish four door coupe sharing the same generous amount of kit seen in other models in the Kia range, with a drastically higher quality interior. One of the great things to highlight about the Stinger is having a seven year warranty on a car of its calibre - it's completely unprecedented. The GT model has a 3.3 litre, 365 brake horsepower petrol engine capable of a 168 mph top speed and completes the 0-62 sprint in just 4.7 seconds. When cruising around the fuel consumption is actually quite good, Kia states an average mpg of 28.5, but as soon as you begin more spirited driving, your fuel will disappear quicker than mini sausage-rolls at a family buffet.
Land Rover - Range Rover Sport SVR
You may have seen the Range Rover Sport in the news lately for setting a record previously set by Ferrari themselves - the climb to 'Heavens Gate' via the notorious Dragon's Road, it's a 7 mile long hill-climb consisting of 99 hair-pin turns and a further 999 steps to reach the peak of the mountain (that's actual stairs by the way, with a 45 degree incline!). The record set by Ferrari for the initial ascent was 10 minutes and 31 seconds, this was done using a specially adapted Ferrari 458 Italia; Land Rover smashed this record, with a time of 9 minutes 51 seconds, with a showroom spec car! Speaking of specs - the Range Rover Sport SVR has a price tag of £101,145, a top speed of 176 mph, 575 brake horsepower and a 0-62 mph of 4.3 seconds. Impressive, for a vehicle of its size.
Lexus - LC500
What sets the Lexus LC apart from the competition is its incredibly extrovert styling. It's a sporty grand touring car with a 477 brake horsepower V8 petrol engine, capable of a 168 mph top speed and 0-62 of 4.7 seconds. Being a bit of a fringe car, the LC is a good choice if you want to turn heads with something a bit more uncommon on the roads.
Maserati - Granturismo MC
The Maserati Granturismo MC is the fastest car made by the manufacturer, the MC grade costs a little less than £15,000 more than the Sport and from what we could see in terms of the hard stats that gets you 0.1 seconds extra from a standing start, value for money? we're not so convinced. The MC hits 62 mph from still in 4.7 seconds in perfect conditions and maxes out at 185 mph if you have the space to climb that high with the 460 horsepower engine delivering all the power to the rear wheels making it a real Gran Tourer.
Mazda - MX-5 RF
Unsurprising to most is that the Mazda MX-5 is the fastest model made by the manufacturer what is surprising to us at least is that the fastest MX-5 variant is not the most expensive in fact event the SE-L trims are available with the 2.0 litre petrol power-plant that can generate up to 157 brake horsepower and claims an acceleration time up to 62 mph in just 7.1 seconds all from a Sunday driver that is in the red at 133 mies per hour and pushes that power through the rear wheels, that biggest advantage the MX-5 has over the more expensive RF is weight. With less than 73 Kg difference the equivalent of an 11.5 stone person.
Mercedes-Benz - AMG GT 63 S 4Matic+ 4 Door Coupe
The brand new variant of the incredible AMG GT S is about to join the range and take the top spot for the fastest accelerating Mercedes money can buy, beating both its predecessor model and the likes of the Mercedes-AMG E63 S with a 0-62 time of 3.2 seconds and achieving a top speed of 195 mph from its 630 brake horsepower V8.
MG - GS
The refined MG range makes choosing the fastest in the line-up simple the GS is available in three trim levels Explore, Excite and Exclusive, each use the same 1.5 litre petrol engine that delivers 163 brake horsepower to the front wheels taking the car up to a top speed of 118 mph and reaching 62 mph in 9.6 seconds from a standing start new the base Explore will cost north of £15,000.
Mini - John Cooper Works 3 door Auto
One of Britain's most iconic cars (though owned by BMW), Mini's hot hatch is the fastest in the entire range, the John Cooper Works has a 0-62 of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 153 mph thanks to its 231 brake horsepower 2 litre petrol engine. If the Italian job were to get another remake, surely this is the car they'd use!
Mitsubishi - Eclipse
With the removal of the Lancer from the Mitsubishi model range, a hole has been created that has been filled by the next fastest car from the manufacturer, the Mitsubishi Eclipse a crossover SUV according to the manufacturer, specifically the Eclipse 3 with a 1.5 litre petrol engine with front wheel drive and an automatic single speed gearbox, costing £24,095 new, the Eclipse reaches 62 mph in 9 seconds thanks to its 160 bhp engine that peaks at just 124 mph.
Nissan - GTR
Commonly dubbed as the super-car killer, the Nissan GTR is one of the most popular performance cars on the market due to the fact that it offers as much performance as more exotic (and expensive) rivals. While the Nismo variant offers increased horsepower and extra aerodynamic upgrades, Nissan claims that both models share the same 0-60 time of 2.7 seconds.
Peugeot - 308 GTi
The 308 GTi is quite an uncommon car on the UK roads, though it also does a good job of blending in. Looks-wise, the GTi model isn't a mile away from the standard 308 hatchback, however put your foot down and you'll be able to tell the difference; it's got 270 brake horsepower, a 0-62 mph of just 6 seconds and a 155 mph top speed. The 308 GTi is very much in Golf GTI/Leon Cupra territory, so if you're a fan of the underdog, you'd be making a very respectable choice and saving a little bit of cash by going with the 308.
Porsche - 911 GT2 RS
The fastest car from Porsche is the 911 GT2 RS, starting at £207,506, it's a stripped out track ready road going car that has 690 bhp topping out at 210 mph with the potential to hit 62 mph in just 2.7 seconds from a standing start. The GT2 RS has been bred for the track with it's front wing and gaping front grille to allow the most possible air flow to the radiator and intake.
Renault - Megane RS
The fastest model from the French manufacturer Renault is the Megane RS 280 - a sport version of the family hatchback (until the new Megane RS Trophy comes out.). Available with the 1.8 litre that propels the car from still to 62 mph in 5.8 seconds from the engine that produces 276 brake horse power and on to a top speed of 158 miles per hour. The car is available from £27,495 without any cost options.
SEAT - Leon Cupra 300
Dubbed by our Facebook followers as a 'baby Golf R', the SEAT Leon Cupra is the pinnacle of performance in the SEAT range, it sends 300 horses through the front wheels, bringing it from 0-62 in just 5.8 seconds and to a top speed of 158 mph. Unfortunately though, production of the Cupra 300 has been stonewalled by the recent WLTP changes, meaning SEAT have been forced to slightly de-tune the Cupra back to 290 PS like it's predecessor. An honourable mention would also be the Leon Cupra R, but due to its exclusivity in in the UK (only 24 units) we have decided to overlook the model for the sake of this blog.
Skoda - Superb Sportline Plus 2.0 TSI 280 PS 4x4 DSG
When you think about Skoda, the words fast and durable don't usually come to mind (excluding the Fabia/Octavia vRS of course), but the Skoda Superb Sportline Plus is another matter when paired with the 2.0-litre 280 brake horsepower, four wheel drive TSI engine found across the VW group range - you will be forgiven for not imagining one flying past at a top speed of 155 mph or disappearing on a quarter mile with a 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds. All of this car is available from £36,345.
Smart - Fortwo (Coupe/Cabriolet)
The Smart has ended with a tie, both the Fortwo Coupe and Cabriolet use the same engine and produce the same performance stats, both models require the Brabus trim groups and the 107 bhp engine delivering the power from 0-62 mph in just 9.2 seconds with a top speed of 102 mph. The biggest difference is the Cabrio has an extra 45 Kg of weight.
SSangyong - Korando
Unsurprisingly from a manufacturer that only makes SUV, 4x4's and a cross over as its smallest vehicle the SsangYong range is lacking any vehicles that will take your breathe away with their speed and acceleration, that said there has to be a fastest and it is the SsangYong Korando the smallest car currently in production the D22T engine has been designed for efficiency and power producing a maximum speed of 115 mph from the 173 bhp engine prompting the car to hit 62 miles per hours from 0 in 9.9 seconds according to SsangYong themselves.
Subaru - WRX STI
The fastest Subaru available at the time of publishing is the WRX STI a variant of the manufacturer's classic WRC winning car, the new model has a 2.5 litre turbo charged boxer engine, that delivers 295 brake horse power to the four wheel system allowing the car to hit 0 - 62 mph in 5 seconds flat and with a price tag of £32,055 there is a lot of car for your money and a top speed of 159 mph allowing it to leave the majority of cars on this list behind.
Suzuki - Swift Sport
Receiving a face-lift for 2018, the Suzuki Swift Sport returns sportier than ever, refreshed to rival the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen UP! GTI with it's 0-62 of 8.1 seconds and 130 mph top speed, produced by a perky little 1.4 petrol engine with 138 brake horsepower. It's a great little run-around but lands a little more on the expensive side compared to its rivals, with a starting price of £17,999.
Tesla - Model S P100D Ludicrous Mode
One of the most modern cars in our list and soon to be knocked off by the release of the Tesla Roadster in 2019, the Model S is a favourite with Tesla fans and the P100D sits right at the top of the range. It has a ludicrous mode allowing it to accelerate from 0-60 in an astonishing 2.5 seconds a capped top speed of 155 mph and an approximate performance spike of 134 horse power (100 KW) the model also has 4 wheel drive delivered from two motors - one front and one rear. The fastest car on the road comes with a premium price tag usually reserved for super cars at £122,200.
Toyota - Yaris GRMN
It was surprising to hear that Toyota had built an engine more powerful than the 2.0-litre flat four boxer engine in its flagship GT86 sports car, only to never actually make it available for said car. Instead, Toyota have produced a brilliant little warm hatch in spirit of their recent Motorsport success. The Yaris GRMN (Gazoo Racing Masters of the Nurburgring) is unlike any other Yaris, its spruced up by overall sportier styling and a red/black livery and does 0-62mph in just 6.3 seconds, thanks to its 1.8 litre supercharged 212 brake horsepower engine capable of reaching a 143 mph top speed. It's a shame that only 600 were made overall, with just 400 of them being available in Europe, meaning it's Peugeot 208 GTi & Ford Fiesta ST rivals have free-reign of the market.
Vauxhall - Astra GTC VXR
Since the demise of the VXR8, the current generation Vauxhall Astra GTC has become the fastest accelerating Vauxhall for 2018, with a 0-62mph of 5.9 seconds, top speed of 155mph and 280 brake horsepower thanks to its 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine. This puts the 'GTC VXR along the same lines as the SEAT Leon Cupra, which until WLTP came along sported a respectable 300 brake horsepower, which has been reduced back to 290 like its predecessor. With a difference of roughly £850 between the two models, the GTC is the cheaper option of the two.
Volkswagen - Golf R
The Golf R isn't the fastest of the hot hatches out there, but it is one of the most reasonably priced making it an incredibly popular lease car. Giving buyers 310 brake horsepower, four wheel drive, style and practicality in one £34,910 package it's hard to say no. Sure, a SEAT Leon Cupra will give you similar power output for the money however this is smaller on the inside and is front wheel drive. As for the 0-62 time, the manual 3 door Golf R will take 4.6 seconds and the top speed is 155mph.
Volvo - V90 R-Design T8 Twin-Engine
The fastest Volvo (consistently) is the V90, with the S90 being a close second, both hit 60 mph from a standing start in 4.6 seconds with the S90 potentially taking 4.9 while the estate is guaranteed in test conditions to do it in just 4.8, although the V60 Polestar could match 4.6 the car was a limited run with Polestar separating from the main manufacturer in 2018. The V90 has to be configured with the R-Design Pro package to be eligible for the T8 Twin Engine hybrid that delivers a top speed of 155 mph from an engine producing 401 bhp all packed in to a PHEV weighing in excess of 2 ton.
So there you have it! We're sure you've seen some unexpected models appear in our list of the fastest accelerating cars, what also may surprise you is that many of these models frequent our special offers due to their sheer popularity, resulting in fantastic residual values. Make sure to keep your eye open to take advantage of our best prices! Alternatively, if you want a performance car of your own, check out all of our available performance car leasing deals by clicking here.