Joe asks Jody Victor®: The 600-Horsepower Club

If you thought 500 ponies crammed into an engine was boast-worthy wait until you see what these vehicles can do. I asked Jody Victor®  to tell us about these super-fast cars from an article by James Tate of MSN Autos/msn.com.

Jody Victor®: Apparently it was not hard to come up with these 10 examples of cars with 600 or more horsepower. Here it is, an impressive list of 10, in two parts.

10. Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, 612 horsepower – With Ferrari’s last hypercar, the Enzo, slowly fading from memory, the 599 GTB now holds the crown of top Ferrari. This front-engine grand-touring sports car boasts a 6-liter 612-horsepower V12 engine under its long hood. It also holds the crown for one of the world’s fastest zero-to-60-mph times, at just 3.2 seconds. For those with an even greater lust for performance, and even deeper pockets, the 599 GTO variant claims a whopping 661 horsepower and the title of Ferrari’s fastest production offering — even faster than the aforementioned Enzo.

 

9. Porsche 911 GT2 RS, 620 horsepower – Porsche reserves its “RS” designation for only the best of its breed. In the case of the already frightening GT2 variant of the 911, the RS trim borders on insanity. Although based on the previous 997 generation, rather than the all-new 991, the GT2 RS is the fastest production Porsche. With 620 horsepower coming from a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter engine mounted in the trunk and powering only the rear wheels, calling the GT2 RS a handful to control should be an understatement. Still, for drivers versed in the art of 911 driving, the GT2 RS produces a thrill that few cars can match.

 

8. Bentley Continental Supersports, 621 horsepower – The first of two English cars on this list, the Bentley Continental Supersports differs from most of this pack because of its emphasis on luxury and comfort, rather than on outright, face-melting performance. This sumptuous Bentley packs six liters spread across 12 cylinders, although laid out in a W configuration instead of the more typical V. The turbocharged behemoth produces a dizzying 621 horsepower and launches the big coupe to 60 mph in less than four seconds — seriously fast for a 5,000-pound hunk of metal. Most examples of this $250,000 car end up in the hands of celebrities looking to flaunt some automotive bling.

 

7. Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG, 621 horsepower – While the Mercedes-Benz S65 isn’t the most powerful vehicle here, it is arguably one of the most astounding. The reason? It’s a 4-door luxury sedan capable of transporting five adults in comfort, technology and style. Like the Bentley, this big Benz gets its monumental power from a 6-liter 12-cylinder engine sporting a pair of turbochargers. As opposed to the Bentley’s unorthodox W-cylinder layout, the engine in the S65 is a traditional V12 good for 621 horsepower and a stupefying 738 lb-ft of torque. A sleeker 2-door cousin, the CL65 AMG, packs the same monstrous mill under the hood.

 

6. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, 638 horsepower – The Corvette ZR1 is the most potent mass-produced American sports car and lays claim to one of the quickest times around Germany’s famed Nürburgring track. Its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine churns out an easy 638 horsepower, making it the fastest production vehicle to wear a Chevrolet bow tie. Yet it remains surprisingly docile when driven gently. It continues to suffer against equally priced imports in terms of refinement, but the reverse can also be said of its performance — practically no other vehicle in the ZR1’s price range can touch its track-readiness. The Nissan GT-R is one of its few direct competitors.

Thanks, Jody! More 600 horsepower vehicles next time!

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: 12 Cars We Can’t Wait to Drive III

The annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit can induce serious sensory overload. For a true car nut, it’s like being a kid in a candy store – drooling over all that tasty sheet metal. I asked Jody Victor  to tell us about 12 of them (in 3 instalments) from an article by Kirk Bell of MSN Autos, and msn.com.

Jody Victor: Hey Joe, can’t wait to see and drive some of these fantastic vehicles. Here’s the third batch.

Lexus LF-LC Concept – Though the LF-LC is just a concept, the hybrid sports coupe signals a new design direction for Lexus. If the luxury car brand gets positive response here in Detroit, it might be inspired to build the car, which would be super. Ideally, we’d like it to possess the handling prowess of the automaker’s celebrated LF-A, come in a rear-wheel drive platform and have the turbocharged V6 hybrid powertrain pump out between 450 and 500 horsepower. Now that would be a world-class sports car.

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL – In Mercedes parlance, SL stands for Super Lightweight. But the SL roadster hasn’t stuck to that philosophy in recent years. The 2013 SL550 gets back to those roots. With a body and structure rendered in almost all aluminum, the new SL is 242 pounds lighter than its predecessor, the equivalent of a good-sized middle linebacker. That should translate into improved handling for this grand tourer, as well as make the new turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine’s 429 horses all that more effective. Add in Mercedes’ responsive Direct Steer variable steering ratio and available active body control, and the new SL should be sportier than ever.

Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTec Hybrid – Hybrids aren’t usually the objects of passion for auto enthusiasts. They are, after all, usually underpowered and bland in the handling department. But we appreciate the compatible technologies involved in the E300 BlueTec Hybrid. Diesel engines offer great highway fuel economy and hybrids do the same for city efficiency, so combining the two is only natural. Mercedes has said the E300 BlueTec Hybrid will be offered only in Europe, at least initially, so U.S. fuel-economy numbers aren’t available, but we expect 50-plus mpg. Hopefully, Mercedes will see fit to bring this efficient car to these shores in the future. It’ll offer Prius-level efficiency in a fun-to-drive luxury package.

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet – The last generation of the Porsche 911 was a model of precision and agility. With its longer wheelbase, wider track and lighter weight, the all-new 911, code name 991, is even better. We’ve driven the coupe and it is more refined, more efficient, more luxurious and even more agile than the outgoing model, which was outstanding. The 2012 Cabriolet, shown here, gets a lighter top thanks to a new design that incorporates magnesium bows. Give us the 400-horsepower 911 Carrera S Cabriolet with the 7-speed manual transmission, a winding road and a clear summer day, and we’ll be in automotive heaven.

Thanks, Jody! We can’t wait to check ’em out!

Joe Victor