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WATCH | 100 of the fastest cars over the last century

2020-07-06 11:30

James McCay

2020 bugatti chiron pur sport

2020 Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport. Image: Bugatti Newsroom

• A look at the fastest sports cars from 1920 to 2020.

• Road-legal high performance cars push the boundaries with innovation and tech.

• From top speed of 100km/h in the 1920s to 490km/h in 2019. 

Cars have changed dramatically over the last 100 years and perhaps to an even greater degree, so have performance cars. The evolution of sports cars is fascinating and intriguing, as illustrated by the cool folk from CompareTheMarket

Brands like Bentley, Stutz Motor Company, Duesenberg and Amilcar lit the path for faster supercars by producing sporting road cars capable of speeds over 100km/h, despite having as little as 52kW. 

Throughout history supercars have been built with lightweight materials, powered by powerful engines and designed with the latest technological advancements in mind. 

Road-legal high performance cars have more power than race cars from more than four decades ago and manufacturers will continue to push the boundaries of what can be done with the modern car. 

Let's take you on a journey from the Bentley 3.0-litre, Duesenberg Model J, or Rolls-Royce Phantom Jonckheere Coupe built in the 1920s and capable of reaching over 100km/h. 

The 1940s was dominated by the Aston Martin Atom, Jaguar XK120 and Healey Silverstone that cut through the air faster than anything built prior to them. 

The next significant decade was that of the muscle car.  In the 1960s we saw efforts such as the Chevrolet Corvette C1, the 427 Stingray and Shelby Cobra sported large displacement engines and boasted high straight line speed. 

Don't forget the duel on the race track between Ford and Ferrari at Le Mans. 

Fast forward to the 80s and the cool, sleek supercars like the Isdera Imperator 108i, Ferrari F40, and the Lamborghini Countach LP5000 QV.

Emphasis was placed on high-cornering speeds and these cars did not disappoint, pushing the proverbial goal post forward with increased downforce.  

The 90s saw sports cars eclipse the 300km/h barrier with the infamous Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR going airborne and flipping over doing over 300km/h on the Mulsanne Straight. 

The start of the millennium saw new contenders, like Koenigsegg, Zenvo and Shelby SuperCars (SSC) enter the supercar race. Bugatti's Veyron and Koenigsegg's Agera R pushed things along at a dizzying rate with over 750kW and able to hit 400km/h. 

The Bugatti Chiron ended the last decade with a bang by reaching 490km/h. 

The 2010s showed us how manufacturers coupled electric power and combustion engines to produce supercars of a different nature. The McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder pushed the needle forward with outstanding performance. 

The next decade will bring more fully-electric supercars such as the Rimac C2. All we know is, the sports car and supercar aren't going anywhere, they're just taking on a new lease of life. 

Read the original article here: The evolution of sports cars


Image: Compare the Market

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