Work for a car magazine for two weeks, and you'll notice one thing above all else: New cars are fast as hell. Pluck any editor out of his comfy desk chair, put him in a car that does zero-to-sixty in less than seven seconds, and he'll yawn from boredom.
Most people think there is no such thing as too much power, but we disagree. And as cars become more and more powerful, a front-wheel drive layout becomes less and less appropriate. Since weight (and, ultimately, grip) is transferred to the rear wheels under acceleration, powerful front-wheel drive cars tend to just light up the front tires. Add some steering lock into the equation, and the recipe for wheelspin gets even stronger.
With a little help from our friends at Autodata, we compiled a list of 2007 and 2008 model year front-wheel drive cars, and sorted them based on their power-to-weight ratio. We noticed something very interesting - the cars with the lowest number of pounds for each horse to contend with were, of course, the fastest. But they weren't the most fun - in fact, some of them are dynamic disasters.
Our favorite front-wheel drive fasties weren't nearly the fastest of them all. Ranked from most powerful to least powerful, the GTI, for example, our Automobile of the Year and by all accounts a quick car, came in fiftieth. The Honda Civic Si came in thirty-ninth. So which cars are that much faster than those? Head on to page two to find out.