By the Numbers: The Fastest Cars in the World's Greatest Drag Race

Jason Udywriter

Our colleagues at Motor Trend just completed the 2014 Best Driver's Car competition, powered by Mobil 1, and also released the fourth iteration of the World's Greatest Drag Race video. Over the past four years, MT has compared 40 of the latest sports cars in four different drag races. Here is a breakdown of the 10 quickest, fastest, most powerful, and most expensive cars that participated in the epic competition.

The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 is the only car from the drag races to top each of the categories. Its 10.8-second time at 132.3 mph makes the raging bull the fastest and quickest car in the quarter-mile, according to MT testing. The 691-hp 6.5-liter V-12 engine also makes it the most powerful entrant. Top that off with an as-tested price of $407,695, and the Aventador is also the most expensive participant yet. Too bad it didn't fare so well in the 2012 Best Driver's Car competition.

In the first chart, we can see just half a second separates the top 10 quickest drag race participants, while 10.5 mph separates the highest and lowest trap speeds. Just two-tenths of a second separate the four Nissan GT-R models (base, Black Edition, Track Edition, and Nismo). Seven of the top 10 finishers are all-wheel-drive.


  • Finishing Order
  • Competition Year
  • Vehicle
  • Elapsed Time
  • Trap Speed
  • 1st
  • 2012
  • Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
  • 10.8 seconds
  • 132.3 mph
  • 2nd
  • 2012
  • McLaren MP4-12C
  • 10.8 seconds
  • 130.7 mph
  • 3rd
  • 2014
  • Porsche 911 Turbo S
  • 10.9 seconds
  • 126.0 mph
  • 4th
  • 2013
  • Nissan GT-R Track Edition
  • 11.0 seconds
  • 125.1 mph
  • 5th
  • 2013
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS Black Series
  • 11.1 seconds
  • 129.8 mph
  • 6th
  • 2014
  • Nissan GT-R Nismo
  • 11.1 seconds
  • 125.3 mph
  • 7th
  • 2012
  • Nissan GT-R Black Editon
  • 11.1 seconds
  • 124.8 mph
  • 8th
  • 2011
  • Nissan GT-R
  • 11.2 seconds
  • 121.8 mph
  • 9th
  • 2013
  • Audi R8 V10 Plus
  • 11.3 seconds
  • 125.8 mph
  • 10th
  • 2011
  • Ferrari 458 Italia
  • 11.3 seconds
  • 125.6 mph

When we rank the competitors by trap speed, the list gets shaken up as a few cars with low E/Ts are knocked out of the top 10. Two of the GT-Rs (base, Black Edition) are replaced by the SRT Viper and Ford Shelby GT500. Although not as quick as Godzilla, the more powerful American muscle entrants finish the quarter-mile at slightly higher speeds. Just 7.2 mph separates the 10 fastest cars, while eight-tenths of a second separate their times.


  • Finishing Order
  • Competition Year
  • Vehicle
  • Trap Speed
  • Elapsed Time
  • 1st
  • 2012
  • Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
  • 132.3 mph
  • 10.8 seconds
  • 2nd
  • 2012
  • McLaren MP4-12C
  • 130.7 mph
  • 10.8 seconds
  • 3rd
  • 2013
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS Black Series
  • 129.8 mph
  • 11.1 seconds
  • 4th
  • 2013
  • SRT Viper
  • 128.7 mph
  • 11.5 seconds
  • 5th
  • 2014
  • Porsche 911 Turbo S
  • 126.0 mph
  • 10.9 seconds
  • 6th
  • 2013
  • Audi R8 V10 Plus
  • 125.8 mph
  • 11.3 seconds
  • 7th
  • 2012
  • Ford Shelby GT500
  • 125.7 mph
  • 11.6 seconds
  • 8th
  • 2011
  • Ferrari 458 Italia
  • 125.6 mph
  • 11.3 seconds
  • 9th
  • 2014
  • Nissan GT-R Nismo
  • 125.3 mph
  • 11.1 seconds
  • 10th Tie
  • 2013
  • Nissan GT-R Track Edition
  • 125.1 mph
  • 11.0 seconds
  • 10th Tie
  • 2011
  • Audi R8 GT
  • 125.1 mph
  • 11.5 seconds

As we can see from the third chart, all-out power doesn't always translate to forward momentum. Just four cars from the first list and six from the second are among the most powerful. Traction, gearing, weight, and other factors play a big part in drag racing.


  • Power Rank
  • Competition Year
  • Vehicle
  • Horsepower
  • Torque
  • 1st
  • 2012
  • Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
  • 691 hp
  • 509 lb-ft
  • 2nd
  • 2012
  • Ford Shelby GT500
  • 662 hp
  • 631 lb-ft
  • 3rd
  • 2013
  • SRT Viper
  • 640 hp
  • 600 lb-ft
  • 4th
  • 2013
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS Black Series
  • 622 hp
  • 468 lb-ft
  • 5th
  • 2013
  • Bentely Continental GT Speed
  • 616 hp
  • 590 lb-ft
  • 6th
  • 2014
  • Nissan GT-R Nismo
  • 600 hp
  • 481 lb-ft
  • 7th
  • 2012
  • McLaren MP4-12C
  • 592 hp
  • 443 lb-ft
  • 8th
  • 2012
  • Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
  • 580 hp
  • 556 lb-ft
  • 9th
  • 2013
  • Mercedes-Benz E63 S AMG Wagon
  • 577 hp
  • 590 lb-ft
  • 10th
  • 2013
  • Aston Martin Vanquish
  • 565 hp
  • 457 lb-ft

While some believe money buys speed, that isn't necessarily true (except apparently when it comes to the Lamborghini Aventador). Just five of the fastest and quickest cars are among the most expensive. Then again, with the Aston Martin Vanquish and Bentley Continental GT Speed, much of the cost goes to hand-made bits and attention to detail.


  • Cost Rank
  • Competition Year
  • Vehicle
  • As-Tested Price
  • 1st
  • 2012
  • Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
  • $407,695
  • 2nd
  • 2011
  • Lexus LFA
  • $381,100
  • 3rd
  • 2013
  • Aston Martin Vanquish
  • $304,960
  • 4th
  • 2013
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS Black Series
  • $296,075
  • 5th
  • 2011
  • Ferrari 458 Italia
  • $287,654
  • 6th
  • 2012
  • McLaren MP4-12C
  • $267,545
  • 7th
  • 2013
  • Bentely Continental GT Speed
  • $253,095
  • 8th
  • 2011
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
  • $205,200
  • 9th
  • 2011
  • Audi R8 GT
  • $200,100
  • 10th
  • 2013
  • Audi R8 V10 Plus
  • $188,995

Watch all four years of Motor Trend's World's Greatest Drag Race again below. Which one is your favorite so far?

Photos courtesy Motor Trend.

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