I read a quote somewhere from a Corvette engineer to the effect of:"to get any more performance we'd have to go mid-engined." Which got me to thinking what is the limit for a front engine rear wheel drive car? Now we've heard for years that cars can't handle X amount of power without all wheel drive or being mid-engined (I think they said that about the Viper in the 1990s), and yet cars of this type keep getting faster and faster. I do wonder though if we're seeing diminishing returns.
First thing that comes to mind is the new Z06. It's the latest and greatest, fitted with super sticky tires, crazy aero, and even crazier brakes. We've only seen a handful of tests so far to see what this beast can do.
The Vette's natural enemy, the Viper, is another strong contender. It could be even stronger if we get an ACR revival.
Ferrari has what is potentially the most powerful FR car ever, the F12 Berlinetta. With 740hp you'd think it'd be easily the fastest thing around, but then there's that whole diminishing returns business. Motor Trend found that it was just .2 seconds faster than a Z51 Corvette round Laguna Seca.
Mercedes has had a number of heady front engines missiles over the years. Of course being Mercedes these cars are really more GTs that "pure" sports cars, but that doesn't mean they aren't fast. Interestingly enough, the new AMG GT is the second fastest FR car on Top Gears Power Laps board, for whatever that's worth.
Probably the fastest road legal cars with the engine up front and the drive in back would be the upper end Caterhams. The 650R for example finds itself atop many track record lists for this kind of vehicle. Being a track day quasi-kit car means it's debatable if it compares to the rest of these cars.
Other fast front engine rear drives include things like: F type R, V12 Vantage S, Camaro Z28/ZL1, Challenger SRT Hellcat, Shelby GT500/upcoming GT350, and some rowdy old TVRs. Here's a good 'ol spreadsheet to see how the compare on paper. Oh, and by front engined I mean in front of the driver, so no smart ass corrections.
|Mercedes AMG GT S||503||3461||6.88|
|Jaguar F Type R||550||3638||6.61|
|Aston Martin V12 Vantage S||565||3671||6.50|
|TVR Tuscan Speed 6||400||2425||6.06|
|TVR Cerbera Speed Eight||420||2425||5.77|
|Dodge Viper ACR||600||3366||5.61|
|Mercedes SLS AMG Black||622||3417||5.49|
|Ferrari 599 GTO||661||3593||5.44|
|Chevrolet Corvette Z06||650||3524||5.42|
|Mercedes SLR Sirling Moss||650||3450||5.31|
|Chevrolet Corvette (C6) ZR1||638||3333||5.22|
|Dodge SRT Viper||645||3354||5.20|
|Aston Marin One-77||750||3594||4.79|
|Caterham Superlight R620||310||1201||3.87|