The Quickest Cars We Tested in 2018 (Plus a Few of the Slowest)

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1. University of Michigan Novum Solar Car – 38.7 seconds

Kicking off the slowest-of-2018 section is the Novum, the latest iteration of the University of Michigan’s solar-powered racer that competes against other colleges’ sun-powered creations. We published our test of the Novum this year, after being offered the chance to evaluate it later in 2017. Built to eke maximum efficiency from the photovoltaic cells covering nearly its every horizontal, upwards-facing surface, the 420-pound, 4.8-hp Novum required an excruciating 38.7 seconds to hit 60 mph. That makes it the slowest vehicle we tested all year. But don’t confuse quickness with speed: With a drag coefficient under 0.10 (Mercedes-Benz claims its new A-class sedan, which has a cD figure of 0.22, is the world’s most aerodynamic production car), the Michigan Solar Car Team’s creation is said to be capable of up to 100 mph.

Andi Hedrick – Car and Driver

2. 2018 Toyota Prius C – 11.2 seconds

The Prius C hybrid is one of the oldest models in Toyota’s lineup, having received no full redesign (but three facelifts) since being introduced for 2012. The aging hybrid hatchback has a total output of just 99 horsepower, and its 11.2-second zero-to-60 time makes it the slowest of all the “real” cars (i.e., non-college-student-built solar vehicles) we tested in 2018.

Chris Doane Automotive – Car and Driver

3. 2018 Ford EcoSport 1.0L FWD – 10.8 seconds

Ford’s diminutive yet heavy EcoSport crossover comes standard with a 123-hp turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, a combination ill-suited to speed trials. The model we tested took took nearly eleven seconds to hit 60 mph; another version we tested was marginally quicker, requiring “only” 10.4 seconds to get up to highway speed.

Marc Urbano – Car and Driver

4. 2019 Ford Transit Connect LWB – 10.6 seconds

For 2019, the Ford Transit Connect received a refresh that updated its new styling, added new features, and replaced the previous 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission with a 2.0-liter inline-four and an eight-speed automatic. The new, smaller engine makes 150 horsepower and 144 lb-ft-19 fewer horses and 27 fewer lb-ft than before-so it’s little wonder that a long-wheelbase version (among the largest and heaviest Transit Connect variants) took half a second longer than a similar 2017 model we tested to reach 60 mph.

Ford

5. 2018 Ford EcoSport 2.0L AWD – 9.8 seconds

Wait, how are there two Ford EcoSports on this list? Easy. Even the EcoSport‘s optional 2.0-liter engine is no barn-burner. Paired solely with all-wheel drive, the bigger engine (which, unlike the base three-cylinder, lacks a turbocharger) barely ups the wee Ford’s quickness. We recorded a 9.8-second trip to 60 mph, a 0.6–1.0-second improvement on the three-cylinder models we’ve tested, in spite of the 2.0-liter’s 43-hp advantage over the 1.0-liter engine.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

5. 2018 BMW M5 – 2.8 seconds

And now we present the quickest of 2018, beginning with the all-new BMW M5. It is the only sedan on this list, and it also happens to be the quickest sedan we’ve ever tested. Credit the M5’s all-wheel drive for its impressive launch traction (this is the first M5 ever to have all-wheel drive-the rest have been rear-drive), which makes the most of the twin-turbocharged V-8’s 600 horsepower, delivering a smoking 2.8-second rip to 60 mph.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

4. 2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast – 2.8 seconds (tie)

Ferrari’s 812 Superfast lives up to its name. A 789-hp V-12 lives beneath its long hood and makes incredible noise and delivers even more incredible performance. At 2.8 seconds to 60 mph, the Ferrari actually ties the BMW M5, but its quicker quarter-mile time positions it higher in our rankings. Compared to the M5, the 812 passes the quarter-mile mark 0.4-second sooner, with a 9-mph-higher trap speed.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

3. 2018 McLaren 720S – 2.7 seconds

When we tested the McLaren 720S earlier this year, we described its off-the-line punch as being similar to “lighting a rocket.” Happily, the supercar didn’t explode, but boy did it go. When we first published our road test, the 720S was the quickest rear-wheel-drive car we had ever tested (until it lost that honor later in 2018). And even though it ultimately became only the third-quickest car of 2018, the McLaren did post the quickest quarter-mile performance of the year: 10.2 seconds at 145 mph. In case anyone is curious (you know you are), the 720S reaches 180 mph in 17.5 seconds.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

2. 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS – 2.6 seconds

We mentioned that this year was full of “quickest-ever” breakthroughs here at Car and Driver, didn’t we? In addition to the quickest sedan we’ve ever tested (the M5), we present the quickest rear-wheel-drive car we have ever tested: The Porsche 911 GT2 RS, which stole the crown from the McLaren 720S midway through 2018. This 700-hp 911 isn’t only quick to 60 mph-it takes just 5.5 seconds to hit 100 mph and blitzes the quarter-mile in 10.3 seconds at 140 mph. Its twin-turbocharged flat-six engine and racing-derived aerodynamics make it a beast on the track, too, where it set the all-time fastest lap this year at our annual Lightning Lap competition at Virginia International Raceway.

Michael Simari – Car and Driver

1. 2018 Lamborghini Huracán Performante – 2.3 seconds

Not only is the Lamborghini Huracán Performante the quickest car we tested in 2018, it is among the quickest cars we have tested, ever. Credit goes to the Lambo’s 631-hp V-10 engine, all-wheel drive, and grippy Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires. The V-10 engine sounds fast, too, pummeling the cabin with 100 decibels of noise at wide-open throttle, one of the loudest figures we recorded all year.

Marc Urbano – Car and Driver

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