From the July 1997 issue of Car and Driver. Of the eleventy-seven themes and variations around which we regularly construct comparison tests, this one requires the least imagination: “Hey, let’s round up the world’s fastest cars and go for a ride.” Supercar Showdowns! Mode of transport, Automotive design, Road, Vehicle registration plate, Vehicle, Infrastructure, Car, Automotive tail & brake light, Automotive exterior, Glass, Tire, Wheel, Automotive design, Land vehicle, Vehicle, Car, Automotive parking light, Performance car, Tourism, Personal luxury car,
Easy to say. But now we come to the niggles. What does “world’s fastest car” mean? Here we play by the Red Queen’s rules: The words mean exactly what we say they mean. A “car” is a new automobile, legal for sale in the Unites States as a road car, available in stores in the spring of 1997. “Fast” means what it always means to Americans—raw acceleration; ET (elapsed time) is the referee. To avoid crowds, let’s say each car-producing continent is entitled to one entry into this Olympics.
What’s the fastest street car made in North America? The new Corvette is quick, but Dodge’s swaggering, 488-cubic-inch V-10 Viper is quicker still. “After you” is not something this brawler says to anybody. Or anything.
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