Car manufacturers have traditionally favored mid-engine or rear-engine layouts when designing performance vehicles. The logic is that such engine positioning helps the car with weight distribution, balance and overall handling. With a front-engined layout, however, the weight is typically oriented towards the front, making handling a tricky affair. That has not stopped some carmakers from bucking the trend and placing engines up front in their vehicles. It seems to work out okay, especially as far as the top-end speed is concerned. Here, we feature some of the fastest front-engined cars out there today. Understandably, most of them are traditional supercars, but there are a couple of surprise additions as well.
#1: Jaguar F-Type R Coupe – 186 mph
The stage is now set for an all-new, all-electric F-Type supercar. In the meantime, though, the current internal combustion model still offers plenty to be excited about. The R coupe occupies the pinnacle of the F-type model tree. Consequently, it gets the most potent powertrain available; a sonorous supercharged V8 that churns out 575 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.
The Jaguar F-Type is not as fleet-footed as most of the other entries on this list. However, a 3.5-second sprint to 60 mph and 186 mph top speed are still very decent numbers.
#2: BMW M5 CS – 190 mph
The M5 CS redefines the concept of traditional supercars with its mind-boggling performance. For one, the 2022 iteration is the most powerful production M5 ever (see also: our list of the top 5 fastest BMWs). Sitting under the carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic hood is a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 that makes 627 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque.
That power is fed to all four wheels via a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission for blistering on-road performance. In full attack mode, the M5 CS will accelerate to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and knock off the quarter-mile marker in 10.6 seconds at 130 mph. Those stats place the M5 CS deep in supercar territory.
#3: Mercedes-AMG GT63 S – 195 mph
The AMG GT63 S is another sedan bestowed with supercar capabilities. The car is practical enough to be a daily driver, with four doors, comfortable seating and reasonable boot space. Yet, it can switch personalities in an instant and transform into a turbocharged monster. The AMG GT63 S weighs 4,630 lbs (2, 142 kg), yet it can muscle its way to 60 mph in a brisk 2.9 seconds.
The performance sedan will continue accelerating under a heavy throttle foot till it peaks at a governor-limited 195 mph. That performance is mostly down to a twin-turbocharged V8 that generates 630 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque.
#4: 2022 Nissan GT-R NISMO – 196 mph
Godzilla, as this Japanese supercar is popularly known, is past its best years. It’s been around for over a decade now with only minimal changes to its exterior design. Apart from a loyal fan base, the car community has largely moved on. However, underestimate the GT-R at your own peril, as the car still packs a fearsome punch.
The 2022 GT-R NISMO is powered by a 3.8-litre V6 that cranks out 600 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque. It’s enough grunt to get the car past 60 mph in less than 3 seconds. The 196 mph top-end speed is also pretty impressive. The GT-R might be old and due for replacement, but one thing is sure, it will not slip away quietly into the sunset.
#5: Ferrari Portofino M – 199 mph
The Portofino M is the entry-model offering in the current Ferrari lineup. However, this ‘baby’ Ferrari still has a lot going for it. It’s powered by a twin-turbo 3.9-litre V8 that sounds glorious and embodies the spirit of Ferrari.
More impressive than the engine chorus, though, is the 612 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque on offer. That power is channeled to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic. In ideal conditions, the speedo needle will continue climbing until the Portofino maxes out at almost 200 mph after hitting 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds.
#6: Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series – 202 mph
The formidable Mercedes-AMG Black Series is the king of the AMG GT performance clan. The track-focused (yet still road-legal) supercar caused quite a stir when it debuted with a price tag that hovered around the $400,000 mark. However, parting with that hefty premium guarantees access to one of the most formidable weapons fashioned by the razor-sharp minds at Mercedes-AMG.
The AMG GT Black Series boasts various aerodynamic features that help keep it planted on the track, enabling it to take corners at near-impossible speeds. However, it is also a straight-line rocket, able to hit 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and eventually max out at 202 mph. That performance is courtesy of a twin-turbocharged V8 that generates 720 hp at 6,900 rpm.
#7: Aston Martin DB11 AMR – 208 mph
Like its bigger sibling, the DBS, the DB11 ushered in Aston Martin’s approach to modern styling and performance. They are both areas where the DB11 shines with its eye-catching looks infused with a healthy dose of performance. The current model is available with a V8 powerplant, but it’s the V12 option that really ups the ante.
The twin-turbocharged twelve cylinders put out a heady 630 hp at 6,500 rpm and 516 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 rpm. That’s enough to power the DB11 to 60 mph in an impressive 3.4 seconds, 100 mph in 7.6 seconds, and a 208 mph top speed.
#8: Aston Martin DBS – 211 mph
Aston Martin might have dropped the ‘Superleggera’ moniker for the 2022 model year, but thankfully, the carmaker retained the car’s smouldering good looks. The DBS is one of the few cars that can make a massive grille look attractive. The yawning gape upfront blends well with the subtle lines and curves, creating what’s arguably one of the best-looking modern performance cars.
The DBS is more than just looks, though. Under the long hood sits a twin-turbocharged 5.7-litre V12 that not only sounds glorious but also packs a hefty 715-hp punch. It will propel the big luxury GT to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and on to a 211 mph top speed.
#9: Ferrari 812 Competizione – 211 mph
Ferrari is proud of its legacy of front-engined V12s, and for good reason, too. Some of the carmaker’s best models have packed their engines upfront rather than the more traditional mid-engine layout. Modern cars like the 812 Competizione serve up proof that Ferrari is still quite happy with the setup.
Why change what works so well? The 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 that drives the 812 Competizione sits upfront but feeds its power—all 819 horses—to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Get your launch right, and you can expect a 2.8-second sprint to 60 mph and a maximum speed north of 200 mph.
#10: Chevrolet Corvette (C7) ZR1 – 212 mph
Today, all the rave is about the C8 Corvette Z06, a new breed of American supercar that takes the fight directly to established Italian heavyweights. However, the C7 Corvette ZR1 is also right up there in terms of performance and road presence. The car’s aggressive styling is well complemented by a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 that cranks out 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque.
It’s enough to make the C7 Corvette ZR1 the most powerful production Corvette ever. The official top speed is quoted as 212 mph, which is impressive enough. However, during a speed test by Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds, a high-speed testing facility in Merritt Island, Florida, the Corvette ZR1 proved even faster, topping out at 214 mph.