Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
2 minute read
27 Mar 2020
10:38 am

Backthrust 2004: When Merc C55 was king

Mark Jones

Manual transmissions and big capacity naturally aspirated engines still ruled the roost.

With The Citizen Motoring’s usual operations put on hold due to the current national lockdown, performing our usual high performance road tests are simply not possible. However, we have every intention of keeping petrolheads and enthusiasts interested during these times and for this, we require the reserve gear.

I have been sniffling through my archives and discovered some interesting numbers in detailed records from the last 16 years. For some light entertainment, and an interesting glimpse into how things have evolved over time, we have compiled a list of the top 10 fastest cars – in terms of 0 to 100 km/h – for every year dating back to 2004. We’ll roll these out over the course of the lockdown.

In 2004, no car I tested broke the five-second barrier when it came to getting to 100km/h. As can be seen from the table below, Mercedes-Benz’s C55 AMG ruled the roost with a 5.17 second time. Audi’s RS6 Avant got there second with a 5.52-second run and Subaru’s giant killing Impreza WRX made the top three with a time of 5.66 seconds.

The quickest SUV was BMW’s (265kW/500Nm) X5 4.8is with a time of 7.07 seconds. Fiat’s (125kW/221Nm) Stilo Abarth at 9.46 seconds was the quickest hot hatch. Toyota’s (85kW/315Nm) Hilux 3.0 KZ.TE was the quickest double cab bakkie at a leisurely 15.26 seconds. Manual transmissions still ruled the roost and big capacity naturally aspirated vehicles made up the majority on the list.

Mark Jones is The Citizen Motoring’s Road Test Editor. All his data has been obtained up on the Reef using the world recognised test facility of Gerotek, located West of Pretoria. He has always followed the same test procedure and makes use of the world standard in road test data equipment Racelogic VBOX.

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