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 his 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 are rolling these out over the course of the lockdown.
For the second time in a row in 2007, a Mercedes-Benz AMG car did not top the time sheets. Our first supercar, Audi’s R8 V8, fitted with a proper, slotted gearshift, six-speed manual transmission, took the honours with a sub five-second time, followed by the first BMW’s V8 M3, also with a manual transmission, at 5.19 seconds.
Can you imagine telling today’s millennials, who would have still been in primary school playing on their PlayStations, that most of our fast cars then had a clutch pedal and a manual gearbox? Launching a manual car took a fair amount of skill. Get it wrong and the car bogs down, be over eager and all you do is sit there burning rubber.
Two-thousand-and-seven was also the year BMW’s game-changing 335i broke cover and even with its ‘’not so great’’ manual gearbox, it broke through the six-second barrier and was right there with the R8 at the 1 000 m mark, hinting at what was to come with this N54 engine family.
Mercedes-Benz’s ML63 AMG was the SUV to beat with a time of 6.31 seconds. Audi’s DSG equipped 2.0-litre TT ran 6.74 seconds. Can you believe it, BMW’s then hot hatch, the naturally aspirated 130i with a manual transmission, ran a time of 7.01 seconds and a 1 000 m speed of only 194 km/h? That today would be a little like bringing a knife to a gun fight.
Mazda’s ‘’GTI killing’’ 3 MPS ran a disappointing 7.12 sec to 100 km/h, but Volkswagen’s iconic Golf R32 could only get there in 7.32 seconds, with Honda’s 148 kW Civic Type R even further back at 8.15 seconds. Volkswagen’s last hurrah for the Citi Golf, in R-Line guise, ran a sub 10 at 9.54.
Wrapping up 2007, Fiat’s Panda became the slowest car I have ever tested in getting to 100 km/h. The result? A very long and tedious 21.25 seconds.
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.