Motoring / Motoring News
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.
Two-thousand-and-nine turned out to be quite a year as it was the first time we had four cars break the five second barrier. Audi’s R8, now fitted with a gem of a V10 naturally aspirated engine, topped the charts and almost got into the threes with a time of 4.28 seconds.
Mercedes-Benz’s next generation SL 65 AMG, still drawing power from the same 450 kW and 1 000 Nm V12 engine, went quicker than before, coming in second with a 4.51 sec run. For the first time, Jaguar hit the top three with their 5.0-litre V8 supercharged XFR with a time of 4.59 sec.
Another one for the record books, the top four cars all broke the 240 km/h barrier, with the 243 km/h from the SL 65 AMG becoming the fastest car I had tested over 1 000 m. A massively underrated Audi duo came in next. Who remembers the twin turbo V10 S6 (4.95) and the S4 (5.27) with a 3.0-litre V6 supercharged engine?
In a time when manual gearboxes still ruled the roost, BMW proved that their M3 fitted with an M-DCT transmission could swap cogs faster than a human and ran a time of 5.57 seconds. Nissan got their first top 10 with their 370Z at 6.04sec and the Bentley became the most expensive car, at four bar back then, that I had ever tested. Today that would translate into something like eleventy one twenty six thousand four million point thirty five Rand. A big thanks to the crazy man at Bentley then, David Guthrie, who allowed me the privilege.
It was also the year that Volkswagen’s 155 kW MK VI Golf GTI slaughtered the competition. This car’s power was soon found out to be understated by the manufacturer and it ran a very quick 6.32 to back this statement up. This was enough to see off Mini’s Cooper John Cooper Works (6.70), Audi’s S3 Sportback (7.00), Mazda’s updated 3 MPS(7.22) and Honda’s now 148 kW Civic Type R (8.34).
RELATED: Backthrust 2008: BMW vs Mercedes-Benz
The year also saw the birth of a home grown South African model in the form of the Daihatsu Materia DRD (Daihatsu Racing Development). We were in a bit of a brainstorm/fun/performance meeting with the two men that headed up Daihatsu South Africa at the time, Nicholas De Canha and Jaco Oosthuizen, and the bosses of Speed & Sound magazine, throwing some ideas around of how maybe we could get this car to appeal to a younger audience.
The car had a bit of a cult following overseas, but the SNS guys felt it was a doomed project and bailed out, but the rest stayed and somehow we got to the idea that fitting a turbo from an overseas family model would be a cool idea instead of just putting stickers and sound in the car.
The parts were easily available from the OEM and at that point, we pulled in Daihatsu Technical Manager, Johan Ackermann, and gave him the headache of getting a test mule going, along with an idea for some aftermarket accessories, and just like that, this crazy project was a go.
Steve Fischer, my good friend behind the Steves Auto Clinic brand, was tasked with sorting out the tuning and at around 0.5 bar of boost, we took a 76 kW/132Nm mommy wagon that could only do the 100 km/h dash in 11.62 seconds, the 1 000 m at 151.14 km/h and reach a top speed of 177 km/h and made it into a very unique and fun 110kW/195Nm mini hot hatch.
This was a car that now had a 40% increase in power and 80% in torque and the 0 to 100 km/h came down to 9.20 sec, the 1 000 m was crossed at 167 km/h and the top speed was limited to 200 km/h. This from a car you could buy from the OEM off the floor as brand new with its full warranty etc.
So, it was not a Chevrolet Can-Am V8, a Basil Green Ford Capri Perana, an Alfa Romeo GTV6 a BMW 745i or even a 325iS or a Opel Kadett GSI Superboss, but it was our piece of South African Japanese performance and they sold out in record time.
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.
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.