Motoring / Motoring News
With The Citizen Motoring’s usual operations put on hold due to the Level 4 lockdown restrictions, 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 until we get the green light to put the latest performance models through their paces again.
What a year 2016 turned out to be, or to be more accurate, what a weekend it turned out to be. I do not really recall exactly how it all came together, but the high-performance stars all seemed to align for a day, and I got to play with almost R20-million worth of extremely fast cars at Gerotek.
I know it had something to do with the fact that I could not get my hands on a Ferrari 488 GTB to test. Ferrari South Africa has a policy whereby they will give us motoring journalists a car to drive for a few hours during the day. Which is a privilege, but they will not let you take it for pukka performance testing.
I fully understand this part, as many think they are high performance road testers and throwing somebody else’s multi-million Rand car around at speeds well over 300 km/h can easily end badly.
The part I do not get is that Ferrari hope and pray that if you are let loose on the public roads, you behave and do not bin the car. A policy that has very publicly failed them in the past when a lifestyle writer wrote off a Ferrari California. But at the end of the day, it is their toys and their choice.
The Ferrari test, a first in South Africa, was put in motion when a somewhat crazy friend of mine said we could go play with his brand-new 488 GTB. And from there the ball started rolling. Another friend jumped in with his Porsche 911 GT3 and then another with his Porsche Cayman GT4, both also South Africa firsts in terms of tests done.
My ride for the day was the not so unsubstantial itself, a 430kW/900Nm Mercedes-AMG SL 63 that clocked a time of 3.92 sec to slot into fourth place on the Top 10 list. Crazy to think that a sub four time would only place you in the top five now.
Third was Audi’s upgraded 449kW/560Nm R8 V10 Plus with a time of 3.71 sec, just edged out by a Nissan GT-R once again, this time in Premium guise with 408 kW and 632 Nm on tap that managed 3.62 sec.
There is a little story around this 2016 GT-R. As you might have noticed, the time achieved was once again a bit slower than previous versions and I knew would raise much debate.
So much so that I had a Nissan representative with me to validate my testing. After numerous runs, we conceded that the car was not going to go any faster. Validating our findings, no other publication test on the same car achieved a better number.
We also busted an urban myth with this same car. While there we decided to test it with racing fuel, thus increasing the octane, would give us better figures. Just one of the reasons blamed for the times that were not improving. I can report it did not. The car consistently ran one tenth slower. Oh well, I simply test what I am given.
The creme de la crème though was the 492kW/760Nm 488 GTB that ran a record equalling 0 to 100km/h time of 3.39 sec and then blasted through the 1 000m mark at a record breaking 273km/h. It was truly scary, so much so I just concentrated on the marker and hit the brakes as hard as I could to stop R8-million machine from splatting against the bank at the end of the straight track.
This has proven to be the fastest speed I have ever run at that distance and a speed I will probably never run again. You’ll have to wait for the 2018 edition to know why. It was not fun.
Porsche also had their say with its track-orientated 350kW/440Nm at 4.01 seconds and the 283kW/420Nm Cayman GT4 at 4.01 sec and 4.97 respectively. As did BMW with their equally competent trio consisting of the 368 kW/600Nm M4 GTS at 4.01 sec, the 317kW/550Nm M4 at 4.08 sec and the pocket rocket 272kW/500Nm M2 Coupe.
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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