MOTOR’s Top 10 quickest cars of 2018

The quickest cars we’ve tested over the last 12 months

MOTOR Top 10 Quickest Cars Of 2018 Jpg

Every year we strap the timing gear to dozens of performance cars to test their makers’ claims.

This is a process that’s taking less and less time thanks to swelling power outputs and ever smarter launch control systems. Only two vehicles, both high-powered rear-drivers, took longer than four seconds to reach 100km/h.

Picture: Sadly Ford's noisy new Mustang GT didn't make the cut

The 10 vehicles below were the stars of 2018, but while last year’s list was remarkable for the numbers themselves, this year’s group is remarkable for the vehicles present.

Whereas 2017 was full of supercars, this year’s list (which is little slower) features a hatchback, a limousine, two wagons and two SUVs! It also features a 4x4 ute, albeit for a different reason. Read on…

10. Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S Coupe

0-100km/h: 3.92sec
0-400m: 12.05sec @ 189.60km/h

Driver: Scott Newman
Location: Heathcote Raceway

The first of three AMGs on this list, but definitely the most unlikely, the GLC63 S is an absolute beast. Mating the 375kW/700Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 to all-wheel drive makes a mockery of its SUV kerb weight and centre of gravity.

Launch control has the wheels spinning and the rear end slewing sideways if traction isn’t perfect and the acceleration doesn’t even begin to slow until the end of the quarter mile.

9. Mercedes-AMG S63L

0-100km/h: 4.18sec
0-400m: 12.04sec @ 198.22km/h

Driver: Scott Newman
Location: Heathcote Raceway

Both sublime and ridiculous, the S63 shares the GLC’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 but adds 75kW and 200Nm while carrying only an extra 50kg. The result is incredible, the S63 gathering speed like it weighs nothing at all.

Despite lacking all-wheel drive and an LSD, it scrabbles to 100km/h in just 4.18sec and only seems to accelerate quicker from there. Its quarter mile time is almost identical to the cars around it on this list, but check out the difference in trap speed.

8. Porsche Cayman GTS

0-100km/h: 3.94sec
0-400m: 12.03sec @ 186.24km/h

Driver: Louis Cordony
Location: Heathcote Raceway

As ever, Porsche makes the most of what it has better than anyone. With rear-wheel drive and just 269kW/420Nm, the Cayman GTS has no business jumping to 100km/h in less than four seconds, but the data doesn’t lie. Even better, in GTS guise the 2.5-litre turbo flat-four even sounds decent.

7. Audi RS4 Avant

0-100km/h: 3.86sec
0-400m: 12.03sec @ 186.24km/h

Driver: Trent Giunco
Location: Heathcote Raceway

The latest RS4/RS5’s engine has copped some criticism from some quarters, but those people are wrong. The 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 makes a soulful howl and 331kW/600Nm makes for seriously potent performance, especially for a car that would feel so at home on the school run.

6. BMW M4 CS

0-100km/h: 4.05sec
0-400m: 12.01sec @ 197.25km/h

Driver: Scott Newman
Location: Winton Raceway

Sticky Michelin Cup 2 tyres help the M4’s 600Nm reach the tarmac, the CS recording our best M3/M4 figures ever. On a good surface the launch control works effectively and the trap speed suggests the 331kW claim is a little conservative – it’s catching the car ahead of it on this list in a big hurry by the end of the quarter mile.

5. Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

0-100km/h: 3.70sec
0-400m: 11.80sec @ 188.14km/h

Driver: Louis Cordony
Location: Winton Raceway

Proof the world’s gone mad? Fifth place on the list is occupied by a 2.4-tonne Jeep with the aerodynamic properties of a port-a-loo. Turns out aero doesn’t matter when you have 522kW/868Nm and the Trackhawk makes a truly evil noise as it beats the dragstrip into submission.

4. Audi TT RS

0-100km/h: 3.59sec
0-400m: 11.75sec @ 191.89km/h

Driver: Scott Newman
Location: Heathcote Raceway

Audi is becoming Porsche-like in its habit of besting its own claimed acceleration times. The RS4 above shaves an incredible 0.24sec from its 4.1sec claim and the TT RS manages similar, crushing its 3.7sec claim for a jaw-dropping set of numbers from a car that still struggles to achieve performance credibility among the masses.

3. Mercedes-AMG E63 S

0-100km/h: 3.40sec
0-400m: 11.28sec @ 203.72km/h

Driver: David Morley
Location: Winton Raceway

Talk about German accuracy. AMG claims the E63 S does 0-100km/h in 3.4sec and it does exactly that. Exactly, to the hundredth. The relentlessness of the acceleration is what takes your breath away, though, the E63 boasting the quickest trap speed of any standard production car we tested this year.

2. Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo

0-100km/h: 3.38sec
0-400m: 11.49sec @ 193.88km/h

Driver: Scott Newman
Location: Heathcote Raceway

Porsche claims the 2035kg Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo takes 3.8sec to reach 100km/h. In fact, it only takes 89 per cent that length of time. The Panamera’s launch control is like a bomb going off and it makes it three times in a row that a Porsche has been the quickest standard production car we’ve tested. This year, however, it doesn’t score top spot.

1. APR Stage 1 Audi RS3

0-100km/h: 3.28sec
0-400m: 11.09sec @ 209.58km/h

Driver: Scott Newman
Location: Winton Raceway

The quickest car MOTOR tested in 2018 was an $80,000 hatchback with less than $2000 worth of engine mods. It’s a testament to the headroom built into Audi’s 2.5-litre turbo five that a simple Stage 1 remap from APR turns it into a supercar slayer.

Tuned for E85, the APR RS3, provided by VW Park Autowerks , produces 404kW/678Nm, enough to give it the sort of acceleration you’d expect from a Porsche 911 Turbo or an Audi R8 V10 Plus. It could have gone quicker, but the standard launch control simply resulted in massive wheelspin in first gear. What a weapon, what a sleeper.

Wooden Spoon: Ford Ranger Raptor

0-100km/h: 10.54sec
0-400m: 17.48sec @ 127.47km/h

Driver: Scott Newman
Location: Heathcote Raceway

At the other end of the spectrum, the slowest vehicle MOTOR tested in 2018 – in fact, the slowest vehicle MOTOR has tested in years – was the Ford Ranger Raptor. It meandered along the drag strip, using its 10 tightly-packed ratios to extract every possible skerrick of speed from its 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel.

The Raptor is enormous fun in its preferred environment, but the drag strip isn’t it. In the time it takes it to reach 100km/h the APR RS3 has more than doubled that speed.


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