Ever wondered how cheaply you can get to 200mph? Here are six used cars that'll get you to the 'double tonne' in style
Top speed is probably the least useful of all the usual car performance stats. Unless you live next to a derestricted bit of Autobahn and are happy getting up very early in the morning (or have frequent access to the Fast and Furious 6 runway) the chances are you’ll rarely have the chance to hit terminal velocity.
Of course, you could tune a car to make it 200mph capable, but with so many modification options out there, we thought we’d keep things simple and just look at cars that can get there as standard, or with nothing other than a cheeky limiter delete.
These folding hard top Mercs are looking like bloody good value these days. You can pick one up for as little as £13,000, and for that, you get gorgeous looks (it’s arguably prettier than the current SL) and a 5.4-litre supercharged V8 that puts out 500bhp. And the potential for expensive electrical failures, but let’s gloss over that.
The SL55 AMG is electronically limited to 155mph, but according to Mercedes-Benz itself, it’s good for 208mph when unrestricted.
Want the family to come with you on your 200mph+ Autobahn jaunt? Think about an E60 M5. Yes, the shouty V10 with its 500bhp output and 8000rpm redline - plus the fine chassis it slots into - are big draws, but it’s also pretty special in the top speed department. As with the SL you’ll need to remove an electronic limiter (officially 155mph, but 165mph in reality), however once you do that, 205mph is possible. Prices start at around the £14,000 mark.
Few cars epitomise the German horsepower war quite so much as the C6 version of the RS6. Its twin-turbo, 571bhp V10 made it the most powerful Audi ever produced, surpassed only recently by the new version of the R8 V10 Plus and the RS6 Performance. The C6 RS6 had the option to raise the 155mph limiter to 170, but if you do away with the electronic buffers entirely (and upgrade the tyres, of course), you’ll easily hit the 200mph mark.
If you want to get there even quicker, you could go for the remap option while you’re having the limiter binned, upping the anger to 700bhp or more. You’ll need at least £25,000 to buy one of the earliest examples.
If we were being less pedantic about this, we could include the standard Continental GT here (yours for £25,000 and up) and say its 198mph top whack is as near as makes no difference 200mph. But since we are being pedantic, here’s the GT Speed instead. For this version of the four-wheel drive grand tourer you’ll need at least £40,000, but for that, you’re getting a 600bhp, 6.0-litre W12, and a top speed of 202mph.
Looking to America is also an option in the quest for 200mph. Out of the cars that can get you to the magical double tonne, the one that tempts us most is the Corvette ZR1, which - thanks to a 638bhp, 6.2-litre V8 - will get you to 205mph.
A quick browse of the classifieds reveals that around $60,000 will bag you one, which equates to a very reasonable £40,000. The catch? If you’re wanting to import one to the UK, you can probably add about a third to that price to account for the import and duty charges. Damn.
Our second ‘Murican option comes in the form of a Viper. After creeping closer and closer to the 200mph barrier, the second-generation facelift version of the SRT-10 just pipped over, with the coupe version topping out at 202mph.
Like the ZR1, you’re looking at $60,000 and up for the right model years, and also like the ZR1, you have the same irritating import fees to factor in. Worth it for the stonking V10 under the bonnet, though? Quite possibly.
Source: Car Throttle