Quickest Cars We've Tested in 2020 (and the Slowest) – Car and Driver


quickest cars we've tested in 2020

Marc UrbanoCar and Driver

We test nearly every car, truck, and SUV that hits the market. We’ve even tested some things you can’t buy, like the Goodyear Blimp. And our testing team is responsible for gathering the data use to fuel arguments for armchair racers. We get the numbers for everything from weight to actual highway fuel economy, but pushing the hammer down for our acceleration test is arguably the most fun.

For reference, your average sporty compact car, like the Honda Civic Si, can go from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. That’s not bad, but it’s nowhere near as quick as anything at the top of this list. Here’s a few of the slowest cars we’ve tested in 2020 as well as a handful that can get to 60 mph quicker than you can say, “Hey ya’ll, wa-chiss.”

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer RS – 9.4 seconds (tie)

We’ll start off slow. The Chevrolet Trailblazer isn’t quick or fast, but it does offer a spacious cabin and an EPA-estimated highway fuel economy of 33 mpg. Base Trailblazers come with a 137-hp 1.2-liter three-cylinder, and a 155-hp turbocharged 1.3-liter three-cylinder is as hot as the trail gets. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard on both models. All-wheel-drive models get a nine-speed automatic.

It’s not the slowest in the segment. That yawn award goes to the Toyota C-HR and its crawl to 60 mph in 10.9 seconds. And try as it might to disguise itself as sporty in RS trim, the 18-inch wheels actually make the ride worse, even at the Trailblazer’s relaxed pace.

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer RS – 9.4 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $30,580 (Base price: $27,895)
  • Powertrain: 155-hp turbocharged 1.3-liter inline-four, nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Weight: 3323 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

Nissan Rogue SL – 9.4 seconds (tie)

So far in 2020, the Nissan Rogue is the 10th best-selling vehicle in the United States. It’s a good balance of price, cargo space, and fuel efficiency (though we recommend the Mazda CX-5). The Rogue is tied with the Trailblazer for the slowest car we’ve tested all year. (Get the CX-5.) The Rogue uses a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). It goes nowhere fast, but with an EPA-estimated 32 mpg, at least it doesn’t burn gas in a hurry, either. (Have you considered a CX-5?).Good news: The 2021 Rogue receives an 11-hp bump and does the deed in 8.2 seconds.

Nissan Rogue SL – 9.4 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $36,245 (Base price: $34,135)
  • Powertrain: 170-hp 2.5-liter inline-4, continuously variable automatic transmission
  • Weight: 3692 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera – 3.2 seconds (tie)

The 992-generation 911 has done a lot this year. Not only did the Porsche 911 Turbo S become the second-quickest car we’ve ever tested with a 60 mph time of 2.2 seconds, this base 911 Carrera is the second-cheapest car of this year’s quickest. Porsche’s 379-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six is deceptively quick, thanks to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and its trick launch-control system. The system revs the engine to 5000 rpm before it shoots off with rapid acceleration. The boosted flat-six never drops below 4000 rpm as the car races across pavement without any tire slip. Before you know it, you’re on the side of the highway showing your driver’s license to a stranger in a funny hat and uniform.

2020 BMW Alpina B7 – 3.2 seconds (tie)

The 2020 BMW Alpina B7 is more than just a big butt and a smile. Its 600-hp twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 is mighty and a necessary part of moving the 4940-pound Bavarian to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. It’s got a big price tag, too, starting at $143,795, but the B7 is quicker and still $15,000 cheaper than the 601-hp BMW M760i. Better yet, it’s also quicker than Dodge’s 797-hp Challenger Hellcat Redeye. The B7’s eight-speed transmission and all-wheel-drive system work in harmony to smoothly deliver on whatever the 4.4-liter demands. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires delivered impressive grip numbers, as the B7 held 0.95 g on our 300-foot skidpad. It’s a pretty comfortable way to go fast.

2020 BMW Alpina B7 – 3.2 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $153,195 (Base price: $143,795)
  • Powertrain: 600-hp twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Weight: 4940 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

Audi RS6 Avant – 3.1 seconds

Wagons aren’t popular in the U.S., but the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant makes us wish that wasn’t so. Powered by a 591-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, the RS6 Avant has seating for five and can carry your starting lineup to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds. For highway passing, going from 50 to 70 mph happens just as fast. Side effects from accelerating with 590 pound-feet of torque include giant smiles, childish giggling, and applause from the second row. All-wheel drive and a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic make it scoot, and the Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires our test car wore helped, too. The RS6 Avant proves performance doesn’t translate into popularity; we don’t expect to see many of these $110,045 saloons in traffic very often.

Audi RS6 Avant – 3.1 seconds

  • Price as tested: $119,840 (Base price: $110,045)
  • Powertrain: 591-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, eight-speed automatic
  • Weight: 5031 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon – 3.0 seconds

It’s a helluva cover fee, but once you’re inside the Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon, you won’t want the party to end. Despite its sizable looks, the EG3 S is shorter than big sedans like the Alpina B7 and Porsche Taycan, and it’s lighter than the Audi RS6 Avant, but it’s just as quick as the Chevrolet Corvette it outweighs by half a ton. Powered by a 603-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 with a nine-speed automatic transmission, this German sled is the only car on the list that can get to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds while giving you a back massage. It can blast through a quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds at 122 mph, and it lapped our skidpad with 1.00 g of grip. Top speed is electronically limited at 180 mph. This is a car you could easily drive until the break of dawn, and the roar on the way to its 7000-rpm redline is totally our jam.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon – 3.0 seconds

  • Price as tested: $139,205 (Base price: $113,445)
  • Powertrain: 603-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Weight: 4683 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 – 3.0 seconds

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 – 3.0 seconds

  • Price as tested: $86,710 (Base price: $64,995)
  • Powertrain: 495-hp 6.2-liter V-8, eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
  • Weight: 3638 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet – 2.9 seconds

Open the rear engine cover of any 2020 Porsche 911, and you’ll see fans. Pretty anticlimactic. However, underneath those cooling blades sits the 443-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six. Its two turbos connect to the cylinder banks via symmetrical plumbing to streamline performance and reduce lag, using every trick in the book to maximize the compact flat-six’s potential. The droptop 911 Carrera S gives up nothing to the hardtop, matching its sprint to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds and conquering the quarter-mile in 11.2 at 125 mph. Just be prepared to shell out an additional $12,900 for a follicle-straining breeze.

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2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S – 2.9 seconds

  • Price as tested: $147,280 (Base price: $127,450)
  • Powertrain: 443-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six, eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
  • Weight: 3566 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 Kar Tunz Lamborghini Urus S – 2.7 seconds

There’s nothing average about the 641-hp Lamborghini Urus, but throw a few cheat codes into the engine’s computer and you’ll uncage an even wilder bull. Kar Tunz modifies anything that rolls into its performance shop in the Bay Area of California, offering everything from window tints to performance boosts. They didn’t make any engine hardware changes to the Urus, but they unlocked a few more pounds of boost and adjusted the fuel map and spark curves to push the power output to a claimed 725 horsepower. That power increase results in a 60-mph time that’s 0.4 second quicker than stock, or as quick as cars like the McLaren Senna and Ferrari 488 Pista. It’s the quickest SUV we’ve ever tested, beating a previous record by a standard Urus. The K40 radar and laser-detection system Kar Tunz added might be the most useful modification in the whole setup.

2020 Kar Tunz Lamborghini Urus S – 2.7 seconds

  • Price as tested: $277,904 (Base price: $234,102)
  • Powertrain: 725-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Weight: 5140 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 BMW M8 Competition – 2.5 seconds

The BMW M8 Competition comes with a 617-hp twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 and an eight-speed automatic transmission. This 4251-pound coupe moves with such immediacy, the most dangerous part of driving it might be trying to glance at the speedometer as the high-performance 8-series covers long swaths of earth at a time. The right way to launch an M8 Competition is to set the drive mode to Sport, put the transmission in its most aggressive setting, and hold the brake with one foot and the accelerator with the other. The IP will flash at you when launch control is enabled. From there, lift your foot off the brake and hang onto this 16-foot-long, two-ton, all-wheel-drive rocket ship. We got to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and reached a quarter-mile in 10.7 seconds at 129 mph. After we left the test track, we drove home slowly, coming to complete stops at every stop sign. When we got home, we called Mom just to say hi. Power like this can make you feel guilty.

2020 BMW M8 Competition – 2.5 seconds

  • Price as tested: $175,745 (Base price: $147,995)
  • Powertrain: 617-hp twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Weight: 4251 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 Tesla Model S Performance – 2.4 seconds (tie)

Electric vehicles used to be all about size (small) to maximize range while sacrificing every last drop of what made driving fun. Thankfully, that era is over. The race is on to make something that can accelerate, brake, and then recharge its battery as fast as possible. The Tesla Model S Performance does it all. It’s spacious, luxurious, and its 98.0-kWh battery pack has a 326-mile EPA range. Shortly after its comparison test win over the Porsche Taycan Turbo S, Tesla released new software to improve its performance numbers. With Cheetah mode enabled, we were able to go a tenth quicker to 60 mph than before, thanks in part to a power output bump and a crouched suspension stance on launch. The Model S Performance is one of two EVs on this list and is powered by motors at each axle that normally produce a combined output of 778 horsepower with a neck-breaking 841 pound-feet of torque. The only loud noise you’ll hear when you flatten the accelerator is usually an expletive or two out from excited passengers.

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2020 Tesla Model S Performance – 2.4 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $114,690 (Base price: $101,190)
  • Powertrain: permanent-magnet synchronous AC front motor, AC induction rear motor, 275 and 503 hp, 310 and 531 lb-ft; combined output, 778 hp, 841 lb-ft; single-speed direct drive (front), single-speed direct drive (rear) transmission
  • Weight: 5003 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S – 2.4 seconds (tie)

During our acceleration testing with Porsche Taycan Turbo S it punched us back in our seat. We measured 1.3 g’s of initial acceleration, and it can launch like that over and over again unlike the Tesla. Its 50-to-70-mph acceleration time matched the Model S Performance with 1.6 seconds—the quickest time we’ve ever recorded. It’s so much fun to drive that the fact it lacks autonomous mode is easily overlooked, if not preferred. Two permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors with a combined output of 750 horsepower and 774 pound-feet are responsible for the speed. And although the Taycan was short 10 miles of range capacity compared to the Model S during our comparison test, its 750-kw charging capability meant it was able to recoup its battery charge quicker than the Tesla.

2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S – 2.4 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $205,180 (Base price: $186,350)
  • Powertrain: 2 permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors, 255 and 449 hp, 325 and 450 lb-ft; combined output, 750 hp, 774 lb-ft; single-speed direct drive (front), two-speed automatic (rear) transmission
  • Weight: 5246 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe – 2.2 seconds

At the top of the food chain this year–by two-tenths of a second–rests the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S coupe. Not only was it the quickest car this year, but it was the second-quickest car we’ve ever tested. What’s ahead of it, you ask? The almost million-dollar Porsche 918 Spyder. The new Turbo S is powered by a 640-hp 3.7-liter twin-turbo flat-six paired to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic throwing mountains of torque at all four wheels. The output is increased by 60 horsepower over last year’s model, and the variable geometry turbos produce 22.5 psi of boost. Porsche claimed it would get to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, but we did it in 2.2, making it one of the most enjoyable ways to burn the stickers off a fresh set of Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires. It finished the quarter-mile in 10.1 seconds at 137 mph and goes from 50 to 70 mph in only 2.4 seconds. Speed like this isn’t cheap, as a base 911 Turbo S will set you back $204,850. Worth it.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe – 2.2 seconds

  • Price as tested: $216,050 (Base price: $204,850)
  • Powertrain: 640-hp 3.7-liter twin-turbo flat-six, eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
  • Weight: 3646 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

Check Out The Quickest Cars from Last Year

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