If you feel the need for speed, here are 10 machines that will deliver and won't cost an arm and a leg to fuel.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1
Can you have a car that is both powerful and fuel-efficient? Big horsepower and lousy gas mileage have gone together in the automotive world like peanut butter and jelly for so long that most people would answer that question by saying, "Hell, no!" However, the two traits are no longer mutually exclusive.
It's true. Computerized engine controls, more efficient transmissions and advanced engine designs have blessed current performance vehicles with a combination of power and gas mileage that was unheard of only a decade ago. In fact, many modern powerplants possess almost three times the gas mileage of classic muscle-bound engines.
To highlight this happy state of affairs, here are 10 cars with the best mix of power and gas mileage sold today. Don't get us wrong — none of these speed demons gets spectacular fuel mileage. But if you lust for a machine that can go like a bat out of hell and not drain your bank account while doing it, these beasts are the best options.
1. Dodge Viper
Horsepower: 600 ● mpg: 22
Every schoolboy dreams of the Viper's V10 engine with 600 horsepower, but who'd guess it was powerfully efficient? A low-slung 2-seater, the Viper is relatively lightweight without excess frontal area. That means the giant 8.4-liter engine doesn't need to do much more than idle to whisk the Viper along at legal freeway speeds. The result is a passable 22 mpg highway cruise, backed up by the ability to deliver 200 mph thrust, if desired. If ever there was an argument for large-displacement, slow-revving engines for economy, the Viper is it.
Horsepower: 638 ● mpg: 20
Supercharging usually isn't very fuel-efficient, but don't tell that to the ZR-1's boosted 6.2-liter V8 engine. Yes, fuel economy drops from 26 mpg to just 20 mpg compared with the naturally aspirated standard Corvette, but the ZR-1's extra 208 horses make up for it. In the real world of mundane freeway cruising, the belt-driven supercharger extracts a mileage toll compared with the nearly-as-powerful Dodge Viper, but we don't think buyers of the $108,180 super-Corvette will really mind. Revered as one of the most powerful production sports cars sold today, the ZR-1 offers the solace of a 205 mph top speed.
Horsepower: 540 ● mpg: 22
Here's another supercharged surprise. Using a belt-driven supercharger similar to the ZR-1's, Ford's headlining Shelby Mustang employs a smaller-displacement 5.4-liter V8 engine than the ZR-1 to wring out another two mpg. A larger, heavier 4-seater, the GT500 is also not as aerodynamically sleek as the Corvette, which lowers its efficiency. Coming to the rescue is the GT500's excellent power per displacement, an even 100 horsepower per liter. Furthermore, for 2011 the GT500 gains an aluminum block and thus loses significant weight while gaining 10 horsepower.
Horsepower: 435 ● mpg: 26
Compared with the first three examples of powerful efficiency, the Corvette doesn't really punch above its weight class. But it does deliver great highway mileage. Many everyday commuter cars would be proud to achieve 26 mpg, much less pack 435 horsepower. Positives for the Corvette are better-than-average aerodynamics and a reasonable weight. But the real secret to its success is low-rpm cruising from a relatively large-displacement engine and 6-speed transmission. The Corvette is where the performance and efficiency curves intersect to the best effect.
Horsepower: 412 ● mpg: 26
Posting a little less power but offering the same mileage as the Corvette, the 2011 Mustang GT nips at the Corvette's rear bumper for thousands of dollars less. The new 5.0-liter Mustang V8 engine makes efficiency the old-fashioned way: Eschewing a heavy, power-sapping supercharger, the naturally aspirated V8 revs like a soprano when making power, then slumbers along at cruising speed. Not yet fitted with direct fuel injection, the V8 still has a few power and efficiency tricks up its sleeve should the market demand it.
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All I can say is who cares about MPG, if you buy a car like a Corvette you do so because you love to drive not because your looking for a commuter car. These types of automobiles are made for the person why drives because they want to not because they have to. MOTOR ON MY FRIENDS
"dbizzygtr"?? I don't know where he gets his information from, but I'll correct him. The GTR has a Top Speed of only 193(nissanusa.com). The 220 he claims is mythical! The GTR also has an EPA rating of 17 city/21 Highwy(nissanusa.com).
The GTR's 0-60 time is 3.5 Seconds, not the 2.8 he claims. Also! His precious Nissan GTR came in 13 TH fastest at the Nurburgring. It was driven by Toshio Suzuki, and it's time was 7 minutes 26.70(FC) Seconds. The Veyron has a 0-60 time of 2.5 seconds. So the GTR is a full second slower to 60!
The Viper on the Other hand has a Top Speed of 202 for the base model SRT/10. The SRT10/ACR has a top speed of 184, and it ran the Nurburgring in just 7 minutes and 22.1(FC) seconds. The Viper also has an 8.3 Liter v10 that gets an EPA rating of 22 Highway.
Back When: My parents' full size Pontiacs from 1959-1976 all got about the same mileage...15mpg on level highways, 12mpg in the hills and 9mpg in town. They covered the '59 and '63 Catalina w/ 389 (economy engine) w/ a 2 bbl, '65 2+2 w/421 /4bbl, '67 2+2 w/428 /4bbl (much less when I was driving these two!), '70 Catalina w/ 400 4bbl and '72 and '76 Grand Safari station wagons w/455 4bbls. These last 2 could got 8mpg in town!
Their '94 and '96 Buick Roadmaster Wagons w/detuned Corvette LS-1's got 24mpg @ 65-75mph on the interstates in the midwest.
Right Now: My wife's '08 MINI S Coupe w/turbo and 6speed Asian automatic - 30mpg in Seattle/Bellevue traffic and a "best" of 38.2 on the highway @ 65-70mph. I did get the MINI down to 20.5mpg while lapping at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA. Any of you guys/gals check your rides' mpg at the track? Any of you even go to the track?
My '07 Porsche Cayman S...w/3.4 ltr 6speed manual got a best of 25.3mpg from Yakima to Seattle on the interstates @ 70-80mph. But, who cares! Our '04 Honda CR-V gets 21/25mpg city/highway.
Eyes up and drive safe.