Way back in 1975, Porsche introduced the 911 Turbo, the fastest accelerating car in the world at that time (zero to 60mph in five seconds flat). It had 300 horsepower and was available only to a handful of wealthy individuals. Think about that for a second.
Now think about how many Lancer Evolutions and Subaru STI’s you’ve seen on the road the past decade. Those seemingly innocuous sedans, which populate college campuses, bristle with huge wings and 300hp turbo engines. And, yes, they can hurtle from zero to 60mph (just under 100km/h) in about five seconds as well.
So what’s a sports car/supercar maker to do to preserve its street cred? Start a horsepower race, of course! In an era when Mustangs and Camaros routinely break 400 horsepower, the much more expensive supercars need to distance themselves further in the engine room department for true bragging rights.
Enter the 700 Club. This is the stratospheric club wherein only those with at least 700 horsepower need apply. This is supposed to be a list of 10, but we added an extra car—a concept car, actually—in the hope that said concept will see the light of production.
All these cars, save for that lone exception, are production models one can buy—assuming one can afford them, in the first place. Interestingly, none of them breach the 800hp mark. Which means we can have an 800, 900, or even 1,000-horsepower Club article in the near future. After all, there are already three 1000-hp cars in the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the Mercedes-AMG Project One, and the Bugatti Chiron. But that’s another story…
Porsche 911 GT2 RS (700hp)
It’s says a lot when the “slowest” car in a group of over-achievers is already one of the fastest cars an iconic sports car specialist makes. But the Porsche 911 GT2 RS’ already formidable 700hp puts it “just” at the doorstep of this extremely exclusive club. Still, it’s good for a mind-blowing 350km/h top speed.
Bentley Continental Supersports (700hp)
In the 1920’s, the Bentley boys became legend with their daring motoring exploits on and off the track. I can’t imagine what kind of fun they’d be conjuring up with 700hp at their disposal—because that’s exactly the number of horses Mr. W.O. Bentley and his friends find under the hood of the Bentley Continental Supersports. Top speed? 330km/h.
Dodge Challenger & Charger SRT Hellcat (707hp)
Count on the Americans to make ultra-horsepower incredibly affordable and accessible. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and its four-door sibling, the Charger SRT Hellcat, serve up 707hp from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, good for a 325 km/h top speed. Then there’s the recently introduced Hellcat Redeye, which pumps out 797hp. Of course, there will always be the Challenger SRT Hellcat Demon that nukes out an obliterating 840hp. American magazines have timed it at a time-and-space continuum-stretching 2.3 seconds for the 0-60-mph run.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk (707hp)
In the 70’s, Lamborghini made the outrageous LM-002, which looks like America’s military Humvee fitted with the Lamborghini Countach’s V12 engine. But with the present prevalence of supercar makers rolling out super SUV’s, Chrysler decided to one-up them all by shoehorning the steroid-infused motor from sister company Dodge’s Hellcats into the engine bay of a Jeep. Result? The 707hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. Here’s an SUV that can go from zero to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds. And you don’t need to be a billionaire to buy one.
McLaren 720S (710hp) + McLaren Senna (789hp)
Supercar fans remember fondly the BMW V12-powered McLaren F1 of the 90’s. The new Macs may not be as charismatic as their iconic predecessor, but they’re no less potent. Not with 710hp in the 720S. And certainly not with the 789hp with the memorably named Senna—the late, great Brazilian making F1 history with the team from Woking.
Ferrari 488 Pista (711hp) + Ferrari 812 Superfast (789hp)
Ferrari and McLaren have had famous tussles on the track, and their rivalry extends all the way to the streets. They’re two highly competitive Formula One teams and sports car makers, which make the very similar horsepower count between two pairs of their supercars seem uncanny. McLaren’s 720S puts out 710hp—which is magnificently matched by the Ferrari 488 Pista’s 711hp. The Senna’s 789hp, meanwhile, is stunningly mirrored by the Ferrari 812 Superfast’s absolutely identical 789hp.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (700+hp)
One would think that the Ford GT would be on this list; but no, the endurance racer and America’s premiere supercar fails to make the cut. Instead we go to Ford’s go-to shop for go-fast applications—Shelby. Not wanting to be overshadowed by the 700hp supercars from compatriots Dodge and Chevrolet, Ford is reviving the legendary Shelby GT500 name with a supercharged V8-powered muscle car producing in excess of 700hp. Ford is mum on details but the last GT500 (2013 and ’14) had a 662hp 5.8-liter supercharged V8, good for a 320 km/h top speed.
Nissan GT-R50 ItalDesign (720hp)
Two venerable marques, Nissan and Italdesign, team up for the first time ever for their respective 50th anniversaries—and the result is the mouth-watering all-wheel drive Nissan GT-R50 Italdesign. Based on the GT-R Nismo, the new concept makes its world debut this July. Power comes from Nismo’s hand-assembled twin-turbo 3.8-liter VR38DETT V6 engine, churning out 720ps. If it’s a precursor or teaser for the next-generation GT-R, then we’ve got just two words for Nissan: Build it!
Lamborghini Aventador S (730hp)
It’s inconceivable that Lamborghini won’t be included in this group and the Aventador makes sure that it is. Bruce Wayne’s supercar of choice delivers 730 horses from its 6.5-liter V12, good for a 2.9-second 0-100km/h sprint and a 370km/h top speed.
Pagani Huayra (754hp)
It’s extremely powerful, incredibly fast, and breathtakingly expensive. That’s the Pagani Huayra, which with its AMG-derived twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12, pumps out 754hp for a top speed that knocks on the 400-km/h door (0-100 km/h is 2.8 seconds). Price? A cool 1.4 million US dollars—more than three times the price of a Lamborghini Aventador.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (755hp)
The Corvette has always been America’s de facto sports car. Needless to say, it should fly the stars and stripes proudly. And when that flag is being threatened by interlopers, it needs to defend national honors. Hence the ZR1. The term “ZR1” might not be as recognizable as “GTO” or “GTR,” but type “ZR1” on Google and the search points you straight to the “Corvette ZR1 Supercar.” Unlike the first-gen ZR1 of the 90’s which had a sophisticated all-aluminum four-cam V8, the latest iteration brandishes a throwback pushrod 6.2liter V8 (albeit supercharged) dishing out 755hp for a heady 346km/h top speed.