Certain cars deserve more recognition than they receive.
With a range of electronics, amenities, and performance options, luxury and sports cars have certainly evolved. One such type of vehicle are American supercars. Let’s talk about our six favourite American supercars, whilst considering the performance, style, horsepower, and speed of each.
A Bit About Supercars
Between luxury, sports, muscle, and more, it can be difficult to distinguish the differences between supercars and others. We've broken down the distinction and traced the history of the American supercar for optimal understanding.
What Is a Supercar?
A supercar differs from a sports car in that the level of performance is more extreme and not for the majority of people. With a horsepower over 500, supercars are generally mcug harder to handle than sports cars, and can be a scary ride for inexperienced drivers.
They’re heavily focused on performance, rather than how they look. Unlike sports cars, they aren’t designed to make people turn heads, but more so for the driving experience of those inside the car. Thanks to the development of the car industry, these cars can often be used by daily drivers due to lightweight materials and steering controls offering a more stable drive.
The History of American Supercars
Nobody had heard of the term ‘supercar’ until the 1920’s, and even at this point, people couldn’t differentiate this term between luxury and sports cars. In the mid 1950’s, people became more aware of the meaning, though there still weren’t many American supercars on the roads. Ten years later, the Ford GT derived and the Lamborghini became the first genuine supercar available to the public, with a design nobody could mistake.
The 1970’s was a bad year for supercars, as the fuel crisis nearly put them into extinction before the story had properly begun. Luckily, engineers and designers didn’t allow this to happen and welcomed the first mass market of cars, including the classic Porsche 911 Turbo. Towards the 1980’s, the value of supercars dramatically increased as designs began producing them for exclusive markets and in limited numbers.
The Ferrari became the first road car to reach 200mph and many anticipated the future to come. Other legendary cars came onto the scene in this era too. The 90’s reached new audiences by showing that supercars could be easy to drive and enjoyable, and not just act as a show car.
Ways The 2000’s Developed Supercars
The 2000’s approached supercars differently than what we’d seen before. They become more lightweight and the likes of Ferrari and Porsche joined newcomers to combine their talents. The Bugatti Veyron entered in 2005 and became the first car to break 250mph and reach 60mph in just 2.5 seconds. In addition to American supercars, this year also introduced electric sports cars to combine the best of both worlds.
Ten years later, the world had never seen so many supercars on the road and available to everyone without a waiting list. Multiple and new manufacturers jumped into the market to present some of the world’s fastest and most stylish cars ever seen. Rare American supercars didn’t die out though, as they actually became more popular. With the development of technology and passion behind designers, this was a positive year to research aerodynamics and internal combustion engines for the best performance of supercars to date.
Features and Facts of Six American Supercars
American automakers contributed to the most popular supercars on the planet. We might typically think of European manufacturers producing the most infamous names in the world. Allow these six amazing cars to remind you of the mid-engine supercars America helped to develop.
Each of these American supercars intended to beat previous models or competitors in terms of style, performance and speed. Specifically, the SCC Ultimate Aero supercar reached headlines when it beat the Bugatti Veyron as the world’s fastest car, and even set a new Guinness World Record.
1. Mosler MT900
The Mosler MT900 starts at $190,500 for the mid-engine with 405hp and without power steering for added convenience. It came onto the scene as a replacement for the Mosler Raptor. With a top speed of 200mph, this is one of the fastest American supercars with a bite when it wants to.
This unique automobile relied entirely on computer for the ultimate performance and look of what a true sports car should be. Produced in 2001 with a V-8 engine, the Mosler MT900 weighs 900kg and uses a carbon-fiber chassis to pick up speed quickly and effectively. When originally made, it weighed 1175kg and though it could still accelerate to 60mph in less than four seconds, it didn’t perform like the latest model.
This hand-built, lightweight sports car outshines the perceptions of what a road car should perform like. It’s often described as a “scary and raw drive” and isn’t designed for first-time sports car drivers. Every owner must remain focused on what’s ahead and sharpen their expectations.
Five years’ later, the Mosler MT900 adapted to a new GT3 version which competed in various championships. However, this was only approved for specific racing series, but its future looks bright and promising. The original Mosler MT900 was the MT900S Photon which came with an optional performance package.
2. SRT Viper
The SRT Viper is a two-seater touring car with starting prices at $129,995 to $159,995. This V-10 engine with an 8.4-litre has a six-speed manual transmission enabling you to get on the move without shifting your own gears. SRT Viper is made from high-strength steel, aluminium, carbon fiber and magnesium to enhance stability control on any road surfaces.
Even while cornering, the chassis maintains a neutral balance and flicks back to drift confidently. You can opt for power oversteering, but this is only useful for aggressive throttle inputs. It’s one of the best American supercars for handling due to the four-wheel independent suspension, and an advanced control system.
The quick acceleration is one of the best features of the SRT Viper. It can reach 0 to 62mph in the three second range, and the thrust remains brutal both on and off the circuit.
Scott Krugger designed this beacon of a sports car in 2010, and was produced between 2012 and 2017. Unlike other American supercars, it wasn’t influenced or inspired by other cars, and intended to be as unique as it drives. Initial release reports suggested only 22 would be made in an orange paint. But, 159 productions in total ran. It is certainly a strong contender and popular amongst car enthusiasts.
3. Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The Z06 option package first offered in 1963 intended to be used on a track at a high speed. It’s since experienced seven production generations to make this one of the leading American supercars of all times. In 1963, the second generation enhanced the braking and handling functions of the first generation. Still designed for track racing, the larger fuel tank reduced the need for fuel stops. The V-8 engine supported the four-speed manual transmission to give more control and style to drivers. This second model only saw 199 built.
The first Z06 option package was on the ‘split-window’ Corvette, developed by racing enthusiast Zora Arkus-Duntov. This added a thick front stabilizer bar, large shock absorbers and springs nearly twice as stiff for more support. The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 also enhanced safety and the effects of braking. This hotter version offered a more resistant exterior which could handle daily wear and tear compared to traditional methods. At the time of development, this rare option enhanced other models, but has now become an industry standard amongst American supercars.
The fifth generation Z06 took the performance further than it had ever been. It still featured the fixed-roof design but was stuff and lighter than the coupe version. To lighten the car more for optimum speed, the exhaust system lightened and the glass and wheels lightened too.
4. Rossion Q1
The Rossion Q1 is one of our favourite American supercars because it’s rare though costs around $130,000. For this figure, you get a 450-hp and a top speed of 195mph in just 2.8 seconds. Even in fourth gear, there’s enough twin-turbo’d torque to reach 80mph. You can even comfortably travel at 75mph in third gear.
The 3-liter V6 engine weights 2,495 pounds to give it the perfect power-to-weight ratio. It’s not just a quick sports car, but performs tremendously well at any speed. Whilst the flat-out velocity doesn’t compare to current American supercars, everything else does, and the Q1 is still one of the quickest production cars in the world.
Even with the extras such as exotic paintwork, matte finishes and diamond interior stitching, it’s still half the price of a Ferrari. Built in limited numbers in South Africa, it became imported to the United States in 2002. The Q1 achieves the best levels of performance possible, whilst combining luxury touches to refined the definition and drive of a sports car.
The interior is simple, though well equipped with air conditioning, power windows and standard keyless entry. You can purchase additional options such as Bluetooth, a reversing camera and navigation system.
5. Saleen S7
The Saleen S7 is a hand-built high-performance car which quickly becomes one of the first mid-engine American supercar. It debuted on August 19, 2000 as a rear-wheel drive two-door coupe. Just from looking at the S7, it’s evident it embodies a similar spirit to the McLaren F1 and Ferrari F40. However, this brings elements of a higher performance to the streets, with an American attitude.
Built in California, the S7 doesn’t draw attention to any American supercars before it. The lightweight steel-tube chassis adds to the powerful mid-mounted engine for a smooth and raw ride. The 7-litre V-8 6-speed transmission is a dream come true for any sports car advocate.
The light 1200lb weight gives the S7 a stunning hold and adds to the exterior dimensions to grip perfectly around corners. The quick steering takes a while to get used do, but it enables all drivers full control over where the car is positioned.
The aerodynamic forces awakes as the speed climbs, so the faster you go, the more grip there is. Though, we only recommend this type of ride for professional racing drivers. It’s not easy to acquire the S7, and at $395,000, it’s one of the most expensive American supercars. Though, you won’t have any regret.
6. SSC Ultimate Aero
The SSC Ultimate Aero is a mid-engine sports car produced in North America from 2006 until 2013. The SSC held a record as the world’s fastest car for a short period and costs around $200,000, used. With 1183-hp, and a top speed of 256mph, this Coupe is capable of racing a quarter mile in just under 10 seconds. That easily beats the Bugatti Veyron. A glance at the SSC confirms its performance and quality, even though the interior trim is limited for the price of the car.
It’s not a fragile car and is functional to act as an everyday car which is suitable for unprofessional drivers too. You could easily park this at the grocery store (and receive a few glances on the way). The navigation system, backup camera, 10-speaker stereo and spacious trunk is a strong contender as a car to commute to work daily.
Many drivers report that the SSC feels like a 90s car because of its old-school supercar design and carbon fiber bodywork. It’s classic, low and flat to enable a safe and secure drive close to the road.
What Are Your Favourite American Supercars?
Collectors and car lovers continue to obsess over American supercars, and we hope you enjoyed reading our favourite six models above. Each of these deliver a unique blend of performance and style which modern cars can’t quite compete with.
What are your favourite American supercars? Let us know in the comments to keep this conversation going.