We take power and speed for granted these days. Any supercar isn’t worth the lease you signed for it if it’s packing less than 600PS (441kW). Likewise, many vaguely performance-orientated family EVs can crack 62mph in less than four seconds, when once the three-second range was the preserve of the most exclusive bleeding-edge supercars. Progress is relentless and, truthfully, has been for some time, as was exemplified in what was colloquially referred to as the ‘horsepower wars’. This was a race between manufacturers year-on-year over the past 30 years especially, to outdo rival performance models in terms of power. The result is where we are today, in a world of 400PS (294kW) hot hatches, 600PS (441kW) super saloons and 800PS (588PS) supercars, but there were a few key watershed moments along the way. We thought we’d count them down, albeit with only a couple of real top-end exotics that stand out in terms of power.
14 cars that stoked the horsepower race
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