The world’s fastest and most powerful vehicles are traditionally powered by massive motors like V8s, or even larger. However, that hasn’t stopped some of the world’s auto makers from pushing the limits with smaller propulsion systems, notably the trusty V6. While the V6 — or any six-cylinder formation — is usually reserved for smaller, versatile consumer-grade vehicles (they are also often used in SUVs to gain an edge in power and torque), they have in some cases been used in cars that can hit speeds in excess of more than 200 miles per hour.
The six-cylinder engine comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as mechanical functions. Here we take a look at the ten fastest vehicles produced that utilizes a six-cylinder, and the differences can be seen across models. For example, Porsche uses a boxer-type six-cylinder motor, differentiating its models from many others. Each variation has its own advantages and disadvantages, and are used depending on the priorities of the auto maker and their engineering teams.
As usual, we had to disqualify vehicles with heavy modifications, or special one-offs built to achieve incredible performance and stick with models that were, or are, available on the open market. Production numbers play a part as well, as the vehicles on the list require that more than just a few were actually built, and that they qualify as production cars.
Without further ado, here are the ten fastest cars that use a six-cylinder engine, and the top speed each is capable of achieving.
10. Noble M12 GTO-3R — 170 mph
Equipped with a Ford Duratec Alloy Twin-Turbocharged V6 engine, British car maker’s Noble’s M12 GTO-3R could hit speeds of up to 170 miles per hour. As one can imagine, it’s quite powerful, spitting out 352 horsepower from under the hood and paired with an aerodynamic exterior also helps achieve a high speed, with precision handling delivers a tight and fun driving experience. The M12 GTo-3R can go from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, ranking it high up the speed charts. Only a handful of these cars made it stateside during the early 2000s, so getting a glimpse of one is a rare feat.
9. Lotus Evora Sport Racer — 172 mph
Lotus’ Evora Sport Racer is a European-exclusive sports car that can reach top speeds of 172 miles per hour and produce 345 horsepower. The Evora Sport Racer is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, and comes with a relatively low price tag of 66,000 euros. While it’s still not a paltry sum, it is still considerably less than many other super cars and high-end sports cars that Lotus competes with. Lotus also made a six-speed manual transmission a part of the package, making the Evora Sport Racer a ton of fun to hit the open road with.
8. Noble M400 — 175 mph
Noble crafted its M400 to deliver a driving experience unlike any other. With the ability to hit a top speed of 175 miles per hour, it certainly left an impression on the industry. Using the same Ford Duratec Alloy twin-turbo V6 engine found in the M12 GTO, the M400 is able to squeeze 425 horsepower out of the engine and give the M400 remarkable quickness. From a standstill, the M400 can reach 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, and can hit a quarter-mile time of 11.7 seconds. Although it was produced for only a few years, the M400?s legacy lives on as one of the fastest six-cylinder vehicles ever.
7. TVR Sagaris — 185 mph
Sleek, sexy, and utterly unique, the TVR Sagaris can hit a top speed of 185 miles per hour as a result of it’s 406 horsepower supplied by a 4.0-liter straight-six engine. The Sagaris has lightning-quick reflexes (although reportedly it’s a handful to drive), and can hit 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. The TVR may also provide some of the most precise reflexes of any car on the road, with a tight and fast driving experience that can rival a trip in a fighter jet, provided you can wrestle it under control.
6. TVR Tuscan Speed Six — 190 mph
The TVR Tuscan Speed Six has the DNA of a luxury roadster with the performance of a supercar. The company takes a long time to produce its models, which it does one at a time, and even sculpts the chassis by hand. This results in some incredible automobiles, and in the case of the Tuscan Speed Six, incredibly fast ones as well. The Tuscan Speed Six can travel at 190 miles per hour, and get a jump from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds, propelled by a 3.6-liter inline six-cylinder engine, which kicks out 360 horsepower at 7,000 rpm — enough to satisfy most or all speed freaks.
5. Acura NSX — 190 mph
The storied history of the Acura NSX cannot be understated. The newer versions, which are still awaiting release, have estimated top speeds of up to 190 miles per hour, putting it in the top five of the fastest cars to sport a six-cylinder. The older models, which ceased production in 2005, were still nothing to sneeze at. The NSX was outfitted with a 3.1-liter V6 engine, producing up to 290 horsepower. As powerful as the NSX was when it left the Acura lineup almost a decade ago, the redesigned version set for release is sure to astound.
4. Nissan GT-R — 195 mph
The Nissan (NSANY.PK) GT-R comes fully loaded with a turbocharged 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6, allowing it to hit a top speed of 195 miles per hour. It’s also capable of blistering quickness, launching from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds. The end result of several generations of mechanical evolution at the hands of Nissan’s engineering teams, the GT-R made its debut in 2007 at the Tokyo Motor Show. It launched in the U.S. in the summer of 2008, and later in Europe. There is talk that a hybrid version is in the works, but nothing has been made official.
3. Porsche 959 — 197 mph
An older model that’s performance has held up over the years, the Porsche (POAHF.PK) 959 first hit the scene in 1985 and blew car buffs away with at top speed of 197 miles per hour. Only a couple other models since then have been able to top that mark while using a six-cylinder motor, a testament to the 959?s unbelievable capabilities. Over the course of a few years, a mere 300 models were produced, making it one of the most rare Porsche models of all time. The 2.8-liter twin-turbo DOHC flat-six engine allowed for acceleration from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds, speeds that wouldn’t be matched for several years.
2. Porsche 911 GT2 RS — 205 mph
The 911 GT2 RS sits as one of the crown jewel’s of the Porsche lineup, and is the priciest and highest trim level of the 911 line. It’s capable of hitting incredible speeds up to 205 miles per hour, fueled by a twin-turbocharged flat-six engine. Built for the track, the 911 GT2 RS comes standard with bucket racing seats, in addition to larger brakes and a stiffer suspension than it’s other 911 siblings. This Porsche is quick as lightning too, striking 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 3.3 seconds.
1. Jaguar XJ220 — 213 mph
The fastest six-cylinder vehicle to ever hit the streets as a production car is Jaguar’s XJ220. Not only is the XJ220 the fastest six-cylinder vehicle ever, but it also ranks right up there with many of the fastest cars ever built using an engine of any type, with a searing top speed of 213 miles per hour. It even held the world record for a brief time in 1992 as the world’s fastest production car before being overtaken by the McLaren F1. The XJ220 uses a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 to blast out 520 horsepower, though sadly, the Jag was limited to only 275 total units produced, and was only in production for two years before discontinuation.