Horsepower remains one of the key measurements of a vehicle’s performance and capabilities. It determines everything from acceleration to top speed to towing capacity. Traditionally, exotic cars with large V12 or V8 engines offered the greatest horsepower, but now electric vehicles powered by advanced electric motors are challenging high-performance supercars with twin-turbo and supercharged engines.
Below you’ll find the vehicles with the most horsepower ranked in 40 vehicle categories, including cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans. Rather than focusing on exotic brands like Ferrari, McLaren, and Lotus, these lists highlight the most powerful production cars mainstream consumers can actually find and afford at their local dealerships.
You’ll still see aerodynamic coupes and powerful muscle cars, with both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive powertrains, but hypercars with 250-plus mph top speeds, such as the Aston Martin Valkyrie, Bugatti Chiron Super Sport, and Koenigsegg Regera, aren’t included here. Instead, you’ll find traditional, high-horsepower road cars like the Chevy Camaro ZL1, Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, and Ford Mustang Dark Horse.
Each model listed below includes maximum horsepower and lb-ft of torque figures for the most powerful variants. The most powerful electric cars, including the Lucid Air and Tesla Model S Plaid, are also ranked by horsepower in the electric car categories below.
Remember that while horsepower gets more attention, torque is what actually turns a vehicle’s wheels and provides forward (or reverse) motion. Electric vehicles provide instant torque immediately, which is why they feel so quick at low speeds compared to internal combustion engines that have to rev up from idle to achieve maximum power and torque. Generally speaking, torque is what moves a car at lower speeds while horsepower is what keeps it moving and accelerating at higher speeds.
New car and used car price ranges, fuel economy specs, and cargo capacity are also provided below.