2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Consumer Guide Automotive editors are a discerning bunch. When rating vehicles in the category of Acceleration, they have to be blown away—almost literally—before they will bestow a perfect score of 10. Horsepower is not enough; editors look for a car that’s quick from a stop and delivers smooth, linear power.

For model-year 2012, CGA editors lauded 18 cars with perfect 10s for acceleration. (Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to test many exotics, including Ferraris and Lamborghinis.)

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Perfect 10s for Acceleration

2012 Aston Martin DBS

Powertrain: 510-hp 6.0-liter V12, 6-speed automatic transmission w/manual-shift capability

CG Says: “The exhaust note is intoxicating, and it accelerates with the ferocity you’d expect from a 12-cylinder sports car.”


2012 Aston Martin Vantage V12 Carbon Black

Powertrain: 510-hp 5.9-liter V12, 6-speed manual transmission

CG Says: “Accelerates as well as you would expect from a supercar with 510 horsepower. Throttle response is outstanding in any situation. The manual transmission is a joy to use.”


2012 Audi R8

Powertrain: 420-hp 4.2-liter V8, 6-speed manual transmission; 525-hp 5.2-liter V10, 6-speed manual transmission

CG Says: “The R8 comes in two trim levels, and each refers to the size of the engine: 4.2 and 5.2. Both engines deliver forceful but drama-free takeoffs—aided by Audi’s excellent quattro all-wheel drive—plus ample highway passing punch. Regardless of transmission, Audi claims 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds for the 4.2 V8 coupe and just 3.7 seconds for the 5.2 V10 coupe. “


2012 Bentley Continental Supersports

Powertrain: 621-hp 6.0-liter turbocharged W12, 6-speed automatic transmission w/manual-shift capability

CG Says: “WOOOOO!! It doesn’t take much to get this thing going very, very fast. Even moderate throttle makes you feel as if you are being shot out of a cannon.”


2012 BMW 335is coupe

Powertrain: 320-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged I6, 6-speed manual transmission

CG Says: “While the horsepower difference between the 335i and 335is seems minimal, the latter feels appreciably stronger.”


2012 BMW M3

Powertrain: 414-hp 4.0-liter V8, 7-speed automated-manual transmission (dual clutch)

CG Says: “The M3 coupe wants to bolt when the spurs are put to it, and cruising feels effortless.”


2012 Cadillac CTS-V

Powertrain: 556-hp 6.2-liter supercharged V8, 6-speed manual transmission

CG Says: “This car is lightning fast. Punch on the highway and you’ll be into triple digits faster than you realize. Shifter and clutch are quite light and easy, so it’s not at all tiring to drive in city traffic.”


2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Powertrain: 580-hp 6.2-liter supercharged V8, 6-speed manual transmission

CG Says: “ZL1 delivers ferocious power, with supercar-like acceleration. Manual ZL1s have a short-throw shifter with a firm, mechanical feel—though somewhat notchy.”


2012 Chevrolet Corvette

Powertrains: 436-hp 6.2-liter V8; 505-hp 7.0-liter V8; 638-hp 6.2-liter supercharged V8; all with 6-speed manual transmission

CG Says: “Each of these three engines scored a 10 in CGA testing. The most ferocious, of course, is the 6.2-liter supercharged V8, available only on the ZR1. Chevy says ZR1 will do 0-60 in a scorching 3.4 seconds, which feels believable. For all its power, ZR1 is quite easy to drive, even in heavy traffic, as its shift action is the smoothest of any Corvette.”


2012 Jaguar XKR-S

Powertrain: 550-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8, 6-speed automatic transmission

CG Says: “Jaguar claims XKR-S does 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, which seems accurate to us. All models enjoy a quick-acting automatic transmission that doesn’t hesitate to downshift for effortless highway passing. Standard steering-wheel paddles are easy to use and provide even faster gear changes.”


2012 Lexus LFA

Powertrain: 552-hp 4.8-liter V10, 6-speed automated manual transmission

CG Says: “Certainly among the quickest and fastest cars available today. Lexus quotes a 0-60-mph time of 3.6 seconds, which seems plausible based on our test. The automated-manual transmission includes steering-column-mounted paddle shifters, four shift modes, and seven shift speeds that vary shift “feel” from slow and smooth to quick and neck-snapping.”


2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG sedan w/AMG Development Package

Powertrain: 481-hp 6.2-liter V8, 7-speed automated manual transmission

CG Says: “The C63 is very fast; Mercedes estimates 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds with the optional AMG Development Package. The 7-speed automated-manual transmission operates very smoothly, and shifts are quick in automatic mode or via the paddle shifters.”


2012 Mercedes-Benz CL65

Powertrain: 621-hp 6.0-liter turbocharged V12, 5-speed automatic transmission w/manual-shift capability

CG Says: “Power delivery in the CL65 is outright ferocious. Highway passing and merging are strong, and there is no evident turbo lag. The transmission is occasionally slow to downshift but is otherwise smooth and responsive.”


2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 w/AMG Performance Package

Powertrain: 550-hp 5.5-liter turbocharged V8, 7-speed automated manual transmission

CG Says: “CLS63, regardless of whether or not it has the Performance Package, has gobs of torque for brisk, pin-you-in-your-seat takeoffs. Power reserves for passing and hill climbs are abundant as well.”


2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Powertrain: 563-hp 6.2-liter V8 engine, 7-speed dual-clutch automated-manual transmission

CG Says: “It’s a snarling beast that’s a joy to flog, and thanks to an über-capable chassis and fabulous steering, flog you can.”


2012 Nissan GT-R

Powertrain: 530-hp 3.8-liter turbocharged V6, 6-speed automated-manual transmission (dual clutch)

CG Says: “This is still one of the fastest cars you can buy. Decent power from a standstill becomes outright explosive once the turbochargers kick in. Full-throttle downshifts take a moment to execute, but once they do, passing muscle is similarly stunning.”


2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S coupe

Powertrain: 400-hp 3.8-liter H6, 7-speed automated manual transmission

CG Says: “There’s a barely perceptible delay when you floor it from a stop, but it’s wonderfully strong thereafter.”


2012 Porsche Cayenne

Powertrain: 500-hp 4.8-liter turbocharged V8, 8-speed automatic transmission w/manual-shift capability

CG Says: “Throttle response on the Turbo is immediate, and the 8-speed automatic operates in rapid-fire mode.”

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