List of automotive superlatives

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Automobiles are frequently judged in their industry by many superlatives: the smallest, largest, fastest, lightest, best-selling, and so on. They vary greatly in size, engine displacement, power, price, and many other traits.

In order to keep the entries relevant, the list (except for the firsts section) is limited to automobiles built after World War II, and lists superlatives for earlier vehicles separately. The list is also limited to production road cars that:

  1. are constructed principally for retail sale to consumers, for their personal use, and to transport people on public roads (no commercial or industrial vehicles are eligible);
  2. have had 20 or more instances made by the original vehicle manufacturer, and offered for commercial sale to the public in new condition (cars modified by either professional tuners or individuals are not eligible);
  3. are street-legal in their intended markets, and capable of passing any official tests or inspections required to be granted this status.

Vehicle dimensions[edit]

Length[edit]

Width (without mirrors)[edit]

Height[edit]

Wheelbase[edit]

Track[edit]

Curb Weight[edit]

Engines[edit]

Engine displacement[edit]

Smallest[edit]

  • Current production car - 624 cubic centimetres (38.1 cu in) - 2008 Tata Nano
  • Production car - 49 cubic centimetres (3.0 cu in) - 1962-65 Peel P50

Largest[edit]

Power[edit]

Highest power by engine type[edit]

Highest power by body style[edit]

Highest specific power (power-to-weight ratio)[edit]

Highest specific engine output (power/unit displacement)[edit]

Torque[edit]

Highest torque by engine type[edit]

Highest torque by body style[edit]

Highest specific torque (torque/unit displacement)[edit]

The mean effective pressure (MEP) is a useful comparison tool, giving the average cylinder pressure exerted on the piston.

Fuel economy[edit]

The following are all vehicles sold in the United States. Some vehicles from other countries have better fuel economy.

  • Highest MPG all-diesel production vehicle - 1984 Nissan Sentra with 41 combined / 37 city / 46 highway.[11]
  • Highest MPG all-gasoline production vehicle - 1986 Chevrolet Sprint ER with 48 combined / 44 city / 53 highway.[12]
  • Highest MPG all-natural gas production vehicle - 2012 Honda Civic GX with 31 combined / 27 city / 38 highway.[13]
  • Highest MPG E85 production vehicle - 2013 Ford Focus SFE FWD FFV with 23 combined / 20 city / 28 highway.[14]
  • Highest MPG production electric hybrid - 2000 Honda Insight with 53 combined / 49 city / 61 highway.[15]
  • Highest MPG production plug-in electric hybrid - 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid with 51 combined / 50 city / 49 highway MPG and 95 combined MPGe.[16]
  • Highest MPGe production electric vehicle - 2013 Honda Fit EV with 118 combined / 132 city / 105 highway.[17]

Price[edit]

Performance[edit]

Acceleration[edit]

Top speed[edit]

Highest RPM Redline[edit]

Sales[edit]

See also:
Best-selling models
  • Best-selling vehicle nameplate - Toyota Corolla (more than 39,000,000 sold in nine generations since 1966)
  • Best-selling single model - Volkswagen Beetle (21,529,464 of the same basic design sold worldwide between 1938 and 2003)
  • Best single-year sales - 1.36 million - 2005 Toyota Corolla[28]
  • Best single-month sales - 126,905 - July 2005 Ford F-Series[29]

Firsts[edit]

Mostly full-production vehicles are listed here. Many were preceded by racing-only cars. This list mainly includes developments that led to widespread adoption across the automotive industry.

Industry[edit]

Engine types[edit]

Engine technologies[edit]

engine configuration & other miscellaneous fundamental construction details
Wankel engines
valvetrain
multi-valve engines
variable valve timing (VVT)
aspiration
fuel systems
fuel injection (FI)
ignition systems
general miscellany

Hybrid vehicles[edit]

Body[edit]

Transmission[edit]

Layout[edit]

Suspension[edit]

Brakes[edit]

Driver-aids[edit]

Passive Restraint[edit]

Active restraint[edit]

Tires[edit]

Lighting[edit]

Electrical system[edit]

Climate control[edit]

  • First exhaust system heat - 1917 (???)
  • First cooling system heat - 1926 (???) (Cadillac also lists heat as an option for $32 in the 1926 model year although it is not clear what the source is)
  • First automobile air conditioning - 1939 (for the 1940 model year) Packard
  • First automatic climate control - 1963 (for the 1964 model year) Cadillac
  • First heated seats - 1965 (for the 1966 model year) Cadillac
  • First digital climate control - 1975 Rolls-Royce Camargue
  • First ventilated seats - 1998 Saab 9-5

In-car entertainment[edit]

Other[edit]

Pre-War[edit]

  • Best-selling pre-war vehicle - Ford Model-T (15,000,000 sold between 1908 and 1928)
  • Least-expensive - US$125 ($1,761 in 2014) – 1922 Briggs & Stratton Flyer
  • Least-expensive full-featured automobile - US$300 ($3,996 in 2014) - 1926-27 (for the 1927 model year) Ford Model-T
  • Fastest pre-war stock production vehicle - Cord Automobile - 1937 supercharged 812 Beverly sedan 173 km/h (107.66 mph) - September 1937 at the Bonneville Salt Flats
  • Fastest pre-war limited production vehicle (41 made) - Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 - 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 clocked to 211 km/h (131 mph) average at Brooklands Speedway
  • Fastest pre-war vehicle - Railton Mobil Special - 2-SC Napier Lion V-12 - 595 km/h (369.740 mph) - Driver John Cobb on August 23, 1939 at the Bonneville Salt Flats
  • Longest pre-war production - 6,096 mm (240.0 in) - 1933-35 (for the 1934-35 model years) Cadillac V-16
  • Longest pre-war limited production - 6,400 mm (252.0 in) 1927-33 Bugatti Royale
  • Longest pre-war production wheelbase - 3,912 mm (154.0 in) - 1933-37 (for the 1934-37 model years) Cadillac V-16
  • Longest pre-war limited production wheelbase - 4,572 mm (180.0 in) 1927 Bugatti Royale Prototype
  • Widest pre-war - 2,100 mm (82.7 in) 1938-43 Mercedes-Benz 770 W150 (armoured)
  • Widest pre-war Front Track - 1,626 mm (64.0 in) - 1938-43 Mercedes-Benz 770 W150
  • Widest pre-war Rear Track - 1,676 mm (66.0 in) - 1938-43 Mercedes-Benz 770 W150
  • Tallest pre-war production car - 2,550 mm (100.4 in) - 1904-9 Fiat 60 HP
  • Heaviest pre-war Curb Weight - 4,800 kg (10,582 lb) - 1938-43 Mercedes-Benz 770 W150 (armoured)
  • Largest pre-war limited production car inline-four engine 28.3 L (1,727 cu in) 1911 Fiat S76[6][7]
  • Largest pre-war Straight-6 - 21,112 cc (1,288 cu in) - 1905 Panhard et Levassor 50 CV
  • Largest pre-war limited production Straight-8 - 14,726 cc (899 cu in) - 1927 Bugatti Royale
  • Largest pre-war V8 - 14,700 cc (897 cu in) - 1910-12 De Dion-Bouton
  • Largest pre-war V12 - 11,310 cc (690 cu in) - 1935-38 Hispano-Suiza J12
  • Largest pre-war V16 - 8,048 cc (491 cu in) - 1930-33 (for the 1931-33 model years) Marmon Series 16

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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