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When it comes to motorheads and their love of cars, there is one factor usually used to judge vehicles over all others – power. And by power, we mean the engine that is under the hood. The bigger, tougher, and more powerful the engine, the more valuable a car is in the minds of many gearheads. We’re talking stock horsepower here, not cars that can win street races with many after-market modifications, or out-of-this-world rocket cars that have been built specifically to break land speed records out on the Salt Flats. We’re referring to the most powerful cars that have been manufactured by top flight car companies, and cars that people can actually buy and enjoy on city streets and highways. Here’s a list of the 10 most powerful cars of all time.

10. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (2011)

It seems appropriate to open this list with a Mustang – the quintessential muscle car. And the 2011 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a beauty of a car. Stylish, sleek and as cool as Mustangs come, this car was first produced only five years ago. And while this is a recent vehicle, many automotive journalists and car lovers consider the Shelby GT500 to be a modern classic. And, in addition to its style, the Shelby GT500 also boasts an exceptional engine under the hood. The car has a 5.4-liter V8 engine that produces 550 horsepower. If that weren’t enough, the car has a wicked maximum speed of nearly 200 miles per hour. Add to this a lighter body in comparison to previous Mustangs, and you’ve got a car that has plenty of pick-up and superfast acceleration. Ford has continued to push the envelope on its Mustangs, but the Shelby GT500 is a definite standout in terms of pure power.

9. Saleen S7 (2000)

Another relatively recent car that pushes boundaries in terms of power and speed is the Saleen S7, a supercar that was unveiled in 2000 by engineering company Ray Mallock Ltd. The Saleen S7 was expected to become an intense competitor in the coveted supercar sales segment. However, this vehicle never reached the lofty expectations that were set for it for one main reason – it was considered too fast. Reviewers labeled the car “unstoppable” and “uncontrollable,” and those monikers scared off potential buyers. Some people still bought it as a collector’s item though, but the car was viewed to be too powerful for regular use. Built out with a 7-liter V8 engine that had 16 valves and produced 550 horsepower, the Saleen S7 goes down as one of the most powerful cars ever. It’s design concept was based on a popular Ford V8 block-mounted engine, only taken to extremes by the engineers who designed the S7.

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