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As the 2011 horsepower Lotus Evija demonstrates, the most powerful cars of the near future will be EVs, but remarkable outputs have nevertheless been achieved with engines fuelled by petrol or diesel.

Here we’re looking at 20 of the strongest examples created in the US, all of them available in cars or non-commercial trucks sold to the public for road use (so no 11,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragsters, for example).

They’re listed in ascending order of their quoted outputs, with the caveat that there was a change from gross to net horsepower in 1972, which muddies the waters considerably.

Only the most powerful unit from any family is included. This means that what you’ll be reading isn’t a top 20 in the usual sense, since many engines have been ignored because they are outpowered by close relatives, but it adds variety, and we all like variety.

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