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How quick could the world’s fastest car cross Canada’s longest bridge?

How quick could the world’s fastest car cross Canada’s longest bridge?
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The Confederation Bridge - seen from Borden, P.E.I. - is envelopped by mist rising from the Northumberland Strait on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008.Andrew Vaughan / Canadian Press

At eight miles or 12.9 kilometres, the Confederation Bridge is the largest bridge over ice-covered water in the world.

The bridge joins the Eastern Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, making travel between the beautiful lands easy and convenient, if not necessarily cheap .

In the 1980s, the bridge was a hotly debated topic, as it was slated to replace the ferry service that would take travellers between the provinces. On January 18, 1988, Premier Joseph Ghiz asked Prince Edward Islanders to vote if the bridge should be built or not; some 59.4% of voters said “yes” to the fixed link.

On May 31, 1997, the bridge was opened to the public.

Nine bridges everyone should drive at least once

So, being that the bridge is essentially a long straightaway, that got us to thinking: how long would it take to cross the Confederation bridge in various cars? For reference, it takes 9 minutes and 41 seconds to drive across when travelling the speed limit, a comfy 80 km/h. If you’re travelling during rush hour at a crawl, it might take up to 45 minutes.

Assuming these vehicles were travelling at their top speed throughout the entire 12.9 kilometres of the bridge, let’s find out.

The Model F was the first vehicle built by Canadian automaker McLaughlin. Eventually, McLaughlin would go on to become General Motors of Canada, headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario. The Model F was powered by a Buick engine and had a top speed of 56 km/h (35 mph); it would have taken 13 minutes, 44 seconds for it to cross confederation bridge.

Things were really starting to heat up in the automotive world right as the Depression hit; Cadillac, for example, was running red-hot when it came out with its super-smooth V-16 engines. In some lighter-bodied vehicles powered by the 452-cubic-inch mill, top speeds of 160 km/h (100 mph) were possible, which would have meant crossing the bridge in 4 minutes, 49 seconds was possible.

When it was new in 1949, the Jaguar XK120 was the fastest car in the world. The “120” in the name denoted the vehicle’s top speed of 120 miles per hour (193 km/h), which would have been good enough to get you across the Confederation bridge in four minutes flat.

It’s iconic, it’s cute, it’s ubiquitous — and it’s also really slow! When the Beetle was first introduced, a 1,131-cc engine with just 25 horsepower was responsible for keeping the Bug chugging along on the German Autobahn at 100 km/h (60 mph). If we substitute the Autobahn for the Confederation Bridge, that 25 horsepower would take us from one side to the other in 8 minutes, 1 second.

The Lamborghini Miura is truly the car that changed everything, as it’s considered widely to be the first supercar. The Miura used a revolutionary transverse mid-mounted V12 and was able to hit 273 km/h (170 mph). Riding this mechanical bull would result in a bridge run of 2 minutes, 50 seconds.

Although its top speed of 317 km/h (197 miles per hour) was bested by Ferrari’s F40 (at 201 mph) we salute Porsche for doing it in style and comfort — we know which we’d rather take on a long journey. Spool up those turbos and strap yourself in for a 2-minute-26-second jaunt across the bridge.

One of the best-selling vehicles in Canada is the Honda Civic, built in Alliston, Ontario. Your average run-of-the-mill Honda Civic Si has 205 horsepower and is electronically limited to 209 km/h (130 mph). At full trot, the Civic Si would cross the bridge in 3 minutes, 42 seconds.

Stepping up to one of the hotter muscle cars available today, the Brampton, Ontario-built Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye has 797 horsepower capable of propelling the coupe to 327 km/h (203 mph). At that rate, you’d get from one end of the bridge to the other in 2 minutes, 22 seconds.

The Ford GT has roots steeped in American pride, but the latest generation of the supercar was developed and built right here in Canada at Multimatic, in Markham, Ontario. The quoted top speed for the Ford GT is 347 km/h (216 mph) which spells a 2-minute-14-second time from one end of the bridge to the other.

The Bugatti Chiron is obviously no stranger to speed, and recently set the record for the first production vehicle to break the 300-mph boundary, nailing 304.77 miles per hour (490 km/h) on a German test track. At top speed, the Bugatti would cross the bridge in just 1 minute, 35 seconds — and still have another 7 minutes and 30 seconds to spare before it runs out of gas.
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