Top 5 Ultimate Supercars
A while ago, I previewed 5 cars which I believed were the cheapest supercars available in major markets today - while it is true that even the cheapest super car like the Ferrari 458 Italia and the Lamborghini Gallardo will cost upwards of $250,000-$300,000.00 in America (and in excess of $500,000.00 in Australia, thanks to our stupid 33% Luxury Car tax!!), they still are pretty easy to drive everyday and are not too hard on fuel-consumption.
In this article, I'll be writing about 5 of the most coveted supercars (or hypercars as they're less commonly called) available today - these are cars which only a handful would be able to ever own and are usually A-grade Hollywood actors, rock stars or the richest and famous sportsmen and sportswomen.
The cars I'll be writing about here are the Bugatti Veyron, Pagana Huayra, Koenigsegg Agera, Lamborghini Aventador and Ferrari F12 Berlinetta.
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
Released in 2012-2013 as a successor to the 612-Scaglietti, the F12 Berlinetta is probably one of the prettiest looking V12 Grand tourers Ferrari has produced.
With its looks directly in sync with the equally impressive and large FF, which is the 4 door, 4 wheel drive look-alike of the F12, this beast is mated to a 6.3 liter V12 engine which produces 545 KW of power at an RPM as high as 8,700 rpm.
The F12 Berlinetta can easily be classified as a grand-tourer for people who feel the California's a bit too 'cheap' and compact and don't like the intrusion of back-seats in the vehicle. With a fuel-consumption of just 15 liters for every 100 km and massive reduction of weight thanks to carbon-fiber composites within its body, the car's massive 92 L tank will ensure you'll easily traverse a cross-country trip in comfort without the need for frequent fuel-stops - With satellite navigation, state of the art media interface and numerous traction control settings at the disposal of your finger along the steering column along with an F1 style gearbox and grip, you can be assured this car will never ever lose its grip even in the trickiest road and weather conditions.
This car is equally pretty as it growls - the only downside of this car's probably the price which will followed by a steep depreciation - V12 hypercars usually lose value very quickly as maintaining them is pretty expensive. But I wonder that would be any cause for concern for people who're prepared to pay (in Australia) $700,000.00 for it!
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta in Scotland (Top Gear UK)
Few cars need as little an introduction as the Bugatti Veyron, which is still considered the fastest car in its segment.
The Veyron has been considered by many as the ultimate benchmark in what's technologically possible in a supercar or a hyper car since its debut 10-11 years ago.
Conceived and eventually launched after Volkswagen took control of Bugatti, the car's design and expected performance was controversial ever since the then Volkswagen CEO ordered his engineering and design team that they needed to build a car which could produce 1000 bhp of power. Sure, there're other hypercars and supercars (including hybrid supercars) including the Koenigsegg Agera which are capable of doing that, no car maker during the beginning of the 21st century could even contemplate this feat - let alone put it into production - Unlike the Agera which can only produce this kind of power when its using E85 race fuel, the Veyron's 8 liter W-16 engine's capable of producing this even on ordinary 95 or 98 RON petrol.
When released, the Veyron was the most expensive production car for quite a few years - costing upwards of 1.5 million USD to drive away (while costing VW almost 5 million USD to produce! yes, Volkswagen were copping a massive loss on each Veyron they were producing and this is probably still the case). Nevertheless, as the team from Top Gear UK put it, the launch of the Bugatti Veyron's truly comparable to the launch of the Concorde within the aviation sector as its unlikely a car of its proportions will be produced again.
The Veyron's also the fastest production car in the world, capable of reaching a speeds in excess of 250 mph - during a test run at Volkswagen's testing facility near the former East German border, James May from Top Gear UK and then VW's test driver both cracked 420 kph!
The Veyron's available as a standard car and as a lighter 'Super Sport' version and unlike most hypercars of its class, anybody with a spare 1.5 million to 2.5 million USD in the bank is allowed to consider buying it.
Bugatti Veyron Top Speed test in Germany by James May
Bugatti Veyron vs a Cessna 182 from Italy to London on Top Gear UK
Although the Huayra was conceived during the first decade of the 21st century, it wasn't really until 2012-2013 that the car was beginning to sneak through some official and high profile photo shoots and media reports.
Pagani was known to make one of the world's most brash and loudest hypercars, the Zonda, which started out in 2003, roughly around the same time as the Mercedes McLaren SLR, the Porsche Carrera GT and of course, the Bugatti Veyron. Despite its savage handling and wailing Mercedes AMG built 7.3 liter V12, the auto enthusiast towards the end of the decade began wondering when were Pagani going to launch a replacement as by this time, the Zonda had been released in over 10 variants including the raw Zonda-R.
The Huayra, which in a Latin American native language, means 'wind' at first seems like a tamer and more civilized version of the Zonda - it even has disposed the thirst 7.3 liter V12 built by AMG in favor of a biturbo 6 liter V12 which Horacio Pagani himself admits is kinder to the environment while not sacrificing power (The Huayra still produces 730 bhp!)
With dedicated and purpose built Pirelli tyres that provide astonishing grip, see through components (There are over 4000 of them excluding the engine and transmission) and a state of the art dual clutch transmission which is smoother than even a Ferrari's F1 style gearbox, the Huayra can certainly be considered one of the best supercars of this decade and is a worthy contender against the established marques like Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini.
Pagani Huayra review by Richard Hammond of Top Gear UK
More formally known as the Aventador LP700-4 (which like all modern Lamborghinis, denotes the horsepower and 4 wheel drive), the Aventador was launched in 2011-2012 as the replacement for the outgoing Murcielago.
Lamborghinis, as Richard Hammond from Top Gear UK puts it, really do love to take their sweet time when it comes to their V12 hypercars. SInce the 1960s, the Miura, Countach, Diablo and Murcielago have spanned over 40 years and the Italian car maker wasn't going to mess about when they were going to launch the Aventador.
Everything in this car's new, including a brand new 6.5 liter V12 engine (Up until the Murcielago, Lamborghini used the same V12 since the days of the Miura, with some minor changes and tweaks to move with the times) which propels this fighter-jet look alike for the road from 0 to 100 kph in, believe it or not, 2.9 seconds!
Even the interiors of the Aventador are equally wild and maniacal - surely you can see the components at work thanks to the plastic-glass panels in the Pagani Huayra, nothing can really beat the outlandish and garish styling of Lamborghinis - old and new; Everything about this car looks evil, including the giant exhaust at its back and the sheer wail of its V12 when you decide to go tunnel-blasting.
The Murcielago's probably the only car in this segment which is available with road-hugging 4wd and is available either as a hard-top or a 'spyder' (i.e. convertible) and will turn heads anywhere you go thanks to either its roar, size or equally evil looking color combinations.
Koenigsegg truly put the entire supercar and hypercar industry on notice and the rest of the petrolhead world by storm when they launched the CCR and CCX series of their supercars during the early to mid 2000s.
Like Pagani, Koenigsegg essentially began as a 'one-man' shop who, unlike Ferrari and Lamborghini, were only focused on (despite their limited manpower and resources) producing a hypercar which could land a punch among the established marques despite being considered an underdog - in other words, nobody really expected the cool and collected Swedes to be a force to be reckoned with against the perfectionist Germans and brash Italians in the world of supercars.and hypercars.
The Agera is the successor to the CCR (the only supercar which on the hands of Top Gear UK's Stig had a proper accident while doing a power lap) and despite its modest engine and very compact proportions, is probably the most powerful car among the 5 reviewed here - The most powerful variant of the Agera, the Agera-R, capable of displacing as much as 1,140 bhp when powered by E85 race fuel on the road despite being mated to a rather conventional sounding twin turbo 5 liter V8 - the car's easily able to traverse the distance from 0 to 300 kph in 10 seconds!
The Agera's also the only hypercar in this segment which comes with a detachable roof which can be stowed away into the boot and is powered by a lithium-ion battery as standard (which until now was only available on plug in hybrids until now including hybrid supercars).
With user-friendly LED displays and what Koenigsegg call 'Configurable Instruments' and 120 liters of boot-space, the Agera's truly aimed at not only providing thrill on the track but to also offer everyday usability without the burden of size (The F12, Aventador and Huayra for example all exceeding 4.6 meters in length while the Veyron being over 2 meters in width!). The Agera is also less hard and raw than the outgoing CCR/CCXR and thanks to its grippy and dedicated Michelin super-sport tyers and softer suspension, I'm almost certain its less likely to cause an accident that might kill the Stig :)
Lamborghini Aventador review by Richard Hammond of Top Gear UK
Koenigsegg Agera R review by Car And Driver Magazine
Hope you enjoyed reading a bit about what I believe are the top 5 hypercars available across major world markets today.
If you'd prefer a hybrid supercar instead of gas guzzlers like these, you might be interested in reading about them here.
While I agree I have not written about cars like the Gumpert Apollo or limited edition cars like the Aventador J - I just did not think they compared with the list here and I'm especially looking forward to knowing more about the Agera-R which I believe might outrank the Bugatti Veyron as the fastest car there is under controlled conditions.