Top ten: Hypercars

Top ten: Hypercars
Top ten: Hypercars

We count down the cars that are the most of everything

We are entering the world of superlatives, the very finest, most expensive, fastest, most outrageous superlatives we can find. Supercars are for wimps, what you really need is a hypercar, something that can travel at hyperspeed while burning through your money at an equal pace. The only downside is that if you’re going really quickly nobody will be able to really focus on you and your statement vehicle. Now that is a problem. But nobody said it was easy at the top.

10. SSC Ultimate Aero TT

The Ultimate Ego was an American start-up’s attempt to outperform the rather more sophisticated Bugatti Veyron. It beat the Bugatti, two years before the Veyron appeared. Even so, that’s a huge achievement from this 1183bhp car, but the rest of the vehicle meant you couldn’t really explore the full performance potential with any confidence. Definitely a ride on the wild side.

9. Lamborghini Centenario

Clearly a stock Aventador isn’t nearly enough. What you need to do is ramp up the 6.5-litre V12 and fit eye-popping bodywork that is also unbelievably aerodynamic. Do lots more, name it after the centenary of the company’s founder and add a £1.6m price tag. Sorted.

8. Rimac Concept One

This is an electric car from Croatia. As yet we haven’t driven it, just had a short ride in the passenger seat – although the short amount of time in it isn’t reflected in the distance we covered. The four independent torque-vectoring electric motors at each corner give 1224bhp, 1180lb ft of torque and the promise of handling that will be as mind-bending – and neck-hurting – as the performance undoubtedly is. One most definitely to watch.

7. Pagani Huayra

This Italian entry has a 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 from Mercedes-AMG, and if you turn off the driving aids the result is a car that takes every ounce of concentration to drive fast, as it’s enormous fun but also a challenge in an immersive, intoxicating way.

6. Bugatti Chiron

It’s nice to see a rear-engined VW on the list, although this is perhaps a touch different to, say, the Beetle. Building on the already impressive Veyron, the Chiron pumps out nearly 1500bhp from its W16 engine, enough to make what will probably turn out to be about 290mph. So disappointing it may fall short of 300mph don’t you think? After all, this is a stunningly handsome road car, and it would be nice to have some performance to match the appearance. Still, that’s VW for you, sensible to the last.

5. Aston Martin Vulcan

This car is so loud that it would make Mr Spock’s pointy ears bleed, although you can baffle it down at least for a while. You needn’t worry about your neighbours or the police though, since this is a track-only creation. With 820bhp and a lightweight carbon tub, the stunningly handsome Vulcan is extraordinary to drive on the track with lurid performance yet with surprisingly easy handling. We feel sure it will prosper.

4. Koenigsegg One:1

The name says it all – this is the hypercar cranked up to 11. For your £2m you get 1300bhp from the ethanol-fuelled V8. There’s a bit of turbo lag and then you’re off, on a white-knuckle ride that really starts to come into its own once you pass 125mph and the aerodynamics and suspension start to all work together. It should be capable of double that speed. A useful thing to remember as you grind round Marble Arch. Again.

3. Porsche 918 Spyder

This is perhaps the one if you fancy some attributes from more normal cars, like a bit of hybrid electric assistance and a convertible roof. It’s possible that not every driver will buy one of these for its 15-mile all-electric range, but the hybrid drive – as opposed to hyperdrive – does mean 900lb ft of torque and absolutely brutal acceleration. It also means Porsche can fit a naturally aspirated V8 with motorsport roots. This isn’t the easiest Porsche to drive but it’s awesomely fast considering the weight.

2. McLaren P1

McLaren’s first Ultimate Series car also goes down the hybrid route, with a 903bhp combined outcome. It’s the result of a laser-like focus on technology, light weight and performance enhanced by top-level aerodynamics. On the road the P1 is really quite easy to drive, like most McLarens, but on the track it will take you to places normally reserved for professional racing drivers. It’s one of the most dramatic and exciting performance cars in existence.

1. Ferrari LaFerrari

So good they had to name it twice. This is the monument not just to what Ferrari can do when all the limits are taken away, it’s also a monument to the hypercar as it currently stands. There’s electric power to add social acceptance and torque and there’s this: a 6.3-litre V12. No forced induction, just a great big V12 making 789bhp and making the most thrilling noise and making the most unbelievable performance. With a combined output of 950bhp this ought to be a beast, but the chassis is so brilliant that you won’t believe how hard you can push without your heart coming up into your mouth. It’s the winner of the most superlatives in the world.

 

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