In recent months, the world of fast cars received a shock wake-up call. Gearheads no longer needed the winning lotto numbers to go insanely fast, Tesla’s Model S Plaid goes faster for less cash.
We’re not suggesting the blend-into-the-crowd Model S Plaid is better all-round, sports cars always have and probably always will draw more attention from mobile phone-touting Instagrammers. However, for $130k, any gearhead can experience the incredible levels of performance the Plaid delivers, 60 mph coming up in an almost unbelievable 1.98-seconds, quicker than cars costing ten times as much. Sorcery? In place of gasoline, three electric motors produce 1020 hp and 1050 lb-ft of torque, utilizing direct drive technology eliminates concerns over perfect shifts guaranteeing supercar slaying performance.
Electric is the way forward, for sure, but an electric sedan that bests the most expensive supercars? The big names should worry, Tesla founded in 2003 has only just begun making almost affordable cars.
10 Koenigsegg Jesko ($2.8 million)
Sadly for gearheads and sci-fi fans alike the Jesko’s “Light Speed Transmission” doesn’t achieve the laws of physics-breaking velocity its name suggests, owners are instead limited to a mere 300+ mph with sixty taking 2.5-seconds. The LST isn’t named just for fun, cleverly overlapping gear rations eliminate power interruptions during shifting.
At the core of the Swedish hypercar maker’s latest track-focused special is a 5-liter eight-cylinder engine that produces up to 1600 hp on a diet of E85 gasoline. The Jesko rightly takes its place among the fastest cars money can buy.
9 Hennessey Venom F5 ($2.1 million)
Best known for their astonishing Venom GT’s claim to be the world’s fastest convertible, Hennessey Performance Engineering went one better with its fully in-house designed Venom F5. Think only European brands make hypercars? Think again, the F5 boasts the most powerful combustion engine.
Aiming for big numbers is the Hennessey way of life. The Venom F5 uses a custom-built Fury twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V8, putting down 1817 hp and enough torque to hit 60 mph in 2.6-seconds, the US-based tuner/carmaker aiming for a maximum of over 300 mph.
8th Delage D12 ($2.3 million)
Delage Who? The chances of most gearheads recognizing the Delage name let alone any of their historic racers and record-breaking cars are slim, only a handful will remember the ’30s era Delahaye. Making a return is one thing, designing and building a fighter jet/F1 car for the road is another.
A random two-seater racer complete with canopy screams performance, as does the F1 style wings, contraction springs, and carbon wheels featuring brake-cooling technology. Behind the cockpit, in true race car style, a custom-built 7.6-liter V12 engine and electric motor combination producing 1100 hp. Promoted as a contender for the fastest road-legal car in the world, 60 mph takes 2.5-seconds.
7 McLaren Speedtail ($2.25 million)
King of the special edition exotic go-faster hypercars, UK-based McLaren Automotive boasts an impressive back catalog of insanely fast and expensive cars, including the original ’90s F1. In 2019, it added to its reputation with the Speedtail, a long-overdue spiritual successor.
As we’ve come to expect from McLaren, carbon fiber formed the basis of the Speedtail’s chassis and body, even the passenger form an integral part of the design aimed at keeping weight to a minimum. Weight saving alone doesn’t guarantee speed, 60 takes 2.9 seconds, McLaren’s tried and tested M840T twin-turbo 4-liter V8 boosted with a sole electric motor generating 1036 hp.
6 Lamborghini Sian FKP 37 ($3.7 million)
In recent years we’ve grown accustomed to Lamborghini rolling out ever more powerful variants of their Aventador, claiming it will be the last naturally aspirated V12-powered road car accompanied by a price hike and limited numbers. The Sian arrived in 2019 with a production pegged at 19 cars, each fetching $3.7 million. The last V12 powered Lambo? Not quite.
We’re in no hurry to see the Italian carmaker retire its iconic engine layout, the Sian uses a 6.5-liter version coupled with a mild-hybrid system generating a combined 808 hp. How much difference hybridizing one of the greatest engines ever makes is debatable, launching to 60 mph in 2.8-seconds representing a gain of just over a tenth.
5 Gordon Murray Automotive T50 ($3 million)
No stranger to pushing automotive boundaries to their limits and surpassing them, Gordon Murray Automotive unveiled their T50 hypercar back in 2020, selling all 100 planned examples within 48 hours despite a hefty $3 million asking price. Big sticker prices aren’t just for marketing, packing high-end technology from the ground up, including a fan-assisted aero package that boosts the T50’s downforce by as much as 30%.
Without a doubt, the T50’s headline-grabbing feature is its V12 engine. Developed by Cosworth, a naturally aspirated 4-liter unit cranking out 654 hp at a spine-tingling 11,500 rpm in a chassis weighing 2,174 lbs. How fast? Flat out, 220 mph lags behind its rivals, but in a drag race the T50s feather-weight build pays off with a 0-60 mph time of 2.7-seconds.
4 Pagani Huarya BC ($2.5 million)
Italian flair meets German engineering, Pagani’s flair for style and character powered by AMG’s twin-turbocharged 6-liter V12 tweaked for the BC, so it now produces 754 hp. Other updates strip away excess weight, Pagani using “carbon Triax” shaving an incredible 291 lbs off the Huaryra’s curb weight.
Impressive as the losses and gains are, no one buys a Pagani for its technical merit. That V12 sitting out back responds to the slightest change in throttle pressure, instantly catapulting the Huarya towards 60 mph in 2.7-seconds.
3 Aston Martin Valhalla ($800k)
Make no mistake, since Lawrence Stroll’s purchase of Aston Martin, the bespoke UK carmaker has shifted its focus from the merely fast GT cars to full-blown hypercars. The Valkyrie came first, followed by the more budget-friendly and usable Valhalla with production pegged at 999 examples, each costing a cool $800,000.
Toning down the ultimate track theme, the Valhalla still packs a host of race-inspired technology, a carbon-fiber build crammed with clever active aerodynamics. Under the hood, AMG-sourced 4-liter Bi-turbo V8s augmented by twin electric motors turn out 937 hp, promising a sprint to 60 mph in 2.5-seconds.
2 SSC Tuatara ($2 million)
Another home-grown US hypercar capable of insane speeds and power figures, SSC’s Tuatara looks set to challenge the world’s fastest production cars with a top speed of over 300 mph. Baseline specification Tuatara’s kicking off with 1350 hp on regular pump gas, jumping to 1750 hp on E85.
In October 2020, SSC claimed and later retracted a one-way maximum of 331 mph. Under the hood, SSC’s 5.9-liter flat-crank twin-turbocharged V8 drives the rear axle via a CIMA 7-speed automated manual transmission. Selecting track mode lowers the ride height, adding the extra downforce needed to achieve the Tuataras blistering 2.5-seconds 0-60 mph time.
1 Bugatti Bolide ($4.7 million)
Bugatti’s latest and most potent track-focused hypercar to date, the Bolide should be winging its way to lucky and wealthy owner’s garages in early 2024. Sporting the brand’s famous W16 8-litter quad-turbocharged engine tweaked to deliver an eye-watering 1825 hp thanks to larger turbine blades.
Unlike previous “faster” Bugatti’s, this one is all-new from the ground up, relieved of the excesses of luxury and weight, tipping the scales at 3197 lbs an incredible 1100 lbs lighter than a Chiron. More power and less weight result in drag to 60 mph in 2.2-seconds, with a top speed over 310 mph.