Saturday night at the 2019 Scottsdale auction was nothing short of a celebration of automotive culture. Every year it seems the show is the best it can be – and next year it’s even better.
Thousands of cars went across the auction block. There were a plethora of muscle cars, vintage classics, and tricked out customs.
Supercars are always the most anticipated. Below are some of the finest vehicles, representing the best from their countries. All of them sold on Saturday, becoming some of the most valuable items in the entire auction.
2019 McLaren Senna – $1,457,500
The most expensive vehicle which did not sell for a charitable cause was the 2019 McLaren Senna, which brought $1,457,500.
Representing the UK’s finest, the Senna is the newest car in McLaren’s Ultimate Series. With all 500 units sold before production even began, an auction is the only way to acquire one.
The name is a tribute to Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna. He raced with the McLaren Formula One Team between 1988 and 1993. Before his untimely death, Ayrton Senna won 3 F1 championships and 35 individual Grand Prix races. Meanwhile, McLaren also won four consecutive Constructor’s cups.
The McLaren Senna is a street-legal car, designed for the track. It’s powered by a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8, which is an upgraded version of the engine seen in the 720S. It generates 789 hp and 590 lb/ft of torque, which is transmitted to the rear axle via a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox.
Putting power to the ground is a set of center-lock lightweight alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tires.
Designers of the Senna took inspiration from Formula One in creating the aerodynamics of the car. The roof scoop, rear diffuser, and giant electronically operated rear wing are a direct reference to an F1 race car.
Other prominent features include the front splitter, aero canards in the front end and large air intakes on the rear quarter panels.
Central design piece is the MonoCage III – a full carbon monocoque upgraded from the one used in McLaren 720S.
The 2019 McLaren Senna is born a champion, worthy of its name. McLaren’s official performance stats are:
- 0-62mph: 2.8 seconds
- 0-124mph: 6.8 seconds
- Quarter mile: 9.9 seconds
- Top speed: 211 mph (redline limited)
2012 Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition – $918,500
Next in our supercar list is a Japanese example. A rare 2012 Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition which sold for $918,500.
The Lexus LFA is a car that took 10 years of development, with Lexus unveiling numerous concept vehicles over the years. Prototypes were regularly seen testing on the Nürburgring, hence the name.
The first production LFA arrived in 2010 and Lexus decided to build only 500 to keep it exclusive.
Under the hood is a 4.8-liter, V10 engine, producing 552 hp and 354 lb/ft of torque. The engine revs up to 9,000 rpm in 0.6 seconds in neutral, which required the development of a new tachometer that could keep up accordingly.
The monocoque is constructed from a carbon fiber reinforced polymer. CFRP constitutes 65% of the weight of the body. The front and rear subframes are all aluminum. The transaxle is mounted in the rear to balance the weight. Overall, the LFA achieves a good weight distribution: 52% up front and 48% on the rear axle.
The Nürburgring Package pays tribute to the Green Hell where the car received its rigorous testing. Only 50 LFAs were upgraded to the Nürburgring edition, making it a very rare and exclusive car. The package offers performance tuning aimed for the track.
- 19 more horsepower from the V10 engine
- Optimized transmission, shaving 0.05 seconds on each shift
- stiffer suspension
- New aerodynamic canards and a big rear spoiler.
Lexus LFA is not the fastest car in the world – with or without the Nürburgring Package. But, it’s one of the best cars coming out of Japan. Its performance is undeniable and it fully deserves to be called a supercar.
- 0 – 60mph: 3.6 seconds
- 0 – 100mph: 7.6 seconds
- Quarter mile: 11.6 seconds
- Top speed: 203mph
2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo – $687,500
Saleen is one of the few American companies that dares to rival Italian masterpieces like Ferrari and Lamborghini. With very limited production numbers of its flagship vehicle – S7 – it’s always exciting to see one being auctioned.
Always bringing in super rare and expensive cars to their auctions, Barrett-Jackson managed to source an even rarer 2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo, which sold for $687,500.
No official production numbers are available but sources suggest that only 20 or so S7 Twin Turbos were ever built.
The S7 comes with an all-aluminum 7.0-liter V8 engine, derived from a Ford 351 Windsor small block, producing 550 horsepower. The Twin Turbo edition adds Garrett twin-turbochargers providing 5.5 PSI boost to the intake. The final power output is 750 hp and 700 lb/ft of torque.
Thanks to the space frame design of the chassis and aluminum honeycomb panels, the car achieves a very low curb weight – just 2,968 pounds. The high power to weight ratio – 2.52 hp per 10 lb – allows the car to go at breakneck speeds:
- 0 – 60mph: 2.8 seconds
- 0 – 100mph: 5.9 seconds
- Quarter mile: 10.5 seconds
- Top speed: 248mph
Though they never achieved mainstream success, Saleen created a true American supercar. The S7 Twin Turbo deserves admiration and a place among the world’s most exquisite supercars.