Though they all ride on four tires and are operated in the usual manner, they’re not cars in the strictest sense. Rather, they’re rolling works of fine art that push the limits of vehicular performance, though only a smattering of humans will ever get the chance to actually see any of them in person, let alone drive one.
They’re among the rarest rides on the road and guarantee the kind of extreme exclusivity that not even the costliest Mercedes and BMWs could hope to approach. They’re true supercars, priced without reason, with price tags that well exceed the sacrosanct $1 million mark. That’s beyond the reach of mere mega-lottery winners and professional athletes, requiring pockets as deep as Scrooge McDuck and a garage the size of a warehouse to hold the rest of what’s almost certainly a fleet of equally matchless vehicular playthings.
And that’s assuming that even with all the money in the world, one might be fortunate enough to obtain one of what’s typically a tightly limited – and highly coveted – production run.
We’re featuring 10 of the costliest – and also, by the way, the quickest and most beautiful – rides in the world in the accompanying.
Aside from a few one-off models built as engineering or design exercises, the costliest production cars we could find for 2017 include the low-slung Pagani Huayra BC from the Italian boutique automaker at around $2.8 million. Named for both the Incan God of Winds and well-known car collector Benny Caiola (the “BC” part), its an extremely limited (at 20 units) successor to the original Huayra that’s lighter in weight, features a wider track, more aerodynamic styling that features a substantial active rear spoiler, and a Mercedes-Benz AMG-supplied 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 engine with an estimated 750 horsepower.
Nearly as unobtainable is the coveted Bugatti Chiron, the $2.7 million successor to the car that resurrected the legendary brand, the Veyron 16.4. Bugatti calls it “the world’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production sports car,” and who are we to argue? Wrapped in gorgeous styling that’s highlighted by a colossal scoop situated behind the doors and capped with the brand’s signature horseshoe-shaped grille, the Chiron beats its storied predecessor with an updated version of its 8.0-liter W16 engine (think of it as two V8s joined at the crankshaft) that nets an unbelievable 1,500 horsepower. That’s enough to propel the two-seater to 60 mph in a scenery-blurring 2.5 seconds and reach a rocket-like top speed of around 260 mph.
Coming for 2017 from Koenigsegg, a Swedish builder of limited production hypercars that’s not well known, even among automotive enthusiasts, is its first plug-in hybrid model, named Regera, which translates into English as to “reign” or “rule.” Debuting at last year’s Geneva Auto Show, 80 units are planned, starting at around $1.9 million each. The Regera indeed rules the road with a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 gasoline engine that’s augmented by three electric motors and puts a combined output of 1,822 horsepower too the road via the specially developed single-gear Koenigsegg Direct Drive transmission. Its exterior styling is equally aggressive looking and features “constellation” daytime running lights that afford a starry LED-illuminated forward appearance, along with “robotized” soft closing hoods and doors.
Though most of the cars on our list come from independent makers, with unfamiliar names like Lykan, Pagani, and Arash, a few are from more “mainstream,” though still exotic, makes. These include the ultra-sleek Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta, which is is the open-top version of the coveted LaFerrari hybrid sportscar that still manages to retain the original’s distinctive butterfly-winged doors. Unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, it’s priced at around $1.4 million, with a production run of just 200 units that’s said to already be spoken for by some of the brand’s wealthiest and most loyal customers. It’s propelled by a 6.3-liter V12 gasoline engine and a 120 kW electric motor that combine to produce the equivalent of 950 galloping horses. That’s good for a 0-60 mph run in under 3 seconds and a top speed of 217 mph.
Then there are really limited production models, like the $1,3 million Hennessey Venom GT Spyder WRE (World Record Edition) version, of which only three units are planned to celebrate the automaker’s world speed record set for an open-top car (at 265 mph). Likewise, the Lister Knobbly Stirling Moss Edition, which emulates the classic Knobbly that took Stirling Moss to victory at Silverstone in 1958; only 10 cars will be built, starting at a cool $1 million.
And as the old Sinatra song suggests, the best is yet to come, with Aston Martin readying its latest hypercar, the AM-RB 00 for the 2018 model year. Estimated to carry an unimaginable $3.9 million sticker price, the street-legal racer was developed in conjunction with Red Bull Racing and packs a new, mid-mounted, high-revving, naturally aspirated V12 engine. The AM-RB 00 rides on a lightweight carbon fiber structure and is sculpted with unprecedented aerodynamics that afford extreme levels of downforce. Only between 99 and 150 road cars and 25 track-only versions will be built.
Yes, to quote either F. Scott Fitzgerald (or Ernest Hemingway, depending on whom you believe), “The rich are different.” They certainly drive better cars.
The fine print: Prices in the accompanying slideshow are either estimated based on preliminary information or have been rounded up to the nearest $100,000. Specs and availability noted are subject to change.
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