You’ve heard of supercars, the crème de la crème of fancy sports cars. Now, hypercars take supercars to a whole new level.
The concept of a “hypercar” started in the 1990’s with Amory Lovin, chief scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Back then, he and his colleagues set a goal to design and produce something new … A clean, high-performance, energy-saving car that could go for 235 miles on just one gallon of gas.
As the Solutions Journal reported in 2014, Lovin sought to push the boundaries of modern technology. He wanted sleek, aerodynamic designs, and lighter-weight, more flexible materials, Lovin also insisted on ditching fossil fuels. Back then, “hypercar” meant cleantech.
But Lovins wasn’t just a car geek with big dreams. He’s excelled at promoting his ideas and making them a reality. His bio on the RMI’s website states he won countless awards and wrote 31 books and 600 papers. The page also boasts that he served as an advisor to heads of state and titans of industry.
Volkswagen XL1 with a diesel-electric hybrid engines gets 313 miles per gallon Price £95,000 and yes gullwing doors👍 pic.twitter.com/mQbl4yB21p
— Aeromikel (@Aeromikel) September 15, 2013
In 2014, Lovins’ vision finally came to pass when Volkswagen’s XL1s rolled off the assembly line. They only produced 250 cars, so buying one meant jumping through a lot of hoops. First, would-be buyers signed up and paid deposits. Then RMI drew names to reveal the lucky new XL1 owners. And yes, these folks paid a pretty penny for the privilege: $167,736.
The XL1 got 313 mpg and RMI promoted it as most fuel-efficient, eco-friendly production car in the world. And it has gullwing doors to boot. As folks in European Union (EU) countries would say, the XL’s a “one-liter car.” That means it can go for hundreds of miles on a single liter of gas. Want to see it for yourself? Here’s a video with Felix Baumgartner, a celebrity skydiver, taking it for a test drive.
Fast-forward to the late-2000s … Now the term “hypercars” refers to the most tricked out, cutting-edge, amped-up “supercars.” Car aficionados throw around the term around a lot these days. But the folks at The Zero to 60 Times are more specific.
They define a supercar as follows: “An eye-catching factory stock car which accelerates faster and is more expensive than at least 98% of the other cars manufactured in the same year.” They also observe, “the term hypercar seems to be used more and more each year.” For them, a hypercar is a “top-tier supercar” with the best acceleration, price, handling, top speed, sound, and styling. To earn “hypercar” status, these cars also need to be rare; with limited numbers of models produced. As a rule, that — along with cutting edge tech and high performance — sets hypercars apart.
The Zero to 60 Times also observes, there’s lots of debate on what confers”hypercar” status. For example, the price used to be a qualifying factor. Then the Ariel Atom hit the road with a futuristic design and killer performance for a mere $60,000.
What’s the Fastest Hypercar in the World Right Now?
If you’re asking “what’s the fastest car in the world right now,” that depends on what day it is. In October, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport took the laurels. It didn’t just have the fastest top speed (261 mph) in a “street-legal” production car. With its price tag of $2.9 million, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Sport also got called “the most expensive car in the world.”
2017 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. El coche más caro del mundo pic.twitter.com/IUbl6Wd8OP
— Todd Hockney (@Todd_Hockney) October 19, 2017
That was obsolete in a matter of weeks. The Koenigsegg Agrea RS swiftly surpassed the Bugatti Veyron. With a top speed of 277.9 mph and a $3 million price tag, the newcomer broke the record.
The Koenigsegg Agrea RS achieved a new record going 277.9 mph, beating the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport for fastest production car. pic.twitter.com/ySzYJzHveU
— Matt Schimcek (@Schimshack_) November 8, 2017
As Digital Trends wryly observed, “Koenigsegg’s Agera RS is officially the fastest car on Earth. But for how long?”
What Are the Most Expensive Hypercars in the World?
With the 2017 Dubai Motor Show around the corner, Digital Trends made a list of the world’s most pricey cars. This list only includes recent-model, street-legal production cars.
1. Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita, $4.8 million: Why is it so expensive compared with its swifter cousin by the same company (mentioned above)? For starters, “the car is literally coated in diamonds.” That’s right. The exterior coating is made of a “diamond dust-impregnated resin” for that extra bit of sparkle. Plus only three of them exist.
— vayalujo (@vaya_lujo) November 12, 2017
2 Lamborghini Veneno, $4.5 million: The name literally means “poison” in Spanish and this model certainly looks lethal and full of venom. “The car is absolutely stunning from every angle,” Digital Trends gushes breathlessly. “To this day, we’re not convinced it isn’t an alien spacecraft surveying our planet for eventual takeover.”
The Runners Up
These days, a hypercar’s just not a hypercar unless it costs over $3 million.
3. W Motors Lykan Hypersport, $3.4 million: You’ve seen this baddie in “Furious 7.” The Lykan Hypersport specs are stunning. With 3.7-liter, twin-turbo flat-six that yields 770 hp and 708 lb-ft. Plus, this hypercar goes from 0 to 62 mph in a mere 2.8 seconds. On top of all that, it sports headlights sheathed in precious gems and scissor-style doors. And the Lykan Hypersport’s top speed? 240 mph. This is also the first hypercar made in the Middle East.
— KEN MASTERS (@ON_LGT) November 12, 2017
4. Limited Edition Bugatti Veyron by Mansory Vivere, $3.4 million: As mentioned above, this model’s among the fastest and the highest-priced. Digital Trends explains why: “The 1,200-hp Veyron starts out as a Grand Sport Vitesse Roadster, only to be adorned with a gorgeous carbon-fiber body, a new spoiler package, upgraded LED lights, a revamped cabin, and a restyled front grill.”
— AnnieMC (@AnnieMCatalano) August 6, 2017
5. Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio, $3 million: If you’ve got the cash, this Ferarri gives you a lot of bang for the buck. Lovingly crafted by Pininfarina, a top Italian design shop, it’s jam-packed with innovations. These include an ultra-lightweight body and aerodynamic headrests. Only six were made and you need an invitation to buy one
Who would ever believe that the MaRussia B2 was once the expensive car in the world? $180,000 seemed like a princely sum back in 2010. Nowadays, the price, the 420 horsepower engine, and top speed of 186 mph seem almost quaint. The now-defunct company made just 500 of these models, which immediately sold out.
9. Furious 7: The scene where Dom & Brian drive a Marussia supercar off 3 towers🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/IcZF2L2Ufg
— Most Valuable Playa (@icebergwankitse) November 12, 2017
Devel Sixteen: The Most Over-the-Top Hypercar You Still Can’t Buy
Back in 2013, Steve Morris Engines unveiled their plans for the Devel Sixteen at the Dubai Motor Show. Insiders snickered at the outlandish specs for this gas guzzling monstrosity. 5,000 horsepower? 0 to 60 mph in 1.8 seconds? A top speed of 348 mph? Yes, you read that right. 348 mph. The general reaction from hypercar fans was summed up perfectly by Jalopnik‘s write-up, titled, “The Devel Sixteen: 5,000 Horsepower Bullsh*t Supercar Built in Dubai.”
“For the record, the Ariel Atom V8 does the sprint in 2.3 seconds, the fastest out there now,” they scoffed. “The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport tops out at 267 mph and packs 1,200 horsepower. And it weighs as much as the earth, thanks to a W-16 and a four-wheel drive system.” Then they pulled out all the stops and brought in Italy’s renowned Manifattura Automobili Torino and Steve Morris Engines.
Fast forward to November 2017. Road & Track reports the Devel Sixteen’s really happening and made its debut at the Dubai Motor Show.