Everyone talks about exotic cars like the Duesenberg SSJ Speedster above, but what makes exotic cars, exotic? Is it rarity, does it have to be made in a tiny shop in a foreign country, is it a rolling work of art, or built purely to be collected like so many stamps? Exotic cars can be all of the above and so much more. An exotic car may not be unique, but it is very rare. It is often a supercar. Most are made in small boutique shops around the world. Additionally, the carriage work is beautiful and most are collected as status symbols.
All of the cars on our list of exotic cars meet the vast majority of those points. All are sleek, fast, and sexy as hell. Read on for our list of 15 exotic cars that will make you drool. Quick, grab a bib so you don’t make a mess on your shirt!
1. Hennessey Venom GT
Hennessey Performance Engineering, based in Texas USA, took a Lotus Exige and modified the living daylights out of it to create the Venom GT. In January of 2013, the Venom GT set a Guinness World Record for the fastest production car from 0–186 miles per hour with an average time of 13.63 seconds. The Venom GT is powered by a 7.0L LSX twin turbocharged V8 that is capable of 1244 hp. Professional drivers have managed a top speed of 270.49 in this beast.
2. Pagani Huayra BC
The base model Pagani Huayra is a wee beastie itself, but the Pagani Huayra BC is the boss beast. The BC has an upgraded version of the base model’s V12. The BC is powered by a twin-turbo AMG 6.0L that produces 740 hp and 810 lb-ft of torque. Top speed numbers are not available for most of the exotic cars built by Pagani but the Pagani Huayra BC will jump from 0-60 mph in just 2.7 seconds.
3. Ferrari F430
Ferrari has built many exotic cars. Hell, that is all Ferrari builds, but this is not a list of the 15 top Ferrari’s ever built. Even though the Prancing Horse has many strong exotic cars to its credit, one of the best is the Ferrari F430 built between 2002 and 2009.
The Ferrari F430 is powered by a 4.3L Ferrari F136 engine that was developed in conjunction with Maserati. The engine produces 483 hp at 8500 rpm and 343 lb-ft of torque at 5250 rpm. The majority of the torque is available below 3,500 rpm, so this car takes off like a rocket. A 2009 Ferrari F430 has a top speed a few tenths above 196 mph and blasts from 0-60 mph in less than 3.9 seconds.
4. Lamborghini Gallardo
How do you build a list of exotic cars without having a Lambo on it? You don’t! With so many hot Lambos, it was hard to choose just one, but we eventually decided that the Lamborghini Gallardo just had to be listed here.
Whether you prefer the Spyder or the Superleggera, the Gallardo is a sleek car. We prefer the Superleggera because it is lighter and faster than the standard Gallardo. In the final years of production, the Gallardo was powered by an odd-firing 5.2L V10 that produces 552 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque at 6500 rpm. The Gallardo can power from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds and finish the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds at 125.7 mph. A Gallardo Superleggera has a top speed of 202 mph. Both exotic and erotic, it’s exactly what everyone needs from a car.
5. Koenigsegg Regera
The Koenigsegg Regera is powered by a hybrid powertrain anchored by a 5.0L V8 gasoline engine. The gas motor is complimented by three electric motors that create a combined 1.11 megawatts of power. The total output of the system is 1489 hp and 1,475 lb-ft of torque.
The Koenigsegg Regera jumps from 0-60 in just 2.8 seconds and will make it to 120 mph in a scant 6.4 seconds. Impressed yet? If not, try this…the Regera will hit 186 mph in just 10.9 seconds. If you want to try its top speed of 249 mph, you will have to wait 19.8 seconds. Hopefully, you’re a patient person.
6. Bugatti Chiron
One of the most common exotic cars comparisons that you will read is the Bugatti Chiron vs. the Koenigsegg Regera. You can read our version here. After reading that piece, you can understand why everyone thinks these exotic cars are so closely matched.
The Chiron is powered by an 8.0L W16 equipped with four turbochargers. The powerplant creates 1479 hp and 1180 lb-ft. The Chiron rockets from 0-60 mph in about 2.5 seconds, hits 120 mph in 6.4 seconds, and 186 mph in 13.58 seconds. The Chiron has an electronically restricted 261 mph top speed.
7. Aston Martin V8 Vantage S
Aston Martin has been building iconic exotic cars since 1913. For 2011, Aston Martin released the V8 Vantage S as a coupe and a roadster. Both are sharp cars. The V8 Vantage S is powered by a 4.7L that thrusts 430 hp and 361 lb-ft of torque to the pavement. The net from the powerhouse is a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 185 mph.
8. McLaren MP4-12C
McLaren is one boutique automaker that most gearheads have heard of. Between the exotic cars the company builds and all of the other automakers the group collaborates with, you have to have your head buried in the sand to have not heard of McLaren.
Of all the exotic cars built by this company, the MP4-12C is possibly the sexiest. The MP4-12C sits on a carbon fiber composite chassis. Power is provided by a twin-turbo McLaren M838T 3.8L V8 that places 616 hp and 453 lb-ft of torque at a driver’s disposal. The McLaren MP4-12C has a 0 to 60 mph time of just 2.8 seconds, makes it to 100 mph in 6.0 seconds, and can finish the quarter mile in 10.27 seconds at 135 mph. McLaren claims the MP4-12C has a top speed of 207 mph.
9. Bentley Continental Flying Spur
So far, the exotic cars we have listed have been heavy on supercar performance and sharp looks. The Bentley Continental Flying Spur is a complete 180 from those cars. This is an exotic car that is long on comfort and refinement.
Bentley has been defining extreme luxury for nearly 100 years. Despite the automakers well-known luxury connection, all of its cars have plenty of power to play with. The Continental Flying Spur pairs exotic leather and wood grains with the twin-turbo 6.0L W12 found in the Continental GT. This W12 creates 600 hp and 533 lb-ft of torque. Despite weighing in at a massive (compared to the exotic cars previously listed) 5,580 lbs, it has a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph.
10. Rolls-Royce Ghost
Inspired by the 1906 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, the entire Ghost line is an example of what many exotic cars aspire to be. Brimming with luxury, history, and power, the Ghost is an amazing car from stem to stern.
In addition to titillating luxury and amazing ride quality, the Rolls-Royce Ghost is powered by a 6.6L V12 that offers the driver 604 hp as well as 620 lb-ft of torque.
11. Maybach Exelero
Maybach is probably better known for upgrading Mercedes-Benz offerings than for building its own cars. In 2005, Maybach built the Maybach Exelero as a tribute to the exotic cars it built in the 1930s. The 2005 version is powered by a 700 hp twin turbo V12. The Exelero can jump from 0-60 mph in approximately 4.4 seconds and has a rated top speed of 218 mph. When you combine those output numbers with the elegant lines, the Maybach Exelero is definitely one of the exotic cars that will make you drool.
12. SSC Ultimate Aero
SSC North America, formerly known as Shelby Supercars, built the Ultimate Aero between 2006 and 2013. For our list, this is a return to the exotic cars that stand more on their power and rarity than luxury. From 2007 to 2010, the Ultimate Aero held the Guinness World Records title of the fastest production car with an official speed of 256.14 mph. It was unseated by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. Powered by a 6.9L V8 in 2013, the Ultimate Aero is capable of 1,300 hp and 1,004 lb-ft of torque and has a rated top speed of 273 mph, but no one has tested that…yet.
13. Saleen S7 TT
The Saleen S7 TT is the twin-turbo version of the base Saleen S7. As if there is a ”base” Saleen. Powered by a 7.0L Ford V8, the S7 TT is capable of 750 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque. It has a 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds, hits 100 mph in just 5.9 seconds, and has a verified top speed of 248 mph. Like many exotic cars that place a premium on performance, the Saleen S7 TT is pretty rustic inside, but who cares when you are topping 200 mph in just 27 seconds?
14. Gumpert Apollo
Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur (Gumpert) built very few of its Apollo exotic cars between 2005 and 2012, making them quite collectible. These barebones supercars are powered by a twin-turbo 4.2L V8. The powerplant produces up to 789 hp, has a 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds, a 0-100 mph time of 8.5 seconds, and an official top speed of 224 mph.
15. Zenvo ST1
It is rare that we associate exotic cars with Denmark, but Danish automaker Zenvo has done its best to change our minds with the ST1. Founder Troels Volleertsen created a car with eye-popping lines and power; lines you can see above. Power is provided by a 6.9L twin-charged (turbo and supercharger combo) V8.
The turbo/supercharger combination helps the V8 pump out 1,104 hp at 6,900 rpm and 1,050 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. The powerplant is good for a 0-60 time of 3.0 seconds, 0-100 mph in 8.9 seconds, and a top speed of 233 mph. These hand-built exotic cars are equipped with keyless entry, satellite navigation, and electrically adjustable leather racing seats in addition to jaw-dropping power.