Car enthusiasts always dream of being able to find “The One”, that car so rare that it would make their lives complete just to be able to see it. Being that rare will also mean that they are most likely one of the most expensive cars in the world, but for the lucky few, they are a dream worth achieving, if they can. The quality of workmanship and design that went into these cars are a big part of what makes them so rare and unique, each one a testament to the car industry as a whole.
What Is The Most Rare Car Money Can Buy?
Coming in at just over a million five, the Lamborghini Reventon is a sports car that debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show. Inspired by the race staged between a similar model and a fighter plane, the company designed it for low air resistance and high speed. Only 20 cars were produced.
Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster
This is the Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster, a seriously rare car with a price tag coming in just under half a million dollars in value. One of the first convertibles made by the company with an automatic transmission, it is the fusion of Formula 1 racing technology and the legendary SLR racing tradition.
The Exelero high performance sports car was the last release from German luxury car manufacturer Maybach, and was last priced at auction for around eight million dollars. Considered to be the ultimate in luxury high endurance sports cars, it is designed to fly with 700 HP, courtesy of a bi-turbo V12 engine.
The last mid-engine sports car to be produced by Japanese automaker Honda, production was officially ended in 2005. During its heyday, between 1990 and 2005, only a hundred cars were produced in the line per year, and the average price now, at auction for this speedster is around one hundred and sixty thousand dollars.
Jaguar‘s supercar had almost tarnished automaker’s reputation 20 odd years ago, but it was hardly its fault. First introduced at 1988 British International Motor Show, XJ220 was supposed to hit the market with a bang. Top speed of 213 mph (fastest at the time) and V12 engine tended to inspire such reactions in late eighties. 1,500 people placed £50,000 deposits before first planned deliveries in 1992. However, when 1992 came, Jaguar had to replace the V12 mill with twin-turbo V6 which resulted in altered specifications. Needless to say, that didn’t hold up very well with the buyers. Many of them decided to withdraw from the project. In the end, only 271 units (most on this list) of XJ220 were made, and they came with 1992 retail sticker of £470,000. Unlucky Jag is slowly, but steadily becoming a collectors item these days, though.
It might be based on Porsche’s 962 race car, but Dauer’s 962 is a supercar of its own. And one of the most obscure supercars at that. Like its mentor, Dauer 962 too, was first intended as Le Mans race car. After it won the race back in 1994, Dauer started producing street-legal versions of their 962. At least 12 of them were built between 1993 and 1997, and they were capable of making 730 horsepower while topping 251 mph. This was as close as you could have gotten of owning street-legal Le Mans race car back in the day.
Nissan R390 GT1
Like the Dauer 962, the Nissan R390 GT1 too, was intended to be Le Mans race car for 1997 and 1998 seasons. Unlike the rebadged Porsche, however, Japanese supercar never actually won the race. This didn’t stop them from making 2 road-legal units, though. With price tag of $1 million, only one was sold via auction. The other one is still in Nissan’s Zama factory museum. Street-legal version of the car is capable of reaching 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, and topping 220 mph. It’s still the fastest Nissan ever made.
Mosler Consulier GTP
Since Mosler MT900S was produced in this century, and one was delivered to George Lucas, we didn’t deem it obscure enough. Mosler Consulier GTP was company’s first supercar, and that one is actually almost forgotten by now. Produced between 1985 and 1993 under this nameplate, and between 1993 and 2000 as Intruder or Raptor, Consulier GTP came with somewhat anemic 175 and 190 horsepower Chrysler turbo II and III 4-cylinder engines. Only Intruders and Raptors finally offered V8 power which, still wasn’t supercar-worthy. It’s interesting that Consulier Industries dubbed their car the fastest American car at the time, and even offered $25,000 and later $100,000 rewards if someone records better time with another car. Car and Driver magazine did it with ’91 Corvette, but it wasn’t until Chet Filip beaten them at the Sebring International Raceway, that Consulier Industries finally conceded.
Covini C6W is first of the two supercars from this list you can still get your hands on. If you’re thinking of buying it new, that is. It was introduced in 2004 with intended production of 6 to 8 units a year. It’s powered by 4.2L V8 engine capable of generating 434 horses and topping 186 mph. So, what does 6 stand for if it’s V8-powered? It stands for six wheels. Yes, this unique supercar offers some major traction to complement its raw performance.
Aixam Mega Track
Since we’re talking about peculiar obscure supercars, let’s continue with Aixam’s oddball from early nineties. You might recognize the French company by their sub subcompact electric vehicles which can usually be driven without driver’s license. In 1992, however, they tried to hit the supercar market with crossover/supercar combo. Only five units were ever created, and they were fitted with Mercedes-sourced 6.0L V12 putting up 400 horsepower. Unlike most supercars (try every supercar ever made), Mega Track had adjustable suspension height which spanned from 8 to 13 inches. Not many cars have that kind of ground clearance, do they? That’s what made Aixam’s only foray into supercar market one unique experience which, sadly, ended way too soon.
Isdera Imperator 108i
Pretty much anything made by Isdera could have ended on this list, but we’ve decided to go with Imperator 108i. Despite being produced for almost a decade between 1984 and 1993, only 30 units were ever completed. Being a German, it’s no wonder Imperator was powered by Mercedes and AMG engines from 5.0L to 6.0L in displacement. It came with gullwing doors which aren’t that uncommon in supercars, but it also had a rear view periscope which is uncommon in pretty much everything apart from in submarines. It definitely deserves to be considered one of the most obscure supercars of all time.
Zender Vision 3
Speaking of Germans and obscure supercars, here’s Zender Vision 3. Created by Hans-Albert Zender, Vision went through six revisions. Third one debuted in 1987, and had 5.6L Mercedes-sourced V8 delivering 300 horses. It was able to reach the top speed of 174 mph, and was being offered at starting price tag of £250,000 at the time. It did need clear 6 seconds in order to reach 60 mph, though.
American supercar produced between 1990 and 1993 came with modified Chevrolet 350 ci engine and dual turbos. That setup was good enough for 625 hp and 649 lb-ft of torque, although the absolute maximum at dyno was 1,200 hp with 14 lbs of boost. Early models were able to top 220 mph and accelerate from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds. Bonneville speed testing, however, revealed prototype Vector’s full potential as it peaked 242 mph. Only 22 total units were made, and they started from $448,000 at the time.
We have decided to conclude this list of almost forgotten and obscure supercars with Cizeta-Moroder V16T. Italian supercar was being produced between 1991 and 1995, but only 20 models have rolled off the assembly lines during that period. This is actually the originally intended design for Lamborghini Diablo. Hadn’t Chrysler intervened, Diablo would have looked just like that, and Cizeta-Moroder wouldn’t have existed as separate car. It’s powered by dual Lamborghini V8 mills in a single block, effectively creating a single V16 powerplant. Supercar was able to accelerate to 60 mph in 4 seconds and to reach the top speed of 204 mph. Apart from first 20 models, 3 more have been built between 1999 and 2003, and as of 2006, they’re again available on a made to order basis. They now cost $649,000 in base, and $849,000 in Spyder TTJ form.
Isdera Commendatore 112i
Everything ever produced by Isdera is obscure. That’s how boutique German automaker works apparently. Yet, Commendatore 112i first introduced in 1993 is as obscured as supercar can get. It started as a one-off project which took 6 years and roughly $4 million to complete. The end result, however, was well worth it. With Mercedes-Benz 6.0L V12 at rear midsection, Commendatore developed 408 horsepower. Enough for 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds and top speed of 213 mph. But it wasn’t performance that raised the most eyebrows here. It was the styling. Deep air intakes, long rear end, periscope style rearview mirror, and gullwing doors which opened together with the engine bay, were never seen prior to Commendatore 112i’s introduction.
“Knight Commander,” translated from Italian, never made serial production. Isdera soon went bankrupt, and was sold to Swiss investors who preferred to conduct their business behind closed doors. They did make another Commendatore with improved performance, however. Isdera Commendatore 112i Silver Arrow was completed in 1999, and it came with 6.9L V12 mill this time. The output rose considerably, to 611 horsepower. So did the top speed which now maxed out at 230 mph. New owners tried selling it on eBay for $3 million in 2005, but no one was willing to buy it. Where these supercar unicorns are nowadays, only their Swiss owners know. Isdera prefers seclusion, but they do appear to get out for some fresh air once in a blue moon. Maybe then we’ll find out.
Yamaha is one of the most versatile Japanese companies. They have their fingers in many spheres of life, producing high quality motorcycles, guitars, keyboards, electronics, and occasional car in the process. When they started supplying engines for Formula 1 in 1989, Japanese used that momentum in order to develop their own supercar. A supercar that would be powered by the same 3.5L V12 OX99 engine found in Zakspeed and Brabham F1 cars. International Automotive Design was supposed to be behind the supercar’s design, but British only supplied three cars by 1992. IAD and Yamaha relationship wasn’t really made in heaven, so Japanese decided to continue with in-house development from there, in order to cut down the costs.
Yamaha’s Ypsilon Technology, however, wasn’t able to meet the 6 month deadline and the project was delayed. With Japan in financial crisis at the time, OX99-11 was finally cancelled in 1994. Final number of completed cars remained at three (built by IAD). Blue, red and yellow prototype, all developed 400 horsepower and featured unorthodox design. 1+1 seater only had one canopy door and cockpit style roof. But it was fast as hell. Yamaha OX99-11 maxed out at 217 mph while hitting 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. It’s still doing that in parallel universe where Yamaha actually proceeded marketing their $1 million offspring.
Monteverdi Hai 450 SS
If you think you’ve seen it all, here’s the Mopar-powered supercar you’ve probably never heard about. 1970 Monteverdi Hai 450 SS was designed in true supercar fashion and sports mid engine layout. This position is occupied by none other than iconic 426ci Hemi Elephant V8. Name was derived from German word for shark (hai) and supercar’s total power output of 450 metric horsepower. This Swiss masterpiece stood shoulder to shoulder with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Maseratis of its time. Former Ferrari employee Peter Monteverdi, however, failed to market the car in the end. After completing another specimen with slightly longer wheelbase and 440ci Super Commando V8 – 1973 Monteverdi Hai 450 GTS – boutique automaker ceased further production. Two additional cars would be built from spare parts in early nineties, and currently reside in the official Monteverdi Museum in Basel-Binningen, alongside the GTS.
First Hai 450 SS, however, was sold at one point in 1971. Back then, Monteverdi put the $27,000 sticker on it and supercar changed hands multiple times before finally being restored to its original “Purple Smoke” condition. It was eventually sold again for $577,000 in 2012. Although precious few of us are in possession of that kind of spare cash, that was actually a bargain. For a car that used to cost as much as 7 Hemi ‘Cudas back in the day, being sold for much less than what one rare ‘Cuda is worth today has to be considered a bargain. Plus, it’s practically a one-off.
Although they don’t have that much in common, Mosler MT900 is regarded as Consulier’s successor. After all, it was MT900’s introduction in 2001 that finally forced oddball Consulier (then called Raptor) into retirement after 15 turbulent years. And MT900 is arguably Mosler Automotive’s most stable supercar considering all the aspects of production, sales and performance. One thing was shared between the two distant relatives, however. The GM V8 engine. When Initial MT900 came out in 2001, it started off with 5.7L LS1 V8 making 350 hp and corresponding amount of torque. It was good enough for 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds and cost exactly $163,840, but only a dozen or so have ever been produced.
There were also the MT900R and MT900S; both with upgraded performance. Former was a racing only car weighing only 2,250 pounds which had found its way to some 30 new owners. Latter, however, was the evolution of the initial offering. In 2006, it developed north of 405 horsepower thanks to Corvette’s LS6 V8. Supercharged version of MT900S generated as much as 600 ponies, however. The upgrade was reflected in 0 to 60 time of just 3.1 seconds. The price also soared, but not by that much. MT900S was available for $190,500. Only 20 or so have been produced, though.
Last but not the least, the Mosler ultimately offered MT900S Photon or MT900SP if you will. One was built in 2003, and another was commissioned in 2010. They are currently limited to one model per year with the price being just shy of $480,000. LS7 V8 motivating it, is tuned to 535 horsepower, which together with light carbon fiber frame, allows MT900SP to max out north of 200 mph. It can also reach 60 mph from standstill in less than 3 seconds. Although all they ever did was producing obscured supercars, Mosler still perseveres heroically. After all, Warren Mosler is one gifted engineer with ample means to fund his automotive endeavors.
The Noble M600 is one of the last remaining old school supercars today. A dying breed with mid-engined, rear-wheel drive setup powered by 4.4L twin turbo V8. And not just any twin turbo V8. Noblest of Nobles comes with Yamaha-sourced code name B8444S engine built for Volvo between 2005 and 2010. This allows for abundance of horsepower and British company offers no less than 3 different setups. Road cars pack 450 horsepower, track setting raises 550 ponies, and racing M600 develops as much as 600 horses. At least that was the case during M600’s early years (2010 – onward).
As of 2015, company also offers M600 Speedster; roofless supercar with 650 horsepower on tap. In truth, however, every Noble M600 can offer the same output as the Speedster. What’s so great about them is the fact that they start in 450-hp form and shapeshift into 650-hp beast in an instant with the single push of the button. Moreover, they cost less than corresponding Ferraris and Lamborghinis. At around $250,000 for coupe and $300,000 for Speedster, you get one of the most unfairly obscured supercars capable of hitting 225 mph and 60 mph in 3 seconds flat. And if all that doesn’t make M600 one of the coolest supercars of our time, I don’t know what does.
Numerous former drivers often stay in the business by building their own sports car after their career has come to an end. Sadly, most of them only succeed in creating obscured supercars that never bring any real profit. Such was the case with Vern Schuppan, 24 Hours of Le Mans winner for 1983, onboard a Porsche 956. The Schuppan 962CR was completed in 1994 thanks to Japanese financial backing. Based on a Porsche 962 endurance racer, Schuppan’s supercar was built to commemorate his victories at Le Mans and in All Japan Sports Prototype Championship in 1983.
Only 6 cars are believed to have been produced. All were equipped with Porsche’s 3.3L twin turbo flat-six mill generating 600 horsepower. Three are currently in Japan, one in the US, and last car’s whereabouts are unknown. Sixth and final example was destroyed in fire some time ago. Although mostly forgotten now, Schuppan 962CR was a relative success, financially speaking. All six units were sold for around $1.5 million, which was their price back then. That certainly wasn’t an easy task. However, two of Japanese customers failed to meet the payment deadlines which forced Vern Schuppan to declare bankruptcy and fold his car company. Now, this sounds more like a boutique supercar manufacturer’s daily routine, sadly.
Hofstetter Turbo was born out of turmoil. Turmoil being the high taxes for exotic imports in Brazil, back in eighties. This opened up a window for domestic carmakers and Mario Richard Hofstetter took the opportunity that was presented. He devised a prototype wedge supercar in 1980 based on Gandini’s Alfa Romeo Carabo. It took him four more years of preparation, but production finally started in 1984. Hofstetter planned producing 30 cars a year, but in the end, they only made 18. In total!
Although Brazilian, Hofstetter sounds awfully Germanic-like. Apart from the fact Mario actually had German roots, his cars were powered by Volkswagen engines. The only non-supercar part of this forgotten supercar was its heart. Brazil-only 1.8L 4-cylinder was good enough for about 140 horsepower. That was rectified by introducing 2.0L Garrett turbocharged four in 1988. This new unit raised the output to 210 ponies. Still, though, Hofstetter Turbo lacked any true supercar’s performance.
Then again, this Brazilian wedge had pretty much everything else. Apart from one of the most iconic shapes, it also offered gullwing doors, mid-engined setup, rear-wheel drive, plushy interior stacked with suede leather, and digital gauges all over the dash. If you figure out how to import one, let me know.
I said no one-offs which makes Devon GTX perfectly fine candidate for this list with as much as two units completed. Scott Devon founded Devon Motorworks in 2008 and tried to buy the rights for using the Dodge Viper platform prior to sports car’s first discontinuation in 2010. Chrysler, however, rejected his proposal and Devon Motorworks were forced to close their doors. Not before they built those two GTX’s, however.
Devon GTX came in what has to be considered a fine moment for now-defunct company. GTX’s role model Viper was axed, and it could have continued where its spiritual predecessor left off. But it simply wasn’t to be. Now’s also a great moment in theory, but who would buy a V10 car without Viper’s renown these days? And that’s exactly what Devon GTX had. 8.4L V10 packing some serious heat. It delivered 650 horsepower which was 50 ponies more than Viper had back then.
Devon also featured expensive, aircraft quality carbon fiber body and “up and forward” articulating doors which clearly slotted it in the supercar category. Apart from licensing issues, GTX’s main problem was the price. It was supposed to cost around $500,000 which was roughly five and a half times more than the Viper. It was almost impossible to justify such an exuberant sticker, especially when similar car had already proved things don’t necessarily have to be that expensive.
The Centenaire was marketed by Monte Carlo Automobile in order to commemorate 100 year anniversary of the Automobile Club of Monaco. Supercar game was changed considerably in early nineties due to newfound global financial situation, hence only 5 units were completed between 1990 and 1992. Thing is, MCA’s founder Fulvio Maria Ballabio started the project five years before with the help of Formula 1 designer Guglielmo Bellasi. He couldn’t have expected demand for supercars would take such a hit, back then.
Anyway, the fully carbon fiber-built Centenaire powered by Lamborghini V12 was still lucrative enough for one wealthy Georgian businessman (country on Caucasus; not a US state) to buy the company out. He renamed Centenaire to MIG M100 (with MIG standing for Migrelia & Georgia), and entered the Le Mans race. After failing to qualify, MIG M100 was never seen again. Instead, Aixam-Mega bought the project and renamed it to Monte Carlo. They also replaced Lambo’s V12 with Mercedes-Benz unit of corresponding number of cylinders. Mega Monte Carlo now developed 495 horsepower thanks to 6.0L V12 and ZF 6-speed manual trans. French company also had Le Mans in their sights, but failed to homologate the car. Exact production figures since Aixam-Mega took over are unknown, but production finally ceased in 1999 ending the Centenaire as we knew it.
Although established a long time ago, in 1962, Lotec only built their first production vehicle in 2004. It was the Sirius, as you can imagine. And it was a supercar. In fact, it still is. After a redesign in 2009, Lotec Sirius isn’t showing any signs of stopping. You’re welcome to try and dig out any precise production numbers, but judging by Lotec’s nature of small sports car manufacturer, they’re rather low.
Sirius is powered by the same Mercedes-Benz 6.0L V12 at one point found in Pagani Zonda. The Mercedes mill, coupled with dual KKK turbochargers, was enough for Sirius to deliver 850 horsepower. I say “was,” because they’ve apparently moved on from such conservative practice. These days, Lotec Sirius delivers either 1,000 horsepower with 12.33 psi (0.85 Bar) of boost or 1,200 ponies with 17.4 psi (1.2 Bar) of pressure. That actually puts Sirius among the top players in the game with Bugatti, Koenigsegg and co. Lotec states Sirius can max out at 249 mph in its top form.
Why is the Sirius among the forgotten and obscure supercars with the specs like that? Beats me. It’s probably down to their marketing strategy or lack of one thereof. Then again, maybe it’s their name. Lotec sounds awfully close to low tech. In fact, company even made a slogan out of it: “High tech from Lotec.” If that isn’t desperate, I don’t know what is! Then again, it’s also funny way of being desperate. Who said that Germans don’t have the sense of humor?!
Apollo Intensa Emozione
This car stirs a bowl of old-school ingredients with a bit of a modern twist. The naturally-aspirated V12 with 780 hp is definitely its best asset – aside from the mad looks obviously. The machine is linked with a six-speed sequential transmission and defies all the trends of today’s hypercars. The Apollo Intensa Emozione irrevocably ties us with the best motoring practices that are in the process of dying out right now. The price is on the insane side of things, of course. The company that once was Gumpert priced the car at $3.2 million. Only 10 units were ever made.
Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
A roofless version of the Ferrari LaFerrari most certainly fits the requirements to be included in this list of the 20 coolest low volume supercars to blow your mind. Based on the same architecture as the standard LaFerrari, the Aperta actually reached only 200 buyers, making it one of the rarest Ferraris of all time. Unlike the LaFerrari, the LaFerrari Aperta had been thoroughly updated on the lower sections. Thanks to the advanced support system, lack of a roof did not affect the characteristics of the machine. It is still an extreme driving joy with 950 hp. While there may well be some for sale, we are not exactly sure how expensive would these expensive car models could be. 5+mil probably, and for a production run of only 200, the price is probably appropriate.
Aston Martin Valkyrie
At 150 units produced, this is the ultimate Aston Martin car. It is, with the Mercedes-AMG Project One, the most extreme road machine that ever roamed the face of the earth. See, the car took a number of astonishing Formula 1 technologies and integrated them into a car with a V12 engine producing north of 1,000hp. As it turns out, the Valkyrie can rival even the speed and performance of F1 cars in a track setting.
This is the car that turned the industry upside down. A car with 1,001 hp, all-wheel drive, and an exceptionally high-quality build showed that we have much more to explore about speed. In its most extreme iteration, the Veyron SuperSport disposes of with an astounding 1,200 hp. It is a car so special it started appreciating right after the first unit was sold – a success only a handful of cars have managed. Now, a machine built in Molsheim easily reaches the price of $2 mil. Used.
Another Bugatti. The Veyron’s successor was a dramatic improvement over the already bonkers Veyron. The latest Bugatti iteration made the jump to 1,500 hp and it is possibly the first production car to be capable of accelerating to 60 mph in the 2-second region. Sure, that Tesla Roadster could be quicker, but we will have to wait for more than 2 years to confirm it. Nevertheless, the Chiron is an exercise in the ultimate. A hypercar in a category so extreme it took the likes of Koenigsegg to beat its records. 500 of these were made.
If you are the type of a gearhead who appreciates linking cars and art, then you have to love the Huayra. The handbuilt supercar is Horacio Pagani’s latest work of art smartly packing the latest technology. Including a 700+hp AMG engine, it is seriously expensive. And when ordering one you will have a chance to talk with Horacio himself in order to get the best possible customer treatment. No wonder prices go up to $2.5 million for the most extreme versions (like the Huayra BC). The first run saw 100 units made. All sold out already.
This one isn’t exactly a production car with only 5 prototypes made, but it definitely is one of the coolest low volume supercars out there. As the star of the James Bond movie Spectre, the C-X75 actually appeared in 2010 as a turbine-powered supercar concept. Jaguar delivered seven units for filming, but those cars were actually mechanically unrelated to the concept. In fact, they were built around Rally car architecture and featured a five liter V8 motor. Jaguar actually produced a few production prototypes with a small turbocharged engine and electric motors.
McLaren P1 GTR
As the most hardcore interpretation of the McLaren P1 hypercar, the P1 GTR is a track-focused monster of which only a few dozen have been produced. Although they intended it for track use, McLaren actually produced a few roadworthy models. Heck, you can find a company in the UK who can transform a track-only P1 GTR into a road-worthy insanity. The 987 hp P1 GTR may well be one of the most astounding cars out there. 58 units were made.
It may well be the last hurrah of the analog proper supercar to ever exist. Appearing in 2002 with the production run lasting only to 2004, the Ferrari Enzo was easily the supercar to have, competing only with the Porsche Carrera GT and maybe with the Mercedes-McLaren SLR. One even found its way to the Vatican. Nevertheless, its engine was located at the back in the middle – a six-liter V12 with 651 hp pushed it further than any Ferrari ever managed to do. Production? 449 units (Interestingly enough, Ferrari wanted to produce 399 units, but the reception was so overwhelming they produced 50 units more)
As a modern Jaguar E-Type knock-off, the Eagle E-Type features all the modernity you’d ever need. Its 2,288 lbs is powered by a fantastic 4.7 liter with fuel injection and 345 hp. So basically, imagine a Miata with a crapload of power. It’s a proper monster for sure. Eagle can build you one from other classic E-types and then sell it to you for a hefty price tag of more than one million US dollars. It’s a seriously sought after classic car.
Just like you’d enjoy driving that British Eagle E-Type, you’d enjoy driving the Singer vehicle. The California based company makes the ultimate hand-built restomods based around the classic chassis of the Porsche 964. The hand-building process is so time consuming and detailed that if you order a car now, you would have to wait for years for its delivery. Porsches leaving the Singer factory are actually accepted to be of better quality than new cars leaving the official Porsche production line. Of course, they are expensive, rare, and slightly redesigned compared to the original versions.
You have probably never heard of it. The Marcos is a small company that existed for only a couple of years from 2004 to 2007. The company outsourced the design to the Prodrive team which completed the chassis for the TSO while they used GM-sourced V8 350 hp engines for the propulsion. The TSO was a fast car. In its top trim – the GT, the TSO managed to accelerate to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and almost touch 186 mph. However, the production and the fate of the company were sealed. There simply wasn’t much appreciation for the car back then. That’s why there were only 6 completed units made.
Using a Dodge Viper sourced eight-liter V10 dialed to 525 hp, the Bristol Fighter could become the UK’s Viper moment. However, the production was surrounded by problems. Bristol announced the car in 2003, only to give it to the press in 2005. It was a fast car for sure – this one would be able to manage 62 mph in 4 seconds and reach 210 mph. A Fighter S was produced as well with an engine dialed to 628 hp. Even a Bristol Fighter T with the same turbocharged engine developing 1,000+hp was in the cards, but never produced. 13 of these made it to production.
If you ever wanted a modern interpretation of a racer from the Thirties, this is it. The Morgan Aeromax is a 367 hp beast so well executed many celebrities bought one (including Richard Hammond, Rowan Atkinson, and Paul O’Grady). Strange looks actually helped its everlasting quirky style. FYI, the rear lights were taken from the Lancia Thesis. 100 units of this car were produced in 2008 and 2010.
With central front seating, astounding BMW V12 power of more than 620 hp and exceptional technology, the McLaren F1 became the fastest car of the Nineties. It wasn’t until the Bugatti Veyron that a production sports car made so many headlines due to performance and sports composure. Now, some well-preserved units could sell for more than $10 mil. Even Elon Musk had one and it was possibly the only production car with a gold-plated engine cover. Top speed: 240+ mph! And how many were made? 106 in total.
Porsche 911 Carrera S 2.7
As a race car homologation special, the Porsche 911 Carrera S 2.7 became the fastest, the lightest and the best handling 911 of old. The car is so praised, its value has been estimated at more than $1,000,000. Built in the mid-Seventies, the car is one of the best representations of sports cars from the era. There were only 1,500 units made though.
Ferrari 250 GTO
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is one of the world’s most expensive cars. Only a year ago, one was put out for sale at $60 million. Actually, the car that reached this price was the second Ferrari 250 GTO ever produced. Created for homologation purposes, the car started its life in 1962. Ferrari used a three-liter V12 with 300 hp for propulsion. The car had to be produced so the Maranello company could enter the Group 3 Grand Touring Car championship. There were only 39 ever made.
Lamborghini Aventador J
Only two! Only two Aventador Js actually exist. The car was developed in-house in six weeks after the Lambo CEO decided he wanted something cool for the Geneva Motor Show. Lambo’s designers delivered with the lowest production Lambo of all time. Of course, there was one unknown buyer who did not ask questions about the cost. The only Aventador J ever was sold in no time and before the Geneva unveiling of 2012. It has Aventador underpinnings and looks astounding. The other car is a Limited Edition model made for Shaikh Al Yahyaa.
Based on the Le Mans-winning D-Type race car, the Jaguar XKSS is possibly the most astounding piece of Jag history ever. Not only because it is an awesome car, but because of the fact that its production was stopped after a fire at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory. There were no tools for its production anymore. The original fetched a price of $18 million at an auction this year. Not bad, considering only 16 of them were produced – making it one of the rarest cars sold at auction ever.
The Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina is a one-off sports car based on a Enzo Ferrari but redesigned by Pininfarina as the owner preferred the styling of Ferrari’s 1960s race cars. The project cost $ 4 million and upon seeing P 4/5 Luca di Montezemolo, the Chairman of Ferrari, felt that the car deserved to be officially badged as a Ferrari and that its official name would be “Ferrari P 4/5 by Pininfarina”. The P4/5 has the same engine as the Enzo Ferrari, a 6.0L Ferrari V12.that produces 660 hp. The P4/5 uses the 6 speed semi-automatic transmission of the Enzo with black shifting paddles behind the wheel.
The GM Eco Jet was a collaboration between Jay Leno, his own crew, and the GM Advanced Styling Lab next door in North Hollywood. What Leno was looking to do was create a gas turbine car, like that evaluated by Chrysler in the 1960s, but with a completely unique and unmistakable design. Power comes for a 650 HP Lycoming-Honeywell LT-101 gas turbine normally used in helicopter applications. The turbine is mounted in a Corvette Z06 hydroformed aluminum frame with aluminum and magnesium structural and chassis components. The EcoJet body that the GM designers had styled is an advanced construction of carbon fiber of Kevlar.
Ferrari SP12 EC
Ferrari enthusiast and sometimes rock god Eric Clapton ordered a 458 Italia, but wasn’t crazy about the styling. Clapton’s tastes run more to the 512 BB of 1976 – 1981 (back in his Slowhand era), so the SP12 EC was designed with those influences by Centro Stile Ferrari in collaboration with Pininfarina and built by the Ferrari Special Projects group. It utilities the 4.5 L V8 engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission from the 458 Italia, however many of the car’s technical details are considered confidential, whatever that means. Reports are the car cost Clapton $4.7 million.
To commemorate a half-century spent as a world-renowned Ferrari designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro was allowed to design the Ferrari of his dreams. The resulting car is appropriately-named GG50. Hand-formed using a 612 platform and boasting a 540hp V12, it’s a clever blend of classic Ferrari design cues and futuristic whimsy. No wonder Signore Giugiaro looks so happy.
Porsche 935 Straßenversion
Back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Porsche 935s ruled the sports car world. In fact, in 1979 they finished 1-2-3 at Le Mans. Porsche started offering the flat front fenders and larger rear wing as special options, but when the owner of TAG (as in TAG Heuer) ordered his Porsche he wanted a road-going race car. Porsche fitted a bare shell with all race components, including a 400 hp motor, then filled the interior with creature comforts.
Slovenian startup Tushek – a partnership between former racing driver Aljosa Tushek and entrepreneur Jacob Carl Spigel – has made a grand statement with its T600, which it unveiled at last year’s Top Marques Monaco. Tushek’s third model since emerging in 2012, the T600 is an impressive leap forward from its T500 Renovatio predecessor, both for its feather-light carbon and titanium chassis and dedicated 620-horsepower, V8 mill (the T500 used a 450-hp Audi-sourced powerplant). This Lambo-doored looker boasts a fearsome 1:4 power-to-weight ratio; hits 62 mph from a standstill in 3.7 seconds; and maxes-out at 193 mph. Each T600 will be handmade in Austria to the buyer’s exact specs, so pricing will vary, but informed rumors are in the half-million (U.S. dollars) range.
Perhaps best known in the West for its scenery and architecture (and hashish), Morocco is working its way onto the supercar map thanks to Laraki, a Casablanca-based company started by luxury yacht designer Abdesslam Laraki in 1999. Following its Lamborghini Diablo-based Fulgura model in 2002 and ‘05’s Merc-powered Borac concept, Laraki unveiled its Transformers-esque Epitome at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. This time powered by a 7.0-liter Chevy V8 engine buffed-up with twin turbochargers, the carbon fiber-bodied Epitome, built on C6 Corvette guts, generates 1,200 horsepower from 91-octane gas or, at the push of a button, up to a shuddering 1,750 hp by combining this with 110-octane fuel from a second tank. Only nine Epitomes are planned, at $2 million a pop.
Though still in the pre-order phase, the Iceni, from boutique British automaker Trident, is promising to be a very different supercar. With classically English aesthetics (evoking retro TVR and Marcos models), the Iceni has mainly made headlines for its use of a modified GM Duramax diesel engine (usually found in heavy-duty pickups such as the Chevrolet Silverado 2500), which can run on regular diesel fuel, biodiesel, and even paraffin or kerosene, yet catapults this grand tourer to 60 mph from rest in 3.7 seconds and can hit 190 mph. For such an exclusive auto, the Iceni – which first appeared as a convertible and last year as the Iceni Magna fastback – is relatively affordable (and “green”) to own, starting in the $150,000 range and claiming around 58 mpg.
In a world of sometimes disappointingly similar post-Gallardo supercars, Italy’s Mazzanti Automobili is doing something refreshingly retro-modern and single-minded with its gorgeous Evantra, which features rear-hinged scissor doors and unusually masculine (by Italian design standards) bodywork in a choice of carbon fiber composite or hand-formed aluminum. Then and now also seamlessly reunite inside, with Luxpel and Alcantara leather offset by a carbon steering wheel and full-digital dashboard. Powered by the same LS7 V8 found in the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (only teased-up to 691 horsepower), with a choice of six-speed manual or paddle-shift transmissions, the mid-engined, rear-drive Evantra claims 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds. Only five, client-personalized Evantras are scheduled annually, with prices rumored to be close to $1 million.
Though it’s been described by Jalopnik as “the world’s leading non-producer of supercars”, L.A.’s recently revived Vector Motors has sold at least 30 stunning cars and produced a number of mouthwatering prototypes, all built to military-grade specs, since the 1970s. Vector’s first customer for its hand-crafted W8 was a Saudi prince, and tennis star Andre Agassi famously paid $455,000 (the equivalent of around $800,00 today) for one in 1991. After a bewilderingly complex corporate journey (including alleged embezzlement by a son of Indonesian strongman General Suharto), Vector founder Gerald Wiegert wrestled his baby back in the New Millennium; displayed a WX8 prototype (which took flak for its Toyota Supra headlamps and Camaro-like face); and maintains a website which includes apparent renderings of a further-developed version of this ambitious hypercar.
Outlandish even by the standards of this list, the Spanish Tramontana makes much more sense at high speed on a track than static in traffic. Heavily racecar-influenced, with semi-open wheels, an open cockpit (except in the closed-top, jet fighter-like R variant) and single or twin seats – with the passenger sitting directly behind and slightly higher than the driver – the Tramontana is a perverse, antisocial machine, yet its very weirdness is presumably a selling point to attention-seeking billionaires. But this ultra-spendy oddball, of which just a dozen are sold each year at well over half a million bucks apiece, isn’t just a head-turner: its mid-mounted, twin-turbo Mercedes-Benz V12 engine delivers a 202 mph top speed and zero to 62 mph in a face-rippling 3.6 seconds.
Lamborghini Sesto Elemento
The Sesto Elemento began life as a lightweight concept to show off what Lamborghini could do when it decides to strip out all of the luxury bits and toss in tons of carbon fiber. The result was a badass rig that weighed just 999 kg (2,202 pounds) and looked like a rocket ship.
Thanks to its 5.2-liter V-10 engine that produced 570 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, the Sesto Elemento was damn near as fast as a rocket ship too. It hit 62 mph in just 2.5 seconds. Unfortunately, Lambo only released 20 units of this awesome supercar for sale, and none of these luxury cars were street legal.
W Motors Lykan HyperSport
Pretty much anything built in Lebanon is destined to be relatively unknown here in the U.S., particularly a supercar. Fortunately, the W Motors Lykan HyperSport gained a little fame in the movie Furious 7, but it still remains a relative mystery to many.
Not only is this rig wildly styled, but it also packs one hell of a punch behind the seats. Here lies a 3.8-liter flat-six twin-turbocharged engine that pumps out 770 horsepower and 708 pound-feet of torque. Delivering the goods to the rear wheels is a six-speed sequential transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. This adds up to a 2.8-second sprint to 62 mph and a top speed of 240 mph.
Two things never to do when you go to Mexico: drink the water and claim that they cannot build cool cars. The latter is a more recent addition to this list, as the Mexico-built Vuhl 05 just rolled out in 2013.
The Vuhl comes with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that cranks out 285 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. This powerful four-pot allows the unique track-day car to hit 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds and top out at 152 mph.
Equus Bass 770
Drawing inspiration from the retro styling of recent years, Equus Automotive took the basic look of a classic 1960s Ford Mustang and injected tons of modern tech. The result is a beautiful, yet very rare and fairly unknown rig named the Equus Bass 770. It’s like the American muscle cars of old, but decidedly modern.
Under the hood of this modern muscle car lies a GM-sourced 6.2-liter V-8 that delivers a mighty 640 horsepower and 605 pound-feet of twist. The powerful General Motors engine mates to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission that delivers the ponies to the rear rubber. This results in a 0-to-60 sprint of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph.
Like the Vuhl 05, the Magnum MK5 track rig comes from another unlikely country. This time around, the lightweight, open-top two-seater hails from our neighbor to the north, Canada. The MK5 is prepped specifically for the track, thanks to its pushrod suspension, lightweight alloy wheels, two-way adjustable dampers, carbon-fiber seats, and six-point harnesses. Hauling all of this equipment and its 1,200-pound curb weight around is a four-cylinder motorcycle engine that puts out 250 horsepower and spins up to 11,000 rpm.
Power heads to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox and a limited-slip diff. All of this adds up to a 0-to-62 mph sprint of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 149 mph. It’s also quite the handler, as it can hold up to 2Gs on the skid pad.
DBA Speedback GT
Dave Brown Automotive isn’t what I’d call a “household name,” but it does produce masterpieces. Its latest is the DBA Speedback GT, which is a retro-styled GT that sits atop a Jaguar XJR chassis. The Speedback GT is a site to behold, as its bodylines are beautifully crafted and its curves look as it the wind designed them. It takes the thought of retro-modern design to a completely new level.
On top of its stunning looks, the Speedback GT also boasts great performance credentials. Under its long, curvy hood lies a Jaguar-sourced 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine that produces 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. The engine tosses the power through a six-sped auto transmission and out to the rear wheels. The results speak for themselves with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of just 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).
Bonus: Donkervoot D8 GTO
A car that deserves a hell of a lot more press but never gets it is the Donkervoot D8 GTO. This rig takes the lightweight and retro design of Caterham overdoses it on steroids to get one of the meanest-looking semi-open-wheel track cars ever built.
In addition to looing mean, the Donkervoot D8 GTO also packs some serious muscle thanks to its Audi 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. Depending on the trim level you choose, the D8 GTO produces either 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque or 380 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of twist. Power routes through a five-speed manual gearbox on its way to the rear wheels. The less powerful drivetrain results in a 3.3-second 0-to-62 mph sprint and a 158 mph top speed. The 380-horsepower drivetrain is significantly quicker with a 2.8-second sprint and 168 mph top speed.