All posts in “McLaren”

The 10 Biggest Wings Found on Stock Sports Cars

There is an important reason why performance carmakers will often stick a wing, also known as a spoiler, to the rear of their automobiles. That reason is simply called downforce. As the name implies, it pushes down on the vehicle and keeps it planted on the road as it’s being driven at the very edge of performance limits.

The function in principle is very similar to an airplane wing—only this time, it’s in reverse. The air coming over the car flows beneath the wing, creating lower pressure underneath to force the car down (downforce).

For some automobile manufacturers, the wing adds to the overall aesthetics of the vehicle. Others care less about beauty and instead opt for the largest available wing that offers maximum benefits without too much compromise in overall performance.

Here, you will see some of the biggest wings ever fitted to sports cars, straight from the factory. You can decide whether each one serves the dual purpose of aesthetics and performance or if it’s purely a case of function over form.

#10: Bugatti Chiron Sport

Blue Bugatti Chiron Sport 110 Ans Edition outside garageVia Bugatti.

The imperious Chiron Sport followed in the path of the Veyron Super Sport when it debuted in 2018 at the Geneva Auto Show. Here was another car capable of mind-numbing acceleration as it powered on to an electronically-restricted 261 mph top speed.

An impressive feat, no doubt, but another striking feature was how quickly it could scrub off all that forward momentum. The Chiron Sport needs less than 10 seconds and just 491 metres to come to a complete stop from 249 mph!

To achieve this, the 2.2-ton hypercar relies on powerful carbon-ceramic brakes and what has to be one of the largest stock rear spoilers out there today. That massive wing can generate almost 2,000 lbs of downforce when fully deployed. In addition to this crucial function, there’s no doubt the wing, especially in a raised position,  gives the Chiron a cool stance, adding to its overall appeal.

#9: 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Green 2019 Porsche GT3 RS being driven on trackVia Traction Life.

The ‘RS’ badge on any Porsche sports car automatically implies that its natural habitat remains the race track while still remaining road-legal. This seventh-generation 911 GT3 RS is no different and was designed with a singular purpose: maximum performance.

Porsche approached this task with brutal efficiency, and at the time of the car’s debut, it was the most powerful naturally-aspirated Porsche ever made, with a 520-hp power output. That is enough to supply all the oomph this car needs—just like that huge rear wing, designed to help the car with downforce as it whips around corners or hurtles down straights.

The wing, made from carbon fibre, can also be manually adjusted to a ‘performance position,’ creating 40% more downforce than the previous generation 911 GT3 RS. When it’s not called upon to do its thing on the track, that wing is actually large enough to double as a very effective snack table between runs.

#8: Mercedes Benz AMG GT Black Series

Mercedes Benz AMG GT Black Series being driven around curve on highwayVia Motor1.

As far as performance is concerned, this is AMG’s ‘top dog,’ at least until the arrival of the hotly anticipated AMG One. Everything about the AMG GT Black Series is designed to convey this impression, from its eye-watering $325,000 sticker price to the formidable 720-hp twin-turbo V8 tucked under the hood and the unique twin rear-wing setup.

The setup is not only manually adjustable, but the upper blade has an active aero element that tilts by as much as 20 degrees depending on the driving mode. Altogether, that wing produces as much as 880 lbs of downforce at 155 mph, helping the car stay planted on the road as the driver flirts with its redline.

#7: McLaren Senna

Rear view of black McLaren Senna being driven down track at high speedVia McLaren Automotive.

Let’s face it. The McLaren Senna is a pretty ugly supercar, but then again, McLaren did not design the car so we could all fawn over sleek lines and nice angles. No. The focus was on raw performance, and McLaren prioritized this over all else (except maybe if you consider their curious decision to add see-through doors).

The McLaren Senna pushes the boundaries of what a track-focused performance machine should be and manages to do so while remaining road-legal at the same time. A key reason the car handles so well is that humongous wing that almost looks like an afterthought, hanging over the rear end.

That wing changes pitch and helps the car increase downforce, trim drag, or act as an air brake when needed. The dynamics of the wing impressed Top Gear journalists so much they declared it the ‘Wing of the Year’ for 2018.

#6: 2017 Dodge Viper ACR

Driver in blanket lying on spoiler of 2016 Dodge Viper ACR and sleeping under starsVia Motortrend.

‘ACR’ stands for American Club Racing and is indicative of the purpose behind the design of this all-American race car. The 2017 Dodge Viper ACR was the last hoorah for the legendary sports car, and what a send forth it was!

This vehicle boasted custom tires, race-tuned suspension and a massive 8.4-litre V10 that generated 645-hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. Then there was an Extreme Aero Package that delivered almost 1 ton of peak downforce at top speed.

The most prominent part of that package is the massive adjustable dual-element carbon fibre rear wing. As you can see from the image above, the wing can also double up as a camp bed should you, for some reason, opt to spend the night in the open with your Dodge Viper ACR.

#5: Apollo Intensa Emozione

Apollo Intensa Emozione on white backgroundVia Top Gear.

It’s hard to argue against the fact that the Apollo Intensa Emozione (Apollo IE) is one of the most extreme modern cars ever built. Intensa Emozione is Italian for ‘Intense Emotion.’ As the name implies, it is designed to invoke powerful feelings in you as the driver, passenger or just some passer-by gawking at that uber-aggressive profile.

You will immediately notice that gigantic top-mounted wing. Who wouldn’t? It’s not just there for ‘shock and awe,’ though. According to Apollo, it can generate a scarcely believable 2,976 lbs of downforce at 186 mph. That means the 2,755-lb hypercar can theoretically drive upside down, and if that ever happens in the real world, you can be sure that wing will have a primary role to play.

#4: Koenigsegg One:1

Rear view of Koenigsegg One:1 sitting on country roadVia 95octane.

The Koenigsegg One:1 is a special car indeed, one that offers up approximately one horsepower for every kilogram of the car’s weight (hence the name One:1). What’s more? The Koenigsegg One:1 debuted with what was the world’s first top-mounted, active rear wing.

There is an entire video clip where Christian Von Koenigsegg explains just how unique the wing structure is. The wing moves through various settings as determined by the selected handling mode and throttle/brake use.

It is not your average-sized carbon fibre strip either. This wing is massive and extends well over the rear end of the car. Impressively, the entire structure weighs only 22 lbs, allowing for maximum performance with minimal compromise on the hypercar’s overall weight.

#3: McLaren P1

Rear view of yellow McLaren P1 outside garageVia Top Gear.

Have you ever seen a McLaren in race mode? The suspension lowers by 50mm, the rear spoiler rises to 11.8 inches and extends at a 29-degree angle. It reminds one of an attack dog, just straining at its leash and waiting for the ‘go!’ command.

That sweeping wing is one of the most distinguishable elements of the McLaren P1, and it makes a strong case for the fact that downforce does not have to be ugly. The wing has various automatic settings that help the hypercar produce up to 1,320 lbs of downforce. One has to see it in action to truly appreciate how impressive the setup is.

#2: 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

Red and white 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona sitting outside near treeVia Mecum.

The ‘69 Charger Daytona was one half of the famous Chrysler ‘Wing Cars’; the other half was the 1970 Plymouth Superbird. This car had the most prominent stock wing fitted on any vehicle during that period. Even today, the Charger Daytona has only a few rivals when it comes to that towering structure over the trunk.

The wing was the idea of a certain John Pointer, a rocket scientist who Chrysler later recruited. He was tasked with making the Charger go faster on the racing circuit, and the wing was one of his innovative ideas. It worked too. In 1970, the Dodge Charger Daytona became the first NASCAR racecar to break the 200 mph barrier.

#1: Porsche 911 (930 Turbo) ‘Whale Tail’

Porsche 911 Turbo 'Whale Tail' on white backgroundVia Old New Club.

This ‘70s sports car is widely regarded as the first Porsche 911 Turbo and was one of the fastest production cars at the time, with a top speed of about 162 mph. The bemusing ‘Whale Tail’ nomenclature directly references the car’s flared rear stance and a huge spoiler that gave the car its distinctive look.

Like all modern performance cars, that wing directed airflow over the car. In addition, its position, directly above the engine bay, also meant that it vented air into the engine, ultimately improving its performance. The ‘Whale Tail’ spoiler was also known as ‘Tea Tray’ at some point in the life of the turbocharged sports car.

Best of the Current McLaren Lineup

McLaren’s rise to the top of automotive stardom has been nothing short of remarkable, and is a relatively recent one at that. It wasn’t even a decade ago, that McLaren had a rather small portfolio of production models which consisted of just a handful of cars made in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz. Granted, even if McLaren had decided to stop making cars at that point, such icons as the McLaren F1 would’ve been enough to keep the McLaren relevant to this day. Thankfully, they weren’t done there, and the company has gone on to release new models at a pace that has been since unheard of in the world of supercar manufacturing.

In this stage of proliferation, McLaren have – by design, or unintentionally – become the world’s V8 engine savants. Despite only producing V8-powered automobiles since as recently as 2011 (via the MP4-12C), few would dispute that claim today. After all, it’s virtually all they know these days, with every single McLaren model – bar the V6-hybrid McLaren Artura – fitted with some adaptation of their M838T or M840T twin-turbocharged V8 motors.

The 3.8L M838T is found in its Sports Series range of cars, which includes the entry-level McLaren 540C and goes all the way up to the indomitable 666 hp McLaren 675 LT. The 4.0L M840T features on all of the Super Series cars, which covers the ‘700 range’ of models, plus the addition of the McLaren GT. In its Ultimate form, the 4.0L unit – dubbed the M840TR – produces 814 hp in the McLaren Senna GTR. The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper GT’ produces some 1,035 hp through the combination of an M840T and electric motor.

A myriad of sports cars, supercars, and hypercars have been launched over the past decade, and quite frankly, each new car has been better than the last; something that speaks volumes about the venerable British automaker. While many argue that most of the McLaren range today follows a single “cookie-cutter” formula, we believe that each current McLaren model is unique enough to appeal to a different and specific kind of buyer. The Senna for the millionaire track junkie, the GT for the utilitarian grand touring driver, or the 570S for the pragmatic supercar owner – take your pick, as there’s plenty to choose from in between as well.

Here are the best brand new McLaren cars you can purchase today.

McLaren Artura

2022 McLaren Artura

Base MSRP: $225,000 USD

The McLaren Artura may not come with a V8 engine like every other car on this list (and indeed the entire McLaren lineup), but it is certainly special, and for all the right reasons. Every ounce of McLaren’s technical expertise and experience has been channeled into making the all-new Artura extraordinary to drive, and wonderfully enjoyable to own. Ever since the 12C revolutionized the supercar segment a decade ago, McLaren Automotive has continued to push the boundaries of supercar innovation. The mission brief for the Artura was even more challenging than its predecessors – to create a series-production High-Performance Hybrid supercar that excels on every level, with performance, engagement, and efficiency sharing equal top-billing.

The engineering and design team approached the challenge holistically – no single part of the process was undertaken in isolation – with ambitious targets set in every area: weight; performance; driver engagement; efficiency; agility; refinement; quality and usability. Every target was met – and in most cases, surpassed – heralding the arrival of the Artura as a next-generation McLaren High-Performance Hybrid that ushers in a new supercar era. The Artura’s hybrid powertrain combines an all-new twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol engine with a game-changing axial flux electric motor (E-motor), all of which is integrated within an all-new 8-speed transmission and a lithium-ion battery pack.

McLaren 765LT

McLaren 765LT

Base MSRP: $358,000 USD, $382,500 USD (Spider)

The McLaren 765LT is the most recent product to join the Woking manufacturer’s esteemed roster of Long Tail variants. Based on the already impressive McLaren 720S, it adds to a growing lineup of track-optimized McLaren supercars. For those unfamiliar with the nomenclature, the LT (short for Long Tail) variants represent the pinnacle of performance for their respective models. Derived from the name is the tradition blueprint of longer body dimensions than its base cars – primarily by way of more aggressive aerodynamics – though the LTs inevitably offer much more than just a cosmetic refresh.

Weight reduction is the primary philosophy at play here. The result is a car that is 176 lbs lighter than the 720S coupé, thanks in part to a titanium exhaust system, bespoke carbon fiber amenities, and the removal of air conditioning and infotainment systems – parts which are in some cases, borrowed from the halo McLaren Senna hypercar. Relatively speaking, power increased by a smaller increment, though by an amount that is perfectly suitable for both the car’s design and its intended application. The efficiency of the engine’s power delivery is also refined, with McLaren stating that a noticeable improvement in throttle response has been achieved to further enhance the car’s precision on the race track. So, what does this all mean at the end of the day? In the McLaren 765LT, you now have a 720S that is lighter, longer, more powerful, more aerodynamic and more hardcore. Quite simply, it’s remarkable.

McLaren GT

2021 McLaren GT

Base MSRP: $210,000 USD

So there’s no hint of an SUV, or even anything that could possibly be conceived with four doors or room for a family.” If we can’t make the world’s best SUV, why the hell would we?” stated GT Global Product Manager, Tom Taylor, who reiterated McLaren’s no nonsense approach to any car they produce; one which I personally find very charismatic. There is instead, the new McLaren GT which debuted for the 2020 model year and has continued into 2021 and beyond. The GT – which stands for ‘Grand Tourer’ – is the British automaker’s first attempt at something other than the raw, unadulterated performance conduits they are most known for producing in the past.

Unconventional for a McLaren and for a mid-engined car respectively, are it’s particularly luxurious interior and over 20 cu. ft. of storage space. In spite of its supposed layout handicap, the McLaren GT is not outdone by the likes of Aston Martin with regards to the latter, with plenty of room for bags, skis and a week’s worth of luggage. The new infotainment system also helps to facilitate a comfortable cross-country cruising experience. Traditional grand touring cars are not shy about the shortcomings they are willing to accept in exchange for a heightened level of luxury and refinement; i.e. often heavier and bulkier, with typically softer driving dynamics. McLaren looks to shatter such preconceptions with the new GT.

McLaren Senna

McLaren Senna

Base MSRP: $1,050,000 USD, $1,430,000 USD (GTR)

When it was first unveiled in late 2017, the Senna proclaimed itself as the ultimate street-legal McLaren. We can go back as early as the 1990s when tracing the Senna’s lineage, with the McLaren F1 pioneering the first production car with full carbon-fibre construction. More than two decades later, its predecessor – the McLaren P1 – gave the British automaker a refreshed sense of supremacy with its redesigned flagship car. Fast forward into the current era of automobiles, and the Senna epitomizes a collaboration of the latest and greatest technologies, while paying tribute to a legend of the past – not so much to a car, as much as it is to a driver; none other than the late F1 driver Ayrton Senna.

The McLaren Senna is the pinnacle of McLaren performance. It combines the three principal matters of a high performance vehicle – aerodynamics, chassis and power – in an unrivaled manner. As a purpose-built track car, it still manages to be road-legal; but don’t expect to have a chance encounter with it at any race tracks or on the street. Due to its spartan interior and physically demanding nature, the car precludes mostly any sense of ‘daily use’ and will require an experienced and capable driver behind the wheel to push the car over seven-tenths on a road course. The car is also a bit of a unicorn with all 500 units having been spoken for. An even more hardcore, non-street-legal version of the car – known as the Senna GTR – was also made available by the company shortly after.

McLaren Speedtail

McLaren Speedtail

Base MSRP: $2,250,000 USD

Meet the new Speedtail – an aptly-named addition to McLaren’s Ultimate Series of automobiles. This limited-edition car – of which only 106 examples will be built – represents McLaren’s unyielding pursuit of maximum top-speed. Whereas other McLarens blend handling, acceleration, and driving dynamics in a harmonious package, the Speedtail has a more singular focus. That focus is speed; ludicrous amounts of it. McLaren has labeled the Speedtail a Hyper GT, which seems fitting given the excess of the car and its abilities. More than that, the Speedtail is a car that reminds us that the automotive world serves to inspire and excite us, as much as it does in moving us from one place to the next. Though, in the case of the Speedtail, it moves us unlike anything else out there.

This 1,055 hp car will take you to 250 mph, and then to the Opera, on the same set of tires (to paraphrase McLaren’s spokesperson with a peculiarly interesting name: Wayne Bruce).The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper-GT’ produces all that power through the combination of an M840T and parallel system eMotor. This setup – in addition to applying the most genius drag-reduction principles in existence today – has allowed the Speedtail to become the fastest production McLaren ever made.

New Cars Powered By V8 Engines

In almost all cases, manufacturers who choose to equip their cars with a V8 engine do so knowingly and deliberately. After all, such engines represent the first big step in crossing over a threshold to a place where performance becomes the sole focus; efficiency and economy are often not even invited as guests for a ride-along in the back seat.

With a quick glance at the back mirror, those pesky 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines begin to disappear into the horizon. Then, with the proverbial “pedal-to-the-metal,” the V8 power plant unanimously declares “all-in” with a roar—because this journey is all about thrill-seeking and checking things off the bucket list.

As you begin to drive off towards the sunset, you’ll probably receive the odd jeer from EPA employees, people who hate nice sounds, and various other types of sticklers. But nothing’s going to stop you from reaching your destination. At the end of this journey begins a new one; at the race track perhaps, or maybe the backcountry roads and mountain highways?

Here are all the new cars powered by V8 engines—including sports cars, supercars, and hypercars—available for purchase in 2021.

Aston Martin

2021 Aston Martin Vantage

  • Base price: $149,086
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 505 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

The Aston Martin Vantage is Aston Martin’s “entry-level” sports car. Its singular purpose is raw and unwavering: to overwhelm the senses through its world-renowned design, agile performance, and dedicated craftsmanship. Its heart beats with a high-powered 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8, producing that visceral Aston Martin roar.

New for the 2021 model year, the Aston Martin Vantage Roadster is the drop-top version of the British automaker’s gateway car. It continues to embody all the same awesome characteristics of its fixed-roof counterpart, amplifying the overall experience with that wind-in-the-hair feeling only the Roadster can provide.

The Aston Martin Vantage AMR is a new breed of predator—95 kg lighter than the base model and boasting a seven-speed rev-matching manual transmission. This is a beast designed to deliver pure, engaging, manual performance—Aston Martin’s interpretation of a “true driver’s car.” Only 200 will be produced.

2021 Aston Martin DB11

  • Base price: $198,995
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 513 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.7 s
  • Top Speed: 208 mph

The Aston Martin DB11 is the most powerful and efficient ‘DB’ production model in Aston Martin’s history. Available as a coupe or Volante with the optional 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12 or standard 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the DB11 takes Aston Martin’s grand touring heritage to unprecedented heights.

New for 2021 are the optional Shadow Edition models. Their blacked-out trim packages add subtly sinister touches to Aston’s DB11 coupe and convertible. With a black-painted grille, 20-inch wheels, and badging, the Shadow Edition bits add an extra hint of aggression to the DB11’s svelte bodywork.

The Aston Martin DB11 AMR is the new flagship car of the DB11 range. However, unlike the other models, it comes exclusively with the top engine option—a 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12.

Audi

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant

  • Base price: $110,045
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 591 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,050 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Probably the hottest performance-oriented station wagon on the market right now, the 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant sheds the conservative styling of the car it is based on but remains in line with the high-performance estate concept. Derived from the already-excellent Audi A6 sedan, this souped-up station wagon adds RS-specific bodywork and exclusive go-fast goodies.

The Audi RS 6 Avant is a powerful car with a mild-hybrid powertrain. At its heart is a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine, which puts out a whopping 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The results are impressive, too—the car can sprint from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. This is the first RS wagon to come to America, and Audi wants to make it count.

2021 Audi RS 7

  • Base price: $115,045
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 591 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,050 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

The Audi RS 7 Sportback is what you get when you take the RS 6 Avant’s engine, then place it in a sleeker Audi Sportback frame. The resulting Audi RS 7 Sportback is an aggressive and beautiful car, with the specs to back up its appearance. This strikingly athletic yet elegant four-door sports car is the perfect blend of practicality and performance.

At the heart of the car is the twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine with a mild-hybrid system, which puts out a whopping 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Like the RS 6, it can go from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph.

Bentley

2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8

  • Base price: $198,725
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 542 hp
  • Torque: 569 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

The Flying Spur gets a new model for 2021. Known as the 2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8, the biggest difference for this trim is the use of a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine that produces 542 hp and 569 lb-ft of torque; it also features cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy. Bentley says more of its customers want to hustle their cars around instead of being chauffeured and that the more efficient and fun V8 Flying Spur will be the more popular choice with this crowd.

2021 Bentley Continental GT V8

  • Base price: $207,825
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 542 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

With a lively V8 engine delivering irresistibly dynamic performance, accompanied by the sound of its uniquely emotive burble, the new Bentley Continental GT V8 offers a truly engaging driving experience. A grand tourer that makes every journey breathtaking. The Continental GT V8 is exceptionally responsive, delivering breathtaking acceleration accompanied by the irresistible sound of a Bentley V8 engine.

With the new Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible, open-air grand-touring is always exhilarating. With its spirited V8 engine, innovative technology, sleek, contemporary design, and exquisite attention to detail, you are both completely in touch with the road beneath you and fully connected to the world around you. A great all-around GT that is our top pick when it comes to both value and overall experience.

BMW

2021 BMW M5

  • Base price: $103,500
  • Engine: 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.0 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Updates for 2021 are not under the hood for the M5. There have been no changes in the power department, but the M5 does receive a freshened-up appearance with redesigned front and rear bumpers, new headlights and taillights, and a larger grille. Convenience features such as a larger touchscreen, Android Auto, and cloud-based navigation have also been added.

Where else can you walk into a dealership and buy a sedan that has 600+ hp, all-wheel-drive traction, four doors, and stunning performance both in a straight line and on the race track? This car can really do it all, which more than justifies its 6-figure price tag. The 2021 BMW M5 is more than just your regular sports sedan; it is an epic sports car and the leader in its class.

For us, it’s really a no-brainer to spend the wee-bit extra to step up to the BMW M5 Competition. Just a touch more powerful, the M5 Competition comes with 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Where you really get your money’s worth is through the stiffer dampers, stiffer anti-roll bars, and a .28” lower ride height.

All things considered, the M5 Competition is a sharper, stiffer, and even more performance-oriented version of the M5.

The Competition model gets a new full Merino leather color scheme, a new Track drive mode, and new shock absorbers. These dampers benefit from a recalibrated control system that BMW says should improve ride comfort, especially at high speeds.

2021 BMW M8

  • Base price: $133,000 (Coupe), $142,500 (Conv), $130,000 (Gran)
  • Engine: 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Big updates for 2021 include BMW announcing that the coupe and convertible versions of the M8 will no longer be available in North America, with the Gran Coupe remaining as the sole body-style option. The Gran Coupe can also be optioned with a new Donington Grey Metallic paint.

The BMW M8 is available in three body configurations: coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe. It borrows its twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 engine from the M5, which makes 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. The M8 also gives drivers the ability to switch between all-wheel drive and 100% rear-wheel drive, making the car both thrilling and well-suited for any situation thrown its way.

In keeping with the Competition formula as used in the rest of the lineup, the Competition version of the M8 offers up a more hardcore, track-focused version of the base car. The BMW M8 Competition also borrows its engine from its M5 counterpart, producing an additional 17 horsepower over the regular M8. While we don’t expect many M8s to show up to the race track, the Competition package is nevertheless a worth-it option for the more discerning pilots out there.

This car is available in coupe, convertible, and gran coupe body styles. However, only the gran coupe body style is available for the US market.

Chevrolet

2021 Chevrolet Camaro (LT1, SS)

  • Base price: $34,000 (LT1), $37,500 (SS)
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 455 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 455 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.1 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

The Chevrolet Camaro LT1 is the model’s first foray into V8 territory, which allows it to offer a relatively low-priced entry into the world of 8-cylinder performance. Already producing as much as 455 hp, the LT1 is a fantastic choice for those who want an unadulterated, no-nonsense sports car. Stepping up to the 1SS and 2SS doesn’t add any more power, but it provides more performance and convenient amenities—such as a transmission cooler, rear Brembo brakes, magnetic ride control, wider wheels, a different front bumper, and a standard 8″ touchscreen.

2021 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

  • Base price: $63,000
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 650 hp @ 6,400 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

Step up to the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and you’re looking at a 650 hp supercharged version, making it the most powerful Camaro available. Driving this car can make 0-60 mph happen in a blistering 3.5 seconds. The all-new range-topping Camaro ZL1 is slated to come with the Corvette’s Z06 engine as standard, providing phenomenal value when it comes to performance.

The track-oriented 1LE package adds performance upgrades that allow the car to handle and brake more capably. It is available in coupe and convertible body styles, and it offers drivers their choice of an engaging manual transmission or a lightning-quick automatic.

2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (C8)

  • Base price: $60,995
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 490 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.0 s
  • Top Speed: 194 mph

Probably the most exciting thing to come from the American brand (and perhaps the entire automotive industry) for a long time is the new mid-engine 2021 Chevrolet Corvette C8. It is expected to go full-tilt against the likes of exotic brands such as Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren on the performance front while costing substantially less to own.

On paper, its bang-for-buck looks untouchable and potentially industry-disrupting. It comes in both coupe and convertible body styles.

Dodge

2021 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

  • Base price: $61,270
  • Engine: 6.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 717 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

While the Challenger can be purchased with a V8 engine (starting with the R/T models), we’re going to focus on the Hellcat models here. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat continues to evolve, with the 2021 model year treating fans and enthusiasts to even more madness (and variety) than ever before.

While the supercharged 6.2L V8 engine is a mainstay, the coupe can now be configured with up to 3 different engine options—Hellcat, Redeye, and Super Stock—which produce 717 hp, 797 hp, and 807 hp, respectively. These options allow it to become one of the most powerful production cars in the world.

Widebody packages are available for both the base and Redeye trims (and come standard on the Super Stock) to give the car an even more pronounced and aggressive appearance —one that certainly matches the monster lurking beneath the hood.

2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat

  • Base price: $72,670
  • Engine: 6.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 717 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 196 mph

The Dodge Charger is, for the most part, the sedan version of the Challenger, and it too offers up the company’s exclusive Hellcat experience. For 2021, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat—and its new Redeye version—are offered exclusively with the widebody package. These versions produce 717 hp and 797 hp (respectively) from the same 6.2L supercharged V8 used in the Challenger, although no “Super Stock” version is available for the Charger. Yet.

Ferrari

2021 Ferrari Portofino M

  • Base price: US$245,000
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 hp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 560 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 s
  • 0-124 mph: 9.3 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

The Ferrari Portofino has been, for a couple of years, the Italian marque’s 2+2 grand touring cabriolet. It was, and still is, a powerhouse of comfort and technology—as capable of crossing continents as it is of driving a few blocks to the grocery store.

Now, however, it is getting its first refresh, thanks in large part to the success of the Ferrari Roma, which itself was a hardtop coupe evolution of the Portofino. Named the Portofino Modificata, it is shortened to Portofino M for branding purposes.

The highlight of this update has to be the newly developed eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The everyday drop-top has also been refined on some other aspects, which now makes it even more convenient. A boatload of safety tech has also been added—plus, now the engine offers 20 hp more.

2021 Ferrari F8 Tributo

  • Base price: US$276,000
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 hp @ 8,000 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 3,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 s
  • 0-124 mph: 7.8 s
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

Billed as the replacement for the 488 GTB, the Ferrari F8 Tributo inherits much of the outgoing model’s DNA. Mind you, this is largely (if not entirely) a positive thing, as the F8 Tributo notably improves in areas that had room for it while retaining the essence of what worked so well before.

Considered the ‘entry-level’ mid-engined car in the Ferrari model lineup, the F8 Tributo is nevertheless more than the sum of its parts; it is a highly-capable all-rounder, standing out amongst an expanding club of ‘everyday supercars.’

Producing 710 hp at a screaming 8,000 rpm and 568 lb-ft of torque at an accessible 3,250 rpm, the F8 Tributo’s 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8 is nothing to balk at, despite being standard for the times.

The Ferrari F8 Spider replaces the 488 Spider and is officially on sale in Ferrari dealerships. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V-8 that produces 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque.

The Spider is rear-wheel drive, and a seven-speed automatic transmission changes the gears. Peak torque comes earlier in the rev range than the 488. The aero kit, headlights, taillights, and body also look different than the 488 GTB.

We drove both the F8 Spider and Tributo back-to-back, and our pick is the Spider. It is just as fast and dynamic as the coupe—but it feels faster, louder, and more visceral—thanks in part to its open top.

Like the F8 Tributo, the 2021 Spider accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds on its way to 124 mph in just 7.8 seconds, and has a top speed of 211 mph. Fast enough, I think!

2021 Ferrari Roma

  • Base price: US$222,630
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 hp @ 7,500 rom
  • Torque: 560 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 s
  • 0-124 mph: 9.3 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

This vehicle is stunning to look at, with a minimalist (by today’s standards) grille and a shark-nose front end. It’s long, lean, and so utterly Ferrari that it makes all the right places on a true car enthusiast ache with desire.

Inside the car, you can see one of the most high-tech cabins of any Ferrari. There’s a large digital instrument cluster, a unique vertically-oriented infotainment screen in the center with some controls in front of it, and the passenger has their own small horizontally-oriented infotainment screen.

Now onto even better stuff; the rear-wheel-drive Ferrari Roma gets a 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8 engine with new cam profiles and a speed sensor that allows the maximum rpm to rise by 5,000 rpm. In other words, this is an Italian Stallion that can truly sing. The engine also has a single-piece exhaust manifold designed to make the most of its efforts. All told, it makes 612 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Ferrari 488 Pista

  • Base price: US$350,000
  • Engine: 3.9 liter twin turbo V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.85 sec
  • 0-100 mph: 5.4 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

The Ferrari 488 Pista is the marque’s latest Special Series model, and, following in the footsteps of its predecessors, it epitomizes the pinnacle of Ferrari road cars. Ferrari’s naturally aspirated V8s shrieked and snarled into the redline; the Pista barks and roars its way there. A different special series animal for sure, but an animal nonetheless. Almost perfect.

The Ferrari 488 Pista Spider is powered by the same engine used in the coupe, a twin-turbocharged 3.9L V8, which produces a magnificent 711-horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. The Spider is a convertible with a removal hardtop, though some would argue it functions more closely to a targa top vehicle. The Spider weighs 200 pounds more than the coupe.

2021 Ferrari SF90 Stradale

  • Base price: US$507,000
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, plus 3 electric motors
  • Power: 989 hp (combined)
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • 0-124 mph: 6.7 s
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is a stunning new hybrid supercar that produces 989 hp from a plug-in hybrid powertrain. This hybrid setup utilizes a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 combustion engine linked with three electric motors.

Two of those electric motors are mounted on the front axle, and one is mounted between the engine and the gearbox. The combined maximum output of the V8, together with the electric motors, makes this Ferrari good for 0-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. This powertrain is the most powerful of any Ferrari and easily places the SF90 Stradale atop the Ferrari lineup.

The car also features an all-new chassis made of carbon fiber and aluminum. The sleek body panels and its aerodynamic shape help the model produce a whopping 860 pounds of downforce at speed; the whole profile of the car is extremely low, allowing it to slice through the air at high speeds. It also has a two-piece rear wing, derived from the company’s participation in Formula 1 racing.

Ford

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

  • Base price: $53,400
  • Engine: 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6
  • Power: 450 hp @ 5,000 rpm
  • Torque: 510 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 5.1 s
  • Top Speed: 107 mph

Instead of starting with the Mustang GT, we have moved straight to the limited-edition Ford Mustang Mach 1, which gets a 480-hp version of Ford’s 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8 engine. The Mach 1 comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, while a 10-speed automatic is an optional add-on. There is a unique front end and heritage-inspired look with black stripes on the hood and bodysides.

The car also benefits from advanced aerodynamic and cooling upgrades, courtesy of the awesome Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500. We recommend opting for the Mach 1’s Handling package to experience the full potential of the model.

2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

  • Base price: $72,900
  • Engine: 5.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 760 hp @ 7,300 rpm
  • Torque: 625 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 180 mph

There’s a lot to love about the GT350’s bigger brother (especially with the GT350 being discontinued for 2021)—the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. It’s the most muscular of all of Ford’s vehicles, but it’s not just fast in a straight line with its supercharged 760 hp V8. The car can make its way around the twists and bends of the most technical racetracks quickly, too. It’s almost as quick as a Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the track, according to some credible sources.

Jaguar

2021 Jaguar F-Type R

  • Base price: $103,200
  • Engine: 5.0L supercharged V8
  • Power: 575 hp @ 6,500 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 186 mph

The Jaguar F-Type R has seen its engine output increased for the 2021 year, gaining 25 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque over the previous year’s entry. The engine is exclusively mated to an all-wheel drive version.

The platform remains unchanged, with updates to the exterior and interior that keep the model feeling fresh and consistent with the rest of its lineup. New LED headlights and taillights, a revised front and rear bumper, and a new infotainment system are amongst the new offerings.

Available in both coupe and convertible form, the F-Type R sports car is now the highest F-Type trim in the lineup and is equipped with an arsenal intent on squaring off against the likes of the Porsche 911 and comparable Mercedes AMG models. With sharp handling and blistering acceleration—thanks in large part to its all-wheel-drive system—the F-Type R makes for a padded spec sheet and costs less than most of its competition.

Koenigsegg

2021 Koenigsegg Jesko

  • Base price: $2,800,000
  • Engine: 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 1,600 hp
  • Torque: 1,106 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • Top Speed: 300+ mph

Koenigsegg’s new Jesko hypercar, named after his father, who helped him start his company, claims over 300 mph as its top speed. While Koenigsegg hasn’t yet proven this in the real world, the Agera successor has achieved this feat in simulations, and the company certainly believes it to be as good as true.

There are two different versions of the car; Koenigsegg designed one for a high-speed run (called the Absolut) to achieve the aforementioned 300+ mph, and another with some serious downforce for the racetrack. No matter the variant, you get a new carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, a new suspension setup, redesigned engine, and a special gearbox.

2021 Koenigsegg Regera

  • Base price: $2,000,000
  • Engine: 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 + 3 electric motors
  • Power: 1,500 hp
  • Torque: 1,475 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • Top Speed: 255 mph

The 2021 Koenigsegg Regera is definitely part of the small and exclusive group of hybrid hypercars. Koenigsegg launched the model at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and since then, it has generated much hype amongst many car lovers and enthusiasts.

Besides a regular engine, the Koenigsegg Regera also carries an electric unit that produces up to 700 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque with a 4.5 kWh liquid-cooled battery pack. As a result, the car—in combination with its 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8—produces an amazing 1,500 hp, simply making it the most powerful hybrid hypercar in the world.

Lamborghini

2021 Lamborghini Urus

  • Base price: US$218,009
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 641 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 sec
  • 0-100 mph: 7.6 sec
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Yes, we know that the Lamborghini Urus is, by all accounts, an SUV. However, it’s also a Lamborghini, and this list just wouldn’t be complete without one. It really doesn’t matter anyway because the Urus is practically a supercar, and it has the credentials to back it up.

The Urus is powered by a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 that is good for 641 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. Performance is astonishing for the big SUV, with the 0-60 mph trek over in a mere 3.2 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 190 mph.

It looks aggressive, and we think it has just the right level of Lambo styling cues without going overboard. On the inside, the Urus has decent luggage space and a generous helping of electronics and infotainment equipment. The Urus remains Lamborghini’s only sport utility vehicle in the lineup for the 2021 model year.

Self-proclaimed as the world’s first Super Sport Utility Vehicle, we like to call it a luxurious, sporty SUV—where outlandish performance meets comfort and versatility. It offers best-in-class driving dynamics and is easily the best-performing SUV on the planet. The Lamborghini Urus is anything but your typical grocery hauler.

Lexus

2021 Lexus LC500

  • Base price: $92,950
  • Engine: 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8
  • Power: 471 hp @ 7,100 rpm
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.9 s
  • Top Speed: 168 mph

The range-topping Lexus LC500 luxury coupe continues to use the same naturally-aspirated V8 power plant seen in the rest of the brand’s performance lineup. Notable features include the adjustable suspension, which serves to provide a remarkable fusion of performance and comfort.

For 2021, the car remains virtually unchanged, although Lexus has recently released a convertible version of the LC500. The convertible roof will open and close in about 15 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 31 mph. That’s pretty impressive.

Because of the open-top, the car required some additional structural components for rigidity but remains mechanically identical to the coupe otherwise.

Maserati

2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo

  • Base price: $109,890
  • Engine: 3.8L twin-turbo V8
  • Power: 580 hp @ 6,750 rpm
  • Torque: 538 lb-ft @ 2,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

Car and Driver said of the Ghibli, “As a sports sedan, the Ghibli’s a winner, but it doesn’t live up to expectations on the luxury side of the spectrum.” The Maserati Ghibli Trofeo offers more of the same—but with more power, more fun, and more performance. These additions work extremely well, and for enthusiasts, this model offers a nice upgrade to the car they know and love.

2021 Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo

  • Base price: $142,390
  • Engine: 3.8L twin-turbo V8
  • Power: 580 hp
  • Torque: 524 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.2 s
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

The Quattroporte is a good car, but not a great one. It sits in a kind of limbo area where it is both a GT and also a sports-focused car.

Fortunately, the addition of the twin-turbo V8 makes it way better. It becomes more powerful, more sporty, and the performance is transformed. This year, it becomes a car that a true enthusiast can love—the Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo.

McLaren

2021 McLaren 540C

  • Base price: US$184,900
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 533 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 3,500-6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 10.5 sec
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

This car’s an entry-level assassin. A mid-mounted 533-hp 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 drives the rear wheels of the 540C. Despite its lower price, the McLaren 540C inherits performance-aiding technologies from its pricier siblings, such as a system that applies the brakes to a rear wheel to help the car around corners.

Boasting 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-124mph in 10.5, a top speed of 199 mph, and a power-to-weight ratio of 412 horsepower per ton, this is definitely a car for impressing your friends. What more could you want for your money?

2021 McLaren 570S Coupe

  • Base price: US$191,100
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.5 sec
  • Top Speed: 204 mph

This is the car you buy when you are sick of your Porsche. It is a true sports car experience: very driver-centric and with truly epic performance. We have found the McLaren 570S as the perfectly positioned car in the McLaren range.

It has more performance than you could ever need on the road. It is lightweight, has direct steering, and has amazing driving dynamics. It looks like a supercar but also comes with enough interior amenities to be comfortable as a daily driver.

Between a 911 Turbo or 570S, I know which one I’d take. Queue the 570S, please.

2021 McLaren 570S Spider

  • Base price: US$211,300
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.6 sec
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

Basically a 570S with a retractable hardtop, the McLaren 570S Spider is awesome. Gone are the days where convertibles were compromised; McLaren seems to have figured out how to make them as good as their coupe siblings.

The Spider has the same twin-turbo V8 as the coupe, as well as the same carbon fiber MonoCell II chassis. Take the top down (15 seconds), and you add a whole host of sounds and sensations that are unique to the Spider. Performance is on par with the 570S coupe (within a 10th of a second to 60 mph and 124 mph).

2021 McLaren 570GT

  • Base price: US$203,950
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 204mph

Practical, Fast, Luxurious. The McLaren 570GT is an intriguing model to consider now that the company has launched a focused GT model. It adds extra comfort and practicality to the 570 body style. Performance is still tremendous, but it takes the edge off in some ways (which is good).

Every bit a McLaren, this car is optimized for the road, turning the ultimate sports car experience into one that’s perfect for daily use, longer journeys, and weekends away. It has a practical, real glass hatch for extra storage, and its panoramic glass roof makes the car feel airy and spacious.

2021 McLaren 600LT

  • Base price: US$242,500
  • Engine: M838TE 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 592 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500–6,500rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.2 sec
  • Top Speed: 204 mph

The limited-edition McLaren 600LT is the ultimate version of McLaren’s 570S/GT range (think of it like the 458 Speciale as to the 458). It uses a variation of 570S’ McLaren’s twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8, in this guise making 592 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque.

It has a dual-clutch automatic transmission and is rear-wheel drive. The handling is perfectly balanced and reassures you with its predictable nature, making the ride a little firm due to its track-nature approach.

Standard carbon-ceramic brake discs, extensive carbon fiber, and that massive wing let you know this is a limited edition car designed for the track. It’s as capable of eye-watering performance it is deserving of the LT name.

2021 McLaren 600LT Spider

  • Base price: US$256,500
  • Engine: M838TE 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 592 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500–6,500rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.4 sec
  • Top Speed: 201 mph (196 mph with top down)

Like the 600LT coupe, a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 with 592 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque shoots the McLaren 600LT Spider to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. Getting to 124 mph takes just an extra two-tenths of a second compared to the hardtop. You step on the throttle, wait for a tinge of turbo lag, then boom, the ferocious revving and blistering straight-line speed hit you. Rinse and repeat.

Unlike most convertibles, this Spider will also handle in the corners. It is easily my favorite car on the market today. There is no shortfall versus the coupe; this is an epic car that loses nothing to its sibling. This is what a supercar is meant to be: an enchanting machine.

2021 McLaren 620R

  • Base price: US$300,000
  • Engine: 3.8 L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.1 sec
  • Top Speed: 200 mph

The car is basically a 570S GT4 race car for the road. It’s a limited-run coupe that McLaren will build only 350 of. The McLaren 620R is the most powerful of the Sports Series range.

That engine makes a monstrous 612 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. The car also gets the 570S GT4’s suspension, braking parts, and many of the different adjustable aerodynamic components. The price of this speedy car is a whopping £329,000 in the UK, including taxes.

2021 McLaren GT

  • Base price: US$210,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.0 sec
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

This car offers luxury and refinement, the McLaren Way. The McLaren GT—which stands for ‘Grand Tourer’—is the British automaker’s first attempt at something other than the raw, unadulterated performance conduits they’ve been known for producing in the past.

The car retains the ubiquitous mid-engine layout seen throughout the rest of the McLaren lineup. It is based on the same exceptional platform used on the 570S—namely, its Monocell II-T carbon-fiber chassis. Despite this, McLaren has gone to great lengths to ensure that the GT also creates its own unique identity, with two-thirds of components used on this model also being exclusive to it.

Unconventional for a McLaren and for a mid-engined car respectively, are its particularly luxurious interior and over 20 cubic ft. of storage space. Despite its supposed layout handicap, the McLaren GT is not outdone here by the likes of Aston Martin, offering plenty of room for bags, skis, and a week’s worth of luggage. The new infotainment system also helps to facilitate a comfortable cross-country cruising experience.

2021 McLaren 720S

  • Base price: US$300,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 212 mph

The McLaren 720S is a sensational supercar, easily the best of the current breed. It has a twin-turbocharged 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 710 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. It looks gorgeous too.

The 720S has advanced suspension that does a remarkable job of smoothing out imperfections while being sporty and keeping the car flat when pressing on. It boasts unrivaled chassis tuning, absurd amounts of speed, unparalleled acceleration numbers, and a package that looks stunning. This is simply the best supercar for sale today and the sweet spot in McLaren’s current model range.

2021 McLaren 720S Spider

  • Base price: US$315,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.9 sec
  • Top Speed: 212 mph (202 mph with top down)

The latest iteration of the current 720S—monikered “Spider”—is a convertible variant of the 720S, which comes with a folding hardtop. The McLaren 720S Spider retains the same DNA as the Coupe, utilizing a modified version of its carbon-fiber tub chassis to accommodate the folding roof and its mechanism.

Thanks to its brilliant aerodynamic design, the Spider still achieves a remarkable top speed of 202 mph with the top folded. McLaren does a lot of things better than anyone else, and producing convertible variants that are as good as its coupe counterparts is no exception.

2021 McLaren 765LT

  • Base price: US$368,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 755 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.2 sec
  • Top Speed: 205 mph

The McLaren 765LT replaces the 675LT as the newest limited-production track car in McLaren’s Super Series range. As with previous LT models, weight-saving is the key focus for the 765LT, losing 160+ lbs compared to the 720S.

For the first time, McLaren has also adjusted some of the 765LT’s inner workings. Horsepower from the 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine has been upped from 710 hp to 755 hp, and torque is rated at 590 lb-ft—an increase of 22 lb-ft.

2021 McLaren Senna

  • Base price: US$960,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 789 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

Named after Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, the McLaren Senna is a track-focused hypercar. Its aggressive appearance tells you immediately that this thing is designed to destroy lap times.

The McLaren Senna is the fastest McLaren road car ever around a racetrack, with downforce numbers up there with proper race cars. It is an intensely involving and immersive experience.

With a dry weight of 2,600 pounds, it delivers the fastest lap times of any road-legal McLaren to date. There is also a track-only version of the Senna, known as the Senna GTR.

2021 McLaren Senna GTR

  • Base price: US$1,800,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 813 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

A More Hardcore Senna. Adding some track-focused updates to the McLaren Senna hypercar gets you the McLaren Senna GTR. Freed from all road and motorsport rules, it pushes things to the max.

Pared-back, pumped-up, then unleashed for track use only—it is, simply put, ferocious. We’re talking 1,000 kg of downforce and a power-to-weight ratio of 684 horsepower per tonne. This is a serious car for the serious racer (or a seriously rich person who wants to be a racer).

This isn’t a road car, folks, so don’t even think about it if you are looking to burn a few million dollars on something you can drive to your local cars and coffee meets.

2021 McLaren Elva

  • Base price: US$1,900,000
  • Engine:4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 804 bhp
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: < 3 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.7 sec
  • Top Speed: TBD

The McLaren Elva is a completely roofless and windscreen-less Speedster. McLaren will fit a permanently fixed windscreen where legislation (or the customer) requires it, but all other cars will be built without a windscreen for a true open cockpit feeling.

The Elva shares the Senna GTR’s 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, with the addition of a new exhaust system for the proper auditory experience. All told, the engine makes 804 hp, which is up from the Senna GTR’s 789 hp. The car also gets a cross-linked hydraulic suspension system, carbon-ceramic brakes with titanium calipers, and a feather-light curb weight.

McLaren hasn’t yet specified what the Elva tips the scales at, but the company claims it will be the lightest McLaren road car in the lineup. The McLaren factory will build just 399 examples of the Elva.

Mercedes

2021 Mercedes-AMG C 63

  • Base price: $68,100
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 469 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 479 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s
  • Top Speed:155 mph (limited)

Upgrading the 2020 Mercedes-AMG C 63, this year’s model offers a handcrafted biturbo V8 and paddle-shifted multi-clutch 9-speed to put 469 hp in your hands.

Adaptive AMG Ride Control and a limited-slip diff make it quick on its feet, and it has an exquisitely detailed cabin. It’s available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S

  • Base price: $75,700
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.8 s
  • Top Speed: 155 mph (limited)

A handcrafted biturbo V8 unleashes 503 hp and class-leading torque. Aggressive style envelops advanced new technologies. And from the cabin, innovation and inspiration lead to invigoration in every curve and on every surface. The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S is available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

  • Base price: $107,350
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 196 mph

With a handcrafted 603 hp and variable-torque AMG Performance 4MATIC+, the E 63 S Sedan is one of the quickest Mercedes-AMG models yet. It’s also one of the most rewarding and luxurious sedans ever to take track tech to the road.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon

  • Base price: $111,750
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 180 mph

Sending 603 handcrafted horsepower deftly to the pavement via variable-torque AMG Performance 4MATIC+, the E 63 S Wagon outperforms any other wagon on the road. Is it a spacious supercar or a fast family car? Only one way to find out: open it up.

2021 Mercedes-AMG S 63

  • Base price: $151,600
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

With 603 handcrafted horsepower and torque-vectoring AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive, the AMG S 63 might be the most self-assured sedan on the road. Its innovations and appointments make it one of the most reassuring, too. However, it is going to be replaced by a newer model soon. Available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 63

  • Base price: $140,600
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 577 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s

It has twice the doors and twice the seats of any AMG GT before it. Yet it builds on every dominant trait: Brilliant handling. Exquisite appointments. Seductive style. And a handcrafted biturbo V8 sending 577 hp to its four wheels.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S

  • Base price: $161,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 630 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 s

The S version of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 offers all of the same advantages, but with an extra kick in the power department. Its biturbo V8 sends a whopping 630 hp to its four wheels.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT / GT Roadster

  • Base price: $115,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 469 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 1,900 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s

Developed from the racetrack up to be a pure sports car, the AMG GT’s 469-hp dry-sump biturbo V8 and rear transaxle help create an ideal balance of reduced weight, control, confidence, and composure.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT C / GT C Roadster

  • Base price: $150,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 550 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 502 lb-ft @ 2,100 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s

The coupe version of the AMG GT adds extra power with a 550-hp dry-sump biturbo V8 engine and rear transaxle. Drivers still get all the performance and control the convertible version offers, creating an unparalleled experience.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT R / GT R Roadster

  • Base price: $162,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 577 hp @ 6,250 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 2,100 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s

The 577-hp AMG GT R condenses half a century of motorsports success into a single Nürburgring lap. Lightened, sharpened, and strengthened, its racing DNA is evident in every fiber of its body, chassis, and soul.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series

  • Base price: $325,000
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 720 hp @ 6,700 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 s

The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series marks the return of an iconic name to the world of super sports cars. It’s as unorthodox as it is untamed. This car has emerged from uncompromising engineering paired with unprecedented performance—especially on the race track.

10 Supercars Whose Tech Changed the Industry

There’s no shortage of adequate supercars in the industry. Carmakers devote significant time and resources to harnessing available technology to create performance machines that do all that’s asked of them. But every once in a while, a particular car comes along that is simply exceptional. The best supercars throughout history have been unicorns that pushed against the boundaries of automotive technology and innovation to deliver the ultimate adrenaline high behind the wheel.

These are supercars that shake up existing standards and blaze trails for others to follow. They include cars like the Porsche 959, McLaren F1, or Bugatti Veyron, which are so extreme in terms of performance, power, and price that they either kickstart a new automotive trend or, in some cases, spawn an entirely new class of cars. This list is not exhaustive, but it does showcase some of these game-changing supercars that sent shockwaves through the automobile industry.

Supercar #10: Porsche 959

The Porsche 959 is the first in Porsche’s line of flagship supercars that includes the Carrera GT and, most recently, the 918 Spyder. It had its debut in 1983 as a prototype, but various delays meant first customer deliveries of the road-going variants did not start until 1987. The delays resulted from Porsche’s desire to create something never seen before in the automobile industry.

Black Porsche 959 sitting in driveway outside houseVia Mecum.

This German supercar boasted a raft of innovative technologies and was undeniably one of the automotive icons that emerged during the ‘80s. An adjustable ride height, carbon-kevlar construction, active aerodynamics, lightweight hollow wheels, and adjustable suspension dampening were just some of the revolutionary features found on the Porsche 959. It all made for a complicated setup that required a total of seven onboard computers to manage at a time when most other vehicles had just one—if they had any at all.

The original intention behind the car’s development was participation in the Group B racing series, but that racing program was canceled in 1986 before the 959 had any real chance to stretch its legs. However, it was still able to race at the 1986 Paris-Dakar rally, where it clinched the first two positions (and the sixth, for good measure). Away from the racing circuits, the road-legal 959 was also one of the fastest production cars, bested only by the legendary Ferrari F40.

Supercar #9: Ferrari F40

The Ferrari F40 may have been less advanced than the Porsche 959, but it was infinitely more popular. Created to celebrate Ferrari’s 40th anniversary, the F40 was the poster car for an entire generation of car enthusiasts.

Everything about the car was geared towards performance. Creature comforts were, therefore, furthest from the minds of the designers and engineers. As such, they ditched items like carpets, door trims, and a radio.

Not even the door handles were spared. The US-bound F40 supercars got an air-conditioning system only because it would have been otherwise impossible to sit in the sweltering cabin. Driver aids like power steering and ABS were also noticeably absent.

Red Ferrari F40 sitting in parking lot behind buildingVia Mecum.

The flipside of all these compromises was a brutally focused, high-performance auto that demanded all of the driver’s attention. The F40 had a blistering turn of pace, too. In 1987, it became the first production car to crack the mythical 200mph speed barrier.

That feat quickly attracted the attention of other carmakers. The F40 was soon joined in its elite club by vehicles like the Jaguar XJ220, Bugatti EB110, RufCTR Yellowbird, and the famous McLaren F1.

Supercar #8: McLaren F1

Even today, we still speak of the imperious McLaren F1 supercar with a sense of awe and reverence. This British beast, designed by the legendary Gordon Murray, completely rewrote the supercar rule book.

It’s still one of the fastest naturally-aspirated cars ever made, and some of the technology it pioneered for road-going cars is still in use today. The McLaren F1 is widely regarded as the first production car to use a complete carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) monocoque chassis structure.

Grey McLaren F1 sitting on road in forest with doors openVia Gooding & Company.

That carbon fiber monocoque has since been used on every other McLaren, in one form or the other. Pagani, Koenigsegg, and Bugatti are examples of other carmakers using carbon fiber monocoque in their supercars. The material helps save weight while offering high stiffness and strength at the same time.

Another unique feature of the McLaren F1 was the gold foil lining in the engine bay. This is not a fashion statement; gold is an excellent reflector of heat and helps keep the heat generated by the BMW-sourced 6.1-liter V12 away from the fuel cell.

Supercar #7: Jaguar XJR-15

The McLaren F1 might have pioneered using a carbon-fiber monocoque, but the little-known Jaguar XJR-15 was the first production car constructed entirely from carbon fiber. The car had a production run of 53 units and was manufactured by JaguarSport, a subsidiary of Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing. The intention behind using carbon fiber was straightforward: make the car as light as possible and maximize the 450 hp power output from the 6.0-liter V12 engine.

Navy Jaguar XJR-15 sitting on tarmac outside garageVia Classic Driver.

The Jaguar XJR-15 weighed just 2,341 pounds and needed only 3.2 seconds to hit 60 mph. It could continue accelerating until it peaked at a maximum speed of 191 mph. It did not take long for the carbon fiber idea to catch on in the industry, and today, there’s hardly any carmaker that does not use carbon fiber in some form during the manufacturing process.

Supercar #6: Lamborghini Miura

Heralded as the first true supercar, the Miura impressed with its sleek lines and low-slung profile upon its debut at the 1966 Geneva Auto Show. However, aesthetics were only a small part of why the car was such a game-changer for the raging bull brand.

Bright red Lamborghini Miura sitting on road with trees in backgroundVia Mecum.

Lamborghini engineers broke with tradition and opted for a transverse, mid-mounted V12 engine positioned just behind the cockpit in designing the Miura. It improved the Miura’s silhouette and gave the car excellent weight distribution and superior handling. The Miura was the first supercar with this engine placement, but it soon kickstarted a widespread industry trend that continues to this day.

Supercar #5: Honda NSX

Honda stunned the car community when it released the first-generation NSX. Here was a car that decisively challenged assumptions about the affordability of supercars. It was also easy and fun to use, with reliability levels that made it ideally suited to the demands of daily driving—and that was just the beginning.

Honda cut no corners in developing their supercar. The company relied on extensive consultation from Aryton Senna—one of Formula One’s greatest names—to create something truly magical.

Bright red 1991 Honda NSX sitting on cobblestones outside buildingVia Top Gear.

The car’s list of innovations includes the world’s first all-aluminum body, the first-ever independent 4-wheel ABS on a production car, electronic power steering, titanium connecting rods, and variable valve timing. Few vehicles could match that level of sophistication and functionality at the time. It’s no wonder then that the car is still highly sought after today by collectors and car purists.

Supercar #4: Porsche Carrera GT

In 2004, shortly after its official launch, the Carrera GT was awarded the ‘Engineering Excellence of the Year’ award at the 34th Annual Innovation Awards Program. The event is hosted annually by the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastic Engineers to recognize breakthrough engineering feats. The Carrera GT earned praise for its carbon fiber reinforced plastic engine frame (CFRP) and ceramic composite clutch plate, a first in the automotive industry.

Grey Porsche Carrera GT on road cutting through grassy fieldVia Mecum.

The carbon fiber engine frame was one of several critical weight-saving measures implemented for the car. The Carrera GT also pioneered the use of forged magnesium wheels, saving up to 25% in weight compared to aluminum alloy wheels without compromising durability. Meanwhile, the ceramic clutch plate offered a much longer lifespan than other alternatives, amongst other advantages.

It required skilled hands at the wheel to exploit the full extent of the Carrera GT’s tech, and those who qualified were rewarded with a driving experience unlike anything else on the road at the time. Even today, the Carrera GT, with its awesome-sounding V10 power plant, remains the stuff of legend.

Supercar #3: Bugatti Veyron

Financial hardships forced Bugatti into bankruptcy in 1995—but three years later, the Volkswagen Group stepped in and acquired the brand, injecting new life into the company. The company busied itself developing concepts for the next couple of years, displaying them at various auto shows.

Then in 2005, the first production model under Volkwagen ownership was unveiled—the formidable Bugatti Veyron, with an 8.0-liter W16 engine and four turbochargers. That power plant squeezed out 1,001 metric horsepower and was enough to propel the 2-ton behemoth to a top speed of 253.51 mph, a world record for production cars at the time.

Gold and white Bugatti Veyron on city street with skyscrapers in backgroundVia Mecum.

A total of 450 Veyrons were built (including the different variants) over ten years. The Veyron’s speed and acceleration were its main strengths and gave it bragging rights over competitor offerings. It ushered in a new era of obsession with horsepower and speed. It was not long before other carmakers like Hennessey and Koenigsegg responded with road rockets of their own to challenge for the title of the ultimate speed king.

Supercar #2: Ferrari LaFerrari

The lads at Ferrari weren’t mucking around when they named their flagship model ‘LaFerrari’ back in 2013. That name simply translates to ‘The Ferrari’ and was meant as a clear statement of intent. Then-Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said, ‘We chose to call this model LaFerrari because it is the finest expression of our company’s unique, unparalleled engineering and design know-how, including that acquired in Formula One.’

The LaFerrari represented the peak of the brand’s engineering excellence at the time and was a worthy rival to anything competitors had to offer, including the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder.

Bright red Ferrari LaFerrari on road with white fence and trees in backgroundVia Mecum.

A highlight of the LaFerrari was its Formula One derived HY-KERS hybrid setup. This system consisted of an electric motor and a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) to complement the naturally aspirated V12 power plant.

The LaFerrari, together with fellow hybrid hypercars—the McLaren P1 and the 918 Spyder, commonly referred to collectively as the ‘Hypercar Trinity’—ushered in a new performance age in the automobile industry. The LaFerrari was also a testbed of sorts for technology that has now found its way, in some form or another, to Ferrari’s latest hybrid creation—the SF90 Stradale.

Supercar #1: Rimac Nevera

Yes, the production-spec Nevera was only unveiled earlier this year, and customer deliveries haven’t even begun. However, make no mistake: this Hyper-EV is already making big waves in the automobile industry—and this is only the beginning.

The car’s ground-breaking technology was enough to make Bugatti take notice and come calling. Their interest eventually resulted in a Bugatti-Rimac joint venture while Bugatti prepares for a future headlined by a new lineup of all-electric (or hybrid) high-performance vehicles. Pininfarina is another carmaker interested in Rimac’s technology, and they’re already using the company’s quad-motor powertrain in their hypercar—the Pininfarina Battista.

Via Top Gear.

Mate Rimac, Founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili, said, ‘This is it. This is the car I had in mind when I embarked on the ‘impossible’ journey ten years ago. All our hard work has resulted in the Nevera – our record-breaking hypercar. This car was born to outperform and to raise the bar, redefining the norm for performance cars. And not only in performance—but as an all-around package.’

It’s hard to doubt his words. One of the car’s most exciting features is its unique torque vectoring system, capable of sending instant power to the wheel with the least amount of wheelspin. That, coupled with a 1,914-hp powertrain, has enabled the car to blitz its way to several speed records already, setting the stage for an enthralling future in the EV space as far as performance vehicles are concerned.

A Look Back: The Holy Trinity Of Hypercars

If time travel were possible, going back to the middle of the first decade of the 2000’s and mentioning the word “hypercar” would have garnered you some very odd looks. In fact, by then, the word “supercar” was still only just about 20 years old, when the Porsche 959 and the Ferrari F40 had brought the term into the common vocabulary. Even then, it wasn’t seared into the mind until the greatest supercar of all, the McLaren F1, was made.

Yet, in 2021, we all know what a hypercar is. There were a few cars that started the term rolling around in the mind, like the SSC Ultimate Aero and the Bugatti Veyron, but it wasn’t until 2013 that what are now considered the holy trinity of hypercars were released, and the motoring world was irrevocably changed.

Three cars, from three manufacturers, all released in the same year, have come to define what it truly means to enter into the rare company of those vehicles labeled as hypercars. The McLaren P1, the Ferrari LaFerrari, and the Porsche 918 Spyder all broke through so many technological milestones and proved that a super-high-performance supercar could actually exist that a new term had to be coined for them.

But what were those barriers? What do we take for granted in today’s ultimate supercars that was revolutionary in 2013? And would we be where we are now, at the dawn of the EV hypercar decade, if not for these three masterpieces?

A Different Way Of Thinking: The Hybrid Movement

How Motorsports Helped Forge The Hypercar

The biggest thing that all three of the Holy Trinity brought to the table was the use of hybrid electric power to not save gas or make things quieter, but to boost performance and power. It seems almost comically ironic in 2021 that before the year 2010, hybrid electric assist in cars was scoffed at as being for environmentally conscious consumers and that if you wanted raw power and speed, you stayed with an internal combustion engine only.

2009 Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull RB5 equipped with KERS unit, wikimedia
2009 Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull RB5 equipped with KERS unit, wikimedia
Image Source: wikimedia

However, there was one area that a select few engine developers and car manufacturers were interested in using hybrid power in a different way. The FIA Formula 1 World Championship had changed throughout the first decade of the millennium from being all about speed and power, to being about speed, power, and sustainability. As part of this environmental lean, in 2009, the FIA allowed for a Kinetic Energy Recovery System, or KERS, to be used in F1 to allow for an on-demand boost of about 80 HP to the 750 HP provided by the V8’s used in the series.

This energy was often stored in batteries or capacitors, and was captured through regenerative braking, where an electric generator assisted the brakes on the rear wheels of the F1 cars. By nature, Ferrari, as the longest continuously running team in the sport, and McLaren, another long running team, started immediately thinking about how this technology could be used in a high-performance road car.

On the other side of motorsports, Audi, under the umbrella that is the Volkswagen Group, was a serious contender in endurance racing, and their 2006 to 2010 R10 and R15 TDI diesel was winning pretty much everything. The ACO, the governing body of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in conjunction with the FIA, announced that for the 2012 race, electrical hybrid assist was going to be permitted.

Audi R15 TDI

Since Porsche, another company under the VW Group umbrella, was actively developing hybrid systems for their road cars, especially the Cayenne SUV, some of their engineers were brought in as experts in hybrid systems to work out how to make the hybrid system be a performance assist, instead of being a fuel efficiency assist. This, of course, gave those engineers some ideas, and when they returned to Stuttgart, we can only assume a series of closed door meetings happened quite quickly.

The Development Of Performance Hybrid Systems

Porsche was the first to truly step into the field of using a performance hybrid system in conjunction with something close to a road-going racing car, with the 2010 Porsche 911 GT3-R Hybrid. Since Porsche GT3 and Cup cars are built off of the 911 Carerra platform, the engine is mostly the same across the cars, except a bump up to 4.0L and the replacement of internals with race-grade components.

Williams F1, in the meantime, had been developing a KERS system for the 2009 season, but ultimately ended up not using it. Porsche and Williams have historically been good partners, so when the German company wanted to put a hybrid into their race car, Williams were only too happy to use the 95% finished 2009 KERS with the 911 GT3-R.

The 911 GT3-R Hybrid officially debuted at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in 2010, although it had raced as a wildcard in the VLN event a couple of weeks before the big race. It was a true four-wheel drive system, with the 500 HP 4.0L flat-six powering the rear wheels, and the 210 HP hybrid system, via two 105 HP motors, driving both front wheels. The car was instantly fast and, very importantly, very, very reliable. It raced for the rest of 2010 and all of 2011, and very rarely had any issues.

2002 Ferrari Enzo

During 2010, Ferrari had also started testing out a performance hybrid system, as they were in the planning stages of their “once a decade” special car for elite Ferrari customers. It had started with the F40 in the 1980s, the F50 in the 1990s, and the Ferrari Enzo (F60) in the 2000s. The upcoming F70 had no name yet, but it was known that it would, like the previous two cars, have a V12 in the middle of the car and be the ultimate expression of Ferrari performance and technology.

At the same time, McLaren had been impressed with the on-demand hybrid power of KERS in F1, and in 2010 tasked their internal skunk works, McLaren Special Operations, with investigating how to use that system in a road car. They were also tasked with talking to the McLaren Formula 1 Team to integrate other parts of F1 tech into the car, including a Drag Reduction System (DRS), and an Integrated Power Assist System (IPAS), which McLaren was developing for the 2011 Formula 1 system.

The Realization Of Performance Hybrid Power

From those development launches in 2010, all three companies immediately started to design, prototype, and refine their thoughts into three very distinct applications of the performance hybrid system.

Porsche 918 Spyder engine and engine cover

Porsche focused their development on using two electric motors in conjunction with a detuned version of their prototype Le Mans engine from the Porsche RS Spyder, which was their Le Mans testbed before they eventually developed the Porsche 919. The 4.5L V8 produces 600 HP on its own, and mounted to the transaxle, an electric motor provides 154 HP and also serves as the KERS recovery system. The front axle is powered by a 127 HP electric motor only, and an automatic electric clutch decouples the motor when it is not needed.

Porsche 918 Spyder

In this way, the Porsche 918 Spyder was designed as a primarily rear-wheel-drive supercar, with the ability to suddenly jump from 600 HP through two wheels, to 875 HP through four. The 918 prototype and eventual production car also accelerated like a bat out of hell, with 0 to 60 times under 2.3 seconds and clearing 0.62 miles (a standing kilometer, as Germany uses metric) in under 18 seconds at 184 MPH from a dead stop. The 918 Spyder can also be run entirely on the electric motors, and has a manual deployment mode where the driver can request extra power at any time.

Ferrari FXX

Ferrari had a wonderful testbed already in place with their FXX program based on the Ferrari Enzo. The original FXX prototype was refitted with a new version of the 6.0L F140B engine from the Enzo that had been bumped to 6.3L and had a prototype Hybrid-KERS (or HY-KERS in Ferrari’s internal notes) attached. Where Ferrari differed from Porsche was in that they only used the hybrid system on the rear of the car, and at that, only between the engine and the transmission, which was mounted as a transaxle.

Ferrari LaFerrari

What was to eventually become the F140 FE 6.3L V12 produced a monstrous 790 HP, with the HY-KERS producing 161 HP. The F70 was officially named the LaFerrari (literally “The Ferrari”) and used the hybrid to burst power to the wheels during gear shifts and deploy on wide open throttle to boost acceleration. Unlike the Porsche, there is no manual deployment mode for the hybrid system in the Ferrari, as they want the driver to be focused entirely on the act of driving and the experience, not fiddling about with little buttons.

Ferrari LaFerrari F140 FE V12 engine

McLaren’s primary realization of the performance hybrid powertrain sat in between the two others for its P1 supercar. Like the Ferrari, it uses only one motor on the transaxle, and like the Porsche, has a manual deployment mode and electric-only mode. It also has the smallest engine of the three, a 3.8L V8, but compensates with two turbochargers boosting the engine to 727 HP. The hybrid motor adds 177 HP, for a combined total of 903 HP, and all of it through the rear wheels.

McLaren P1

Of the three, the McLaren has the most Formula 1-like deployment system. It uses the hybrid power to effectively “torque-fill” the powerband. During initial acceleration, as the turbos are spinning up, the car is using mostly the hybrid to get going. Once on the turbos, the hybrid then uses a special Integrated Power Assist System (IPAS) as originally planned, bursting the power during gear shifts, and boosting to the full 903 HP when the ECU detects wide open throttle. The McLaren also has a command-DRS system, that if the ECU and computers detect the car is stable enough, will flatten the rear wing out of the airstream, using pure downforce over, under, and through the body of the car to keep it stable.

McLaren P1 tail out

Even then, however, the McLaren P1 was considered the most wild of the three. Famously, during an episode of Top Gear where the P1 was driven on the Spa-Francorchamps race circuit, even a gentle application of the throttle had the rear end squirming. It led to Jeremy Clarkson labelling the car as “The Widowmaker,” and despite any potential negative connotations that may have brought with it, McLaren actually embraced the label, with those that wanted their cars painted black having the option of choosing either a metallic black or, unofficially, matte “Widowmaker Black.”

Enter The Hypercar

All three cars were unveiled at car shows, and all three cars had their order sheets filled almost instantly. McLaren, through McLaren Special Operations, presold all 375 of their production cars while they were still prototyping the final version to recognized special clients. Ferrari sold all 499 of their production cars to invited customers that were selected manually for their loyalty to the brand and their willingness to buy Ferrari cars in their top specs. Porsche had the most open sales system, with half of their 918 units being offered to preferred clients, and the other half being sold through expressed interest registrations, and interviews with those who signed up to see who would best suit their car.

Ferrari LaFerrari in showroom

The release of all three cars also brought the reality of near-1,000 HP supercars into the spotlight. Before the three, the only car that had come close was the Bugatti Veyron, seen as a technical exercise by Volkswagen to show off their might. And at that, they needed a W16 engine with four turbochargers and a whopping ten radiators just to keep the thing from melting. By comparison, the “hybrid high-performance supercar” realized the dream of Veyron-like speed and power, but without needing nearly $3 million to get it.

Porsche 918 Spyder

Yet, “hybrid high-powered supercar” is a bit of a mouthful. No one can really pin down the exact moment that the term hypercar was attached to the Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren, but the most common theory is that someone shortened the label to “hi-per-car,” and with a single letter changed, it became “hypercar.” In terms of official terminology, the most commonly accepted definition is of a supercar that is extremely powerful, limited edition, and has a cost near or over $1 million.

The Future Of Hypercars

McLaren P1

2013 was a momentous year because of the birth of the term hypercar, as well as the release of the three cars that ultimately came to define the term. It was a concorde moment, a fixed point in time, a bridge once crossed never to be crossed again. We, as automotive enthusiasts, had gone from admiring extremely high performance supercars to admiring technological powerhouses with a brand-new moniker for them.

The reality of the present day, in 2021, however, is that fuel prices are going up, and may never come back down. We also know, through some very complicated math done by some of the most brilliant minds on the planet, that we will eventually run out of petrol-style fuel in this century. When a hypercar gulps down fuel to flex its speed and power, this can become a bit of an issue.

This is why, over the past 15 years, the idea of alternatively fueled performance cars, and even fully electric performance cars, have started to become reality. And it is motorsport that has brought us to this reality once again.

The FIA World Endurance Championship, from 2021 onwards, has replaced the top-level Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) class with the new Hypercar class. This new class was brought about to allow smaller manufacturers and those with smaller motorsports budgets a very open set of rules to race with.

2022 Peugeot 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar

Under these rules, there are minimum and maximum height, width, power, and downforce regulations, but unlike the previous LMP1 class, there is no limitation on how to achieve those numbers. This has already led to some amazing designs, such as the SCG 007 Corsa and the Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar.

FIA Formula-E 2020 World Championship Spec car, from
FIA Formula-E 2020 World Championship Spec car, from
Image Source: fiaformulae.com

The FIA also took a risk in 2014 by announcing a new Formula racing series, Formula Electric. Known as F-E or Formula-E, this series uses battery powered, semi-open-wheel cars to race around tight street circuits without a drop of petrol being used. It had a rough go of it in Gen 1, when battery and motor technology was still being developed, but ever since Gen 2 started in 2018, it has quickly gained popularity.

In fact, as of 2020, the FIA gave Formula-E world championship status, meaning that drivers for the series now need to qualify for an FIA Platinum license, one step below the Super License needed for F1. As well, 2022 will see the new Gen 3 car, which has a new power unit developed by Williams Advanced Engineering (a subsidiary company of Williams F1), and Spark Racing Technology, who built the Gen 2 car.

Energica Ego Corsa Superbike
Energica Ego Corsa Superbike
Image Source: motogp.com

Even then, the FIA wasn’t finished, and their sister association, the FIM, wanted in on electrification too. As of 2022, the FIA World Rally Championship will be using hybrid powertrains, and this year, the inaugural season of FIA Extreme-E off-road truck racing launched. In 2019, the FIM, the governing body of both World SBK and MotoGP, launched the Moto-E series, using fully electric superbikes manufactured by Energica in Italy.

2022 Lotus Evija

So it should be no surprise, then, that the most recently announced and most desired hypercars out there are fully electric. Cars such as the Rimac Nevara and the Pininfarina Battista have massive power, range equivalent to a petrol-powered hypercar, and they also fit the definition of being limited series and near or over $1 million. These electric hypercars are also reaching stratospheric power numbers, with the Lotus Evija hypercar being the first production hypercar to break 2,000 PS, or 1,970 HP equivalent.

Bugatti has already announced that it is highly likely that their next hypercar after the Chiron will be either a massively hybrid car, with most of the power generated by electrification with a high performance, small engine included, or fully electric. This is on top of their recent partnership with Rimac, forming the Bugatti Rimac partnership, and giving VW a 35% ownership stake in Rimac. Hyundai and Porsche have also invested in Rimac, both gaining about 10% of a stake, so there is definite interest in performance EVs.

2022 Koenigsegg Gemera

Koenigsegg is already making a massively hybrid hypercar, the Gemera, which uses a tiny 3-cylinder twin turbo engine producing 600 HP tied together with a crankshaft hybrid motor providing 400 HP to power the front wheels, and both rear wheels powered by individual 500 HP electric motors. This gives the 2+2 Gemera coupe 1,700 HP combined, and it can go 1,000 km (621 miles) on a single tank of E85 biofuel.

There is no shortage of exciting news about electric hypercars and massively hybrid supercars these days. Much like 2013, 2021 and 2022 promise to be the years we look back on in 2031 as the unofficial start of the electric super-vehicle revolution, and with almost every single supercar manufacturer now on board what is known as “The Green Promise,” you can be certain that big things, new technologies, and amazing cars using breakthrough ideas are still to come. Hypercars are here now, and they are here to stay.

2014 Koenigsegg One:1 Megacar

The only thing we honestly need to worry about is what the next label will be, but we think Christian von Koenigsegg has already coined it when he unveiled the One:1. That term? “Megacar”

Best New Performance Hybrids & Electric Cars

No one would argue that the past year-and-a-half has been a truly challenging period for human civilization, though it has not seemed to put even a dent in the momentum of the vehicle electrification movement. If anything, automakers were presented with a unique opportunity to showcase their credentials in this space; with the disruption of routine living circumstances, this was a moment when the global audience’s attention could be more easily procured, if done in the right way.

As it happened, a slew of new electric vehicles would be announced and even enter production during this time, bringing with them much excitement, fanfare, and most importantly a positive outlook on the future, albeit through an automotive lens. Nevertheless, automobiles are a topic that most people have in common, and the industry certainly didn’t fall short on providing its fair share of feel-good moments during this gloomy time – definitely for the car enthusiasts, and probably for the green movement too.

EVs (such as the Porsche Taycan) ordered by customers before the pandemic started, were generally delivered on-time if not ahead of schedule (like mine). During the pandemic, production levels remained vigorous, along with the unveiling of new models – some of which are simply game-changing. The emergence of cars such as the Rimac Nevera, Lotus Evija and Pininfarina Battista proved that automakers were generally unfazed by the chaos of the past 2 calendar years, delivering the goods as promised and not finding any reasons to have done anything but.

There’s no shortage of hybrid options either, with many of the world’s most impressive machines displaying the incredible potential of this technology. The likes of Ferrari’s SF90 Stradale and Lamborghini’s Sián have been showcasing that hybrid engines are not just a stop-gap measure before electrification proliferates. Rather, they are viable complement to fully-electric cars, both now and likely into the distant future. Bio fuels could play a key role in this development, and possibly even prolong the existence of the combustion engine for some time to come.

Here are 15 of the Best New Performance Hybrids & Electric Cars, you can buy today.

Acura NSX Type S

Acura RSX Type S at Race Track

Acura has just announced that they will be producing a limited-edition NSX Type S variant for the 2022 model year, which will also serve as the swan song for the brand’s halo car (now in its second generation). Officially unveiled during Monterrey Car Week, the Type S will be the “quickest, most powerful and best-handling production NSX ever” according to the automaker, with an enhanced version of the 3.5L twin-turbocharged hybrid engine now producing 600 hp and 492 lb-ft of torque. The 9-speed DCT and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) have also been optimized to get the most out of the car’s improved performance. The NSX Type S will also come standard with a carbon-fiber roof, as part of its weight reduction protocols.

Distinctive design cues and more aggressive aerodynamics are also at the core of the car’s improved driving character, with race car components – such as a GT3-inspired rear diffuser – being among the most easily distinguishable features. The NSX Type S will also come with redesigned front and rear bumpers, unique 5-spoke wheels, Pirelli P-Zero tires, and a retuned adaptive suspension system. Optional features such as Gotham Gray exterior paint and an available Lightweight Package – which includes carbon-ceramic brakes and more carbon fiber components – are also exclusive to the Type S. Limited to a production run of only 350 units.

Rimac Nevera

Rimac Nevera

Although it is not the first EV to be powered by 4 permanent magnet electric motors, the Rimac Nevera does come with its own unique electric drivetrain design. By strategically placing a pair of 200 kW electric motors in front and another two 500 kW electric motors in the rear, the engineers were able to give the rear-biased Nevera an ideal 48:52 (front:rear) weight distribution. However, a deeper inspection reveals more intricacies in the design, as the planetary gears for each of the 4 wheels are purposed in such a way that the Nevera is also optimally balanced from left to right as well. Genius.

It’s probably a good thing that this Rimac was built with a predisposition to exhibit ballet-like agility, because it’s going to need all the grace in the world to tame all that’s brewing within. In combination, all of the 4 electric motors can generate up to 1,914 hp (1.4 mW) and 1,740 lb-ft of torque (2,360 Nm). This allows the Nevera to absolutely annihilate the popular 0-60 mph benchmark in just 1.85 seconds, with an equally impressive 1/4 mile time of just 8.6 seconds – good enough to make it the fastest production vehicle ever made, by some margin. Top speed is stated as 258 mph (412 km/h).

Ferrari SF90 Stradale

Ferrari SF90 Stradale at Race Track

At first glance the SF90 Stradale sounds like a car we should all fear; a soul crushing proposition. It is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (Ferrari’s first) with four-wheel-drive, built on a new ‘multi material‘ platform and has even more electric driver aids than ever before. It is enough to make old-school Ferrari fans and drivers run straight for the exits (probably to pick up a 458 Speciale instead). But those who are willing to consider the outcomes with an open-mind are sure to be satiated, if not entirely blown-away.

In the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, the company has partnered its F154 V8 engine with a 7.9 kWh battery, which allows the twin-turbocharged V8 hybrid to produce up to 986 hp in total. The three electric motors combine to deliver 217 hp, an can even bring the SF90 Stradale to a speed of 84 mph and complete over 15 miles, all on their own power. Aside from a mind-boggling 0-60 mph time of 2.1 seconds, this configuration also makes the SF90 the first mid-engined Ferrari to be all-wheel drive. Handling is also greatly enhanced with torque vectoring now being available on the front-axle. The car also features an all-new chassis made of carbon fiber and aluminum. The sleek body panels and its aerodynamic shape help the model make a whopping 860 lbs of downforce at speed, and the whole profile of the car is extremely low so it can slash through the air at high speeds.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

Mamba Green Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

The Taycan Turbo S is the ultimate Porsche EV. The absolutely mind-boggling 750 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque it instantaneously produces, rockets the car from 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds – hypercar territory, that is. It manages to combine this with 911-level handling characteristics and is infused with the same essence we’ve come to expect in all Porsche sports cars. Porsche ceramic composite brakes (PCCB) are standard fare on the Turbo S, as are the otherwise optional 21” Mission-E Design wheels. To provide even more extra stopping force, the Turbo S is also fitted with larger front and rear rotors than what is installed on the 4S and Turbo models.

With the introduction of the new Cross Turismo range of Porsche Taycan models, we’re now entering the second act of the company’s electrification strategy. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carries over the EV-platform and performance from its sedan counterpart, then amalgamates them with the utilitarianism of a sporty crossover / estate. While a number of the Cross Turismo models’ design elements bear an obvious resemblance to the sedans, they offer something very distinct as well.

Lamborghini Sián

Lamborghini Sian

Amongst this list of very special cars, the Sián is perhaps the most special. That’s because the Lamborghini Sián is the most notable example of an automobile which uses a supercapacitor – the ‘super’ added because, well, you need a really, really big capacitor to help power a car. In this configuration, the supercapacitor collects and stores energy (primarily from regenerative braking). In certain moments (such as a launch), the supercapacitor dumps all of its energy into an electric motor which immediately and briefly adds an extra 34 hp on top of what the Sián’s 785 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 engine produces. This means that up to 819 hp is sent to all 4 wheels, with the electric motor integrated into the transmission to reduce weight and improve responsiveness.

As long as the supercapacitor keeps getting recharged – which can be achieved with just seconds of hard braking – there will always be that extra bit of power boost at the car’s beckoning. Compared to an EV battery which takes much, much, longer to fully recharge, and weighs substantially more, you might be wondering why supercapacitors aren’t the dominating technology in electric or hybrid vehicles today. Well, there are a few very important reasons for this. For one, supercapacitors aren’t able to store energy for long periods of time like a battery, making them unviable to be the primary food source for an electric vehicle… at least for now.

Tesla Model S Plaid+

Tesla Model S Plaid+ Rolling Shot

Tesla recently announced that they’ve added a new trim for their Model S and Model X. The base “Long Range” models will still use dual-motors, while the new high-performance models will be replaced with “Plaid”. While this is mostly down to marketing and rebranding, the Model S will have also have a Plaid+ option later this year; for performance junkies, this is the most significant news as this package incorporates Tesla’s latest battery technology. The Plaid+, with it’s brand new architecture, is said to be capable of 0-60 mph in under 2 seconds and a range of up to 520 miles on a single charge.

Needless to say, figures like those will surely lead to an upheaval of the current status quo in EV-land and will have competitors scrambling to keep up. Word is, these claims are far from anecdotal, as an 1,100 hp prototype version of the Tesla Model S Plaid+ has already beat the Mclaren P1’s lap time at the legendary Laguna Seca raceway in California, USA. Tesla is already taking orders on its website, where it starts at a price of $131,100.

Koenigsegg Regera

Koenigsegg Regera

Koenigsegg unveiled its Regera hybrid hypercar model at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and since then it has generated plenty of hype amongst car enthusiasts and performance junkies. Besides a regular combustion engine, the Koenigsegg Regera also utilizes 3 electric motors which dole out 700 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque via a 4.5 kWh liquid-cooled battery pack. As a result, the car now produces 1,500 hp (which the company likes to market as 1.11 MW), making it the most powerful hybrid supercar in the world. Its combustion engine is a 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 which produces an out-of-this-world 1,100 horsepower and 922 lb-ft of torque without electric assistance.

Koenigsegg has gone on to claim that the Regera can theoretically reach top speeds of over 400 km/h, although this has not yet been made official.

Lotus Evija

Lotus Evija in London

Lotus has been hyping their new fully-electric automobile, going as far as saying that the Evija will be a “mind-blowing supercar”. The car features two electric motors which output its outrageous 2,000 hp. The battery is placed in the middle of the car where a typical internal combustion mid-engine car would have its beating heart, helping it to achieve an ideal weight distribution. Lotus sought to strike the perfect balance between a track car and a road car, and that extends to the cabin – a minimalist, driver-focused interior design but with plenty of the comfort and convenience features you’d expect in a civil grand tourer. The Lotus Evija has been named as ‘The One to Watch‘ in Top Gear’s 2021 Electric Awards .

The Lotus Evija was built with a simple goal – to be the absolute pinnacle of world-class engineering and the most powerful performance car ‘For The Drivers’. It harnesses Lotus’ technical expertise, fine-tuned over more than seven decades, to create a masterclass of automotive excellence. Judges at the IDA commented that the Lotus Evija “paves a way towards a more sustainable future whilst embodying an exceptional aerodynamic aesthetic”, and that “its seductive style elevates the Evija to be the world’s most premium sustainable car”.

Audi e-tron RS GT

Audi e-tron GT Rolling Shot

The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is the four-ringed company’s first entrant into the high-performance EV weight class. It looks to shake up a playing field which includes the likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan, the latter of which it shares many of the same underpinnings. Audi has marketed the e-tron GT as a fully-electric grand tourer, as a opposed to a sports saloon EV like the Porsche Taycan. This sets clear expectations right away of what makes the e-tron GT an entirely unique offering – not quite as powerful (compared to the Turbo and Turbo S), a little less nimble and sharp in the handling department, slightly more utilitarian with extra cargo room and a typically impressive Audi-esque interior.

The entry-level e-tron GT  produces 469 hp, which can be boosted up to 523 hp when using launch control. This is good for 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 152 mph, making it most comparable to the Porsche Taycan 4S which ends up being a smidge quicker using the same measuring stick. Stepping up to the RS model will net you 590 hp with 637 hp available in overboost mode. This allows the RS e-tron GT to complete the 0-60 mph sprint in 3.3 seconds, which is slower than Tesla’s and Porsche’s quickest EV models by 1.3 seconds (Model S Plaid) and 0.8 seconds (Taycan Turbo S) respectively.

Pininfarina Battista

Pininfarina Battista Canyon Drive

When the Pininfarina Battista was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2019, it was touted as the first fully-electric hypercar. Having been teased with bits and pieces up to that point, the Battista would finally secure its place in history as the first complete amalgamation of a zero-emissions hypercar. I doubt that anyone would be offended – least of all, Pininfarina – if the Battista was mistaken as ‘just another’ one of Ferrari’s super cars. Afterall, the design elements are deliberately signature from the company; and that’s really the best part of it all.

Beneath the silhouette lies something less familiar – the absence a typically mid-mounted combustion engine, for one. The Ferrari…. I mean…. Pininfarina Battista is fully-electric, and beyond that very notion, things only start to get even more crazy. The Battista utilizes 4 motors – one for each wheel – which produce a combined 1,900-horsepower and 1696 ft-lb of torque. That level of performance and technological sophistication won’t come cheap either, with each car priced at around $2.3 million USD.

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro Side Profile

The new Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro isn’t just another version of the original Aston Martin Valkyrie with some added aerodynamic parts. They’ve also increased the wheelbase of the original chassis by 380 mm, and added 96 mm and 115 mm to the front and rear track width respectively. These changes effectively lengthen the entire car by 266 mm, essentially making it a ‘longtail’ version, as their rivals McLaren would call it.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro still uses the same Cosworth-built naturally-aspirated V12 engine with a 6.5L displacement – but now with 1,000 hp available at a screaming 11,000 rpm. Significant weight has been shed on the Valkyrie AMR Pro by removing the entire hybrid system, using an extremely light carbon fiber body, and incorporating carbon fiber suspension components. Thanks to its aerodynamic efficiency, the Valkyrie AMR Pro offers track performance previously only seen on Formula One cars.

Mercedes-AMG Project One

Mercedes AMG Project One at Race Track

After months of teasing and speculation, Mercedes-AMG has officially unveiled the world’s first road legal car equipped with a Formula 1 powertrain – the 1,000 hp Project One. Its 4-digit power output comes from an improved version of the hybrid system found inside the W08 F1 car, which also includes a turbocharged 1.6L V6 engine and four electric motors. The two front electric motors on the Project One are of the latest and greatest technologies available, with each unit being capable of revving up to 50,000 rpm and producing 160 hp on their own.

The third electric motor is integrated into the turbocharger, while the fourth is mounted directly on the car’s combustion engine, producing another 120 hp of the Project One’s total power output of “beyond 1,000 hp”. Mercedes-AMG has also claimed that the turbo lag on the Project One is not only eliminated in this setup, but the response times should now be shorter than those cars powered by a naturally-aspirated V8.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Rolling Shot

Porsche has provided no shortage of options within any of its model line-ups, with the relatively recent addition of E-Hybrid models serving up even more choices for those seeking a more eco-friendly experience from the brand. While the Taycan is the only model fully-committed to electrification, the E-Hybrids are an impressive alternative for those who aren’t quiet ready to make the big step over to the other side. Currently, E-Hybrid models can be found within the Panamera and Cayenne model line-ups, and are destined to be in the mix with other models such as the Cayman, 911 and Macan in the not so distant future.

The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is at the top of the food chain when it comes to the range, and is the only model (notwithstanding the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid) to feature a hybridized version of Porsche’s 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8. On its own, the petrol engine produces 563 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque, with the E-Hybrid electric motor adding up to 134 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Sport Turismo estate-style body would definitely be our pick, as it also provides a greater sense of both utilitarianism and style to boot.

Koenigsegg Gemera

Koenigsegg Gemera

Hinted at for a long time under the codename ‘KG12′, the latest Koenigsegg megacar has been revealed: The 2022 Koenigsegg Gemera. The Gemera is Koenigsegg’s first proper 2+2 GT car, or due to the power it produces, ‘mega-GT’ if you will. The car outputs a combined total of 1.27 MW of power, or by more traditional measurements, 1,700 HP and 2,581 lb-ft of torque. This is achieved through the combination of an extremely powerful, 2.0L twin-turbocharged camless + freevalve inline-3 engine – nicknamed the ‘Tiny Friendly Giant’ – which produces 600hp all on its own, and is partnered with three electric motors.

Two electric motors are placed at each rear wheel, with a third motor attached to the crankshaft of the engine to boost power to the front axle. All three motors have a combined output of 1,100 HP. Koenigsegg has confirmed that orders can be taken through the Expressions Of Interest website, and that the base price is $1.7 million USD.

McLaren Speedtail

McLaren Speedtail Wallpapers

Meet the new Speedtail – an aptly-named addition to McLaren’s Ultimate Series of automobiles. This limited-edition car – of which only 106 examples will be built – represents McLaren’s unyielding pursuit of maximum top-speed. Whereas other McLarens blend handling, acceleration, and driving dynamics in a harmonious package, the Speedtail has a more singular focus. That focus is speed; ludicrous amounts of it. McLaren has labeled the Speedtail a Hyper GT, which seems fitting given the excess of the car and its abilities.

This 1,055 hp car will take you to 250 mph, and then to the Opera, on the same set of tires (to paraphrase McLaren spokesperson, Wayne Bruce). More than that, the Speedtail is a car that reminds us that the automotive world serves to inspire and excite us, as much as it does in moving us from one place to the next. Though, in the case of the Speedtail, it moves us unlike anything else out there.

Best Turbocharged Engines Ever Produced

Ever since turbochargers started featuring on road cars in the mid-1960s, they’ve become an integral piece of the puzzle in the global effort to reduce emissions and in most cases, also set the performance threshold higher than what was once possible. By design, turbochargers improve fuel efficiency without increasing power (and with all other things being equal) compared to a naturally-aspirated unit. Conversely, the use of turbochargers has also become the conventional method of achieving high horsepower figures in both factory and aftermarket applications.

It’s only now that we’re starting to see that pendulum swing the other way, with hybridization and electrification now taking the automotive landscape by storm. That’s not to say that turbochargers don’t remain prevalent today, nor will they cease to be in the near future; they’ve been improved as much as any other technology that has been around for the past few decades, and are capable of producing more power, emitting less emissions, and consuming less fuel than ever before. Even some of their more traditional drawbacks, such as “turbo lag”, have for the most part been factored out of the equation in modern applications.

We’ve compiled a list of the best turbocharged engines ever made. Along with limiting our selection to road-going production models, our criteria uses performance as the primary metric. While this naturally tends to favor newer and more recent technologies, we’ve also made some ‘vintage’ picks; such were their roles as revolutionaries in their day, that their presence is now immortalized by those who worship the automotive deities.

Here are 10 of the Best Turbocharged Engines Ever Produced, curated for your viewing pleasure.

Nissan RB26DETT

Nissan RB26DETT

The 2.6L twin-turbocharged inline-6 from Nissan – the RB26DETT – has become something of a legend. It would take nothing short of the absolute best from the Japanese automaker to produce something worthy of powering a car amicably referred to as “Godzilla”, and the RB26DETT has never disappointed. While it was limited to 280 hp from the factory – thanks to the gentleman’s agreement between Japanese manufacturers to cap engine outputs at the time – the R34 Skyline GT-R was anything but docile, even when left untinkered.

The engine’s true capabilities were the worst kept secret in the industry, with a simple flash of the ECU (to effectively remove the restrictions) plus a few bolt-on performance modifications allowing the RB26DETT to produce much, much more. While the power plant has become popular as a swap option these days, it doesn’t feel quite at home in anything other than a proper Skyline; both the car and its engine are synonymous with the legacy that has been created by this iconic duo.

Porsche MDH.NA

Porsche MDH.NA engine

Suffice to say, the 991 GT2 RS is the absolute peak of 6-cylinder performance. The GT2 RS in its entirety is more closely based on a Turbo S than it is to its closest GT relative, the 911 GT3 RS. After all, at the heart of the GT2 is a revamped version of the Turbo S engine (known as MDH.NA), while the GT3 has its own unique naturally-aspirated 4.0L power plant. The 3.8L flat-6 was fitted with larger variable-geometry turbos and was given an increase in peak boost to 22.5 psi, which is 24% higher than the Turbo S.

Larger intercoolers, a water-spray system, larger exhaust manifold primaries and redesigned pistons work in synergy with the aforementioned to provide the GT2 RS with 700 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque. Porsche has long buried the traditional notion of “turbo-lag” in its cars with VarioCam Plus and the GT2 RS is no different, making peak torque from 2,250 rpm to 4,000 rpm. Want to set record lap times on the Nürburgring? Just remember that it’s ‘do so at your own peril’: 700 hp in a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive car is no joke.

Bugatti 8.0L Quad-Turbocharged W16

Bugatti 8.0L Quad-Turbocharged W16

Needless to say, the 16-cylinder engine (commonly referred to as the W16) has a lot of things going for it. For starters, it’s the only one of its kind in the world being produced by a mainstream automaker – Bugatti’s parent company: The Volkswagen Group. The quad-turbocharged unit – which is the amalgamation of two V8 engines – is the platform upon which all Bugatti hypercar models are powered.

When it first debuted in 2005, the W16 was a spectacle. In the Bugatti Veyron, it produced over 1,000 hp and could hit a mind-boggling top speed of 254 mph. This made the Veyron the fastest production sports car in the world by all meaningful metrics. This story was just beginning though, as the W16 would continue to evolve since then. Today, the engine retains the same architecture but is a much stronger, faster, and better version of itself. In its modern form, the W16 powers the likes of the Bugatti Divo and Bugatti Chiron Super Sport, where it produces 1,479 hp and 1,600 hp respectively; the latter car is able to reach a top speed of more than 400 km/h!

Mercedes-AMG M178

Mercedes-AMG M178 engine

The modern day Mercedes-AMG line-up is blessed with their omnipotent ‘M178’ 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, which itself deserves all the plaudits and is a shoo-in for selection. While it’s the most advanced iteration of the automaker’s V8, our personal favorite would have to be the ‘M156’ 6.2L V8 first powered the 467 hp naturally-aspirated C63 AMG. Like its successor, the M156 would feature in almost every Mercedes-AMG model of that era, including the SL63.

The ultimate version of this V8 motor would be the ‘M159’, which was equipped in the automaker’s flagship SLS supercar, producing 622 hp. The SLS has since been succeeded by the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, which produces 720 hp from its twin-turbocharged ‘M178’, and recently set the new production car lap record at the Nürburgring. This ultimately proves that AMG is still very much at the forefront of the perpetually evolving performance car segment, and is doing more than its fair share in helping to set the bar higher.

Toyota 2JZ-GTE

Toyota 2JZ-GTE engine

The Toyota Supra was equipped with the ubiquitous 3.0L inline-6 2JZ engine in all its models. The most recognized version of the Supra – the Turbo – possessed a twin-turbocharged engine known as the 2JZ-GTE, which was specced with up to 326 hp. The two turbochargers operated sequentially and not in parallel. This essentially meant that one of the turbochargers was designed to provide near-maximum torque as early as 1,800 rpm, while the second turbine would be engaged in a “pre-boost” mode until around 4,000 rpm where thereafter both turbochargers would be spinning at full blast.

This translated to better low-end throttle response, less ‘turbo lag’, increased boost at higher engine speeds, and a relatively linear delivery of power – all of which was difficult to achieve in unison, with the technology available at the time. The 2JZ-GTE-equipped Turbo model was able to sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and complete the standing ¼ mile in an impressive 13.1 seconds. Top speed was recorded at 155 mph. Today, the 2JZ-GTE remains amicably referred-to in performance tuning and sports car culture.

McLaren M838T / M840T

McLaren M838T / M840T engine

Despite only producing V8-powered automobiles since as recently as 2011 (via the MP4-12C), you could argue that McLaren are now the world’s artisans of the V8 engine, and few would dispute that. After all it’s virtually all they know these days, with every single McLaren model – bar the V6-hybrid McLaren Artura – fitted with some adaptation of their M838T or M840T twin-turbocharged V8 motors.

The 3.8L M838T is found in its Sports Series range of cars, which includes the entry-level McLaren 540C and goes all the way up to the indomitable 666 hp McLaren 675 LT. The 4.0L M840T features on all of the Super Series cars, which covers the ‘700 range’ of models, plus the addition of the McLaren GT. In its Ultimate form, the 4.0L unit – dubbed the M840TR – produces 814 hp in the McLaren Senna GTR. The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper-GT’ produces some 1,035 hp through the combination of an M840T and electric motor.

Ferrari F154

Ferrari F154 Engine

Ferrari’s F154 family of V8 engines could very well go on to become the G.O.A.T; especially when it has been scrutinized under the incredibly high standards that have been set in the modern era of automobiles. The engine is as potent as it is versatile, powering just about every flavor of Ferrari car since being introduced in 2014; the comfortable California convertible, the grand-touring Roma, the race-bred 488 Pista and F8 Tributo, and even the 986 hp SF90 Stradale hybrid hypercar.

While some continue to jeer at the F154 for its unfortunate role in closing the chapter on naturally-aspirated Ferrari V8 engines, it has on the other hand, been received with critical acclaim by those who base their verdict on performance and engineering merit. The F154B and F154C variants have dominated the awards spectrum since 2016, winning four straight ‘Best Performance Engine’ awards through to 2019. In total, the F154 has won 14 awards in the International Engine of the Year competition included a ‘Best of the Best’ award in 2018. Still not convinced? Just get behind the wheel of any one of Ferrari’s current V8 models and see what all the fuss is about…

Dodge Supercharged Hemi

Dodge Supercharted Hemi Engine

Mind you, this is a supercharged engine – and the only one on this list – but we consider it to be a contemporary of our other selections. Dodge’s Hellcat series of cars have really taken the world by storm, offering almost unfathomable power in a non-exotic production vehicle – or any vehicle for that matter.  It’s truly a revival of the “American muscle” movement, with the supercharged Hemi able to produce as much as 807 hp and 717 lb-ft of torque via the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Super Stock. Handling, agility, and all that other kind of stuff aside, this makes the Hellcat Challenger/Charger the quintessential American sports car which can be had for well under the 6-figure mark brand new.

The automaker is now offering the 6.2L ‘Redeye’ V8 as a crate engine (aptly nicknamed ‘Hellcrate’) through Mopar. It can be purchased at a starting price of US$21,807. The ‘Redeye’ version comes with a larger supercharger than the previous Hellcrate engine, and has been tuned for more boost, a slightly higher redline, and a host of other improvements. These are what has allowed it to improve from 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, to its current 807 hp state. An absolute unit.

Bugatti 3.5L Quad-Turbocharged V12

Bugatti 3.5L Quad-Turbocharged V12 engine

This Bugatti engine has had a very decorated career, albeit a short one, which makes it all the more impressive. Featured exclusively on the (1991-1995) Bugatti EB110, this 3.5L quad-turbocharged V12 is responsible for some very notable distinctions. First, that would indeed make it the first quad-turbocharged engine to power a Bugatti before the W16 came along. It is also widely regarded as being one of the catalysts in the revival of the French marque, even though it failed to be directly responsible for this. It became the world’s fastest production car of its time, beating the Jaguar XJ220 in the process.

Suffice to say, it grabbed all the headlines, and really, that was the whole point. I mean, for what other purposes would the use of four turbochargers be given the green light for? Sure, it produced a whopping 553 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, but you would have to argue that this likely could’ve been achieved with a more conventional design. After all, quad-turbocharged engines never really proliferated, and there’s probably good science behind why that’s been the case. Yes, the W16 does put that notion into some question, but technology has improved substantially since then. Nevertheless, there’s nothing un-iconic about a V12 engine with almost as many turbochargers as you can count on one hand; and we love it all the same.

Ferrari F106

Ferrari F106 engine

Ferrari’s F106 V8 engine dates as far back as 1973, where it first featured in the Dino 308 GT4. Right from the get go, it produced an impressive 250 hp from a 2.9L naturally-aspirated engine, which featured a flat-plane crank and dual-overhead cams. As proud as they were of their creation, surely even the Ferrari engineers didn’t foresee what was to come for the F106 and the venerable roster of cars it would go on to power.

Such was the longevity and capability of the F106 unit, that it continued to be used – with significant updates and revisions along the way, including electronic fuel injection and multi-valve heads – for more than 30 years. Notable models which were equipped with the engine include the F355, 360 Modena and arguably the most famous Ferrari of them all; the Ferrari F40, which fashioned a twin-turbocharged version of the F106 producing 471 hp. It really doesn’t get more epic than that; and while some would say that the engine is riding on the coat-tails of the famous car it powers, it remains nothing short of an absolute legend on its own.

Best Hybrid Engines Ever Produced

As we begin to crest into the era of automobile electrification, it has become increasingly difficult to recall all of the outstanding hybrid technologies we already have on tap. With all the noise being made (or lack thereof when it comes to the engine sounds) amidst this monumental shift, it would be completely unfair to acknowledge hybrid engines as being merely a stopgap solution while we wait for electric EVs to take over as the dominant product.

In fact, hybrids currently offer a “best of both worlds” outcome in most cases, particularly when it comes to the high-performance class of cars. This is especially true with electrification still in its infancy, meaning that technology – and most importantly charging infrastructure – still have huge strides to take before we can globally embrace fully electric cars as the convention. Add to this, the research and development of biofuels by some of the biggest players in the industry, and hybrid engines could very well remain a part of the conversation for the years and decades to follow.

Some of the most groundbreaking supercars and hypercars in the world have utilized hybrid technology to impressive effect, all while not neglecting the honest work of reducing emissions. They not only showcase incredible performance credentials (where 0-60 mph in 2.5 s is now the benchmark) but also make a strong case for hybrid technology being as viable (at the very least) for the long haul as it is today.

Here are 10 of the Best Hybrid Engines Ever Produced, curated for your viewing pleasure.

Disclaimer: Our list is likely to include some cars you didn’t realize were actually hybrids. Viewer discretion is advised.

Porsche MR6 V8 HybridA view of a Porsche MR6 V8 Hybrid engine

As the spiritual successor to Porsche’s first widely-acknowledged hypercar – the Carrera GT – the 918 Spyder was always going to have to follow its predecessor’s opening act with something quite spectacular of its own. Mission accomplished, I’d say, thanks in huge part to its race-derived MR6 V8 engine. Derivatives of this powerplant were used extensively in ALMS racing competition by the RS Spyder race car, which was designed and built in-house by Porsche in collaboration with Penske Racing. It’s easy to see where the 918 Spyder got its name, but the road-legal car would create its own legacy through the use of a modified drivetrain which increased the engine displacement to 4.6L (from 3.4L in the race versions) and most notably featured a hybrid system with 2 electric motors powered by a 6.8 kWh lithium-ion battery.

The naturally-aspirated combustion unit produced 608 hp by itself while the 2 electric motors – one in the front and one in the rear – provided up to an additional 127 hp and 154 hp to their respective axles. The combined output of the whole system is rated at 887 hp. The 0-62 mph sprint is completed in a blistering 2.2 seconds, with a top speed somewhere north of 211 mph. Being a plug-in hybrid, the 918 Spyder can do all this and run silently in ‘electric-only’ mode for a quoted range of 12 miles. Not exactly an eco-warrior, but hey, at least it provides the framework for its successors to build on.

Ferrari F154FA V8 HybridA view of a Ferrari F154FA V8 Hybrid engine

Ferrari’s F154 family of V8 engines could very well go on to become the G.O.A.T; especially when it has been scrutinized under the incredibly high standards that have been set in the modern era of automobiles. The engine is as potent as it is versatile, powering just about every flavor of Ferrari car since being introduced in 2014; the comfortable California convertible, the grand-touring Roma, the race-bred 488 Pista, and F8 Tributo, and even the 986 hp SF90 Stradale hybrid hypercar.

In the latter form, a 7.9 kWh battery compliments the 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 and can even bring the SF90 to a speed of 84 mph and complete over 15 miles, all on its own power. By delivering a combined 217 hp via three electric motors, the car is able to produce up to 986 hp with the entire drivetrain on full blast. Aside from a mind-boggling 0-60 mph time of 2.1 seconds, this configuration also makes the SF90 the first mid-engined Ferrari to be all-wheel drive. Handling is also greatly enhanced with torque vectoring now being available on the front axle.

Lamborghini 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 HybridA view of a Lamborghini 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 Hybrid engine

The Lamborghini Sián is the most notable example of an automobile that uses a supercapacitor – the ‘super’ added because, well, you need a really, really big capacitor to help power a car. In this configuration, the supercapacitor collects and stores energy (primarily from regenerative braking). In certain moments (such as a launch), the supercapacitor dumps all of its energy into an electric motor which immediately and briefly adds an extra 34 hp on top of what the Sián’s 785 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 engine produces. This means that up to 819 hp is sent to all 4 wheels, with the electric motor integrated into the transmission to reduce weight and improve responsiveness.

As long as the supercapacitor keeps getting recharged – which can be achieved with just seconds of hard braking – there will always be that extra bit of power boost at the car’s beckoning. Compared to an EV battery which takes much, much, longer to fully recharge, and weighs substantially more, you might be wondering why supercapacitors aren’t the dominating technology in electric or hybrid vehicles today. Well, there are a few very important reasons for this. For one, supercapacitors aren’t able to store energy for long periods of time like a battery, making them unviable to be the primary food source for an electric vehicle… at least for now.

McLaren M840T w/ eMotorA view of a McLaren M840T w/ eMotor

Despite only producing V8-powered automobiles since as recently as 2011 (via the MP4-12C), you could argue that McLaren is now the world’s artisans of the V8 engine, and few would dispute that. After all, it’s virtually all they know these days, with every single McLaren model – bar the V6-hybrid McLaren Artura – fitted with some adaptation of their M838T or M840T twin-turbocharged V8 motors.

The 4.0L M840T features on all of the Super Series cars, which covers the ‘700 range’ of models, plus the addition of the McLaren GT. In its Ultimate form, the 4.0L unit – dubbed the M840TR – produces 814 hp in the McLaren Senna GTR. The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper-GT’ produces some 1,035 hp through the combination of an M840T and parallel system eMotor. This setup – in addition to applying the most genius drag-reduction principles in existence today – has allowed the Speedtail to become the fastest production McLaren ever made. Its top speed? 250 mph.

Ferrari F140FE V12 HybridA view of a Ferrari F140FE V12 Hybrid engine

If the F140 had only powered the (2002-2005) Ferrari Enzo – the first Prancing Horse model where it featured – it would have been no less significant or legendary than it is today. The 65-degree V12 engine debuted on the Enzo as a 6.0L naturally-aspirated V12 unit which produced a staggering 651 hp @ 7,800 rpm and 458 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm. Over the years, 6.3L versions of the F140 have powered the likes of the hybrid LaFerrari and the F12berlinetta. Eventually, the F140 would evolve into what is today, a 6.5L power plant, where it now powers the 812 Competizione.

The Ferrari ‘so nice they named it twice’, also happens to be a hybrid.  The Ferrari LaFerrari’s hybrid version of the F140 6.3L V12 power plant produces a total of 950 hp – 788 hp from the naturally-aspirated V12 and 160 hp courtesy of the electric motor, which delivers that power through the differential. This means that 0-60 mph is dispatched in under three seconds, while top speed is rated by Ferrari as somewhere north of 217 mph. Ferrari said that while a side effect of the KERS system – which is tethered to the V12 to continuously recharge itself – was a reduction in emissions, the car would not be capable of running in any type of ‘electric-only’ mode. Ferrari simply was not interested in EVs during the development of the LaFerrari. In fact, the hybrid system’s only function on the halo car was to enhance its performance, and that its relative emissions-friendliness was more of an afterthought than a goal.

BMW B38A15T0 1.5L turbocharged I3 HybridA view of a BMW B38A15T0 1.5L turbocharged I3 Hybrid engine

In many ways, the BMW i8 is the least remarkable car on this list. Released during what feels like the olden days now, the 2014 BMW i8 should, however, be credited with revolutionizing the automotive landscape as it pioneered what many consider to be the first high-performance hybrid sports car. Well ahead of its time when it first came out, its powertrain technology was the result of BMW’s visionary approach to a rapidly shifting narrative towards a future focused on sustainability. The eventual overthrowing of the combustion engine would be at the forefront of this movement, with EVs taking their place. The BMW i8 – with its 7.1 kWh lithium-ion battery – would be the earliest creation in this image.

The BMW i8 provides more of a transitional approach to this, rather than a radical one – being a plug-in hybrid as opposed to fully-electric – but would nevertheless be disrupting the status quo.  Since its 2014 release, however, the platform fell short of delivering any truly meaningful changes or upgrades until being discontinued in 2020. As time passed, its 369 hp B38A15T0 hybrid engine would appear meager next to emerging hybrid and fully-electric technologies which would go on to make 1,000 hp + figures conceivable in a production road car. But it gave us a hopeful glimpse into the future of automobile electrification, and look where we are now.

McLaren M838T w/ eMotorA view of a McLaren M838T w/ eMotor engine

The McLaren P1 is considered to be one of three members (the other two being the LaFerrari and 918 Spyder) of the holy hybrid hypercar trinity; the old boy’s club of hypercars, if you will. Like its contemporaries, it fashioned a hybrid drivetrain which allowed it to deliver performance that was once considered unimaginable on a road car. That power comes primarily from a 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8 – the same M838T engine used across the McLaren range but revised to output 727 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque on its own.

Combined with a lightweight and KERS-fed electric motor, that adds a further 176 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque at the driver’s disposal. The 903 hp Ultimate Series model sends all that power to the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, allowing it to make the dash from 0-62 mph in just 2.8 seconds. The P1 is also able to hit 186 mph in a mere 16.5 seconds from a standstill, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 217 mph. As we learned from Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility”; the McLaren P1 exhibits both in abundance, with its plug-in hybrid “twin powerplant” allowing it to run in zero-emissions mode for up to 6.8 miles.

Koenigsegg 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 w/ Electric DriveA view of a Koenigsegg 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 w/ Electric Drive engine

Koenigsegg unveiled its Regera hybrid hypercar model at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and since then it has generated plenty of hype amongst car enthusiasts and performance junkies. Besides a regular combustion engine, the Koenigsegg Regera also utilizes 3 electric motors which dole out 700 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque via a 4.5 kWh liquid-cooled battery pack. As a result, the car now produces 1,500 hp (which the company likes to market as 1.11 MW), making it the most powerful hybrid supercar in the world. Its combustion engine is a 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 that produces an out-of-this-world 1,100 horsepower and 922 lb-ft of torque without electric assistance.

Power is sent to the wheels via Koenigsegg’s new powertrain known as “Koenigsegg Direct Drive”. According to the automaker, “This revolutionary technology removes the traditional gearbox, making the car lighter and more efficient. As the powertrain already produces a combined 1500 hp and with electric propulsion providing instant torque from the Direct Drive system, we did not have to go as extreme on ICE power. Instead, we installed even smaller, faster-spooling turbos on the Regera, further enhancing the car’s drivability and response.” Koenigsegg has gone on to claim that the Regera can theoretically reach top speeds of over 400 km/h, although this has not yet been made official.

Honda/Acura JNC1 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 HybridA view of a Honda/Acura JNC1 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 Hybrid engine

The second-generation NSX is the beneficiary of a hybrid drivetrain that produces 573 hp via a twin-turbocharged V6, with 3 electric motors and a 9-speed DCT. It still delivers supercar looks and performance in an everyday livable package. Some pundits call it a “Porsche 918 light” and that says more than anything else about how good the car is. While it is true that the new Acura NSX cannot currently compete with the nostalgia and charm of the car that it replaced, we feel that it is a massively under-appreciated, but worthy supercar. This highly capable vehicle is inostensibly backed by its revolutionary hybrid drivetrain and overall performance figures.

Acura has just announced that they will be producing a limited-edition NSX Type S variant for the 2022 model year. Officially unveiled during Monterrey Car Week, the Type S will be the “quickest, most powerful and best-handling production NSX ever” according to the automaker, with an enhanced version of the 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid engine now producing 600 hp and 492 lb-ft of torque. The 9-speed DCT and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) have also been optimized to get the most out of the car’s improved performance. While the NSX was never about all-out power, the hybridized powerplant is still good for 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph.

Porsche 2.9L, 3.0L V6 E-Hybrid & 4.0L V8 E-HybridA view of a Porsche 2.9L, 3.0L V6 E-Hybrid & 4.0L V8 E-Hybrid engine

Porsche has provided no shortage of options within any of its model line-ups, with the relatively recent addition of E-Hybrid models serving up even more choices for those seeking a more eco-friendly experience from the brand. While the Taycan is the only model fully committed to electrification, the E-Hybrids are an impressive alternative for those who aren’t quite ready to make the big step over to the other side. Currently, E-Hybrid models can be found within the Panamera and Cayenne model line-ups, and are destined to be in the mix with other models such as the Cayman, 911, and Macan in the not-so-distant future.

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is the entry-level E-Hybrid model – at least in size – combining a 2.9L twin-turbocharged V6 which produces 325 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque, with the E-Hybrid electric motor adding up to 134 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The lower-priced Cayenne E-Hybrid fashions a hybridized version of the base model’s 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6, while the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is married to the more robust 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 which produces a combined 670 hp. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is at the top of the food chain when it comes to the range, and is the only model (notwithstanding the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid) to feature a hybridized version of the 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8. On its own, the petrol engine produces 563 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque, with the E-Hybrid electric motor adding up to 134 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. 

1995 McLaren F1 Sold At Monterey Car Week Joins Elite Top 10

Monterey Car Week is all about celebrating motoring, in whatever form it takes. There was the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for the art that is the automobile. There was the Monterey Motorsports Reunion to see multiple classic race cars attack the track at Laguna Seca.

However, the biggest news of the week comes from the other half of Pebble Beach that was used for Car Week, the auction block. With the owner represented by renowned auction house Gooding & Company, a very rare McLaren F1 crossed the block.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

The McLaren F1 is what happened when a revolutionary Formula 1 engineer and designer was given an unlimited budget to develop, quite simply, the world’s greatest supercar. Gordon Murray, that engineer, took four years to design, prototype, evolve and finally build the supercar. He set the strictest of power and weight requirements, was not satisfied until every millimeter of every dimension on the car was perfect, and was still not 100% satisfied with the end result.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 Single block titanium suspension spar, gold foil heat lining, titanium exhaust

The engine bay is lined with gold foil, as it is the world’s best heat reflector. The stabilizer spar across the engine bay is carved from a single block of titanium.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

The S70/2 V12 engine required the expertise of BMW to make it as light as possible while also being as powerful as possible. The only engine ever since the F1 that required so much careful and technical development is the V10 that sits under the hood of the Lexus LFA.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

Released in 1992, the McLaren F1 was the first car to ever cost $1 Million USD from the factory. Every part except the lightbulbs in the tail lights was bespoke and built only for the F1. It took the concept of a special edition or limited edition supercar and turned it on its head. Those that had come before, such as the Ferrari F40 and the Porsche 959, were all exceptional cars, but the Mclaren F1 was the one that broke the mold when it came to the absolute definition of a supercar, and it is still the measuring stick to this day.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

It should be no surprise, then, that chassis number 029, one of only 64 ever built, started bidding already in the millions, and it quickly went up over $10 million.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 Only 387 original miles… the engine isn’t even broken in!

The reasoning for this is that while it is a later model in the grand scheme of McLaren F1’s, this is perhaps the lowest mileage F1 ever sold. Technically, in 27 years, it has not even finished its engine break-in, as it has just 387 miles on the clock.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

The original owner also bought the optional Facom Tool Cart that has a full set of wrenches and other tools to maintain a McLaren F1, often used by the McLaren technician that would be flown out to your car to perform services.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 1995 McLaren F1 Facom optional tool cart specific for the car

The original owner also took the full leather luggage set in tan cowhide and even sprung for the handmade, bespoke to the car TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 watch, which is still working perfectly.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 1995 McLaren F1 full cowhide leather luggage kit

With such a collection of the options that one could specify for the car, it was no surprise when the bidding hit $15 million USD.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 1995 McLaren F1 TAG Heuer 6000 McLaren F1 owners edition watch

Eyebrows started to raise, however, when it started to approach $20 million. Only ten cars have ever broken $20 million USD (adjusted to the time of their sale) at auction, and two of those are Ferrari 250 GTOs.

1995 McLaren F1
1995 McLaren F1 Le Mans style pedals for the ultimate supercar

Breaching $20 million would place chassis 029 as the 11th most expensive car ever sold at auction, and that record was reached after much deliberations between three of the remaining bidders.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

Only two kept bidding, and the final competitive bid was $20,500,000 USD.

1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

This number puts this 1995 McLaren F1, chassis #029, built in January of that year, into tenth place on the list of the most expensive cars ever sold at auction, pushing out a 1955 Jaguar D-Type Le Mans race car that sold for $20.3 million USD (adjusted) in 2016 .

It was also the most expensive car sold at Pebble Beach for the entirety of the 2021 Monterey Car Week, and if any car deserves to take that

50 Best Engines of All Time

I’m going to steal a line from an early-2000s TV commercial starring Jacques Villeneuve on behalf on Honda, and then use it as a segue into articulating the whole purpose of this list. “In every Honda car, there’s a Honda engine” he would ultimately exclaim at the end – the brand’s powerful marketing slogan which arguably has less backing these days, but has withstood the test of time nevertheless.

Similar self-proclamations could easily be adapted for use on any one of the world’s most iconic automobiles, of which there are many, yet at the same time, so few. Whether they be small, but vivacious 4-cylinder engines in compact roadsters, versatile 6-cylinder engines which have no meaningful shortcomings despite their apparent size handicap, V8 engines which never fail to deliver a classic form of tenacity and physicality, or epic V10 and V12 engines oozing with verve, muscle and dexterity…

…there can be no doubt that each and everyone one of our favorite sports cars are a product of the power plants that breathe life, identity and purpose into them.

Here’s our shortlist for the “50 Best Engines of All Time”, curated (and categorized by # of cylinders) for your reading pleasure:

“The crème de la crème of unadulterated performance” – Best V12 Engines Ever Produced

As far as internal combustion engines go, V12 engines are at the zenith. This is while still acknowledging the omnipotent W16 motors seen in today’s Bugatti hypercars, while not forgetting the likes of mainstream automakers – such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz – also having flirted with the idea of series-production V16 engines in the past. With the 16-cylinder power plants essentially synonymous with the French automaker, the V12 is the de facto ruler for the broader spectrum of ultra-high-performance automobiles.

The diversity of this list fully demonstrates the universal appeal that V12s have around the world, to both producers and consumers alike. This unanimous and long-spanning support for the technology has helped to spawn some of the most impressive engines ever produced. The usual suspects are at play here, with Ferrari and Lamborghini making their totally not unexpected appearances. The British – via Aston Martin, Jaguar, and GMA – have shared their own highly impressive interpretations as well, while more conventional brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Toyota have had their say.

For the most part, these engines are naturally aspirated and characteristically rev all the way to the moon. In totality, each and every one of them is nothing short of a legend.

Ferrari Colombo V12Ferrari Colombo V12 Engine

Originally designed by Gioacchino Colombo, this engine can trace its roots back to the very first Ferrari-branded model designed by Ferrari Enzo – the 1947 Ferrari 125 S – where it debuted as a 1.5L V12. The core design of the engine would persevere for more than 4 decades; along the way growing in size, having various levels of forced induction, and becoming a dual-overhead-cam configuration with EFI. Many credit the motor’s longevity to its reputation for being bulletproof.

Successful in both road-going and race track derivatives, the list of Ferrari cars this engine has graced has no shortage of automotive icons; the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Ferrari 250 GTO, and Ferrari 365 GTB/4, just to name a few.

BMW S70/2

BMW S70/2 Engine

Despite being produced by BMW, the S70/2 didn’t feature in one of the Bavarian automaker’s own production cars. Nevertheless, it did end up powering none other than arguably the most iconic supercars ever made – the 1992-1998 McLaren F1. The 6.1L naturally-aspirated unit produced 627 hp and was capable of 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and had a top speed of 240 mph. It wouldn’t be until the next millennium before those figures could be surpassed.

Interestingly enough, BMW wasn’t Gordon Murray’s first choice to supply the engine for his groundbreaking supercar, with collaborations with the likes of Honda and Isuzu falling apart before they would opt for the Munich-built power plant. Whatever might’ve happened if things turned out differently, who’s to know? But what we do know is that BMW got things absolutely spot-on with the S70/2, which continues to be regarded as one of the true and timeless masterpieces in automotive history.

Jaguar V12

Jaguar V12 Engine

Jaguar’s first foray into the world of V12 engines began in motorsport as early as 1951, with its 1964 XJ13 Le Mans race car eventually serving as the trickle-down technology source for its production cars. For the latter, this would begin with a 5.3L naturally-aspirated unit in the 1971 Jaguar E-Type and would even go on to be used by other automakers such as Daimler and Panther. An HE (or “high-efficiency”) version of this engine would be released in 1981 – featuring on the XJ12, XJ-S, and Daimler Double-Six – which improved fuel economy by almost 50% compared to its predecessor, without affecting performance.

In its final iteration, the V12 would evolve into a 6.0L HE unit which produced as much as 333 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. It was likely to be some variation of this engine which was initially being marketed for use on the Jaguar XJ220, before the British automaker controversially decided on a 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 engine instead. The last Jaguar V12 engined was produced on April 17, 1997.

Lamborghini V12 L539

Lamborghini V12 L539 Engine

Like Ferrari, Lamborghini also has a long and storied history with V12 engines, having created its very own first version of this power plant for its mid-’60s era Lamborghini 350GT production car. Starting off as a considerably brawny 270 hp 3.5L naturally-aspirated unit, the “Bizzarrini” engine would evolve into a 661 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated unit and be fashioned by models as recent as the 2010 Lamborghini Murciélago LP-670 SV.

As long as the Bizzarrini engine persisted, we feel that the most significant statement of Lamborghini’s V12 mastery comes in the form of its latest iteration of the engine, dubbed ‘L539’. This power plant would share its debut with the 2011 Lamborghini Aventador, of which it initially powered with 690 hp via a 6.5L naturally-aspirated configuration. With a fresh design, the new engine was over 18 kg lighter than its predecessor and was programmed with a new firing order.  The all-wheel-drive supercar would see significant improvements during its lifecycle, with the latest iteration of the L539 car producing 770 hp in the limited-edition 2021 Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae.

Ferrari F140

Ferrari F140 Engine

If the F140 had only powered the (2002-2005) Ferrari Enzo – the first Prancing Horse model where it featured – it would have been no less significant or legendary than it is today. The 65-degree V12 engine debuted on the Enzo as a 6.0L naturally-aspirated V12 unit which produced a staggering 651 hp @ 7,800 rpm and 458 lb-ft of torque @ 5,500 rpm. Over the years, 6.3L versions of the F140 have powered the likes of the hybrid LaFerrari and the F12berlinetta.

It has since evolved to its current peak as a 6.5L power plant – dubbed the F140 GA – which produces 789 hp @ 8,500 rpm and 530 lb-ft of torque @ 7,000 rpm in the 812 Superfast; this makes it the most powerful naturally-aspirated production car engine ever produced to this day. It is likely that this could be one of the final generations of Ferrari V12 engines – whether it be naturally aspirated, turbocharged, or even hybridized – so appreciate it while it’s still around!

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297

Mercedes-Benz M120 / M297 Engine

When Mercedes-Benz caught wind of archrival BMW’s side-hustle with Gordon Murray, let’s just say that there was no resting on any laurels going on at their Stuttgart headquarters. With a clever riposte, Mercedes would debut their first-ever V12 engine through the 1993 600 SEC (later to be renamed the S600 Coupé, and frequently referred to as the S-Class). The 6.0L naturally-aspirated power plant was good for 389 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed of 155 mph in its initial configuration.

Not only did Mercedes-Benz one-up BMW by using the engine for their own cars, but they also borrowed a page from their opponent’s playbook and had their M120 engine fashioned for use in the magnificent Pagani Zonda supercar as well. Hand-built and tuned by AMG, the M120 also featured on the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR race car and also saw its displacement increased to 7.3L for use on the SL73 AMG and CL73 AMG – and at which point it was commonly referred to as the M297.  The most powerful iteration of the M120 features in the Pagani Zonda Revolución, with the non-street-legal car good for 789 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque.

Aston Martin NA V12

Aston Martin NA V12 Engine

With one of the best sounding V12s (and automobile engines, period), the story of how the Aston Martin (naturally-aspirated) V12 came to be is rather more peculiar and convoluted. The project had less, should we say, glamorous beginnings, when things basically started off with the development of a 2.5L naturally-aspirated V6 engine. This particular unit was essentially the brainchild of Suzuki and Mazda, with the latter’s then-majority owner, Ford, then taking the blueprint to Cosworth, who would go on to build the Duratec V6.

Needless to say, the story didn’t end there, and Aston Martin would end up bolting two of those engines together to create the 5.9L naturally-aspirated V12 it would stamp its name on (and market as a 6.0L). Having more in common with a Ford Taurus than owners or enthusiasts would like to admit, the motor produced 414 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque in the 1999 DB7 V12 Vantage. Aston Martin continues to employ a V12 engine to this day, with the 2017 DB11 having fashioned a 5.2L twin-turbocharged version. More recently, the company has referred back to the naturally-aspirated configuration, with a 6.5L unit designed to power its Valkyrie hypercar with over 1,000 hp @ 10,500 rpm (plus an additional 160 hp with its hybrid-electric system).

Toyota 1GZ-FE

Toyota 1GZ-FE Engine

To call Toyota’s 1GZ-FE the “Godfather” of Japanese automobile engines would be neither an understatement nor unbefitting. After all, the venerable V12 from the land of the Rising Sun – which exclusively powers the Toyota Century luxury sedan – is both one-of-a-kind and has a penchant for attracting a particular type of “underworldly” owner in its homeland. It’s the only production V12 engine to come from Japan and still manages to invoke all of the essential philosophies of Japanese craftsmanship – such as reliability, build quality, and refinement.
That being said, it’s certainly not the most powerful engine on this list and remained at around the 300 hp mark during its lengthy production run from 1997-2016. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most unique engines on this list and is no less iconic than its near-1000 hp contemporaries. This engine is prime for swapping into other platforms, with automotive personality Smokey Nagata fitting a twin-turbocharged version to his ‘Top Secret’ Toyota Supra. Thanks in large part to its distinctive engine, the Century remains a status symbol in Japan; in the way a Rolls-Royce Phantom does the same just about everywhere else.

GMA Cosworth V12

GMA Cosworth V12 Engine

It’s impossible to speak about the naturally-aspirated engine in the GMA T.50, without getting into how it’s involved in so much more than just spinning the new supercar’s rear wheels, or about how other design elements of the car are built around it. As impressive as a 12,100 rpm redline sounds, its 654 hp and 345 lb-ft of torque doesn’t sound extraordinary by today’s standards. But rest assured this engine, and this car, are on the cusp of a truly “redefining” moment in automotive history. Crucially weighing at just 178 kg, the engine plays a huge factor towards the T.50’s overall curb weight of just 980 kg – about one-third that of a contemporary supercar or hypercar.

The GMA T.50 is the culmination of decades of Gordon Murray’s aerodynamic and mechanical engineering experience. Part of what makes the T.50 so exciting, is that it incorporates the design and function of the infamous Brabham BT46 “Fan Car.” A gigantic fan –  powered by the camshaft of the engine and coupled with the curved underbody of the BT46 – created an active venturi effect that quite literally vacuumed the car onto the road, and allowed it to corner at barely believable speeds and levels of grip. The T.50 will feature something similar, and likely more advanced. On a road car. We can’t wait to see this in the flesh.

Bugatti 3.5L Quad-Turbocharged V12

Bugatti 3.5L Quad-Turbocharged V12 Engine

This Bugatti engine has had a very decorated career, albeit a short one, which makes it all the more impressive. Featured exclusively on the (1991-1995) Bugatti EB110, this 3.5L quad-turbocharged V12 is responsible for some very notable distinctions. First, it is widely regarded as being one of the catalysts in the revival of the French marque even though it failed to be directly responsible for this. It became the world’s fastest production car of its time, beating the Jaguar XJ220 in the process.

Suffice to say, it grabbed all the headlines, and really, that was the whole point. I mean, for what other purposes would the use of four turbochargers be given the green light for? Sure, it produced a whopping 553 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, but you would have to argue that this likely could’ve been achieved with a more conventional design. After all, quad-turbocharged engines never really proliferated, and there’s probably good science behind why that’s been the case. Nevertheless, there’s nothing un-iconic about a V12 engine with almost as many turbochargers as you can count on one hand; and we love it all the same.

“10’s all around for these special and iconic high-performance motors” – Best V10 Engines Ever Produced

Most people probably don’t know it, but V10 engines are kind of the awkward middle child within the high-performance engine family. They are often overlooked for their smaller, more compact, and just-as-spirited V8 siblings, yet still somehow manage to cut a notably less brawny figure next to the larger V12 motors. In terms of outcomes, this is probably why even the most hardcore car enthusiasts will have a difficult time recalling more V10 production cars than you can count on one hand – there are less of them than you’re likely thinking, and perhaps there should be more of them for this reason; but that’s for a different discussion.

Interestingly, it’s the Volkswagen Group which currently has the monopoly on supplying this particular engine, via Lamborghini and Audi production models which are under the corporation’s umbrella (plus its namesake Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI – more on that below). Meanwhile, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Ferrari would at the very least have delved into the art of the V10 -which they did, though only to produce such engines for Formula 1 cars from 1996 to 2005.

Quantifiably speaking, yes, there are less V10s out there than the other engines most closely related to it. However, each V10 engine mentioned on this list is undeniably iconic and rightfully potent, particulary when it comes to panache. So while this middle child might not always steal the spotlight, nor hog affection that goes to its siblings, it is in no way lacking any of the talent in its DNA.

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10

Ever since 2008 – when the refreshed Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 was released – all V10 engines used in the Lamborghini line-up have been based on the 5.2L architecture. This has carried over to the Gallardo’s successor – the Lamborghini Huracán – with each and every one of its models having been fitted with the aforementioned power plant, up to this point. In the current stage of its evolution, the 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 is mechanically identical to Audi’s version of the engine (which uses ‘Fuel Stratified Injection’) and is seen Audi’s own R8 supercar; however, power outputs vary depending on the trim levels of the respective models.

Audi 5.0L V10 Biturbo

The sharing of tech (and a healthily-stocked pantry of engine parts) between Lamborghini and Audi spans back more than a decade now, and the engine used in the C6-generation Audi RS 6 has to go down as one of the best collaborations to date. Derived from the outgoing 5.0L naturally-aspirated V10 unit from the Lamborghini Gallardo, the motor in the RS 6 was repurposed with a pair of turbochargers. This allowed the super-wagon to produce 571 hp and 478 lb-ft of torque, on its way to becoming Audi’s most powerful car ever, in 2010. While it was handily more powerful than its competition – the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63 – it also cost quite a bit more (almost double, after conversion) which is likely the reason why it didn’t reach US shores.

Audi 5.2L V10 FSI 40V

Unlike the C6-generation Audi RS 6, the 5.0L unit used in the third-generation Audi S6 is less related to a Lamborghini-equivalent and has more in common with an Audi 4.2L V8. For starters, it has a longer stroke and wider bore than the Lamborghini 5.0L V10 seen in the Gallardo, making for the better low-end power which is more befitting of the larger sedan. When considering the internals, the 5.2L motor in the S6 more closely resembles the aforementioned 4.2L V8 which was once used in the B6-generation Audi S4. Thanks to the tweaks mentioned above, this engine was good for 444 hp in the four-ringed luxury sports sedan.

Lamborghini Huracán Performanté 5.2L V10

The 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 power plant we’ve been speaking so much about in this list, is at the peak of its evolution via the current Lamborghini Huracán Performanté. In this configuration, the engine produces 640 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque @ 6,500 rpm; this makes the supercar good for 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and a blistering top speed of 325 km/h, all without the assistance of any type of forced induction. Augmented with the greatest technologies available today, the motor produces its power more efficiently than ever before as well, with more than 70% of its torque already available as early as 1,000 rpm.

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10

Even if the Dodge Hellcat is hogging all the headlines these days, there’s always something you have to admire about the lunacy of a naturally-aspirated 8.4L V10 engine. No, the Dodge Viper doesn’t do subtlety very well. Yes, it does happen to fall under the ‘Old Testament’ definition of “awesome”. With 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque being produced from that colossus of an all-aluminum engine, the Viper has the exhaust note of a semi-dormant volcano. It would make absolutely no sense at all if it wasn’t just so damn fast. Variants such as the SRT-10 and ACR-X took the road-going version of the car to the next level, with the latter being a turn-key, non-street legal race car which participates in Viper racing leagues around the world.

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE)

Many regard the Lexus LFA as one of the best supercars ever made. Lexus only made 500 units, and I assumed those 500 sold out quickly. I was wrong. Despite the fact that Lexus hasn’t produced the LFA since 2012, there are still seven brand new LFA supercars for sale in the US, according to Carscoops. With all that said, the LFA came with one of the best V10 engines ever produced by a Japanese automaker. The 4.8L naturally-aspirated V10 – dubbed 1LR-GUE – made 552 hp and 352 lb-ft of torque. Developed in collaboration with Yamaha, it was a free-revving engine with an exhaust note that is truly unlike any other on the planet. As the sole representative from Japan, the 1LR-GUE is certainly one for the ages.

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01)

What makes the Porsche Carrera GT engine so special is that it is technically a race car engine. Not in that loosely-based sense – as is often used as a gimmick by salespeople – but in the true sense of the word. In the late 1990s, Porsche engineers in Zuffenhausen were assigned the task of developing a naturally-aspirated V10 concept engine, which was to later be used in a race car for the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Sadly, the completion of that race car never came to fruition, but the efforts of the engine builders would not go to waste.

Porsche decided to adapt the engine for use in the Carrera GT and took the necessary steps to not only refine it in order to satisfy production car protocols, but also managed to make it a more powerful version than the original unit. The result is a 5.7L naturally-aspirated V10 engine, which produces 612 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 435 lb-ft of torque @ 5,750 rpm. This allowed the Carrera GT to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 0-100 mph in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 205 mph.

BMW M5 V10 (S85)

Released in mid-2005, the E60 M5 sedan featured a high-revving and ultra-powerful V10 engine, which was the only one of its kind in a series-production car at that moment in time (while also being the marque’s most powerful production car engine ever made). The 5.0L naturally-aspirated unit shared more than just the same number of cylinders with the Formula 1 engine that powered the BMW Williams F1 team. Technology forged in the heat of motorsport had enhanced the processes and components used in creating this new powerhouse. As you would expect from BMW M, this high-performance motor generates enormous pulling force over its entire speed range.

VW Touareg V10 TDI

What makes this particular automobile so remarkable is not that it’s a Volkswagen, or an SUV, or diesel-powered, but that it’s all of those things with a twin-turbocharged 10-cylinder engine thrown into the mix. This Frankenstein-ish power plant would only feature for a couple of years before the whole Dieselgate fiasco, and had it not been for the calamity which ensued, it surely would have garnered more recognition than it has mustered to this day. All of its characteristics exude a bias towards low-end power, and the stats certainly reflect this – 309 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm. Oh, and don’t forget, a very utilitarian tow rating of 7,700 lbs.

Dodge Ram SRT-10 8.3L V10

Imagine a Viper engine swapped into, then modified for use in a Dodge Ram pick-up truck, and voila. So what exactly does this magic trick entail? Well for starters, in July 2004, a Dodge Ram SRT-10 driven by NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan, set the Guinness World Record (and the SCCA record) for the world’s fastest production truck when it achieved an average top speed of 154.587 mph. This was all possible with the help of the 500 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque that the naturally-aspirated motor produced, with 90% of its torque available at 1,500 rpm. It could even tow up to 7,500 lbs; though we would bet that most owners would forgo any procedures that might keep them from optimizing their 1/4 mile times.

“The greatest of the eight-est” – Best V8 Engines Ever Produced

In almost all cases, manufacturers who choose to equip their cars with a V8 engine do so knowingly and deliberately. After all, such engines represent the first big step in crossing over a threshold to where performance becomes the sole focus; efficiency and economy are often not even invited as guests for a ride-along in the back seat.

With a quick glance at the back mirror, those pesky 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines begin to disappear into the horizon. Then, with the proverbial “pedal-to-the-medal”, the V8 power plant unanimously declares “all-in” with a loud roar – because this journey is all about thrill-seeking and checking things off the bucket list.

While high-performance V8 engines have normally been reserved for exotics – and muscle cars, in the more distant past – its application has been seen more in the mainstream these days. With the proliferation of automotive technologies, the V8 engine has become a gateway into the world of attainable supercar performance; each new engine is better than the one before it.

Ferrari F106

Ferrari’s F106 V8 engine dates as far back as 1973, where it first featured in the Dino 308 GT4. Right from the get go, it produced an impressive 250 hp from a 2.9L naturally-aspirated engine, which featured a flat-plane crank and dual-overhead cams.

Such was the longevity and capability of the F106 unit, that it continued to be used – with significant updates and revisions along the way, including electronic fuel injection and multi-valve heads – for more than 30 years. Notable models which were equipped with the engine include the F355, 360 Modena and arguably the most famous Ferrari of them all; the Ferrari F40, which fashioned a twin-turbocharged version of the F106 producing 471 hp.

Dodge Supercharged Hemi

Dodge’s Hellcat series of cars have really taken the world by storm, offering almost unfathomable power in a non-exotic production vehicle – or any vehicle for that matter. It’s truly a revival of the “American muscle” movement, with the supercharged Hemi able to produce as much as 807 hp and 717 lb-ft of torque via the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Super Stock. Handling, agility, and all that other kind of stuff aside, this makes the Hellcat Challenger/Charger the quintessential American sports car which can be had for well under the 6-figure mark brand new.

The automaker is now offering the 6.2L ‘Redeye’ V8 as a crate engine (aptly nicknamed ‘Hellcrate’) through Mopar. It can be purchased at a starting price of US$21,807. The ‘Redeye’ version comes with a larger supercharger than the previous Hellcrate engine, and has been tuned for more boost, a slightly higher redline, and a host of other improvements. These are what has allowed it to improve from 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, to its current 807 hp state. An absolute unit.

BMW S63

Like other automakers on this list, BMW is no stranger to producing some of the world’s best V8 engines. The latest incarnation would be its masterpiece ‘S63’ – a 4.4L twin-turbocharged engine which produces at least 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque in the current-gen BMW M5 sedan.

Thought its true that this grants the quintessential luxury-performance saloon some serious supercar credentials, a look back to days gone by reminds us that engines such as the ‘S62’ and ‘S65′ deserve just as much recognition for their contribution to the Bavarians’ V8 platform. Respectively, each engine displaced 4.9L and 4.0L and were both naturally-aspirated.

Lexus 2UR-GSE

The 2UR-GSE is the latest iteration of Lexus’ increasingly iconic naturally-aspirated V8 power plant. Currently reserved for the marque’s high-performance models – such as the IS F, RC F, GS F, LC 500 and brand-new IS 500 – the 5.0L engine blends typical Lexus reliability with high-revving Japanese character. In its most powerful configuration, the 2UR-GSE produces 475 hp in the Lexus LC 500. Amidst an ever-changing landscape shifting towards hybridization and electrification, we hope that Lexus’ legendary naturally-aspirated V8 lives on for as long as possible

Much like our other selections, the 2UR-GSE owes much of its distinctions to predecessors such as the 1UZ-FE which debuted in 1989. This 4.0L V8 engine has proven to be bulletproof over the test of time, in addition to universal recognition it has received for being smooth, refined and sufficiently powerful for its intended application. It has served as the platform upon which the formidable GSE would eventually be conceived.

Ferrari F136

The F136 succeeded the legendary F106, first appearing as a 4.3L naturally-aspirated engine in the 2004 Ferrari F430, producing 483 hp. Like the F106, the F136 would see widespread application throughout the Ferrari lineup; however, it was also featured on a number of Maserati models in concert with the relationship between the two marques.

Most notably, a 454 hp, 4.7L version of the F136 featured on the Maserati GranTurismo and is widely regarded as having one of the best engine/exhaust notes to come out of the V8. The F136 would reach its zenith in the Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale, where it cranked out a massive 597 hp from its 4.5L naturally-aspirated power plant.

Perhaps the most significant (and regretful) fact about the F136, is that it is the last naturally-aspirated V8 engine Ferrari would ever produce. It was replaced by the twin-turbocharged F154 V8 engine in 2015, where it debuted on the Ferrari 488 GTB.

McLaren M830T / M840T

Despite only producing V8-powered automobiles since as recently as 2011 (via the MP4-12C), you could argue that McLaren are now the world’s artisans of the V8 engine, and few would dispute that. After all it’s virtually all they know these days, with every single McLaren model – bar the V6-hybrid McLaren Artura – fitted with some adaptation of their M838T or M840T twin-turbocharged V8 motors.

The 3.8L M838T is found in its Sports Series range of cars, which includes the entry-level McLaren 540C and goes all the way up to the indomitable 666 hp McLaren 675 LT. The 4.0L M840T features on all of the Super Series cars, which covers the ‘700 range’ of models, plus the addition of the McLaren GT. In its Ultimate form, the 4.0L unit – dubbed the M840TR – produces 814 hp in the McLaren Senna GTR. The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper-GT’ produces some 1,035 hp through the combination of an M840T and electric motor.

GM Small Block LT1/LT2

Introduced in 2014 for the C7 Corvette, the 6.2L naturally-aspirated V8 LT1 engine is part of GM’s 5th-generation small black engine family. It continues to be used on the present-day Camaro, with a new version of the engine – known as the LT2 – carrying on the bloodline via the brand new mid-engine C8 Corvette. The LT2 retains the 6.2L capacity but is more powerful that the LT1, producing at least 495 hp and 470 lb-ft in its latest configuration.

This was achieved by designing more efficient air-intakes sand exhaust manifolds, while also featuring a better lubrication system and more resilient camshaft. While it’s not a monster-out-of-the-box like say, Dodge’s Hellcat engine, the lightweight naturally-aspirated powerplant remains perfectly suited for what the Corvette is the best at delivering – brilliant all-around performance at a fraction of the cost of comparable options. The still-relevant LT1 is now being offered as a crate engine via GM’s performance division, with its 460 hp on tap for under US$10,000. Project car, anyone?

Audi 4.2L FSI

When Audi’s 4.2L FSI V8 engine was introduced, it was a bit of a departure from what Audi enthusiasts had grown accustomed to over the years. As one of the marques which helped to proliferate the use of turbochargers on production cars, the aforementioned engine first appeared in the 2006 Audi RS4 as a high-revving naturally-aspirated power plant.

Over time, it proved to be a fan-favorite in spite of its lack of forced induction and featured on such models as the RS5 and mid-engined R8. As a naturally-aspirated unit, the FSI V8 was able to rev up to 8,250 rpm and had a distinctively exotic exhaust note, regardless of the model it was mounted in.

The engine remained naturally-aspirated up until its use in the 444 hp Audi RS5; since then, recent iterations of the engine are now turbocharged and produce up to 600 hp.

Mercedes-AMG M178

The modern day Mercedes-AMG line-up is blessed with their omnipotent ‘M178’ 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, which itself deserves all the plaudits and is a shoo-in for selection. While it’s the most advanced iteration of the automaker’s V8, our personal favorite would have to be the ‘M156’ 6.2L V8 first powered the 467 hp naturally-aspirated C63 AMG. Like its successor, the M156 would feature in almost every Mercedes-AMG model of that era, including the SL63.

The ultimate version of this V8 motor would be the ‘M159’, which was equipped in the automaker’s flagship SLS supercar, producing 622 hp. The SLS has since been succeeded by the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, which produces 720 hp from its twin-turbocharged ‘M178’, and recently set the new production car lap record at the Nürburgring.

Ford ‘Voodoo’ Flat-Plane

The ‘Voodoo’ engine produced by Ford is a 5.2L naturally-aspirated V8 which was made specially for cars such as the 526 hp Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R. Suffice to say, the Voodoo was a match made in heaven for the line-up’s most balanced and track-focused Mustang models. By utilizing a flat-plane crankshaft, the engine is weighs less and revs faster and higher (to 8,250 rpm) than the otherwise standard engines in other models. Its configuration also gives it an almost-exotic exhaust note, border-lining on ‘un-American’ – but owners won’t mind, as their domestic car hangs just fine with the exotics and other high-end sports cars on the race-track.

Following the template of past flat-plane V8 engines, the Voodoo applies the similar principles as engines that once powered hot-rods and muscle cars back in the 20th century – with impressive bang-for-buck, the engines produced big horsepower at a fraction of the cost of what was used in European sports cars and even domestic rivals. This provided owners with a rightfully potent automobile, and extra money left in the bank. It’s hard to argue with that!

“The Smooth. The Superb. The Sublime. The best 6-cylinder engines of all time” – Best 6-Cylinder Engines Ever Produced

In this modern automotive era, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to the wide array of supercars, hypercars and now EVs, to choose from. At this level of the game, the V12 engine is often seen as the standard bearer, while a V8 is the lowest benchmark. It’s no wonder the 6-cylinder engine often gets overlooked, despite continuing to power some of the world’s greatest sports cars and supercars. This isn’t just hyperbole. Case in point: the Porsche 911.

With the help of turbochargers, superchargers and in some cases, electric motors, 6-cylinder engines can often squeeze out just as much performance as their larger counterparts, while retaining the benefits of being more compact, lightweight and fuel-efficient. So while they aren’t typically as flashy nor headline-making as the V12s and V8s of the world, they are at the very least, an extremely versatile and dependable option to have in the engine war chest.

It’s no wonder the proliferation of the 6-cylinder engine has been democratized by auto manufacturers internationally, with the platform remaining ever-present across all continents. The Germans, Japanese and Italians are amongst those who persist with their undying trust in the 6-cylinder engine; so much so that it is still being improved and continues to power some of the best automobiles to this day.

Porsche M97.74

Porsche M97.74 engine

Appearing in the 997.2 GT3 RS 4.0, this truly special engine was the swan song for both the 997-generation (2005-2012) of Porsche 911 cars, as well as the Mezger engine design. Borrowing a number of components from the RSR race car, the 3.8L engine in the ‘regular’ 997 GT3 RS was then upgraded to a 4.0L flat-6 (hence the name) which produced 500 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque, while having an astronomical 8,500 rpm redline.

So convincing was this move, even to Porsche’s own brass, that the following two generations (991 and 992) of 911 cars would continue to employ the 4.0L naturally-aspirated engine in the GT3 lineup, proving that the ‘godfather’ RS 4.0 was also well ahead of its time.

With the proliferation of PDK transmissions, amongst other safety-centric technological advancements, many consider the M97.74 and the GT3 RS 4.0 it powered, to be the final rendition of the purists’ GT3 RS.

BMW S54B32

Collectively, the BMW E46 M3 (2000-2006) is one of our favorite cars here at supercars.net, and this is in no small part thanks to its S54B32 inline-6 engine. The naturally-aspirated unit is as pure as it gets from the Bavarian company, with a peak 333 hp being produced at 7,900 rpm on route to its 8,000 rpm redline. Other stand-out features include individual throttle bodies and drive-by-wire operation, further accentuating the car’s inherent rawness and driving purity.

When mated to the 6-speed manual transmission, it really doesn’t get much better than this – from BMW or any other company, for that matter. If BMW ever wanted to revert back to a more minimalist philosophy, the S54B32 and E46 M3 would be writing the playbook.

Nissan RB26DETT

Nissan RB26DETT engine

The 2.6L twin-turbocharged inline-6 from Nissan – the RB26DETT – has become something of a legend. It would take nothing short of the absolute best from the Japanese automaker to produce something worthy of powering a car amicably referred to as “Godzilla”, and the RB26DETT has never disappointed. While it was limited to 280 hp from the factory – thanks to the gentleman’s agreement between Japanese manufacturers to cap engine outputs at the time – the R34 Skyline GT-R was anything but docile, even when left untinkered.

The engine’s true capabilities were the worst kept secret in the industry, with a simple flash of the ECU (to effectively remove the restrictions) plus a few bolt-on performance modifications allowing the RB26DETT to produce much, much more.

Porsche MDH.NA

Porsche MDH.NA

Suffice to say, the 991 GT2 RS is the absolute peak of 6-cylinder performance. The GT2 RS in its entirety is more closely based on a Turbo S than it is to its closest GT relative, the 911 GT3 RS. After all, at the heart of the GT2 is a revamped version of the Turbo S engine (known as MDH.NA), while the GT3 has its own unique naturally-aspirated 4.0L power plant. The 3.8L flat-6 was fitted with larger variable-geometry turbos and was given an increase in peak boost to 22.5 psi, which is 24% higher than the Turbo S.

Larger intercoolers, a water-spray system, larger exhaust manifold primaries and redesigned pistons work in synergy with the aforementioned to provide the GT2 RS with 700 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque. Porsche has long buried the traditional notion of “turbo-lag” in its cars with VarioCam Plus and the GT2 RS is no different, making peak torque from 2,250 rpm to 4,000 rpm.

Honda C30A

Honda C30A engine

The original 1990 Acura NSX was fitted with a 3.0L naturally-aspirated V6 engine which produced 270 hp. At the time, that was more than sufficient to go shoulder-to-shoulder with any of its supercar contemporaries; particularly Ferrari, its target rival. What truly made the C30A – and as a whole, the NSX – so special, was that it broke the mold of what a supercar could and should ought to be: reliable and useable. Almost blasphemous thinking at the time, the idea of the “everyday supercar” was still a twinkle in the eye of exotic car auto makers.

The engine demanded very little, if anything, above the expected maintenance laundry list and associated costs of keeping a Honda Accord running. It was refined. It performed. It was comfortable. You could drive it whenever you wanted to. The NSX is widely recognized as one of the forefathers of the modern supercar, going on to inspire the likes of the McLaren F1. That puts it in pretty high regard, I’d say.

Alfa Romeo ‘Busso’ V6

Alfa Romeo 'Busso' V6 engine

There is no other power plant on this list which has been as long-serving or as versatile as the ‘Busso’ engine. Named after its chief designer, Giuseppe Busso, the foundation of this engine was its 60° V6 configuration. From there, a colorful variation of engines were built upon it, with displacements ranging 2.0L to 3.2L plus the use of turbochargers (or none at all) depending on the intended application of the automobile it was being fitted to. This meant you could see a Busso producing as little as 130 hp in a 1983 Alfa Romeo Alfa 6, and up to 247 hp in a 2005 Alfa Romeo 156 GTA.

Regardless of its specs, every Busso engine shares the same reputation for being remarkably smooth, having good low-end power delivery, and an incredibly unique engine note at higher rpms. Needless to say, the Busso would go on to be the centerpiece of the brand for a good 30+ years.

Nissan VR38DETT

Nissan VR38DETT engine

While there was a general expectation that the latest iteration of the GT-R would (or should) be powered by a V8 engine prior to its official release, Nissan inevitably stuck to its guns and continued the tradition of powering its flagship car with its tried and trusted 6-cylinder unit. This time, the engine would be produced in a 60° V6 configuration to ensure that the massively sized and massively powerful engine, could fit under the front hood.  In the very first R35 GT-R cars, the 3.8L twin-turbocharged V6 produced 485 hp, before being upped to 545 hp for the 2012 refresh.

Since then, the hand-crafted power plants have been continuously improved over the years, with the most powerful factory version of the car – the Nissan GT-R Nismo – producing some 600 hp. Perfectly matched with Nissan’s dual-clutch transmission and proven all-wheel drive system, the VR38DETT continues a legend while forging one of its own, all at the same time.

Jaguar JRV-6

Jaguar JRV-6 engine

It’s rather humorous that the JRV-6 would not have made it on this list if not for a gaff on the part of Jaguar, who had originally marketed and went as far as promising that the XJ220 would be delivered to its first customers with a V12 engine. Nevertheless, the eventually-fitted twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder unit was borrowed from a Group B Rally car – the Rover Metro 6R4. It was rightfully potent, and actually made more power than the naturally-aspirated V12 which was originally proposed.

Able to produce up to 542 hp, the XJ220 would even go on to become the fastest production car in the world at the time, topping out at a brow-raising 217 mph. While its credentials were proven in the real world, I’m sure many buyers were still a bit miffed at the fact that the final product came with half the number of cylinders they had put down their deposits down for.

Toyota 2JZ-GTE

Toyota 2JZ-GTE engine

The Toyota Supra was equipped with the ubiquitous 3.0L inline-6 2JZ engine in all its models. The most recognized version of the Supra – the Turbo – possessed a twin-turbocharged engine known as the 2JZ-GTE, which was specced with up to 326 hp. The two turbochargers operated sequentially and not in parallel. This essentially meant that one of the turbochargers was designed to provide near-maximum torque as early as 1,800 rpm, while the second turbine would be engaged in a “pre-boost” mode until around 4,000 rpm where thereafter both turbochargers would be spinning at full blast. This translated to better low-end throttle response, less ‘turbo lag’, increased boost at higher engine speeds, and a relatively linear delivery of power – all of which was difficult to achieve in unison, with the technology available at the time.

The 2JZ-GTE-equipped Turbo model was able to sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and complete the standing ¼ mile in an impressive 13.1 seconds. Top speed was recorded at 155 mph.

Alfa Romeo 690T

Alfa Romeo 690T engine

The fact that the engine in the 2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA is derived from the Ferrari F154 platform, automatically puts it in some highly esteemed company. After all, other variations of the F154 are used in the likes of cars such as the Maserati Quattroporte, Ferrari F8 Tributo and even the hybridized Ferrari SF90. While the F154 takes on a V8 configuration, the Alfa Romeo variant (known as the 690T) is a 2.9L twin-turbocharged V6 which produces 540 hp. Capable of 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, the 690T isn’t exactly blistering by today’s standards, but it does become an integral part of the car’s overall philosophy of balance and agility; this was probably one of the main reasons Alfa Romeo chose to go with a smaller unit rather than going the copy/paste route with the Ferrari setup.

The GTA / GTAm are about as track-ready as any production car can get when also factoring in its insanely aggressive aerodynamic and chassis upgrades.

“As far as four bangers go, these are the best” – Best 4-Cylinder Engines Ever Produced

There are a variety of reasons manufacturers choose to fit a 4-cylinder engine in their cars. They’re compact, lightweight and typically more fuel-efficient compared to all other mainstream alternatives. This makes them ideal for smaller cars – particularly those with economy being top of mind – but can serve just as well in heavier cars (which are often AWD) with a turbocharger providing some assistance.

For the Japanese automakers, the proliferation of 4-cylinder engines was born mostly out of necessity; stricter emissions standards as well as restrictions on engine and vehicle sizes for their domestic market, forced them to think smaller. This would in no way become a hindrance on engineering ingenuity – quite the opposite actually – as many of these companies would become the world’s artisans for the sport compact car. This unwavering dedication to mastering one’s craft has produced the likes of the F and K Series engines from Honda, and the 4G63T and EJ25 from Mitsubishi and Subaru respectively; both of whom would go on to become one another’s legendary rival.

However, the Japanese weren’t the only ones who were both industrious and creative when it came to the art of the four banger. With the ever-growing popularity of fuel-sipping and smaller vehicles world wide, the Europeans also began to fashion their own interpretation of the ideal compact-efficient package. The Scandinavians for one, have been unapologetic about their extreme commitment to eco-friendliness for many decades now, with the likes of Swedish automakers Saab and Volvo leading the charge in their continent.

The Americans, through Ford, would eventually bring their aptly-named EcoBoost engines to the market, while Italian outfit Fiat (owned by Chrysler) produces power units that are small in scale, but never lacking in character nor performance.

Honda F20C/F22CHonda F22C engine

When the Honda S2000 first made its appearance in 1999, its naturally-aspirated F20C engine stole the spotlight. It was revolutionary for its time, and in many respects maintains that reputation to this day. A 9,000 rpm redline and being able to produce 120 hp/liter would be the main attractions at first, but the F series engine has also proven to be dependable and well regarded to this day.

It’s a huge reason the S2000 is one of the most sought after cars on the used market today, often fetching astronomical prices not too far off the original MSRP (or sometimes more). Halfway through the car’s lifecycle, the engine would see its displacement increase to 2.2L (with an 8,200 rpm redline) while power figures remained virtually unchanged; acceleration and low-end response were slightly improved as a result.

Volvo Redblock B230FT

Volve 2.3L B230FT engine

Volvos – particularly some of the older platforms and their engines – have been the subject of a growing following over the years, as performance enthusiasts and grassroots circuit drivers alike have discovered the now hard-to-keep-secret that is the Redblock B230FT engine. Built on a decidedly Scandinavian philosophy of minimalism and straight-forwardness, the Redblock engines have a reputation above all else, for being extremely bulletproof. This is the reason you see more of those old-school Volvo wagons and sedans (amicably referred to as “Turbo Bricks”) on the road today than maybe you should.

However, what is becoming increasingly significant about these cars is the value their engines bring to the larger automotive community. Because of their inherent indestructible qualities, the B230FT is becoming a popular choice for reliable high-horsepower builds, and even engine swaps into cars with native power plants that are otherwise less dependable.

Ford EcoBoostFord Mustang EcoBoost Engine

Ford’s EcoBoost engines are amongst the most recent and significant line of 4-cylinder engines being produced by any manufacturer today. While there is certainly a monumental shift towards electrification – of which Ford is very much a part of – the petrol-powered engine remains relevant and continues to be improved amidst stricter emissions standards. Besides going full-on EV or hybrid, there is no other drivetrain unit that is more fuel efficient than a modern day turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

They’re also capable of extraordinary performance, with the 2.3L EcoBoost unit in the Ford Focus RS good for around 350 hp. Recognizing the all-around benefits of the EcoBoost, Ford has used the powerplant throughout its entire lineup; you can find one in a Ford Mustang, a Ford Ranger, and even a Ford Bronco. Though it’s true that the internal combustion engine will be phased out sooner than later, the EcoBoost will be about as good as it gets before the transition is complete.

Toyota 3S-GTE

Toyota 3S-GTE engine

It can be argued that the Toyota 3S-GTE does not get all the plaudits it deserves, because it shared the stage with the A80 Supra (and its 2JZ engine) which would ultimately end up stealing the show. But the 3S-GTE has a lot of things going for it, not least of them being that it was used to power two of the most legendary Japanese sports cars – the Toyota MR2 and Toyota Celica GT-Four.

Typical of the brand and the era, the 3S-GTE was basically bulletproof thanks to its cast iron block and forged aluminum internals. When properly cared for, the engine has a shelf life of around 180,000 miles, which is pretty impressive coming from a 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 which produced 252 hp, and was built in the mid 90s.

Honda K Series

Honda 2.0L K20C1 engine

The K Series would ultimately replace the outgoing B Series engines (which would be in the honorable mention section, if there was one) for a number of Honda vehicles, most notable of which included the likes of the Civic Type R and Integra Type R.  The most recent and advanced version of the K series engine has found its way into the current Civic Type R, with the turbocharged K20C1 supplying the company’s popular sports saloon with 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Such is the K20C1’s reputation that Honda Performance Development has recently begun to offer crate engines for use in racing and off-highway applications. Other notable K Series engines include the K20A2 (Integra Type R, RSX Type S) and the K24A2 (Acura TSX). Honda reliability, fantastic performance – I don’t doubt that we’ll be talking about the K Series engines for many more years to come.

Mitsubishi 4G63T

Mitsubishi 4G63T engine

Tracing its roots as far back as the early 1980s, the 2.0L 4G63 engines have truly withstood the test of time. The first turbocharged version of the engine, known as the 4G63T, was first seen in the 1998 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4. This engine would go on to become the heartbeat of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution line of cars from 1992 to 2007, which would go on to dominate the World Rally Championships. Suffice to say, the 4G63T, through the Lan Evo, would go on to define the brand for the greater part of two decades and also become the company’s most sought after sports car in both road-going and race-only configurations.

Today, the platform remains popular in grassroots rally racing and circuit racing and also for drag racing builds, due to the incredible amount of power it can make with the proper work.

Volkswagen EA888

Volkswagen EA888 engine

While Volkswagen’s EA888 engine is another on this list that wouldn’t have made it if reliability was the key metric, there is no question about the powerplant’s performance potential and impressive fuel economy. Today, it most notably appears in the Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3 where it produces a smidge less than 300 hp. This, along with being very light weight, makes it an ideal match for a modern hot-hatch and compact sedan, but owners can also benefit from relatively lower costs at the pump (provided that it’s not being hooned all the time).

The EA888 engines are extremely popular amongst the tuning community, as a simple build using mostly bolt-ons can easily yield a reliable 500+ hp. Suffice to say, the EA888 is also a solid platform upon which VAG can build more powerful and advanced versions in the future, which I’m sure we’ll be seeing in newer generations of the aforementioned cars and more.

Subaru EJ20

Subaru EJ20 engine

Ok. So while the EJ20 probably won’t go on to pip any of the other engines on this list for the “most reliable” awards, it remains a prolific engine that has powered an iconic car for the greater parts of each of the past 3 decades. The car specifically, is the WRX STi, which is one half of an epic rivalry between Japanese (and rally car) giants Subaru and Mitsubishi. Despite the well documented issues with head gasket failures and the like over the years, the EJ20 has still proven itself through the test of time, with the latest iteration of the engine being used as recently as 2019, coinciding with release of the Subaru WRX STi Final Edition.

The EJ20 has never been short on character, with its Boxer configuration and the use of unequal-length headers giving the car its distinctive “burble” – a sound which has become synonymous with the car and instantly recognizable to any moderately trained ear.

Saab B234R

Saab B234R engine

These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who remember Saab as a brand, nor as one of the pioneers of bringing turbochargers to the mainstream. But, they were most certainly both of those things, with the company’s heyday taking place during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Saab’s B234R engine was the golden boy of this era; forged internals and an iron block were the backbone of an extremely reliable platform.

In its complete packaging, the turbocharged engine – via a 5-speed manual Saab 9000 Aero – produced 225 hp and a whopping 300 ft-lb of torque. This helped propel the otherwise unassuming euro sedan from 0-60 mph in just 6.7 seconds. Undoubtedly quick for its day and capable of so much more. It’s no wonder the car has a niche (but passionate) following to this day.

Fiat MultiAir Turbo

Fiat MultiAir Turbo engine

In my opinion, Fiat has become the de facto micro car producer; at least in North America, where there are far fewer options than in Europe and Asia. Without a doubt, this is in large part owed to fact that Fiat is owned by American automotive conglomerate Chrysler, who leveraged their position to become the dominant force in this market segment. While subcompact cars have yet to really take off west of the Atlantic, Fiat have proven that while micro cars need to be powered by micro engines, their performance can be anything but.

The pinnacle of this is displayed through their 1.3L and 1.4L MultiAir Turbo engines, which have gone on to win numerous awards. Currently, these engines power the Fiat 500X and 500L models, and produce 177 hp and 160 hp respectively, alongside the company’s best-ever fuel consumption and emissions figures.

1995 McLaren F1 with only 242 miles sets record auction price

Update: The McLaren F1 you see above set a new auction record for the model at Gooding and Company’s auction. The winning bid was $18,600,000, with the final sale price of $20,465,000. According to Hemmings this tops the previous record set in 2019 of a little over $19,000,000. The text has been updated.

With a run of just 106 examples, a massive top speed of 240 miles per hour, and a Le Mans-winning racing pedigree, every McLaren F1 sports car is special. Some are just a bit more special than others, though, such as the 1995 example you see above. It’s a unique color combination and only has 242 miles on the clock. It also set a record for sale price at Gooding and Company’s auction at Pebble Beach this year.

The car is the 25th McLaren F1 built and the only one to have been finished in a paint color called “Creighton Brown,” which the auction house notes was named after an executive who helped get McLaren’s road car business up and running. The interior continues the brown theme with dark and light leather throughout.

And as for the low miles, it’s evident beyond the odometer. Apparently it’s still sitting on the same tires it came with back in 1995. So, if you do happen to put more miles on it, please get a new set to drive on, and put the originals in a safe place for your safety and their preservation. The car also comes with all its matching luggage, its original watch, the complete tool chest, roadside tool kit, owner’s manual, service book and official book talking about the development of the car.

Gooding and Company says this is the lowest mileage F1 example to go to auction, and coupled with its unique color scheme, they expected a high price, and they got it. With a final sale price of $20,465,000, it’s the most expensive McLaren F1 ever sold.

Related Video:

20 Most Expensive Hypercars On Sale Today

You’re just a quick Google search away from discovering that there are A LOT of mind-blowingly-expensive cars out there. Take your pick from any variation of search terms like “most expensive cars in the world”, “highest price paid for an automobile” or “most valuable cars ever made”, and be prepared for results that will probably surprise you; a list of cars that is more diverse and extensive than you’re probably thinking right now.

It’s no longer uncommon to see automobiles being sold for well into the tens-of-millions, with auction sales – particularly for classic cars – skewing prices upwards into the stratosphere.  Our list is focused on cars that can still be bought from the manufacturer brand new, either as a new build or right off the showroom floor (no auctions or older cars). We’ve gone ahead and done the work of filtering candidates from this interestingly vast pool of cars, using further criteria (outlined below) which allows us to whittle the shortlist down to ‘just’ 20 multi-million-dollar cars.

  • Still for sale or not explicitly declared by the producer as being discontinued
  • Well beyond the concept phase (i.e. it’s actually going into production, if not yet already)
  • While it’s totally expected that all of these cars will be built in extremely limited quantities, one-off models are not included

Even with all of these filters in place, compiling this list still presented some challenges. Given these cars’ limitless and bespoke customization options – in addition to limited-edition trims and special packages  – actual prices can have little to no bounds. So, we go on the best information that’s out there with regards to “starting prices”, which manufacturers aren’t shy to asterisk as being “estimates” or “uh…we’ll tell you sometime after we get your down payment”. Everyone’s usually fine with this arrangement – that’s just how things work at this level of the game.

Prices can even change drastically throughout the production process (and from as early as the concept phase) as automakers and customers encounter their own boons and obstacles – it’s amazing for example, how much currency exchange rates are at play when it comes to determining the final MSRP. Things like this may notably increase or even decrease previously marketed prices. Ultimately, $2.0 Million (USD) ended up being the baseline for entry onto this list. We tried to include a wider range of “supercars”, but at this stage our hand was forced to declare this as a hypercar-only space. That’s how crazy things have become, but I digress…

Hypercars are the new zenith in today’s automotive landscape, transcending the boundaries of the supercar to create a space occupied only by the most outlandish things that can still be called cars. While some of the relatively larger luxury and exotic car companies have created their own interpretations of the hypercar, many of these vehicles have been crafted by specialty automotive boutiques or singular-focused companies who are looking to showcase new technologies or smash land speed records. It is these very outfits that we will be focusing on, in this list of hypercars that are available to purchase in 2021. In terms of the everyday automobile, none of these will be household names; but they will be more than familiar to those who worship the automotive deities.

Bentley Bacalar – $2.0 Million

So what’s the most expensive, modern-day Bentley money can buy? That would have to be the $2,000,000 Bentley Bacalar, a two-seater, convertible luxury sports car that comes with the famous W12 engine and uses 5,000-year-old wood for its interior trim. While its engine is the evergreen W12 6.0L TSI unit that has been around since 2003, it has been further enhanced for the Bacalar to offer the smoothest ride possible, and still provide a massive 650 hp and 900 Nm of torque. Despite being closely related to the Continental GT, Bentley still had to produce over 750 custom parts for this car even though they only plan on releasing just twelve units to the public. While not normally considered a ‘hypercar’ marque, this particular Bentley however, certainly checks all the right boxes.

Ferrari Monza SP1 & SP2 – $2.0 Million

Ferrari Monza SP2 Wallpapers

Both the Monza SP1 and SP2 are based on the Ferrari 812 Superfast and come with a 6.5LV12 engine with 810 hp sent to the rear wheels. An aluminum chassis and carbon fiber body make for a lightweight car with an absurd power-to-weight ratio. Expect a sub-3-second sprint from standstill to 60 mph, and scintillating 7.9 seconds to get up to 125 mph. Top speed will be around 186 mph. The primary difference between the two models is that the SP1 is a single seater, while the SP2 is a two-seater, with each configuration also impacting other elements of the car. The Monza SP1 has a tonneau cover, while the SP2 gets rid of the cover to make room for the second passenger. There is small windscreen and a second roll bar hoop in the SP2, which further differentiates the two designs from one another. We don’t think these cars will be approved for road use, so expect them to be track-day-only machines. Furthermore, only a maximum of 500 examples will be produced.

Lotus Evija – $2.1 Million

Lotus has been hyping their new fully-electric automobile, going as far as saying that the Evija will be a “mind-blowing supercar”. The car features two electric motors which output its outrageous 2,000 hp. The battery is placed in the middle of the car where a typical internal combustion mid-engine car would have its beating heart, helping it to achieve an ideal weight distribution. Lotus sought to strike the perfect balance between a track car and a road car, and that extends to the cabin – a minimalist, driver-focused interior design but with plenty of the comfort and convenience features you’d expect in a civil grand tourer. The Lotus Evija has been named as ‘The One to Watch‘ in Top Gear’s 2021 Electric Awards .

McLaren Speedtail – $2.3 Million

Meet the new Speedtail – an aptly-named addition to McLaren’s Ultimate Series of automobiles. This limited-edition car – of which only 106 examples will be built – represents McLaren’s unyielding pursuit of maximum top-speed. Whereas other McLaren’s blend handling, acceleration, and driving dynamics in a harmonious package, the Speedtail has a more singular focus. That focus is speed; ludicrous amounts of it. McLaren has labeled the Speedtail a Hyper GT, which seems fitting given the excess of the car and its abilities. This 1,055 hp car will take you to 250 mph, and then to the Opera, on the same set of tires (to paraphrase McLaren spokesperson, Wayne Bruce). More than that, the Speedtail is a car that reminds us that the automotive world serves to inspire and excite us, as much as it does in moving us from one place to the next. Though, in the case of the Speedtail, it moves us unlike anything else out there.

Rimac Nevera – $2.4 Million

Although it is not the first EV to be powered by 4 permanent magnet electric motors, the Rimac Nevera does come with its own unique electric drivetrain design. By strategically placing a pair of 200 kW electric motors in front and another two 500 kW electric motors in the rear, the engineers were able to give the rear-biased Nevera an ideal 48:52 (front:rear) weight distribution. It’s probably a good thing that this Rimac was built with a predisposition to exhibit ballet-like agility, because it’s going to need all the grace in the world to tame all that’s brewing within. In combination, all of the 4 electric motors can generate up to 1,914 hp (1.4 mW) and 1,740 lb-ft of torque (2,360 Nm). This allows the Nevera to absolutely annihilate the popular 0-60 mph benchmark in just 1.85 seconds, with an equally impressive 1/4 mile time of just 8.6 seconds – good enough to make it the fastest production vehicle ever made, by some margin. Top speed is stated as 258 mph (412 km/h).

Pininfarina Battista – $2.5 Million

I doubt that anyone would be offended – least of all, Pininfarina – if the Battista was mistaken as ‘just another’ one of Ferrari’s super cars. Afterall, the design elements are deliberately signature from the company; and that’s really the best part of it all. Beneath the silhouette lies something less familiar – the absence a typically mid-mounted combustion engine, for one. The Ferrari…. I mean…. Pininfarina Battista is fully-electric, and beyond that very notion, things only start to get even more crazy. The Battista utilizes 4 motors – one for each wheel – which produce a combined 1,900 hp and 1696 ft-lb of torque. That level of performance and technological sophistication won’t come cheap either, with each car priced at around $2.5 million USD. The decision by Automobili Pininfarina to start producing electric cars right off the bat came relatively easy for the company, which was not tied down by a past involving the combustion engine – they could begin their journey with a clean (no pun intended) slate.

Mercedes-AMG Project One – $2.7 Million

Mercedes-AMG One

After months of teasing and speculation, Mercedes-AMG has officially unveiled the world’s first road legal car equipped with a Formula 1 powertrain – the 1,000 hp Project One. Its 4-digit power output comes from an improved version of the hybrid system found inside the W08 F1 car, which also includes a turbocharged 1.6L V6 engine and four electric motors. The two front electric motors on the Project One are of the latest and greatest technologies available, with each unit being capable of revving up to 50,000 rpm and producing 160 hp on their own. The third electric motor is integrated into the turbocharger, while the fourth is mounted directly on the car’s combustion engine, producing another 120 hp of the Project One’s total power output of “beyond 1,000 hp”. Mercedes-AMG has also claimed that the turbo lag on the Project One is not only eliminated in this setup, but the response times should now be shorter than those cars powered by a naturally-aspirated V8.

Koenigsegg Jesko – $2.8 Million

The Koenigsegg Jesko was unveiled at the most recent Geneva Motor Show to date – the 2019 edition –  drawing a lot of attention in Switzerland when the covers came off. This was a brutal looking car in true Koenigsegg tradition; with a claimed top speed of 300 mph, from what they claim is their lightest and most powerful 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine yet. Numbers like 1,600 hp on E85 biofuel and 1,280 on regular gasoline were mentioned, along with a maximum torque of 1,106 lb-ft requiring a special 9-speed multi-clutch gearbox built in-house by Koenigsegg. At 170 mph, the aerodynamic design of the Jesko with its massive rear wing at play, creates 2,200 lbs of downforce … at its top speed, this number increases to more than 3,000 lbs of downforce!

Bugatti Chiron $2.9 Million

Bugatti Chiron Wallpapers

With a name honoring Louis Chiron – Bugatti’s Grand Prix driver in the 20s and 30s, who swept up virtually all the major races he participated in – the stakes were always going to be raised even higher. Operating beyond the known best-standard in any field is incredibly tough; new battle lines had to be drawn. Alongside the pre-marketing activity, which led to those hundreds of names on the pre-order list, Bugatti tested the Chiron extensively across several continents. This was to ensure that whatever the conditions, it was head and shoulders above the competition. The 8.0L W16 from the Veyron is no bad place to start from any perspective; that engine had no shortage of power, producing 1183 hp in ‘SuperSports’ configuration – at launch, the fastest production car in the world. With the Chiron, Bugatti has built upon that blueprint and founded an entirely new platform – one which has seen extensive improvements in all areas over its predecessor. It is stunning, it is capable, and it has the price tag to match. The “base” Chiron is still a monster.

GMA T.50 $3.0 Million

As impressive as a 12,100 rpm redline sounds, its 654 hp and 345 lb-ft of torque doesn’t sound extraordinary by today’s standards. But rest assured this engine, and this car, are on the cusp of a truly “redefining” moment in automotive history. Crucially weighing at just 178 kg, the engine plays a huge factor towards the T.50’s overall curb weight of just 980 kg – about one-third that of a contemporary supercar or hypercar. The GMA T.50 is the culmination of decades of Gordon Murray’s aerodynamic and mechanical engineering experience. Part of what makes the T.50 so exciting, is that it incorporates the design and function of the infamous Brabham BT46 “Fan Car.” A gigantic fan –  powered by the camshaft of the engine and coupled with the curved underbody of the BT46 – created an active venturi effect that quite literally vacuumed the car onto the road, and allowed it to corner at barely believable speeds and levels of grip. The T.50 will feature something similar, and likely more advanced. On a road car. We can’t wait to see this in the flesh.

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro – $3.1 Million

The new Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro isn’t just another version of the original Aston Martin Valkyrie with some added aerodynamic parts. They’ve also increased the wheelbase of the original chassis by 380 mm, and added 96 mm and 115 mm to the front and rear track width respectively. These changes effectively lengthen the entire car by 266 mm, essentially making it a ‘longtail’ version, as their rivals McLaren would call it. The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro still uses the same Cosworth-built naturally-aspirated V12 engine with a 6.5L displacement – but now with 1,000 hp available at a screaming 11,000 rpm. Significant weight has been shed on the Valkyrie AMR Pro by removing the entire hybrid system, using an extremely light carbon fiber body, and incorporating carbon fiber suspension components. Thanks to its aerodynamic efficiency, the Valkyrie AMR Pro offers track performance previously only seen on Formula One cars.

W Motors Lykan Hypersport – $3.4 Million

This list just wouldn’t be complete without a car that had a starring role in the Fast and Furious Movie franchise, or would it? Well, here is one such car – the W Motors Lykan Hypersport. After its World Premiere launch at the International Qatar Motor Show on July 28th 2013, W Motors revealed to the world its first model, the Lykan HyperSport limited to only 7 units worldwide. Over 150,000 visitors attended this event with the presence of regional and international media covering this historical event for a global exposure and coverage. Other than having some legit Hollywood cred, the car is also famous for being the first to feature a holographic display system with interactive motion, giving the driver and passenger full interaction with the multimedia interface of the Lykan as well as other vehicle control systems. So the car is hardly new; but according to the W Motors website, they’re still open for business and are keen to take on new orders.

Koenigsegg Jesko Absolut – $3.4 Million

About a year later Koenigsegg unveiled the Jesko, they had something even more impressive on tap – the Jesko Absolut. While the ‘regular’ Jesko is more of a track-focused machine with balanced attributes and extensive aerodynamics, the Absolut was built to smash all top speed records. It has been designed to be as smooth as possible, with the least possible amount of drag – a coefficient value of only 0.278 Cd has been achieved, allowing for a top speed in excess of 330 mph (532 km/h), figures which would certainly fulfill its purpose. The first of these $3,000,000-ish hypercars are ‘Made in Sweden’ and will be delivered to their fortunate customers by the spring of 2022. I’m really curious as to what special color combinations we’ll be seeing for the builds, and just how split the numbers will be between the Jesko and Jesko Absolut; will more customers opt for the brutal, race-inspired-LeMans-style of the Jesko, or will the Absolut woo over more customers with her sleeker lines and higher top speed?

McLaren Sabre -$3.5 Million

McLaren’s Special Operations bespoke division has produced 15 cars exclusively for the US market. The first McLaren Sabre has already been delivered by McLaren Beverly Hills, with the company stating that the Sabre has “ideas and innovations that global homologation would not permit.” – this probably explains why it’s only available to customers west of the Atlantic. The McLaren Sabre is powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 engine which produces 824 hp and 590 ft-lb torque (with a top speed of 218 mph), which happens to make it the most powerful non-hybrid engine to date. Every example of the Sabre has been built specially for each customer, all of whom were intimately involved during the development and assembly process. In terms of looks, the Sabre could best be described as if the McLaren Speedtail and Senna had a child – with such good genes to draw from, that ultimately serves as a compliment. McLaren is not sharing any other specifications at this time, but we’ll probably get to know more as the other 14 cars get delivered in the coming months.

Pagani Huayra Roadster BC – $3.5 Million

2021 Pagani Lineup

If you like your hypercars over-the-top and amazing, then the Huayra Roadster BC is for you. We’ve reported on this car before – now it’s officially here. The car is a $3.5 Million machine with a crazy powerful engine and looks that will catch the eye of anyone. Pagani recently revealed the car, and it’s a stunning example of what makes them so special as an automaker. The Huayra Roadster BC features a 6.0L AMG V12 which is good for a whopping 800 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque, making the Roadster BC is more powerful than the coupe version. It weighs only 2,685 pounds and should be good for a 0-60 mph run in under 2.5 seconds. However, what the Roadster BC was truly designed for, was to conquer the twisty roads and race tracks. Pagani says the car can pull 1.9 Gs of max lateral force in corners. The company will make only 40 of the Roadster BC, and the car made its first official appearance during Monterey Car Week.

Lamborghini Sián – $3.6 Million

Lamborghini Sian

The original Sián introduced the concept of a naturally-aspirated V12 engine with a mild hybrid electric motor built into the transmission to boost performance. Unlike other hybrids that came before it, the electric motor provides only 34 HP and instead of a battery pack, uses a regenerative supercapacitor instead. With the newfangled hybrid system and the revamped 6.5L V12 engine, the car is able to do a 0-62 mph sprint in just 2.8 seconds along with a top speed of over 217 mph. The regenerative braking has the ability to fully recharge the supercapacitor in full, adding to the electric motor’s capability to assist the engine at speeds under 80 mph. Compared to an EV battery which takes much, much, longer to fully recharge, and weighs substantially more, you might be wondering why supercapacitors aren’t the dominating technology in electric or hybrid vehicles today. Well, there are a few very important reasons for this. By nature, supercapacitors aren’t able to store energy for long periods of time like a battery, making them unviable to be the primary food source for an electric vehicle – at least for now.

Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport – $3.6 Million

Usually, Europe is the most important market for Bugatti, but for the first time in history, during the first six months of 2021, the leading region has been taken over by the United States of America, with an immense interest in the impressive Bugatti Chiron, and more specifically the very special Pur Sport, a model that focusses on agility and acceleration instead of all-out top speed. Even 24 Hour of Le Mans class winner and longtime Bugatti test driver Butch Leitzinger was impressed with the Chiron Pur Sport during extended testing in Southern California, he stated: “The seamless marriage of agility and brute force give the Pur Sport abilities that are unmatched, not only by any other car, but also by any other Bugatti.”, so despite the price tag in the $4,000,000 region, there are more customers than ever willing to park the Chiron in their garage. There will be only 60 units built for the entire world.

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport – $4.2 Million

Bugatti is well on its way to a record-setting 2021, and aside from the many orders placed for the Chiron Pur Sport, the newly introduced Chiron Super Sport has been generating a lot of interest from US buyers too. It’s clear to see why; the amazing Chiron Super Sport comes with a highly modified body, with a ‘longtail’ design which delivers the best stability possible at speeds over 400 km/h. This fourth iteration of Bugatti’s ‘Super Sport’ moniker has been created specifically for top speed, while still being luxurious and comfortable. If you remember the Bugatti EB110 Super Sport, you may also recall the round holes behind the side windows – as an homage to that design element, this new Chiron Super Sport comes with nine air vents on top of the front fenders to release air pressure from the front wheel wells and increase downforce over the front axle. The new Bugatti Chiron Super Sport is an uncompromising reincarnation of the Bugatti design mantra, “form follows performance”.

Bugatti Divo – $5.8 Million

best bugatti ever

For starters, the Bugatti Divo is based on the Bugatti Chiron, and is certainly no less over-the-top.  The Divo shares most of the important mechanical features with the Chiron; most notably the same quad-turbocharged 8.0L W16 engine which produces an extravagant 1,500 horsepower. According to Bugatti President, Stephan Winkelmann, the goal of the Divo is to be “the most agile and dynamic car Bugatti has ever created – a perfect homage for the 110th anniversary, which will be held in 2019”. In order to achieve this, many changes to the Chiron were made to its bodywork and chassis to amp up its aerodynamic efficiency and handling. Such drastic changes ensured that the Divo and Chiron are easily distinguishable, visually. Overall the Divo also has sharper angles and more aggressive looking body lines, with the horseshoe shaped grill, centre line running over the top of the car, and scoop-shaped doors being the only truly pronounced Bugatti features. “Happiness Isn’t Just Around The Corner. It Is The Corner.” – The Bugatti Divo.

Bugatti Centodieci – $9.0 Million

2020 Bugatti Centodieci Wallpapers

The Bugatti Centodieci is the brand’s homage to one of its most iconic supercars of all time – the Bugatti EB110. Images of the Centodieci were leaked ahead of its launch and many rumors had spread before the reveal. Despite this, the car is undeniably impressive and a force to be reckoned with when compared to any car ever produced. With sleek EB110-inspired looks, Bugatti did a good job of making the car look like an homage to the old supercar, while still giving it modern appeal. It might be built upon the Chiron platform, but there’s no question that this vehicle is much more than the car it’s loosely based on. After all, it shares the same engine with the Chiron, but in the Centodieci, it makes quite a bit more power with 1,578 hp on tap. The car is also 44 pounds lighter than the Chiron and will complete the 0-60 mph sprint in just 2.4 seconds, on its way up to 124 mph in as little as 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 236 mph. In short, the Centodieci appears to be a near-perfect blend of the Chiron and EB110, with a few of its own unique design elements to set it apart from both of those cars.

The MSO ‘Albert’ Speedtail

The legendary McLaren F1 test mules from back in 1992 were built at Woking in England, inside premises on Albert Drive, to commemorate that special event, McLaren Beverly Hills commissioned a rather special McLaren Speedtail from MSO, McLaren Special Operations to be inspired by those first F1 testing prototype vehicles … meet the bespoke ‘Albert’ Speedtail.

McLaren Special Operations (MSO) recently unveiled the ‘Albert’ Speedtail, as mentioned above a very special, bespoke commission by McLaren Beverly Hills, the North American McLaren retailer, this car is one of the final vehicles in the 106-car Speedtail production run, and apart from taking inspiration from the 1992 F1 test mules, this specific car is also an homage to the very first Speedtail attribute testing vehicle made back in 2018.

The original McLaren MVY02 Speedtail prototype vehicle was in fact christened ‘Albert’ as a tribute to its three-seat predecessor, the legendary McLaren F1, it is noteworthy that the ‘Albert’ prototype vehicle was the first Speedtail to see actual road use, at that time with front panels from a 720S as a disguise, but already with the three-seat, central driving position fitted so McLaren could test the driver ergonomics, general visibility, and figure out the optimum rear-view camera positions.

This new ‘Albert’ Speedtail homage ordered by McLaren Beverly Hills took inspiration from the camouflage wrap used on the road-going prototype that had a simple two-meter vinyl body wrap with design lines printed to represent the optimized airflow over the car, taking this into real paint by MSO took 12 weeks to complete.

The ‘aero lines’ became one of the most complex paint themes ever completed by MSO, using Magnesium Silver, the exact color used on the F1 road car when she was shown at the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix, in a combination with Ueno Grey, taken from the F1 GTR that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995, taking both shades into a design based on the 2018 vinyl ‘cameo’ wrap.

‘”As one of the very last Speedtails to be built at the McLaren Production Centre, it was very important to us at McLaren Beverly Hills that ‘Albert’ honors the brand’s rich heritage, particularly paying tribute to the icon that is the McLaren F1. We worked alongside MSO through every stage, including concept ideation, to produce a truly bespoke and beautifully detailed car that celebrates the innovation and design excellence behind the fastest McLaren road car to date. We are fortunate to have been able to procure ‘Albert’ for one of our top clients and are absolutely thrilled with the finished result.”’ Parris Mullins, McLaren Beverly Hills

The new ‘Albert’ was built in the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) with a 1K gloss visual carbon fiber body. Due to the incredibly complex and detailed nature of the paintwork design, the MSO team completed test panels first to understand process feasibility and worked alongside the visualizer team to refine renders. In total, ‘Albert’ would require a 12-week post-build modification at MSO’s facility to reach completion; this included two week’s masking, six week’s painting, and the remaining time to dry and reassemble the vehicle after spraying.

In the end, they printed their initial renders in full scale before masking it all out on the actual car, after the car was built, including the wheels, this was the only way they could be sure it all aligned well over the entire car, during the two-week masking process the MSO specialist paint technicians used almost two kilometers of fine line-out tape to complete the airflow design layout.

“The name ‘Albert’ has a special resonance with MSO, as we are the custodians of the McLaren F1 and are based at the Albert Drive premises that McLaren Cars occupied in the 1990s. The Speedtail experience has been an exciting journey for our customers, from visualising their imaginations to realising these inspirations and sharing their delight when unveiling the finished product. ‘Albert’ brings this project to a conclusion and we are thrilled to finish on a high note.” Ansar Ali, Managing Director, McLaren Special Operations

The McLaren Speedtail is the fastest road car from Woking to date, it’s the third model in the McLaren Ultimate Series, a three-seat hypercar with 1,070 hp from a hybrid powertrain that’s capable of reaching a 402 km/h (250 mph) top speed, this amazing looking ‘Albert’ Speedtail will be shown at Sunset GT, a luxury cars and coffee event hosted by O’Gara Beverly Hills on Sunday 8th August 2021 in Sunset Plaza, Los Angeles, USA.

McLaren Speedtail ‘Albert’ has a paint job you absolutely must see

There’s no McLaren Speedtail that looks as wild and exotic as this one. Say hello to the “Albert” Speedtail, made as an homage to the first Speedtail testing vehicle.

That initial test vehicle featured a similar look, only done using crude vinyl body wrap. This Speedtail was meticulously painted and sweated over by the McLaren MSO team. The Albert name is derived from McLaren’s 1992 F1 test mules — those testers were given the name Albert, as the name of the road where the F1 was designed and built was called Albert Drive. Since the Speedtail is another three-seat McLaren, the name stuck.

The paintwork for this specific Speedtail took 12 weeks total to complete. McLaren broke that down into two weeks of masking, six weeks of painting and the remaining time for drying and reassembling. The MSO team also spent a good deal of time practicing and preparing to paint the actual car before it started. All the masking had to take place on the fully-built car, too, as painters had to ensure everything flowed around the vehicle with panel alignment and the wheels.

The final colors chosen for this project are Magnesium Silver and Ueno Gray. That silver is the first color the F1 was ever shown in, and the gray is the color of the 1995 Le Mans winning F1 GTR. The Speedtail’s teardrop shape lends itself to this sort of patterning and design better than most, and we absolutely adore it. This car already looks like a spaceship on wheels, and adding this paint job only elevates the feeling.

McLaren of Beverly Hills originally commissioned this car, and it will make a official public debut at a Beverly Hills Cars and Coffee this Sunday, August 8, in case you were curious to see it in person. Lastly, McLaren noted that this is one of the final Speedtails in the 106-car production run, so McLaren is almost done with this hypercar.

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The McLaren 765LT Spider

The McLaren 765LT is an impressive car on her own, continuing the Long Tail legacy we know from McLaren since the 675LT, 675LT Spider, 600LT, and 600LT Spider, but the Long Tail name was born back in 1997 when a McLaren F1 GTR Longtail took the victory in the GT1 class during the world’s most famous endurance race, the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

When you are reading this article, the McLaren 765LT Coupe is already sold out, every single one of the 765 units has found a customer, so for McLaren, this is the perfect opportunity to make some more money from this chassis and release the Spider version, a convertible based on the 765 PS strong model, making this the most powerful open-top McLaren supercar to date … and once again, production for the McLaren 765LT Spider is limited to 765 units, what would you expect?

Now, I hear you thinking … most powerful-ever convertible supercar from McLaren? What about the McLaren Elva with her 804 hp then? Simple, apart from the ‘Windscreen edition Elva‘ for certain markets or for those clients that prefer having some protection in front of them, there is no roof on the Elva, so technically it’s not a convertible … you can’t ‘convert’ it into a closed model as this 765LT Spider can, so with 765 PS the latter takes that crown.

Turning the McLaren 765LT into the Spider only adds 49 kg to the overall weight of 1,388 kg, compared to the McLaren 720S Spider that’s still 80 kg lighter, and the press release states her closest rivals are all at least 100 kg heavier, part of that lightweight comes from an innovative roof design McLaren calls the RHT, or Retractable Hard Top, a single-piece carbon fiber top that can be stowed away in just 11 seconds while driving at up to 50 km/h, very impressive.

Despite being launched after all the units of the McLaren 765LT Coupe were sold, the MonoCage II-S structure (with the S for Spider) was developed at the same time as the coupe monocoque, many of the structural components are shared among the two, such as the windshield surround for instance. An amazing feat is the fact the Spider monocoque didn’t need any additional bracing for rigidity due to not having a roof structure, the rollover protection is fully bonded into the chassis by the way.

Despite being a hardtop convertible, the windshield does not need to be extended above the occupants as seen on many open-top cars with a rigid roof, using a single piece carbon fiber roof also increases headroom thanks to no seam needed above your head, and when closed the entire structure is stronger than ever thanks to it being all carbon fiber from front to back … for the Spider version McLaren did have to reprogram the active rear wing to counteract the difference in airflow with the roof in place compared to when driving topless.

The engine from the 765LT is used for the Spider, what else, this 4-Liter V8 engine with twin-turbocharging gives the 765LT Spider an amazing power to weight ratio of 598PS-per-tonne, with 800 Nm of torque the acceleration figures are equally as impressive, 0 to 100 km/h takes 2.8 seconds, the 0 to 60 mph time is just 2.7 seconds. 200 km/h (124 mph) comes up after only 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph). This new Longtail Spider achieved the fastest lap times ever posted by a convertible LT model while the famous quarter-mile from standstill is completed in 10 seconds flat!

You might want to head over to your local McLaren dealer as this 765LT Spider is available to order right now, pricing in the UK is set at £310,500 and it seems the entire production capacity for the remainder of 2021 is already sold out, with only 765 units in total, you might want to hurry up and get that order signed so you don’t miss out on this latest and most engaging addition to the McLaren Longtail lineage, this is a new classic collector’s car in the making for sure.

Enjoy some more photos of this amazing looking McLaren 765LT Spider in our image gallery below:

McLaren 765LT Spider drops the roof on the 755-horsepower supercar

The McLaren 765LT Spider is here, and just like the coupe, it’s a total monster. In fact, it’s a near carbon copy of the 765LT coupe in every way that it could be.

We’ll start with what’s new and different about the Spider. The power retractable roof is a single slab of carbon fiber. McLaren says it completes the opening or closing procedure in just 11 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. The roof mechanism is also far more refined than McLaren Spiders of the past, as McLaren promises the mechanism produces half as much noise as the 675LT Spider’s roof does.

McLaren LT cars are known for shedding pounds, and this 765LT Spider is no different. It weighs 176 pounds less than the 720S Spider it’s based on. This weight savings is accomplished through a variety of means. The LT’s forged wheels drop 49 pounds. The carbon fiber seats shed another 40 pounds. A lightweight battery drops 6.6 pounds. All the new carbon bodywork offers 11 pounds of weight savings. Deleting the floor carpet loses another 5.3 pounds. The titanium exhaust weighs 40% less than the standard stainless steel system. And lastly, McLaren deletes the air conditioning and radio as standard, dropping another 22 pounds and 3.3 pounds respectively. You can option both A/C and the radio back on as no-cost options, which is something we’d recommend you do.

Of course, making a removable roof version of the coupe means adding weight back. McLaren says the Spider is 108 pounds heavier than the coupe, a relatively light penalty for losing the roof. McLaren says the inherent stiffness of its carbon monocoque is enough that it didn’t need to add in a bunch of additional stiffening to keep the car rigid. Acceleration times are hardly diminished with the added weight. It has an identical 0-60 time as the coupe at 2.7 seconds. Unfortunately, the 0-124 time is reduced by 0.2 second to an agonizingly long 7.2 seconds (/sarcasm). Top speed is a coupe-matching 205 miles per hour.

Those bonkers acceleration capabilities come courtesy of the same mega powerful engine used in the coupe. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 makes 755 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. You can listen to the exhaust via the powered rear window that brings you closer to the noise even if the top is up.

Just like the coupe, the Spider gets bespoke wheels, tires and brakes to add performance. All the aero enhancements for increased downforce are impossible to miss on the car’s heavily modified exterior — it makes 25% more downforce than the 720S Spider. Plus, the suspension is enhanced with more bespoke LT parts for the springs and dampers. It also gets a wider front track, lower ride height and unique suspension tuning above and beyond the 720S Spider. 

Getting your hands on a 765LT Spider coupe prove difficult due to the low production run McLaren is setting. Only 765 will be sold around the world, and McLaren says one-third of the production will come to the U.S. The starting price is $382,500. That’s $24,500 more than the coupe for those who are keeping track.

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McLaren GT Ride-On joins the ranks of supercar toys

There’s a new McLaren Ride-On toy hitting the market, and this time McLaren made a kid’s toy out of the GT. This GT joins other McLaren Ride-Ons already made out of the P1, 720S and Senna.

Just like the actual McLaren GT, this one comes with a rear storage compartment behind the driver. You can stow additional Hot Wheels cars and/or stuffed animals aplenty in the compartment.

McLaren promises that three-to-six year olds will enjoy driving the car, too. The single seat is in the center like the McLaren F1 or Speedtail. There’s an actual key you use to start the vehicle. When you press the throttle to accelerate, a speaker plays revving sounds from the GT. Plus, the brake pedal is synced up with an actual brake light in the rear of the car. Whether or not other young drivers will pay attention to said brake light is up for debate, but it’s there to bring another level of reality to the experience.

Also taking after the road car, McLaren says it fit an “infotainment system” that allows you to play music files off a USB or SD card. An optional MP4 display screen is available if you want to watch videos, too. Apparently, distracted driving is less of an issue when you’re driving on a lawn.

We’re fairly impressed with the design details and the replication of an actual McLaren GT throughout the vehicle. You even get the GT’s dihedral doors to look extra cool hopping in and out of the ride-on.

If you want to buy one for your kid, the starting price is $230. Tack on some options (this is a McLaren we’re talking about here), and the price goes as high as $330. You can buy one in the following colors: Burnished Copper, Silica White, Onyx Black, McLaren Orange, Amaranth Red and Burton Blue. McLaren says the GT Ride-On can be ordered from select global toy retailers. 

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Best V8 Engines Ever Produced

In almost all cases, manufacturers who choose to equip their cars with a V8 engine do so knowingly and deliberately. After all, such engines represent the first big step in crossing over a threshold to where performance becomes the sole focus; efficiency and economy are often not even invited as guests for a ride-along in the back seat.

With a quick glance at the back mirror, those pesky 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines begin to disappear into the horizon. Then, with the proverbial “pedal-to-the-medal”, the V8 power plant unanimously declares “all-in” with a loud roar – because this journey is all about thrill-seeking and checking things off the bucket list.

While high-performance V8 engines have normally been reserved for exotics – and muscle cars, in the more distant past – its application has been seen more in the mainstream these days. With the proliferation of automotive technologies, the V8 engine has become a gateway into the world of attainable supercar performance; each new engine is better than the one before it. But if you prefer roaring V10s, or hearty V12s, check these links out. However, if V8s are more your cup of tea, read on.

Here’s the shortlist of 10 such engines, curated for your reading pleasure:

Ferrari F106

Ferrari F106 Engine

Ferrari’s F106 V8 engine dates as far back as 1973, where it first featured in the Dino 308 GT4. Right from the get-go, it produced an impressive 250 hp from a 2.9L naturally-aspirated engine, which featured a flat-plane crank and dual-overhead cams.

Such was the longevity and capability of the F106 unit, that it continued to be used – with significant updates and revisions along the way, including electronic fuel injection and multi-valve heads – for more than 30 years. Notable models which were equipped with the engine include the F355, 360 Modena, and arguably the most famous Ferrari of them all; the Ferrari F40, which fashioned a twin-turbocharged version of the F106 producing 471 hp.

Dodge Supercharged Hemi

Dodge Supercharged Hemi Engine

Dodge’s Hellcat series of cars have really taken the world by storm, offering almost unfathomable power in a non-exotic production vehicle – or any vehicle for that matter. It’s truly a revival of the “American muscle” movement, with the supercharged Hemi able to produce as much as 807 hp and 717 lb-ft of torque via the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Super Stock. Handling, agility, and all that other kind of stuff aside, this makes the Hellcat Challenger/Charger the quintessential American sports car which can be had for well under the 6-figure mark brand new.

The automaker is now offering the 6.2L ‘Redeye’ V8 as a crate engine (aptly nicknamed ‘Hellcrate’) through Mopar. It can be purchased at a starting price of US$21,807. The ‘Redeye’ version comes with a larger supercharger than the previous Hellcrate engine and has been tuned for more boost, a slightly higher redline, and a host of other improvements. These are what has allowed it to improve from 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque to its current 807 hp state. An absolute unit.

BMW S63

BMW S63 Engine

Like other automakers on this list, BMW is no stranger to producing some of the world’s best V8 engines. The latest incarnation would be its masterpiece ‘S63‘ – a 4.4L twin-turbocharged engine that produces at least 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque in the current-gen BMW M5 sedan.

Though it’s true that this grants the quintessential luxury-performance saloon some serious supercar credentials, a look back to days gone by reminds us that engines such as the ‘S62’ and ‘S65′ deserve just as much recognition for their contribution to the Bavarians’ V8 platform. Respectively, each engine displaced 4.9L and 4.0L and were both naturally aspirated.

Lexus 2UR-GSE

Lexus 2UR-GSE Engine

The 2UR-GSE is the latest iteration of Lexus‘ increasingly iconic naturally-aspirated V8 power plant. Currently reserved for the marque’s high-performance models – such as the IS F, RC F, GS F, LC 500, and brand-new IS 500 – the 5.0L engine blends typical Lexus reliability with a high-revving Japanese character. In its most powerful configuration, the 2UR-GSE produces 475 hp in the Lexus LC 500. Amidst an ever-changing landscape shifting towards hybridization and electrification, we hope that Lexus’ legendary naturally-aspirated V8 lives on for as long as possible

Much like our other selections, the 2UR-GSE owes much of its distinctions to predecessors such as the 1UZ-FE which debuted in 1989. This 4.0L V8 engine has proven to be bulletproof over the test of time, in addition to the universal recognition it has received for being smooth, refined, and sufficiently powerful for its intended application. It has served as the platform upon which the formidable GSE would eventually be conceived.

Ferrari F136

Ferrari F136 Engine

The F136 succeeded the legendary F106, first appearing as a 4.3L naturally-aspirated engine in the 2004 Ferrari F430, producing 483 hp. Like the F106, the F136 would see widespread application throughout the Ferrari lineup; however, it was also featured on a number of Maserati models in concert with the relationship between the two marques.

Most notably, a 454 hp, 4.7L version of the F136 featured on the Maserati GranTurismo and is widely regarded as having one of the best engine/exhaust notes to come out of the V8. The F136 would reach its zenith in the Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale, where it cranked out a massive 597 hp from its 4.5L naturally-aspirated power plant.

Perhaps the most significant (and regretful) fact about the F136, is that it is the last naturally-aspirated V8 engine Ferrari would ever produce. It was replaced by the twin-turbocharged F154 V8 engine in 2015, where it debuted on the Ferrari 488 GTB.

McLaren M830T / M840T

McLaren M830T / M840T Engine

Despite only producing V8-powered automobiles since as recently as 2011 (via the MP4-12C), you could argue that McLaren‘s engineers are truly the world’s V8 engine artisans, and few would dispute that. After all, it’s virtually all they know these days, with every single McLaren model – bar the V6-hybrid McLaren Artura – fitted with some adaptation of their M838T or M840T twin-turbocharged V8 motors.

The 3.8L M838T is found in its Sports Series range of cars, which includes the entry-level McLaren 540C and goes all the way up to the indomitable 666 hp McLaren 675 LT. The 4.0L M840T features on all of the Super Series cars, which covers the ‘700 range’ of models, plus the addition of the McLaren GT. In its Ultimate form, the 4.0L unit – dubbed the M840TR – produces 814 hp in the McLaren Senna GTR. The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper GT produces some 1,035 hp through the combination of an M840T and electric motor.

GM Small Block LT1/LT2

GM Small Block LT1/LT2 Engine

Introduced in 2014 for the C7 Corvette, the 6.2L naturally-aspirated V8 LT1 engine is part of GM’s 5th-generation small block engine family. It continues to be used on the present-day Camaro, with a new version of the engine – known as the LT2 – carrying on the bloodline via the brand new mid-engine C8 Corvette. The LT2 retains the 6.2L capacity but is more powerful than the LT1, producing at least 495 hp and 470 lb-ft in its latest configuration.

This was achieved by designing more efficient air-intakes sand exhaust manifolds, while also featuring a better lubrication system and more resilient camshaft. While it’s not a monster-out-of-the-box like say, Dodge’s Hellcat engine, the lightweight naturally-aspirated powerplant remains perfectly suited for what the Corvette is the best at delivering – brilliant all-around performance at a fraction of the cost of comparable options. The still-relevant LT1 is now being offered as a crate engine via GM’s performance division, with its 460 hp on tap for under US$10,000. Project car, anyone?

Audi 4.2L FSI

Audi 4.2L FSI Engine

When Audi’s 4.2L FSI V8 engine was introduced, it was a bit of a departure from what Audi enthusiasts had grown accustomed to over the years. As one of the marques which helped to proliferate the use of turbochargers on production cars, the aforementioned engine first appeared in the 2006 Audi RS4 as a high-revving naturally-aspirated power plant.

Over time, it proved to be a fan-favorite in spite of its lack of forced induction and featured on such models as the RS5 and mid-engined R8. As a naturally aspirated unit, the FSI V8 was able to rev up to 8,250 rpm and had a distinctively exotic exhaust note, regardless of the model it was mounted in.

The engine remained naturally-aspirated up until its use in the 444 hp Audi RS5; since then, recent iterations of the engine are now turbocharged and produce up to 600 hp.

Mercedes-AMG M178

Mercedes-AMG M178 Engine

The modern-day Mercedes-AMG line-up is blessed with their omnipotent ‘M178’ 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, which itself deserves all the plaudits and is a shoo-in for selection. While it’s the most advanced iteration of the automaker’s V8, our personal favorite would have to be the ‘M156’ 6.2L V8 first powered the 467 hp naturally-aspirated C63 AMG. Like its successor, the M156 would feature in almost every Mercedes-AMG model of that era, including the SL63.

The ultimate version of this V8 motor would be the ‘M159’, which was equipped in the automaker’s flagship SLS supercar, producing 622 hp. The SLS has since been succeeded by the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, which produces 720 hp from its twin-turbocharged ‘M178’, and recently set the new production car lap record at the Nürburgring.

Ford ‘Voodoo’ Flat-Plane

Ford 'Voodoo' Flat-Plane Engine

The ‘Voodoo’ engine produced by Ford is a 5.2L naturally-aspirated V8 which was made especially for cars such as the 526 hp Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R. Suffice to say, the Voodoo was a match made in heaven for the line-up’s most balanced and track-focused Mustang models. By utilizing a flat-plane crankshaft, the engine weighs less and revs faster and higher (to 8,250 rpm) than the otherwise standard engines in other models. Its configuration also gives it an almost-exotic exhaust note, border-lining on ‘un-American’ – but owners won’t mind, as their domestic car hangs just fine with the exotics and other high-end sports cars on the race-track.

Following the template of past flat-plane V8 engines, the Voodoo applies similar principles as engines that once powered hot-rods and muscle cars back in the 20th century – with impressive bang-for-buck, the engines produced big horsepower at a fraction of the cost of what was used in European sports cars and even domestic rivals. This provided owners with a rightfully potent automobile, and extra money left in the bank. It’s hard to argue with that!

Victory for the McLaren 720S GT3X in the Timed Shootout Final.

The famous Goodwood Festival of Speed closed its doors on Sunday, but not without an amazing victory for the McLaren 720S GT3X, taking the win at the top of the leaderboard of the Timed Shootout Final with a time of 45.01 seconds, over a second faster than the runner up from the competition. The impressive McLaren 720S GT3X has been developed by the motorsport division at McLaren, the McLaren Customer Racing department was able to create a special race car that didn’t need to adhere to regular racing regulations like the 720S GT3 that has to comply with FIA GT3 rules.

For the 1,210 kg GT3X, the hand-built, 4.0-Liter V8 twin-turbo engine delivers 720 PS, but has 30 more PS available at the push of a button, without having to deal with regulations, the 720S GT3X is a true performance-optimized evolution of the bespoke GT3 racecar. The aerodynamically optimized body has been developed using ‘Computational Fluid Dynamics’ (CFD) combined with F1 wind tunnel testing, which allowed McLaren Factory Driver Rob Bell to put down this amazing time at Goodwood.

Do keep in mind this amazing McLaren 720S GT3X can’t be ordered at a regular McLaren dealership, you will have to turn to one of only 11 official McLaren Motorsport Retailers worldwide, as part of the purchase and ownership package, McLaren Automotive can provide dedicated technical track support for each owner. This program is carried out by the customer support engineers from the in-house McLaren Customer Racing division – the team that has designed and developed the model alongside the 720S GT3 global customer race program.

But McLaren came along with several more cars aside from their black 720S GT3X, for instance, McLaren Chief Test Driver, Kenny Bräck took the wheel of a stunning gold painted McLaren Elva for several stints on the hill climb circuit at Goodwood, something the thousands of visitors convenience as the highlight of their visit, seeing the cars on display in the Supercar paddock is nice, but seeing those priceless exotics and hypercars being driven at speed during the hill climb is why Goodwood became the largest event of its kind.

And McLaren had yet another highlight at Goodwood, the brand new McLaren Artura made her dynamic debut at this year’s Festival of Speed,  the bright blue Artura was also driven hard during the hill climb, but also drew a lot of attention at the McLaren stand in the paddock, joined by a GT, a 765LT and a 620R, the latter two being piloted by Bruno Senna.

“Winning the Timed Shootout Final was the perfect end to an excellent 2021 Festival of Speed for McLaren. Rob Bell drove magnificently, showcasing the outstanding capabilities of the 720S GT3X to great effect in mastering the challenging Goodwood Hill. And with so many of our cars on display and in action – including the all-new Artura making its public dynamic debut and the remarkable Elva – this was a wonderful opportunity to meet customers and fans face-to-face once again and celebrate all things McLaren.”
Mike Flewitt, CEO, McLaren Automotive

Editors’ Picks June 2021 | Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sorento, McLaren 720S and more

A mix of crossovers and family cars were awarded Editors’ Picks status this month. Plus, we got into a Porsche and a McLaren that share in the accolades. We finally spent some quality time in the Kia Carnival, too, which was the only minivan missing from our minivan-heavy month of Editors’ Picks back in March. There were some near misses, with none closer than the updated Nissan Pathfinder.

In case you missed our previous couple Editors’ Picks posts, here’s a quick refresher on what’s going on here. We rate all the new cars we drive with a 1-10 score. Cars that are exemplary in their respective segments get Editors’ Pick status. Those are the ones we’d recommend to our friends, family and anybody who’s curious and asks the question. The list that you’ll find below consists of every car we rated in May that earned the honor of being an Editors’ Pick.

2022 Hyundai Tucson

Quick take: The new Tucson is a design marvel for the compact crossover segment, and its wide range of powertrains combined with big utility means it has the usefulness to be a great family car.

Score: 8

What it competes with: Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage, Subaru Forester, VW Tiguan, Mitsubishi Outlander, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain

Pros: Unique and attractive styling, wide range of powertrains, packed with tech

Cons: Thrashing base engine, lack of volume knob

From the editors:

Associate Editor Byron Hurd — “I was really impressed by my brief time behind the wheel of the new Tucson. It’s comfortable, quiet and (in hybrid form) surprisingly peppy and responsive. Hyundai really nailed the interior too. I smell a winner.”

In-depth analysis: 2022 Hyundai Tucson First Drive Review | A bold leap forward

 

2022 Kia Carnival

Quick take: This minivan wins big in the style and interior tech department. It’s super smooth and comfortable to drive, but the lack of powertrain options is disappointing. No matter, the numerous positives win out.

Score: 7.5

What it competes with: Chrysler Pacifica HybridChrysler PacificaToyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey

Pros: Superb design, luxurious interior, excellent tech and driver assistance features

Cons: No hybrid or AWD option, VIP seats clunky for family use

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “I and my friends had more fun in this minivan than any before, and that’s totally thanks to the epic, reclining VIP second row seats. This van is more than just fancy seats, though. It drives super smoothly, has top-notch tech and a design that has every other minivan beat.”

Senior Editor, Green John Beltz Snyder — “In the right trims, the Carnival looks really neat. It’s a great minivan for hauling people in comfort and — dare I say — luxury. Excellent driver assistance technology makes things easier on the pilot, too. The 3.5-liter V6 is a great engine, but the lack of a more economical offering and no available all-wheel drive feel like missed opportunities to appeal to more customers.”

In-depth analysis: 2022 Kia Carnival First Drive Review | The stylish one

 

2021 Kia Sorento

Quick take: The new Sorento is considerably more stylish than the last generation, and packed with the latest tech. A compact but usable third row provides practicality, and the more rugged X-Line versions add utility to this solid crossover.

Score: 7.5

What it competes with: Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Ascent, GMC Acadia

Pros: Perky powertrains, attractive looks, high-tech interior

Cons: X-Line’s ride suffers, subpar interior materials quality

From the editors:

Senior Editor, Green John Beltz Snyder — “I spent hours wandering the snowy country backroads in this thing, enjoying the comfort and tech. When the roads dried up, the gutsy 2.5-liter turbo-four made running errands much more entertaining. I’ve already recommended this new Sorento to friends with kids for its space, safety and Kia’s excellent warranty.”

News Editor Joel Stocksdale — “That turbocharged 2.5-liter really is amazing with how much torque it produces, and how you don’t have to wait for the turbo to kick in. It’s also super stylish and gives you a lot for your money. I just wish it handled better and had a more composed ride.”

In-depth analysis: 2021 Kia Sorento Review | What’s new, price, hybrid fuel economy, pictures

 

2021 Porsche Panamera

Quick take: The Panamera in virtually every form drives brilliantly, has a useful, pretty interior and features attractive styling. Its biggest downside is value, as many other luxury sedans and wagons are significantly cheaper in comparison.

Score: 7.5

What it competes with: Audi A7 (S7 and RS 7), BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door, Maserati Quattroporte

Pros: A performance level for everyone, stellar handling, pretty wagon variant

Cons: Sedan has average looks, shockingly expensive, poor value with options

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “Another fantastic Porsche. Big surprise. Stuttgart can’t miss these days, and every version of the Panamera I’ve tried makes a great argument as the one to buy. Still, I’m partial to the Sport Turismo, because wagons rock.”

Associate Editor Byron Hurd — “It’s really hard to articulate just how much smaller the Panamera feels compared to other similarly sized sport sedans. More clinical than an AMG or BMW M, it’s amazingly buttoned down and rewarding to drive fast.”

News Editor Joel Stocksdale — “If it weren’t for the Panamera’s huge sticker prices, it would be just about the perfect all-around car, especially the plug-in hybrid ones. They offer staggering performance that’s accessible and fun, and will even let you tackle short commutes gas-free.”

In-depth analysis: 2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S First Drive | S is for ‘spicy’

 

2021 McLaren 720S

Quick take: Even years after its debut, the 720S is still a performance masterpiece. We’d take it in either Coupe or Spider form. The handling, acceleration and drivability is difficult to beat, even compared to other fantastic supercars.

Score: 8

What it competes with: Ferrari F8 Tributo, Lamborghini Huracan Evo, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Audi R8 V10 Plus

Pros: Mind-melting acceleration, top-notch handling, proper supercar looks

Cons: Seat controls are annoying, poor infotainment system, lack of storage

From the editors:

Associate Editor Byron Hurd — “This is a 3,200 pound go-kart with Hellcat-level power and yet it’s a complete teddy bear in normal driving. The interior is a bit sparse but still charming in an Alfa Romeo 4C kind of way, and man does it move. One of the most impressive things I’ve ever experienced.”

Consumer Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski — “There’s no doubt that the McLaren 720S is the fastest car I’ve ever been handed the keys to for a days-long test on the open road. Its acceleration can only be described as brutal. Sure, its interior trim may not compare favorably with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, but its engineering certainly does.”

In-depth analysis: McLaren 720S Spider First Drive Review | Absolutely corrupted by power

 

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