For the average man on the street a car is a necessity, a convenient form of transport that gets us to and from work, the shops, or wherever we need to go. But for many people, cars are much more than that; they are works of art, technological marvels, or simply must have items that show you have reached the top of the tree. These cars can cost a great deal of money… They are the most expensive cars in the world.
The Most Expensive Cars in The World
When talking of the most expensive cars in the world we are talking only of those that – in an ideal world – anyone could buy from a showroom if they could put up the money. The classic car market is a different world, one of $10 million Ferrari 250GTO’s and rare or unique Bugatti’s that have been hidden away for decades, and then there’s the custom build market.
It’s not unknown for an Arab sheik or Russian oligarch to demand a specially built Rolls Royce, Pagani or Ferrari complete with unique features and costing many millions as a result. The practice of special build supercars was, indeed, especially popular in the 1960’s, thanks in no small part to the Aga Khan and his penchant for hand built Italian supercars, especially from Maserati.
Here we will take a look at the top five most expensive cars on the market today (six, in fact, for we have a tie for third place) – that is, those that are listed for sale as new from the manufacturer. Okay, we have taken a couple of liberties with our choices, but it’s worth it! Prepare for an exciting ride through the automotive echelons of 2012.
Most Expensive Cars – Number 5: Ferrari Enzo
Given that the chances of finding a new Enzo in a showroom are nil – they have, officially, all been sold – it may seem odd to include this sensational and now legendary car in the list, but the fact is it remains listed as a ‘for sale’ model in Ferrari stocks across the world.
The current US list price for an Enzo is around $670,000 – hardly a candidate for most expensive car – but if you want one you are going to pay much, much more than that. Nobody who buys one of these is using it to pick up the kids from school or to do the shopping – it is, without any question, an investment. That’s why you’re unlikely to find one for less than $1,000,000.
Stunning performance – 217mph (349km/h) and a 0-60mph time of 3.4 seconds – makes this a car that is on the edge of the maximum performance a road car can achieve, but it is the cache of the Ferrari name that makes the Enzo special. The six litre V12 punches out an amazing 651bhp – a figure that is topped only by a handful of rivals – and makes what can only be described as a glorious cacophony, and the Formula One race car derived chassis – the Enzo was developed with help from the Ferrari team’s race drivers, including German legend Michael Schumacher – give this car a simply sensational pedigree.
One word of warning: there are only 400 Ferrari Enzo’s in the world, so you will have to search long and hard to find one, and it is most likely to be red!
Most Expensive Cars – Number 4: McLaren F1
Let’s not beat about the bush here: the McLaren F1 was designed to compete with Ferrari on its own terms, no matter what the unashamedly reserved UK based company says. A sensational looking machine with the unusual draw of a central driving position and three seats, it is difficult to believe right now that the car first went on sale in 1994 – almost 20 years ago!
It may be a bit tenuous to describe, in 2012, the F1 as being ‘on sale’ to the public, but in fact they do change hands quite regularly, and usually at around $1,000,000. Popular with celebrities who see them as a bit of a plaything, and with true aficionados who recognize the racing pedigree of the beautiful Gordon Murray design – the race version won the prestigious Le Mans 24 hours race after all.
Where the F1 wins over many of its rivals of the time is in the precision detailing and careful design that it was imbued with. This was not just another supercar, it was designed to be – and to many still is – the ultimate supercar, and obviously one of the most expensive cars.
You want performance figures? Official top speed of 240mph (386 km/h), 60mph from a standstill in 3.2 seconds, and 618bhp from the six liter V12 BMW sourced engine make it hard to beat even today, and simply out of reach when introduced. With just over 100 made – including the race variants – it is a car that even the most die-hard collector will find hard to get, but one that simply has to be present in any self-respecting dream garage.
The McLaren F1 was once described as the ‘finest driving machine built for the public roads’ and while this may stand up to some scrutiny, it is a sad fact that all too few of us will get to experience the thrill.
Most Expensive Cars – Number =3: Koenigsegg Agera R
Has there ever been a supercar manufacturer – or any car manufacturer in fact – with a name as ridiculous as Koenigsegg? This Swedish supercar manufacturer may have taken the market by storm with its truly exclusive and quite sensational machines, but in a worldwide market it is not the snappiest of names. That it is home to one of the most expensive cars in the world may be something of a surprise.
Forget the name, though, because what matters about the Agera R is that it is, quite simply, an amazing example of a supercar. Priced at $1,600,000, the Agera R is like nothing else on the road and, when experienced, is something that may well frighten the life out of the uninitiated. Introduced to the market in 2011, it is one of a number of vehicles designed to take the fight to the Bugatti Veyron, about which we will see more later.
Here are some figures for you, just to get the appetite going: the Agera is powered by a 5 liter V8 engine that features twin turbochargers and produces no fewer than 940bhp. You read that right – 940bhp, in a road car. This is one of a breed of cars that transcend the ‘supercar’ tag reserved for mere mortals such as the Enzo and the F1, and bring to the party the ‘hypercar’ tag, and quite rightly.
According to tests carried out in late 2011, the Agera is, quite simply, the fastest production car in the world today, bar none. The company claims a top speed (in theory) of 275mph (442 km/h), and that this brute of a machine can propel its occupants to 60mph from sitting still in 2.9 seconds.
It raises the question as to where the limits are for road cars. Like many of its ilk it is limited to a lower top speed – a mere 235mph (378 km/h) – but legend has it the company will unlock the limiter, for a one-off period of time, if certain conditions are met.
Quite honestly, the Koenigsegg Agera R has raised the bar where performance is concerned, and it remains to be seen where this astonishing Swedish specialist can go next.
Most Expensive Cars – Number =3: Lamborghini Reventon
The much-rumored Lamborghini is a very special car indeed and, while not quite matching is equally priced rival Koenigsegg Agera R for performance, does so with ease where exclusivity is concerned. Only 20 of these sensationally sleek and menacing-looking machines will ever exist, making it among the rarest of modern cars… and most expensive cars.
Based on the Murcielago, the Reventon is inspired by fighter aircraft, and most likely feels like one when you are catapulted from standstill to 60mph in a quite stunning 3.3 seconds. Yes, we know that’s not in Agera R territory, but what’s a few tenths between friends? More to the point, look at the thing – it’s simply incredible.
This is the sort of design that would not look out of place in a sci-fi epic as a typical design from forty years ahead of now; it is ahead of its time, and it looks like nothing else on earth right now. Whether you consider it beautiful or otherwise is not the point; it’s startling and, like great Lamborghini’s from the Countach to the Diablo, that’s what the raging bull is all about.
The Reventon reaches only 211mph (339 km/h) – if you feel short changed by that you’re not on the right planet – according to the factory but one has been timed at 221mph, and comes in only one color, that of carbon fiber grey. Admit it, how cool is that? It is powered by a 6.5 liter V12 engine and is popular with collectors who see the massive investment potential of a $1,600,000 car that has a mere 19 identical models across the world.
Love it or hate it, the Reventon is unmistakeably Lamborghini, but why would you choose it over a similarly priced Koenigsegg Agera R? Because it’s a Lamborghini, of course, and the rarest one ever made. One final teaser – if you like the wind in your hair, the factory has produced a Reventon Roadster, but with rumored production at only 15 cars it may prove to be hard to catch… which makes one of the most expensive cars in the world.
Most Expensive Cars – Number 2: Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster
Many years ago, when I was a youngster, my bedroom wall – and that of all my car-loving friends – featured posters of the supercars of the era. In the 1980’s there would probably have been a Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari F40, maybe a Porsche 959 or Jaguar XK220. These were the ‘cult’ cars of the era, supercars with a lot to shout about.
Now, in 2012, there are two contenders for young men’s bedroom walls; the Pagani Zonda, and the Bugatti Veyron, both motoring icons that have entered the world of hypercars and made massive waves in the process. The Zonda Cinque Roadster – an open top version of what has to be one of the strangest, if most sensational looking, cars ever built, is the most exclusive version of an already exclusive model, and is one of the most expensive cars in the world today.
The Cinque was intended as the final incarnation of the Zonda, having superseded the Zonda R, and only five examples of the hard top and the Roadster were built. At $1,850,000 each – for the Roadster – it’s easy to see why there was no surprise worldwide clamor for a thousand units.
740bhp from the stunning and beautiful to listen to AMG built 6.0 liter V12 is adequate, and the performance figures are in the plus 200mph (321 km/h) region with acceleration to 60mph in around 3.4 seconds. This is superb performance from a car that was first introduced, in its original form, in 1999.
The Zonda will remain a favorite with young boys everywhere, epitomizing as it does the sense of stunning, outrageous styling that comes with modern hypercars. There are few that are as quite outrageous as this amazing Italian gem, however – witness that crazy rear end for a start – and the front-forward cabin has been described by some as being rather awkward.
The Pagani Zonda is not built for beauty, but for performance and style, and it brings plenty of both to the party.
Most Expensive Cars – Number 1: Bugatti Veyron Super Sports
If the McLaren F1 is still a sensational car almost twenty years after it was first seen – and by all accounts it is – the Bugatti Veyron will still be so in 2025, two decades after its introduction, and beyond. Quite simply, there is nothing else that looks like – or goes like – this amazing car, the most expensive car in the world today.
Pagani, Koenigsegg and other newcomers to the game may have tried their best to provide us with simply sensation machines that push the boundaries of the game, but it was the Volkswagen Group – an unlikely starting place for some – who were left to bring us what has been described as the ‘Car of the Decade’, and more.
The original concept came from a Bentley concept – that company is also owned by the VW Group – and the decision to revive the legendary Bugatti name is one that has been something of a success. If your young son doesn’t have a picture of this car and a Pagani Zonda on his wall there is something wrong with him.
Much was made of the talk of Veyron’s being deliberately designed to produce 1001bhp, but in fact this is slightly wrong; the amazing 8 liter W16 configured engine, with four turbochargers and no fewer than ten radiators – it takes a lot to keep something of that size cool – thumps out 987bhp. The missing 14bhp are not a good reason not to buy one.
Of course, to buy one you will have to be unbelievably wealthy, for this car – the ultimate Super Sports version – will cost you $2,400,000, and that’s if you can find one. At auction you will undoubtedly pay a premium.
Like many modern hypercars there is some division over the Veyron’s looks, but if you have been lucky enough to see one in the flesh it is a far prettier machine than it looks in pictures or on film, and infinitely more elegant that the Zonda or Agera R. The glorious two tone bodywork – a hark back to Bugatti’s of old – works very well on the low slung, curvy and very futuristic design.
So, what’ll she do, mister? In Super Sports spec, 267mph (429 km/h), and nought to 60mph in 2.5 seconds. Take a deep breath and read that again. Yes, it does say 267mph (429 km/h), and 60mph in 2.5 seconds. It really does.
The good news is that there are – in comparison with some rival hypercars – plenty of Veyron’s around; of all types there have been 300 built to date. The bad news is you are unlikely to be lucky enough to get hold of one. We can’t see anyone who has one of these wanting to let it go – ever.
The Most Expensive Cars in The World
So, that’s your list of the most expensive cars in the world; six stunning, sensational, amazing and every other superlative you can think of cars that are the most expensive you can buy today. Why not let us have your thoughts on the delicious machinery described above?