The most expensive cars in the world are about so much more than transportation. These rolling art pieces encapsulate the priorities of the one percent, and in that universe, flamboyance and swagger take precedence over practicality and efficiency. Lifestyle criticisms aside, these are truly mind-boggling machines, and we’d like to count down our favorites for you here.
For the sake of clarity, we’re categorizing recently made, road-legal production vehicles only — limited runs notwithstanding — and we’re leaving out classic cars sold at auction. We’re also limiting the list to one entrant per nameplate, so don’t expect 10 different iterations of the same Bugatti Veyron. And these aren’t necessarily the fastest cars in the world (though many of them are damn fast).
So whether your name is Buffet, Gates, Bezos, or McDuck, these rides are for you — the most exorbitant people-carriers on the planet. They say money can’t buy happiness, but after viewing this list of the most expensive cars, you just might beg to differ.
What has the body of a Lotus Exige, a 7.0-liter twin turbo V8, and a world speed record? The Hennessy Venom GT.
That’s right ladies and gentlemen; a small Texas tuning company has just beat out the Bugatti Veyron – and all of VW’s money – with a record-setting 270.49 mph.
This stunning achievement took place, appropriately enough, at the Kennedy Space Center on a runway that was built for the Space Shuttle to land on. But even the 3.3 miles of Shuttle landing strip wasn’t enough to get the most out of the Venom GT. Astonishingly, the Venom GT was still accelerating when test driver Brian Smith ran out of track.
2. Zenvo ST-1
Zenvo is probably best known for being the only supercar manufacturer from Denmark, and for an unfortunate Top Gear test in which one of its cars caught fire on the track. The company persevered through that moment of bad publicity, building an even more extreme supercar to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
The Zenvo TS1 GT’s creators nicknamed this beast “Sleipnir,” after the Norse god Odin’s eight-legged horse. To live up to that name, Zenvo equipped the TS1 GT with a 5.8-liter twin-supercharged V8 that churns out 1,163 hp and 811 lb-ft. All of that power goes to the rear wheels through a seven-speed transmission developed by Zenvo itself. The company claims this gearbox can shift faster than the transmissions in Formula One racers.
The car itself is pretty quick too. Zenvo claims it’ll do 0 to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 233 mph — and that’s with an electronic limiter engaged. On the inside, the TS1 GT is covered with switches and instruments made from copper and rhodium, a setup Zenvo says cost more than an entire Porsche 911 R.
The Ferrari LaFerrari hardtop debuted in 2013 alongside the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder as part of the “holy trinity” of hybrid supercars, but it quickly disappeared after a production run of just 499 units. Now it’s back open-top Aperta form.
The LaFerrari Aperta combines an open-air driving experience with the V12 hybrid goodness of the original LaFerrari. A 6.3-liter twelve-cylinder engine is mated to a Kinetic Energy Recover System inspired by the ones used in Ferrari’s F1 cars. The result is 949 hp and 663 lb-ft. Like the hardtop, the Aperta will do 0 to 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds, and reach a top speed of 217 mph.
Ferrari won’t say how many copies of the Aperta it will make, or how much they will cost. But the production run is likely sold out, and customers almost certainly paid a premium over the $1.4 million asking price of the LaFerrari hardtop. Since we don’t know for sure, the LaFerrari Aperta is an honorable mention, for now.
With an AMG-sourced V12 and the second fastest road-legal Top Gear lap ever, the Pagani Huayra is a beast through and through — it’s named after the Incan god of winds, after all. That wasn’t quite enough for Pagani, however. At the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, Pagani debuted the Huayra BC, a lighter, hotter version that takes no prisoners.
Right off the bat, you can tell the BC is playing a different game from the standard Huayra. It’s fitted with an enormous active rear spoiler that generates 1,102 pounds of downforce at 155 mph, as well as a wider rear track, new side skirts, and a bevy of sexy aero goodies. Despite the additions, the BC is a true featherweight, tipping the scales at a paltry 2,654 pounds thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials. The whole deal will cost you a cool $2.6 million (or it would have, if all 20 units hadn’t sold already), but you clearly get a lot for your money. With 789 turbocharged ponies on tap, the BC may actually live up to its godly name.
Purpose-built track cars seem to be all the rage these days, and Aston Martin recently jumped on the bandwagon in a big way. The Vulcan isn’t legal on the road — hence its honorable mention status — but if you happened to snag one of the 24 examples made, you’re very lucky indeed.
The Vulcan may look like a spaceship, but it’s actually a tribute to old-school analog feel. Instead of a high-tech hybrid system, it relies on the pure grunt of a naturally-aspirated 7.0-liter V12. That massive engine produces over 800 hp, which is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox.
The car itself is built around a carbon-fiber monocoque, ensuring those 800 horses don’t have much to push around. In fact, Aston claims the Vulcan has a better power-to-weight ratio than some of its race cars. And if that isn’t hardcore enough, Aston required owners to train in a Vantage GT4 racer and a One-77 before stepping into their Vulcans. Now that’s serious performance.
You can buy a lot with $2 million — a really nice house, about 80 Mazda MX-5’s, or the Swedish “megacar” shown above. A logical thinker could probably think of a better way to spend your life savings, but megacars don’t give a damn about logic. Because they’re mega. And after reading what the car is capable of, $2 million might actually be a steal.
The limited-edition One:1 is based on the Agera R, and it earned its poetic moniker by employing a 1:1 kilogram-to-horsepower ratio. The figure on each side of the colon? 1,340. That’s right, this car has 1,340 hp, and can theoretically top 273 mph because of it. Simply put, this is one of the fastest automobiles ever made, and with its F1-style honeycomb core, carbon-fiber intake manifold, and ventilated ceramic brakes, it’s one of the most advanced as well.
Just six examples of the speedy Swede were built, and each one was sold quite quickly. Keep an eye out on Craigslist — you never know.
With an asking price of $3 million, the Ferrari Sergio isn’t the most expensive car on our list. It is, however, one of the most highly-coveted vehicles in the world, as only six were ever made.
Crafted by legendary Italian design house Pininfarina, the Sergio is essentially a Ferrari 458 Spider with a completely new body and interior. That means a 4.5-liter V8 sends a whopping 562 hp to the rear wheels, but because the Sergio is lighter than the 458, it’s quicker and handles better. The new body doesn’t just save weight — it’s chock-full of interesting details like aerodynamic headrests that are built directly into the roll cage.
With so few examples built, the Sergio’s purchase process wasn’t as simple as strolling up to a Ferrari dealership. No, each owner was chosen by automaker itself, making it one of the rare invite-only vehicles in automotive history.
This list wouldn’t be complete without some version of the mighty Bugatti Veyron. We’re shining our spotlight on the the Mansory Vivere edition here, because not only is it one of the fastest cars in the world, it’s one of the most expensive.
Augmented by German witch doctors Mansory, the 1,200-hp Veyron starts out as a Grand Sport Vitesse Roadster, only to be adorned with a gorgeous carbon-fiber body, a new spoiler package, upgraded LED lights, a revamped cabin, and a redesigned front grill. Further classifying the Veyron as a work of art, maps of historic race events like the Targa Florio are laser etched into the exterior and interior. Oh, and it can do 254 mph.
You may recall the Lykan Hypersport from its starring role in the blockbuster Furious 7, in which the Lebanese supercar crashed through not one but three skyscrapers in Dubai. In a franchise filled with high-end exotics and one-off custom creations, the fact that the Hypersport got so much focus is a testament to its magnetism.
Let’s start with the styling, which includes jewel-encrusted headlights, scissor doors, and an interior ripped straight from science fiction. It looks like a pissed off armored car from the future, and its performance is right on par with its image. The Hypersport boasts a 3.7-liter, twin-turbo flat-six that yields 770 hp and 708 lb-ft.
It’s not just Dominic Toretto who benefits from this level of performance, though: The Abu Dhabi police force has drafted the Hypersport into patrol duty. Although it’s mainly used for marketing and public relations purposes, the high-flying stunner assures that the authorities can keep up with any baddie who tries to get cute on the freeway. Pedal to the floor, 0 to 62 mph is accomplished in just 2.8 seconds, and top speed is a downright scary 240 mph.
Poison. That’s the name Lamborghini chose for the modified Aventador roadster you see above — translated from Spanish of course — built to celebrate the automaker’s 50th birthday. We can’t speak for the company’s motivations, but the name is fitting for a vehicle that looks so positively deadly, so undeniably venomous.
The car is absolutely stunning from every angle, and to this day, we’re not convinced it isn’t an alien spacecraft surveying our planet for eventual takeover. It just doesn’t seem real. The only thing more remarkable than the look is the price — a whopping $4.5 million, clearly putting it on our list of the most expensive cars.
The Veneno is fast, and that should come as no surprise. Its 6.5-liter V12 spins all the way up to 8,400 rpm to deliver 740 hp and 507 lb-ft, surging the car to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds.