Words by: Syed Shiraz Shah
The Best Supercars ever made they say that ‘wheel’ is the greatest invention of man. If that is true then not using animal power to propel that wheel would rank a close second. The world of steroids has been revolutionized as well but there is only so much that you can do with horses... Well then, OIE should thank Carl Benz to have invented the first automobile and taken the load off the animal’s back, literally. The engine in that first car produced 0.75 horsepower (the reference to the magnificent mammal now makes sense, right?) and since then the automobile has been the most quintessential of examples of man’s desire to go faster from point A to, well point B does not actually matter in the present context,
which is - Supercars!
These hypercars form the top echelon of the automobile industry and we have tried to bring you the best six from this elite category.
1. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport
Known for the fastest land speed record, Bugatti Veyron is a name any amateur related even remotely to automobiles would know. Initially launched in 2005, Bugatti introduced the Super Sport version of the Veyron in 2010, which still holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest production car with a top speed of 430.9 km/h.
The Veyron Super Sport’s energy source is a massive 16-cylinder engine. Everyone had heard about a V6, V12, etc., but a W16? Well, that would be two V8s sticking together to make a big W, in layman terms.
The engine develops 1200 bhp at 6400 rpm and the torque is rated at 1500 Nm, which starts peaking from 3000 rpm and stays until 5000 rpm. That power is distributed to all four wheels through an advanced 7-speed DSG transmission and Bugatti has equipped the car with an array of assist features to keep the shiny side up. Bugatti somehow feels that 402 km/h (or 250 MPH) is safer than 430 km/h and limits the maximum speed to the former figure before the owner gets the key.
2. Koenigsegg Agera R
The mid-engined supercar from a small Swedish manufacturer ushered into the global market in 2011. Unlike many supercars, this one will never suffer from a case mistaken identity.
Supreme aerodynamics have resulted in a shape that is second to none when it comes to individuality. Koenigsegg Agera R, when launched, broke six land-speed records and can still put any other car to shame when it comes to acceleration.
The Agera R carries a 5.0 L V8 engine, and a twin-turbo set-up aids in producing a ccolossal 1140 Bhp of tarmac shredding power. A special, first of its kind, 7-speed dual clutch transmission with only one input shaft reduces the gearshift-time substantially. The results continue to worry Bugatti - the Koenigsegg Agera R does 0-300 km/h in just 14.53 seconds, and yes, it beats the Veyron Super Sport here.
3. McLaren F1
McLaren F1 is the greatest supercar of all time, PERIOD. It retained the title of the “fastest car in the world” for more than a decade. Heck, it remained the fastest even after its production stopped in 1998.
Plus, the recent title holders such as the Veyron SS, Agera R, and SSC Aero, all used forced induction to attain those kind of speeds. The F1 on the other hand was naturally aspirated and set the record for top speed at 391 km/h in 1998! Only 106 units were produced between 1992 and 1998 when the production ended. The car boasted of astounding levels of engineering and carried a unique design with the driver’s seat placed in the middle of the cockpit and slightly ahead of the two passenger seats.
Yes, two very lucky passengers could sit on either side of the driver in an F1. The 6.1 litre V12 from BMW’s M division churned out 618 bhp and with a name like F1 it sure did have very similar technologies to those used in Formula 1 race cars. McLaren used carbon fibre extensively and the McLaren F1 became the first ever production car to use a complete carbon fibre reinforced plastic monocoque chassis making it one of the lightest and strongest cars when it was launched. Even now, a used McLaren F1, if at all anyone is willing to sell one, can be yours for more than twice the price of a ‘new’ Bugatti Veyron Super Sport!
4. Lamborghini Aventador
Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 is the sharpest looking supercar in the world. It is so sharp that we suggest people with haemophilia to maintain distance from this one... The car is massively wide too and with those big air-scoops at the front it looks like it would suck the hatchbacks and other trivial forms of transport clean if they don’t give way to this raging bull.
The Aventador was designed to replace the utterly popular but aging Murcielago and the new car had huge expectations attached to it when it was unveiled in 2011. In true Lamborghini fashion, the Aventador did not disappoint. Not much later after the flagship’s unveiling, Lamborghini announced that the model was sold out for the next 12 months. The Aventador carries an all-new V12 engine with a displacement of 6,498 cc. This bomb of a mill generates 700 bhp and churns out 690 Nm of torque.
The power-to-weight ratio of 432 bhp/tonne makes the Aventador one of the scariest cars to drive around. The car can reach top speed of 349 km/h and can accelerate from 0-100 just 2.9 seconds. The operative word is ‘can’, because the car can and it will; the question is, can you?
5. Pagani Zonda
The Pagani Zonda is not merely a supercar. This hypercar seems to have come from another planet altogether. And to think of it, this car was launched way back in 1999! Pagani ended the production of the Zonda in 2011 with three special editions paying a tribute to the very successful first model from Pagani.
Horacio Pagani wanted to name his first car after after his friend, the five-time Formula One champion, Juan Manuel Fangio and as such Zonda was made with race-centered design and carried many Formula 1 inspired components such as the exhaust manifold, among others. Powering the Pagani Zonda is an AMG engine with a capacity of 6.5 litres.
The naturally aspirated engine produces a maximum power of 750 bhp. The car features a lightweight carbon fibre high-performance intake system, and the engine is mated with a 6-speed longitudinally mounted manual sequential synchronized transmission, which offers maximum control and shifts quicker than a blink of an eye. Ceramic-coated disc brakes ensure that the car stops as quickly as it accelerates too. Though it now has a worthy successor in the Veyron beating Huayra, the Zonda will always have a special place in the hearts of hardcore supercar aficionados.
6. Ferrari LaFerrari
The Ferrari LaFerrari is also known as the F70 to the more technically inclined fans of the prancing horse. This Ferrari is a limited-production hybrid sports car and only 499 will be built. The LaFerrari possesses the most powerful engine of all the cars made by Ferrari until now. The mid-rear mounted V12 engine puts out a maximum of 800 bhp and the KERS unit additionally provides short bursts of 163 bhp for those NOS-like thrills.
The LaFerrari gets a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission through which the power is sent to the rear wheels. The car is built around a carbon fibre monocoque structure developed by Ferrari’s Fomula 1 team technical director, Rory Byrne. LaFerrari is loaded with electronic equipment including ESC stability control, high performance ABS/EBD, antilock braking system with electronic brake balance, E-Diff 3 third generation electronic differential, SCM-E Frs magnetorheological damping with twin solenoids (Al-Ni tube), etc.
Also, The EF1-Trac F1 electronic traction control is integrated with the hybrid system and that coupled with active aerodynamics that the engineers at Ferrari have blessed this car with, the LaFerrari should grip the road like the proverbial leech. Of course, with the total amount of power exceeding 900 bhp, it can’t afford to offer anything less!