The 5 Most Extreme Indie Supercars
In the world of luxury race cars, it can feel more like an arms race, with weaponised carbon-fibre mega-machines from Bugatti, Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren and Lamborghini all bringing 0–60mph times further below the 3-second plimsoll line, getting ever closer to the Holy Grail top speed of 300mph. But as motor journalists so often lament, the experience enjoyed by the driver can feel increasingly sanitised; corporate, even – which isn’t a surprise when you consider all the above are parts of just three huge automotive groups.
The Indie Supercars
What you need, in which case, is a seat-of-your-pants supercar from a small independent marque, made by a team of passionate petrolheads answering only to themselves, and bearing zero resemblance to anything else on the road. Here are five of our favourite high-octane agitants, driving into the future…
British manufacturer Briggs Automotive Company was founded in 2009 by brothers Ian Briggs and Neill Briggs – and for them, B.A.C. is the realisation of a life-long dream to develop sports cars that show what is possible when we question and challenge convention. And sure enough, their Mono it’s like nothing else – a radical, stripped-back, single-seater trackday racer that’s road-legal – much in the same vein as Ariel’s Atom – but elevated to genuinely luxurious supercar heights, with all the latest tech and aggressively sculpted bodywork. Its 350bhp power output might not sound much, but allied with a dry weight of 580kg, you can get to 60mph in 2.7 seconds. Not so great for the school run of course, but your kids won’t mind being left at the gates – they get to say their Dad drives a Mono.
If we’re talking stripped-back performance, then it has to be Manufacture Royale’s skeletonised tourbillon from the future
The newest kid on the block also happens to be the United Arab Emirates’ first-ever luxury car maker, and nothing short of jaw-dropping in appearance alone. Founded by Ralph Debbas in Beirut in 2012, he soon moved to Dubai when he recognised where this $3.4 million hypercar would most likely find its key target market. It was famously crashed from the top of one skyscraper into the side of another by Vin Diesel in Furious 7,and W’s flagship Lykan Hypersport made as much of an impact on the crowds of the prestigious Geneva Motor Show in 2016, powered by a custom twin-turbo flat-6 generating 960Nm of torque and a claimed top speed of 245mph. They may be made in Italy by renowned white-label manufacturer Magna Steyr, but they’re outrageously Middle-Eastern statement wheels, through and through.
The celestial romance and hardcore mechanics of DeWitt’s Twenty-8-Eight Full Moon are a perfect foil to the Lykan Hypersport’s otherworldy styling
Horacio Pagani is considered a modern-day genius of fast-car design. So much of a genius in fact that it took only eight years working at Lamborghini during its most fertile period (1983-1991) to realise the ‘Pagani’ aesthetic needed its own marque. Sure enough, 1999’s debut Zonda C12 was groundbreaking – not only in style, with wheel arches “recalling a women’s bosom, the rear bonnet the hips”, but with never-before-seen attention to detail. Everything, from the dashboard switches to the gearstick, the petrol cap to the mirrors – it all belongs behind the sapphire crystal of a fine watch. Indeed, the new Huayra Roadster even has its own see-through caseback, revealing a tuned-up version of Mercedes-AMG’s monstrous 6-litre V12 wielding 764hp and 1,000N of torque.
An exquisitely hand-crafted, automatic timepiece from Ludovic Ballouard suits the intergalactic classicism of a Huayra Roadster
It’s official: Koenigsegg’s mind-bendingly quick Agera RS is the fastest car on the planet. Sorry Bugatti, apologies to Formula 1, but on Saturday 4th November 2017, a ‘standard-spec’ RS driven by factory test driver Niklas Lilja recorded a two-way average speed of 277.9mph (444.6km/h) on an 11-mile section of closed public highway between Las Vegas and Pahrump to claim the highest speed ever recorded by a production car. It’s hardly surprising though: married to its twin-turbo 5-litre V8 is a whole new aero package developed by the small Swedish brand, which seems more suited to a fighter jet: an all-new front splitter optimized for the track, front winglets, side skirts, advanced dynamic underbody flap system and a dynamically active rear spoiler for added downforce. The Agera’s new bedfellow, the Regera promises even more performance, thanks to the V8’s hybridization with three electric motors and a new powertrain technology that removes the traditional gearbox, making the car lighter and more efficient. Not bad for a company started in a shed in 1994.
The peerless mechanical acrobatics of Hautlence are just as innovative as the Regera’s own powertrain
For every utterance of pure lust for any Sixties V8 muscle car, there’s a joke about America’s inability to make a car that corners properly. Why bother when those long Interstate highways don’t even have any corners, right? Well, to those cynical jokers, Jerod Shelby has a fairly definitive retaliation: his own (and America’s only) respected supercar company, based in Washington state. In the best US tradition, the Ultimate Aero is V8-powered, but it’s a bespoke engine, twin-turboed, putting out an extraordinary 1,287bhp – enough to blast the car into the record books in 2007 as the world’s fastest production car (256mph – now smashed by the aforementioned Koenigsegg). We can’t wait to see how S.S.C.’s next-gen Tuatara performs when it hopefully launches next year. It’ll certainly need a launchpad, judging by the rocket-science stats already being boasted.
A startlingly accomplished in-house-manufactured Schwarz Etienne with sci-fi styling is just the watch you need for a drive in an Ultimate Aero XT
SSC Ultimate Aero XT credit to Muslecarszone.com