DriveTribe community car of the decade - hypercar category
Once upon a time, the word “hypercar” was not such a common feature of automotive parlance. Even through the breed’s existence, it was often inferred that the word “supercar” was the term of highest meaning in the performance car realm. But then, with the evolution of the speed machines, “hypercar” became a much more commonly spoken word in motoring vernacular - and in its power to portray cars of extraordinary performance, it also has the power to fester in the mind and form a great obsession. The nominations in the hypercar category are...
Aston Martin Valkyrie
“Hang on a second” you’re probably thinking, “the Valkyrie isn’t actually finished yet. It can’t possibly be included in this decade’s poll - and neither can the AMG One”. Well, you’d be correct about the Mercedes; it won’t be finished until 2021. The Valkyrie on the other hand is undergoing its final stages of testing, and will be delivered to customers in early 2020. As far as I’m concerned, that makes it a product of this decade and not the next one. The Valkyrie is a hypercar like no other we’ve seen before, as it was designed by F1 aerodynamicist Adrian Newey to be the fastest a road car could possibly be around a circuit. Add in a 6.5L normally aspirated V12 that revs to over 11,000rpm, along with a hybrid drivetrain, and the Valkyrie puts 1160bhp to the road through the rear wheels alone. This, my friends, is a step into uncharted performance territory.
Arguably the prettiest car from the holy trinity - and with a V12 that delivers music from God’s personal collection. Despite having 950bhp going through the rear wheels, Ferrari managed to replicate the delightful handling balance of their less intimidated supercars, with journalists who drove it on the limit stating that it felt like “a thousand horsepower 458”. For Ferrari, that was an immense compliment.
The McLaren P1 on the other hand could only be described as “delightful” by the very best drivers around. For it takes each and every one of a driver’s inputs, and reacts more immediately than either of the other two members of the holy trinity. It’s mad, brutal, and dangerous - and for that, it’s worthy of immense admiration.
The Senna however is McLaren’s way of shooting themselves in their own hybridised foot, for in the pursuit of ultimate circuit performance, it did away with all the electric motors in order to achieve lightness, and utilised the potential of a powerful engine. Fast, it certainly is - but will any amount of speed compensate for how dogshit awful it looks?
McLaren however is also keen to show people that on-track performance isn’t the only thing it’s interested in. From the very moment it was announced, the Speedtail was dubbed a “hyper-GT” that was designed to compete with the likes of the Bugatti Chiron. With a top speed of over 250mph, the Speedtail finally takes the crown from the F1 as the fastest McLaren ever made. And, if McLaren are to be believed, such high speeds can be achieved in comfort.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 8 years since Pagani first introduced their so called “Zonda replacement” - and perhaps even harder to believe that they continued to make the Zonda well into the production life of the Huayra. From an aesthetic perspective, the Huayra easily managed to capture all of the excitement that was synonymous with the Zonda - both on the inside, and outside. While the AMG Twin-Turbo V12 may not have provided the same visceral experience as the old 7.3L normally aspirated engine, it didn’t prevent the Huayra from being a masterpiece and arguably the defining hypercar of our generation.
Porsche 918 Spyder
If however you want to give your vote to a car that most accurately sets the blueprint for all performance cars of the following decade, then look no further than the Porsche 918 Spyder. While the P1 and LaFerrari may also have adopted hybrid technology, the Porsche was the car that ventured down the electric avenue the furthest. Fast forward a few years after its inception, and Ferrari brought the SF90 into being - a car that mirrors the 918’s format way more closely than the LaFerrari. I think that’s Ferrari’s way of complimenting Porsche’s innovation and foresight.
And with that, we have all of our contenders in the hypercar category. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten Koenigsegg and Bugatti; they belong to a level above that will be published tomorrow. Cast your vote below for your favourite hypercar of the decade - the winner of which will go through to the final vote with the winners of the other 9 categories. Voting closes at 7pm GMT on Monday the 9th of December.