The 8 most powerful cars coming in 2019
The Aston Martin Valkyrie will have 1,160bhp, Aston has confirmed. One thousand of those horses are generated by a 6.5-litre V12, with not a turbocharger (or supercharger) in sight. Peak power is developed at 10,500rpm. It’s utterly astonishing – this is a car for both road and track, remember – but what’s even more astonishing is that power outputs in four figures are not that unusual any more…
The fact is, to be taken seriously as a hypercar these days you seem to need at least 1,000 horsepower, and preferably a weight as close as possible to a tonne for that magic 1bhp/kg power/weight ratio.
So welcome to the 1,000bhp club… here’s our look at some of the latest members.
Aston Martin Valkyrie, 1,160bhp
It’s the car Aston has built in partnership with Red Bull Technologies in order to bring to life the hypercar dream of ace F1 designer Adrain Newey. Aim: a road car that’s as fast on a circuit as an LMP1 car.
We’ve seen the car before – though not in the smart orange Designer Specification livery as shown in the latest pictures – and we’ve known it will have a normally-aspirated V12 backed up by a KERS style electric motor. Now we know this petrol-electric hybrid combo delivers 1,160bhp and 900Nm (664lb ft) of torque at 7,000rpm. The electric side, co-developed with Rimac, is responsible for contributing 160bhp and 280Nm (207lb ft) of that.
The V12, with an incredible-for-a-non-turbo specific output of 153.8 bhp-per-litre, will happily sing its way round the dial to the red line at 11,100rpm, says Aston, a record for a road-legal car, and, significantly, 100rpm higher than its rival racing-car-for-the-road from Mercedes can manage!
Mercedes-AMG One, 992bhp
What, under 1,000? In horsepower yes, but Mercedes talks metric horsepower and that’s 1000PS, so Merc’s “F1 car for the road” gets the nod.
The job here is very much like the Aston Valkyrie’s: to be a road-legal machine that can lap a circuit as fast as a top-flight competition car. For Mercedes, thumping great V12s are F1 engines of the 1990s, so what the One gets is a roadgoing version of a contemporary F1 engine. It’s a hybrid drivetrain based around a 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 you’ll find behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes W10. It revs to 11,000rpm and serves up 858bhp with the KERS adding the rest.
Performance? The top speed is 218mph and 0-124mph takes 6.0 seconds. Service intervals? To be revealed…
McLaren Speedtail, 1,036bhp
You don’t have to be a wannabe circuit racer to wallow in the delights of 1,000-plus horsepower. With the new Speedtail, McLaren is showing how such a power output can be used to make a hyper gran turismo, a car as luxurious and refined as it is fast.
With a top speed of 250mph, one thing the long, low and sleek Speedtail will be is fast. As with both the Aston and the Mercedes, the McLaren is a petrol-electric hybrid. At 1,430kg it’s sure to weigh more than the Valkyrie, but then the central driving seat Speedtail does have room for three people on board…
Bugatti Chiron, 1,479bhp
The horsepower champions among regular series production cars, the Bugatti owes its mega grunt to its mighty quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 engine. Its 1,479bhp (or a more rounded 1500PS if you prefer) overcomes all, including not inconsiderable weight, for mind-blowing acceleration: 0-124mph in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 261mph.
The Chiron Sport and new limited-run Divo models lose some weight and gain some track focus, but more downforce generally equals less speed, so in the Divo’s case top speed is “only” 236mph.
Zenvo TSR-S, 1,177bhp
From Denmark, it’s the latest street-legal (but track focused) version of the Zenvo. There’s no shortage of power in the new S model thanks to a more powerful version of the firm’s twin-supercharged 5.8-litre V8. Power stands at 1,177bhp at 8,500rpm with torque of more than 1,100Nm (811lb ft).
The car, which is due to debut at the Geneva show, claims 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds and 0-124mph in 6.8 seconds.
Hispano Suiza Carmen, 1,005bhp
From V8s to battery power to the high hopes of a new company, Hispano Suiza, from Spain, aiming to rekindle some of the marque’s glory days of the 1930s.
With the new Carmen to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the firm is going for glory with a hyperlux GT type car – not a million miles from the McLaren Speedtail in concept – with electric motors delivering the driving force, in this case 1,019PS (1,005bhp). While the top speed is limited to 100mph short of what McLaren is aiming for, at a modest 155mph, acceleration should be brisk for something that weighs 1,690kg with 0-62mph in “under three seconds”.
Pininfarina Battista, 1,900bhp
Also making its debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the first car to be designed, developed and sold in the name of Pininfarna gets a mammoth 1,90bhp output courtesy of an all-electric drivetrain. The numbers are mind boggling: as well as all those horses there’s 2,300Nm – that’s 1670lb ft – of torque, and from zero revs.
While the Battista promises to look beautiful it will surely be an absolute beast when you put your foot down. Expect 0-62mph in under 2.0 seconds and 0-186mph in under 12.
Rimac C_Two, 1,887bhp
Rimac has long been the electric power pacesetter, and its latest model, the C_Two, doesn’t hold back. The 258mph hypercar gets four electric motors developing a combined 1,914PS (1,887bhp). There’s torque, too, specifically 1,696lb ft.
Fast? How about 0-62mph in 1.97 seconds…
Words by Bob Murray.