The best cars are the pinnacle of a manufacturer’s skill and dedication, combining four-wheeled fun with scientific precision and the pursuit of horsepower.
We’ll take a look at supercars through the ages, find out what makes a supercar a supercar, take a look at their history and which cars are the fastest and most expensive on the planet.
This beginner’s guide to supercars tackles the lot.
What is a supercar?
What exactly is a ‘supercar’? And what makes them stand apart from other fast and expensive sports cars?
Like a lot of things, there is no single agreed upon definition, but there is a generally accepted list of criteria that motorsport bods, and enthusiasts alike, accept.
However, three things are more important than anything else when it comes to identifying a supercar: cost, design and performance.
Everyday concerns like comfort and practicality do not hold any sway in the world of supercars. If it doesn’t go fast and doesn’t look great (no matter what the cost), it doesn’t qualify.
Supercars have to reach for the stars, and an important aspect of achieving super-status is an astronomical price-tag. Most often driven by celebrities, millionaires, and royalty, supercars have to be very, very expensive and usually made in small batches.
It almost goes without saying that six figures are the entry level price tag (I will break down the current most expensive cars later on) and there is almost no limit to what some supercars are worth.
In addition to being expensive and exclusive, they also have to be beautiful. If the price makes them the domain of the stars, the design has to make them glow like the angels of the heavens.
Aerodynamic ingenuity and huge amounts of funding for supercar projects have created some of the most iconic and recognisable cars in history.
Some examples of these include the ’53 Corvette, the ’54 Mercedes 300SL and the ’66 Miura, all of which I’ll discuss later.
Lastly, and perhaps, most importantly, there is speed. Of course, over time a speed that constitutes ‘supercar fast’ has increased as shown in the graph below, but they have always been the fastest beasts on the road.
At this moment in time, to be considered super, a car would be expected to reach upwards of 230 mph.
To put this into perspective, one of the most iconic supercars of the 1970s and ‘80s, the Lamborghini Countach, reached roughly 180 mph flat out. The rate of progress is truly outstanding.
The current fastest supercar, the Hennesey Venom can reach speeds of over 301 mph. Just think of the speeds supercars will be reaching in 2040, and the tech that will accompany these vehicles: electric, self-driving…levitating…?
We’ll have to wait and see!
Supercars: a brief history
The history of supercars is hotly disputed amongst enthusiasts. As is perhaps human nature, each new generation of petrol-heads believes the iconic car of their era is the birth of the true supercar. In reality though, they’ve existed in some form for over 100 years.
A strong contender for the title of ‘First Supercar’ in motorsport is the 1909 Blitzen Benz, a souped-up masterpiece of German engineering that, for a time, held the land speed record (an impressive 126 mph).
With the Blitzen Benz, car manufacturers had for the first time created a machine that was both roadworthy and one of the fastest things on four wheels.
Birth of the name
The actual term ‘supercar’ however was not coined until several years later, when it appeared in a 1920 Ensign 6 advert in England.
Although both very fast for their day, neither of these vehicles are perhaps sufficiently modern to really make the list of recognisable supercars. The two big icons of the 1950s are arguably the first to break down this barrier.
Released within a year of each other, one in America and the other in Europe, the 1953 Corvette and 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL remain instantly recognisable and outlandishly stylish to this day (see below).
The Mercedes in particular was a big leap forwards in the history of supercars. For a time, it was the fastest car on the road, reaching over 150 mph; but, what makes it truly special are the engineering innovations that went into its manufacture.
One small step for man, one giant leap for supercars
The 300SL is the first road car to have a fuel-injected engine and is still affectionately called the ‘Gull Wing’ because of the unusual hinges on the doors. A true supercar icon.
The next jump in supercar evolution didn’t take quite as long. The 1960s saw a man plant a flag on the moon, and it also ushered in the arrival of some truly space-age supercars back on earth.
Again, America and Europe offered up two era-defining classics whose DNA is still visible in many cars today: The 1965 Ford GT40 and the 1966 Lamborghini Miura.
Originally masterminded to disrupt Ferrari’s dominance in the famous Le Mans 24-hour race, the GT40 was a major breakthrough for an American manufacturer.
For the first time Ford took it upon themselves to design a car that was never going to be a commercial hit, but rather a real competitor at the pinnacle of automotive technology.
The GT did indeed accomplish its mission of defeating Ferrari and winning Le Mans; in fact it won the race four consecutive times from 1966 to 1969!
The best cars square degree the most amazing of a producer’s potential and duty, merging mechanical gadget fun with legitimate reality and conjointly the quest for vitality unit.
We will take a gander at supercars by means of the ages, assert what makes a supercar a supercar, investigate their records which vehicles rectangular measure the quickest and most expensive on earth.
This cutting edge amateur’s guide for supercars handles the ton.
What is a supercar?
What precisely should in like manner be a ‘supercar’? moreover, what makes them keep on being other than different brief and extravagant diversions autos?
Like an immense amount of variables, there isn’t any single sorted out definition, anyway there might be a for the most extreme component related summary of criteria that motorsport bodies, and fans alike, surely understood.
In any case, 3 things rectangular degree loads of fundamental than something when it incorporates specific a supercar: extremely worth, style and execution.
Customary issues like comfort and application don’t keep any affect inside the planet of supercars. inside the occasion that it would not go brief and does not look fantastic (paying little respect to what the value), it would not qualify.
Supercars should be restricted to head after the stars, assistant in nursingd a significant piece of undertaking remarkable status is a galactic sticker cost. regularly dictated by utilizing surely understood people, big shots, and sway, supercars must be limited to be amazingly steeply-estimated and generally made in ensuing to no offices.
it around is going in the meantime as now not language that six figures rectangular measure the entry stage tag (I can slow down this most costly automobiles a short time later) and there might be almost no confine to what some supercars rectangular degree well worth.
Anyway being steeply-evaluated and particular, they even should be kept to paralyze. at the off risk that the value makes them the space of the stars, the structure need to convey them sparkle then again simply like the sacred envoys of the sky.
Streamlined inventiveness and gigantic proportions of financing for supercar comes have made gathering of the most satisfying picture and conspicuous cars ever.
A couple of instances of those represent the ‘fifty three dispatch, the ’54 mercedes 300sl and conjointly the ’66 miura, the majority of the general population of that I will contemplate later.
In end, and most likely, explicitly, there is speed. clearly, sooner or later a speed that contains ‘supercar short’ has quickened as appeared to be inside the graph under, anyway they have always been the speediest mammoths out and roughly.
Starting at now in time, to be considered brilliant, a vehicle may be depended upon to pick up upwards of 230 mph.
To zone this into point of view, one of the basic picture supercars of the Nineteen Seventies and ’80s, the lamborghini countach, finished around one hundred 80 mph full scale. the speed of advancement is fundamentally top notch.
the cutting edge quickest supercar, the hennesey venom can harvest speeds of in excess of 301 mph. best remember the speeds supercars ar getting the chance to reach in 2040, and conjointly the tech with a reason to oblige those autos: electrical, self-utilizing… suspending… ?
We’ll should be restricted to plunk down again and watch!
Supercars: a brief history
The notable background of supercars is intensely easily tried off base among aficionados. as is greatest presumably attribute, each new period of oil heads acknowledges the durable vehicle in their time is that the coming of reality supercar. in intention in actuality be that as it may, they have existed in some kind for additional than one hundred years.
A strong rival for the recognize of ‘first supercar’ in motorsport is that the 1909 blitzen benz, a souped-up perfect work of art of german structure that, for a length, the administrators the land speed report (a high caliber 126 mph).
With the blitzen benz, vehicle makers had just in light of the fact that made a gadget that changed into every road and one of the speediest issues on four wheels.
Conveyance of the name
The genuine term ‘supercar’ in any case wasn’t generated till over one years after the truth, while it appeared throughout a 1920 ensign vi promotion in ecu us of a.
But each quickly fixed for their day, neither of these vehicles rectangular measure maybe securely current to basically supply the once-over of conspicuous supercars. the two brobdingnagian images of the Fifties square measure apparently the first to keep away from down this problem.
Released at between times a period of each one of a kind, one in the US and conjointly the choice in europe, the 1953 ship and 1954 mercedes-benz 300sl keep up rapid conspicuous and incredibly current to the present day (see underneath).
The mercedes expressly turned into a huge take off advances in the authentic background of supercars. for a period, it certainly changed into the quickest vehicle all over the place, coming to additional than 100 and fifty mph; at the equivalent time, what makes it unmistakably specific square degree the structure slants that went into its generation.
One alongside no movement for man, one immense jump for supercars
the 300sl is that the basic road vehicle to have a fuel-injected engine and keeps up on being expensive viewed in mellow of reality that the ‘gull wing’ because of the remarkable is predicated on the portals. a bona fide supercar picture.
The consequent take off in supercar improvement didn’t accept very as extensive. the 19 Nineteen Sixties saw any individual plant a flag on the moon, and it additionally brought the section of some just region age supercars returned on this planet.
some other time, the US and europe displayed more than one period describing centerpieces whose creation compound keeps up on being obvious in various engines today: the 1965 passage gt40 and conjointly the 1966 lamborghini miura.
To begin with intended to agitate ferrari’s transcendence inside the exceptional insusceptible machine issue keeps an eye on 24-hour race, the gt40 was a significant hop forward for partner in nursing yank maker.
Because passage volunteered to vogue a vehicle that become never sitting tight for to be an advert hit, however on the other hand a legitimate contender on the most extreme vital of car development.
The get did on this way acquire its preeminent objective of vanquishing ferrari and winning invulnerable machine trouble keeps an eye on; so it won the race four progressive occasions from 1966 to 1969!