A car is one of the finest representations of human engineering, and the most expensive cars in the world are as much specimens of beauty and luxury as power and performance. Not surprisingly, the most expensive cars are usually the most powerful and fastest cars as well. They incorporate the latest advances in high-tech engineering and materials science – from dashboards that remind you of fighter aircraft to all-enveloping leather upholstery to lightweight, exotic body material, all these and more can be found in such “supercars.”
While compiling this list, we have tried to restrict our choices to production cars only, even if it is limited production. As a result, antique or one-off modifications have been kept off our list. Also, there have been certain cars like the McLaren F1 and the Ferrari Enzo which would have surely made the list if they were in production today in 2010. They are not currently in production and, therefore, have not made the list. Additionally, two variations of the same basic design are not part of the list; the costlier version is included, such as the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport for all the Veyron versions available.
Please keep in mind that positions and names on this list can change with as much speed as that of the cars featured on it. With that disclaimer, here are the ten most expensive cars in the world:
1. Koenigsegg CCXR Edition ($2.17 million)
Being “green” doesn’t come cheap, but for this price you can get an environment-friendly supercar, however incongruous that may seem. Manufactured by Swedish carmaker Koenigsegg, the CCXR is powered by a modified twin-supercharged V8 engine (same as its predecessor the CCX) converted to use E85 or E100 ethanol fuel as well as standard 98 octane petrol. The engine produces 1,064 bhp and the car has a theoretical top speed of 259 mph. Its chassis incorporates carbon fiber technology.
2. Bugatti Veyron Super Sport ($2.03 million)
The fastest street-legal production car in the world today, it wrested the top spot after the standard model had yielded it to the SSC Aero TT. With an engine delivering 1,200 bhp, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport has a top speed of 267 mph. The Veyron line of cars is named after French racing driver Pierre Veyron, who won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1939 while racing for the original Bugatti company.
3. Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster ($1.88 million)
This superstar by Italian manufacturer Pagani was built on the request of its Hong Kong dealer and has a limited production run of five vehicles. An evolution of the Paganini Zonda F, so named after F1 legend Juan Fangio who had been an engineer at the company, the Cinque has a top speed of 217 mph, powered by a 678 bhp engine. It also comes equipped with a high-end Paganini audio system, another of the company’s exclusive products.
4. Lamborghini Reventon Roadster ($1.46 million)
The costliest (and most powerful) Lamborghini ever built, this car, like many of its predecessors, is named after a famous fighting bull. Built to resemble a fighter jet, the Reventon was actually raced against one (a Tornado) as part of a promotional stunt. The 670 bhp engine, sourced from the Murcielago Roadster, can propel the Reventon to a top speed of 211 mph. Only 20 of these are being built.
5. Aston Martin One-77 ($1.40 million)
The One-77 is so named because only 77 of them will be built, with the first delivery in October 2010. It has a full carbon fibre monocoque chassis, a handcrafted aluminium body, and a naturally aspirated 7.3 litre V12 engine delivering 750 hp, resulting in a top speed of 220 mph. Note that the price mentioned is estimated and not official. There is a chance that it may be priced higher than the Lamborghini Reventon.
6. Maybach 62 Landaulet ($1.35 million)
This may not be as fast as the cars mentioned before, but few can beat the opulent luxury of this Maybach. Based on the Maybach 62S, so called for its length in decimeters, the Landaulet has a glass partition separating the driver from the passengers with opacity control mechanism. The biturbo V12 engine delivers 612 bhp that can propel the 2 ton-plus car at speeds in excess of 170 mph.
7. Leblanc Mirabeau ($800,000)
Designed to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (the world’s oldest endurance race), the Mirabeau looks like a race car from every possible angle. The engine outputs approximately 700 horsepower giving it a top speed in excess of 230 mph. It is supplied by Swedish carmaker Koenigsegg, manufacturer of the No.1 car on this list.
8. SSC Ultimate Aero TT ($730,000)
Briefly holding the position of the fastest production car in the world and still credited as such in the Guinness Book of World Records, the SSC Ultimate Aero TT is built by Shelby SuperCars, an American manufacturer (the only one on this list). The 2010 model has an engine that can deliver 1,287 bhp, producing a possible top speed of 270 mph. The tested maximum speed, as mentioned in the Guinness Book, is 256 mph.
9. Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster ($500,000)
This is the last scheduled production year for this car with 3500 being built from 2003 to 2010. The SLR stands for “Sport, Leicht, Rennsport” (sport, light, racing). This car combines the best of Mercedes-Benz style and luxury with McLaren Formula One technology. Powered by a 626 bhp engine, the supercar can reach a top speed of 208 mph. Unlike most of the cars in its class, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster comes with an automatic transmission.
10. Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé ($440,000)
Rolls-Royce, long considered the epitome of exclusivity, just makes the list with its Phantom Coupé. The platform is based on the 2003 Rolls-Royce Phantom with styling derived from the Rolls-Royce 100EX, a concept car unveiled to celebrate the company’s centennial in 2004. The interior is richly furnished with leather and wood veneer. The 453 bhp engine manages to propel the massive 5478 lbs car up to a maximum speed of 155 mph.