Currently reading: Top 10 best hypercars 2024
Only the fastest, most expensive and ludicrous-looking cars need apply. Find out which we rate the highest

If you love your power absolute, then only a hypercar will do. The very peak of the high performance art, these exotic, expensive and explosively fast machines deliver the ultimate in driver thrills thanks to some money-no-object, cutting-edge engineering.

Sitting at the top of the performance car pecking order, the hypercar’s origins are relatively recent. If the Lamborghini Miura was the first supercar back in the Sixties, then the archetypal hypercar was arguably the 2005 Bugatti Veyron, which with its 16-cylinders, four turbos and 250mph top speed raised the bar to the next level.

In the two decades since the Bugatti made its sensational debut, the number of hypercars has increased almost as quickly as the Veyron accelerated. What’s more, the fact these machines are state-of-the-art speed merchants mean they are an eclectic bunch when it comes to engineering. From pure petrol machines, through to powerful plug-in hybrids and high energy all-electric offerings, the hypercar uses many different motive forces in an effort to hurl itself at the horizon as quickly as possible.

So, here’s our top 10 performance paragons, each one pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the pursuit of performance. Each one is a high octane thrill ride that’ll have no doubt broken the speed odd record as it stakes its claim on a place in the automotive hall of fame.

1. Aston Martin Valkyrie

When it comes to design philosophy, it would be best to describe the Aston Martin Valkyrie as ‘uncompromising’. The brainchild of Red Bull F1 technical director and all-round aerodynamic genius, Adrian Newey, the jaw-dropping British machine has been created to deliver the ultimate in outright performance, with nothing coming between it and its lap times-smashing goal.

Despite wearing number plates, headlamps and indicators, the Aston Martin is really a purebred racer that you just so happen to be able to put in for an MoT. The lightweight carbon tub has been designed with strength in mind, while the knee-high body’s surfaces have been sculpted by wind tunnel data and feature adaptive aero surfaces. 

The suspension is equally trick, its active adjustable ride height aiming to keep the car on an even keel as aero and cornering forces build. Yet arguably the highlight is the naturally aspirated (but very mild hybrid assisted) 6.5-litre V12 motor that revs to a heady 11,000rpm and delivers a knockout 1140bhp punch for 0-62mph in 2.5 seconds and a 220mph top speed.

Inside, the stripped-out interior there’s barely enough room for the driver despite the two-seat billing, while noise-cancelling headphones are required to protect against the ear-splitting howl of that Cosworth-built motor. Sensory overload is guaranteed, and if you’re brave enough few cars are quicker around a circuit. Yes the active suspension strips away some vital feedback and the standard Michelin rubber isn’t quite up to the incredible forces the Valkyrie can generate, but as visceral automotive experience few come close.


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Aston martin valkyrie 2023 top 10

2. Pininfarina Battista

With a 1876bhp on tap, true hypercar pace was never going to be a problem for the Pininfarina Battista, even when you consider that this carbonfibre-hulled machine tips the scales at a not inconsiderable 2200kg. Essentially a reskinned Rimac Nevera, the Battista is one of the first of an all-new generation of high-performance electric cars that have their eyes firmly focused on a future where the internal combustion engine is put out to pasture. The car's raw statistics certainly make for startling reading, with a 0-62mph taking less than 2sec and 186mph coming up after only 12sec – the sort of acceleration that had our very own Matt Prior giggling like a schoolboy when he sampled it.

Yet the Battista blends this extraordinarily explosive turn of speed with genuine driver engagement. Up to 1206bhp is developed by the two rear motors (there are another pair for the front wheels), which means that on track it's extremely throttle-adjustable, allowing you to exit corners at all angles of attack. The steering is also slick and positive, while on the road it just about lives up to the Pininfarina brand's claimed GT credentials, with effortless performance, a claimed 311-mile range and adaptive dampers that serves up a controlled ride. It is a bit noisy mind, with the carbonfibre structure transmitting to many clonks and thuds from the suspension.

Yet overall, there's lots to like here, the Battista proving to be a curiously compelling device. But then so it should be with a price that hovers around £2 million.

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Pininfarian battista 2023 top 10

3. Lotus Evija

If you were in any doubt about which way the high performance wind was blowing, then the appearance of two EVs in our hypercar top 10 should leave you in no doubt. We love high-revving, noisy, fast and dramatic combustion-engined machines, but the appeal of instant, walloping, vectored-per-corner torque isn’t hard to deny - and the Lotus Evija serves that up in spades.

So far our man Mike Duff has only driven the Norfolk’s firm’s fast flagship in prototype form around Lotus's own test track at Hethel, but the initial impressions are promising. Electric or not, this car's key vital statistics leave nothing to chance. Its 70kWh drive battery and quartet of electric motors make it weigh some 1700kg; but it also develops some 2000 metric horsepower at peak, runs on Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tyres and is claimed to be capable of 0-186mph in just 9sec (more than 4sec quicker than Bugatti's sensational Chiron can do it).

Duff's prototype drive revealed a car that struggles to feel dramatic when launching from low speeds, but one that piles on speed beyond three-figures with an unrelenting potency, and whose handling feels as balanced and poised as you would expect of a Lotus, despite its four-wheel-drive layout. Promising signs.

Lotus evija 2023 top 10

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4. Bugatti Chiron

The Volkswagen Group's trophy brand, Bugatti, made history when it gave us the fastest production car in the world in 2005. The W16-engined, 987bhp, four-wheel-drive Veyron broke through the 250mph barrier. But it couldn't and wouldn't be regarded as the ultimate performance car forever.

Enter in 2016 the Chiron. Where the Veyron used aluminium spaceframe construction, the Chiron has a lighter carbonfibre monocoque. Where the Veyron stopped short of 1200bhp in its final forms, the Chiron ups that to nearly 1500bhp. And where the Veyron left Bugatti's top speed yardstick at 268mph, the Chiron has, in 1578bhp Super Sport form, taken what has become an increasingly highly contested world production car speed record up beyond the 300mph marker, where it currently rests at 304.7mph.

And if you want a hypercar to make record speeds so easy to achieve, this is the one for you. Bugatti's more fiercely blown 16-cylinder engine certainly has a bit of turbo lag to haul through and isn't the sweetest-sounding of leviathan lumps – more departing hovercraft or express train than car. But when it starts to surge, it knows absolutely no moderation.

The car's ride is firm and its handling perhaps just a tiny bit underwhelming. But making such incredible speed as attainable as the Chiron makes it remains a towering achievement. It's utterly remarkable for being so unremarkable.

Bugatti chiron 2023 top 10

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5. McLaren Senna

When McLaren adopted the name of its most revered and tragically fated Formula 1 racing driver to use as the model identity of its latest Ultimate Series hypercar, a sharp intake of breath was taken throughout the motorsport world and the car industry alike. Could invoking the memory of such a legendary, much-missed figure as Ayrton Senna and then using it to do something as corporate as selling a new car - any car - ever be made to look like a good idea? Was Ayrton's name really McLaren's to use?

Chances are you might already have a strong opinion on that and, for various reasons, on whether you like the idea – or the unflinching function-over-form aesthetic of this car. Just don't rule out the possibility that a drive in the incredible Senna - the fastest, most advanced, most exciting and most purposeful road-legal track car that its maker could create - might change your mind.

The Senna is a car of truly astonishing track abilities. Even though its not the most powerful car to have lapped our dry handling circuit, it has such phenomenal reserves of grip that it smashed our dry-handling track lap record by fully a second-and-a-half when we road-tested it in 2018. Developing some 800kg of downforce at its peak, and with a growling V8 of just under 800bhp, it's a car you expect to be a nerve-testing challenge on track and almost impossible to drive on the road. The simple fact is that neither is true.

The Senna looks after you – and keeps looking after you with its feedback, stability and drivability as you hit the kinds of speeds only usually known to prototype racing machines. It's a physical test to drive, but a supreme, unforgettable mental treat. And although it's less broad-batted and usable than most hypercars of its price, its dedication of the business of going quickly round in two-and-a-half-mile circles is utterly spellbinding.

Mclaren senna 2023 top 10

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6. Ferrari LaFerrari

Ferrari's top-of-the-tree hypercar is nothing less than the greatest and most sensational peak that the performance car has ever reached. Powered by an incredible, spine-tingling, naturally aspirated, 789bhp 6.3-litre V12 assisted by 161bhp of electric power channelled direct to the rear wheels, the LaFerrari's powertrain makes an incredible 950bhp all told. Although we never got the chance to strap our timing gear to one, Ferrari claims the car hurls itself from 0-62mph in just 2.4sec and to 186mph in just 15sec.

And yet in spite of its enormous performance and mind-boggling mechanical complication, the LaFerrari has absurdly benign and exploitable limit handling manners that make it so much more approachable and exciting to drive on a circuit than you would ever believe it could be.

Ferrari charged more than £1 million for each car. It made 500 in all, producing the last of them in 2015, and has so far succeeded it only with the FXXK track special and the LaFerrari Aperta convertible. The LaFerrari is a monument to everything Ferrari does singularly well and still our reigning hypercar standard-bearer.

Ferrari laferrari 2023 top 10

7. McLaren P1

McLaren's first Ultimate Series car had to follow in the footsteps of the firm's legendary and celebrated F1, which built the company a worldwide reputation all by itself. McLaren resisted the temptation to make the P1 a modern facsimile of the F1, however, instead having a 903bhp hybrid-electric powertrain, a two-seat interior, state-of-the-art suspension technology, lightweight construction and competition-grade aerodynamics to deliver the fastest, most focused and most exciting performance car it could imagine, fit for equally unprecedented thrills on both road and track.

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The particular thrills the P1 conjures make it incredibly fast and purposeful at pace and capable of challenging and rewarding its driver to a level that only racing drivers normally experience. On the road, it's surprisingly docile and drivable, although less mind-bogglingly exciting than McLaren made it out to be. But you won't find a more technologically advanced, remorselessly effective or exquisitely purposeful performance car anywhere in the world than this.

Mclaren p1 2023 top 10

8. Porsche 918 Spyder

Carrying heavier and more powerful electric motors and more battery capacity than either of its hypercar competitors from Ferrari or McLaren, the Porsche 918 Spyder made greater play of its 21st-century zero-emissions technology than its rivals and had a breadth of appeal as a driver's car that neither could quite level with.

This car can be driven for around 15 miles on electric power alone and then charged up at home to do it all again. In time-honoured Porsche supercar type, it's little harder to drive than the 718 Boxster – and it's a convertible. But it also has a motorsport-derived normally aspirated V8 engine that revs to almost 9000rpm and makes the car both raw and exciting in full-bore mode. There's four-wheel drive, too, and more than 900lb ft of torque, making the 918 Spyder accelerate from rest with true savagery.

And while it's heavy, boy is it ever fast around the right kind of track. It's the former holder of our dry handling track lap record, no less, and wrecker of the McLaren P1's status as such.

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It can't quite take your breath away like the LaFerrari and it doesn't have the capacity to make you feel like a Le Mans qualifier like the P1 but, in its own way, the 918's achievement was just as special.

Porsche 918 spyder 2023 top 10

9. Pagani Huayra

Pagani is a maker of cars so rare and exotic that it once offered leather driving accessories that had been blessed by the Bishop of Rome himself – or so the story goes.

The Modenese firm's latest offering is the Huayra, introduced in 2012, back when 720bhp and 738lb ft seemed like a faintly ludicrous amounts of power and torque to try to put through one driven axle in a road car.

Driven by a twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 from Mercedes-AMG, the Huayra did indeed prove itself to be a physically challenging driver's car from the old-school, with handling demanding respect and every shred of your concentration if you dared disable the stability aids. But it's beautifully communicative and honest, too, and so rich, immersive and special to drive at almost any speed as to be totally intoxicating.

In the unlikely event the standard car isn’t invigorating enough for you, and you don’t plan on any road use, then there’s the Huayra R. Stripped of weight and shorn of the standard car’s twin turbos, the R features a howling 838bhp naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 and a very serious track-only focus. 

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Pagani huayra 2023 top 10

10. Zenvo TSR-S

With its wild looks and brain-spinning 1177bhp power output, the Zenvo certainly packs the raw statistics to be considered a true hypercar. Yet it's the car's unique tilting rear wing that attracts all the headlines, lifting at either end when cornering to help reduce body roll and boot grip. Either way, this daring Danish (yes, really) machine is a fairly exciting steer, its twin-supercharged 5.8-litre V8 delivering 0-124mph in 6.8sec (around the same time as a McLaren Senna, should you ask). It also drives the rear wheels through a motorsport-style seven-speed sequential transmission complete with straight-cut gears, which is great for reduced power loss but less so for refinement.

So far, we've driven the Zenvo only on track, where it's undeniably fast but requires commitment and familiarity to get the best out of it, a situation not helped by fairly lifeless steering. However, learn to trust that the trick wing is doing its thing and the TSR-S is able to generate big cornering speeds while also feeling surprisingly friendly and approachable at the limit of grip. However, it's also a very brutal and noisy experience, so while the interior is beautifully finished, there's a sense that a long-haul road trip could leave you with a serious headache.

Then there's the price, which is well north of £1 million, which is rather a lot for a car from a virtually unknown brand using a General Motors engine. Still, with five cars being made annually exclusivity is guaranteed, while the quality, performance and head-turning style means this is a hypercar that demands attention.

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Zenvo tsr s 2023 top 10



Mercedes-AMG One

This car's journey from the drawing board to the road has been long and protracted, beset by the kind of technical challenges and delays that you might expect of a car that exists in order to make a modern hybrid Formula 1 powertrain available in a road car. But, according to our latest reports, it's now pretty much ready ahead of deliveries later in 2022. Mercedes will make fewer than 300 cars costing more than £2 million each, and all are reportedly sold already. Still, if it's anything like the last hypercar to adapt a contemporary F1 engine for the public highway (the Ferrari F50), the results should be spectacular.

Mercedes amg one 2023 top 10

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Gordon Murray Automotive T50

Designer of the celebrated McLaren F1 Gordon Murray is bringing the world his own take on a modern successor for his 1992 masterpiece, and it's a hypercar the car-loving world may be preoccupied by for several reasons. Firstly, the GMA T50 shuns electric motors and uses instead a naturally aspirated V12 engine that revs beyond 12,000rpm and is set to produce 650bhp. Secondly, it follows the principals that made the F1 so special: of rigorous lightweight design and engineering and compactness. Thirdly, like the F1, it will have a central driving position and three-seater cabin. And lastly, because it'll use ‘fan car' active aerodynamics like no other production machine there has ever been.

Now in the final stages of its pre-production testing, the T50 should be ready to sample (fingers crossed) sooner rather than later.

Gordon murray automotive t50 2023 top 10

James Disdale

James Disdale
Title: Special correspondent

James is a special correspondent for Autocar, which means he turns his hand to pretty much anything, including delivering first drive verdicts, gathering together group tests, formulating features and keeping topped-up with the latest news and reviews. He also co-hosts the odd podcast and occasional video with Autocar’s esteemed Editor-at-large, Matt Prior.

For more than a decade and a half James has been writing about cars, in which time he has driven pretty much everything from humble hatchbacks to the highest of high performance machines. Having started his automotive career on, ahem, another weekly automotive magazine, he rose through the ranks and spent many years running that title’s road test desk. This was followed by a stint doing the same job for monthly title, evo, before starting a freelance career in 2019. The less said about his wilderness, post-university years selling mobile phones and insurance, the better.

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