The definition of a supercar may have changed over the past two decades, but that fact hardly makes the metal content that makes up this class any less sensational.
Here, it’s the world’s greatest mid-engined, upper-level performance machines we’re celebrating: not the very highest echelon of the performance car market, but rather the kind of cars you think about when you picture a modern Ferrari, McLaren or Lamborghini.
Topping this class means demonstrating that your designers and engineers can master an inherently tricky dynamic brief, stand the heat of particularly intense competition, and satisfy some of the most demanding customers in motordom.
There are few more direct or effective ways for cars in this stratum of the performance car market to demonstrate their superiority than by accelerating faster, lapping quicker and stopping harder than any rival. The 720S does all three. In many of the performance benchmarks that road testers are used to measuring, in fact, this 710bhp blockbuster is a closer match for a contemporary hypercar than one of its mid-engined opponents.
Yet also it's uncommonly communicative and easy to drive, it's a supreme ergonomic achievement and it flatters a rambunctious track style more rewardingly than any of its predecessors.
McLaren is set to launch a lighter, faster and generally more track-focused 765LT this year. Power and torque have been lifted to 754bhp and 590lb ft respectively, while the engineers have shaved 80kg in weight. If the previous 675LT and 600LT models are anything to go by, this newest Longtail model should be very special indeed.
This successor of sorts to the LaFerrari hypercar is the most powerful road car in Ferrari's history. It’s also the car that set the quickest lap time around the firm’s Fiorano test track. Oh, and it’s a plug-in hybrid that can travel for up to 15 miles on electricity alone. The SF90 Stradale is a very different kind of Ferrari, then.
It makes use of a heavily reworked version of the 488 Pista’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V8, which is complemented by a trio of electric motors that raise the Ferrari’s total power output to a staggering 986bhp, allowing for a 0-62mph time of 2.5sec. It’s a technological tour de force for sure yet, despite the additional weight that powertrain brings, it’s still just as incisive, intuitive, engaging and devastatingly quick as you would expect a mid-engined Ferrari to be.
That it makes for a comfortable long-distance cruiser is an added bonus, and the fact that you could theoretically run it as a zero-emissions commuter car is an amusing prospect to contemplate. As a blueprint for Ferrari’s electrified future, the SF90 is extremely encouraging.