How Much Too Much?
When it comes to power in a road-going automobile, how much horsepower is too much? Some might say there is no such thing as too much, and it seems like a growing number of car companies would agree. Even as car shoppers the world over look for ever more fuel-efficient rides (and automakers work diligently to deliver those fuel-thrifty cars), at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show there were at least a dozen new sports cars and concepts that boast more than 1000 horsepower. One thousand. The powertrains required to generate that kind of output range from large V8s to fully-electric systems. What follows are the current crop and upcoming range of road-legal machines that make up the 1000-Horsepower Club. Note that several tuning companies will upgrade vehicles to this level of power. However, the vehicles listed here all come with at least 1000 horsepower direct from the manufacturer.
Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of ARCFOX — most people haven’t. But the Chinese car company certainly made a splash at this year’s Geneva Motor Show where it debuted the production version of its exotic all-electric GT sports car with versions for the street and track. With a lightweight carbon fiber body , plenty of downforce from the active rear spoiler and all-wheel drive with a torque-vectoring system, handling should be outstanding — and perhaps downright devastating.
ARCFOX showcased both the GT and GT Race Edition, the latter of which boasts six electric motors — two at the front, four at the rear — for a total output of 1600 horsepower. The “standard” GT gets by with four motors and a lesser output of 1000 horsepower. ARCFOX claims that either model will reach 62 mph in a bit over 2.5 seconds with maximum lateral acceleration of 1.5gs. ARCFOX is a division of Beijing Automotive Industry Company, and the GT was designed, tested and will be produced at BAIC’s R&D center in Spain.
Aston Martin AM-RB 003
Horsepower: 1100-plus (estimate)
Just as deliveries are beginning for the extreme Aston Martin Valkyrie, the British marque took the wraps off the Valkyrie’s successor at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Called the AM-RB 003 — the RB represents Red Bull’s involvement in the project — this new model features all the performance expected of a hypercar but with slightly more practicality. The center console has been widened to provide more space between driver and passenger, and there is even some luggage space behind the seats.
Aston Martin AM-RB 003
Although there’s no denying that AM-RB 003 is one sexy-looking machine, the shape and design are primarily driven by aerodynamics. In true exotic fashion, the AM-RB 003 employs next-generation aircraft morphing technology that can create a variable airfoil across the entire rear wing for improved downforce. Full details about AM-RB 003’s powertrain have not been released beyond the fact that motivation will come from an all-new Aston Martin turbocharged V6 hybrid engine. Given that the Valkyrie boasts more than 1100 horsepower, educated musings suggest that engine power for AM-RB 003 will be in a similar realm. The AM-RB 003 shown in Geneva is considered a prototype — design and features will continue to evolve until the vehicle is ready for production in late 2021.
Aston Martin Valkyrie
This British marque is well known for building luxurious high-performance sports cars, but a few years ago the company announced it was introducing its first hypercar. The mid-engine Valkyrie was designed to bring Formula One performance to a street-legal car, making full use of Red Bull Racing’s experience and technology on the circuit. The entire vehicle is comprised of carbon fiber — in fact, there is not one steel component in the Valkyrie. With extreme aerodynamics and lightweight construction, handling will be unlike just about any other road car.
Aston Martin Valkyrie
Aston Martin recently released the specs of the Valkyrie’s powertrain and it is quite impressive. With a naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine teamed with a battery-electric system, total output is 1160 horsepower at a screaming 10500 rpm with 664 lb-ft of torque peaking at 6000 rpm. Performance specs haven’t been released; however, the Valkyrie should sprint to 60 mph in under 3 seconds easily, with a top speed certain to exceed 200 mph. Only 150 Valkyries will be built and all have been spoken for. First deliveries are scheduled to take place later this year.
Bugatti Chiron 110 ANS
Bugatti is celebrating its 110th anniversary, and to commemorate this milestone the legendary brand is introducing a special edition Bugatti Chiron Sport — the “110 ans Bugatti.” Finished in a two-tone color scheme with exposed Steel Blue carbon fiber and matte Steel Blue, the Bugatti Chiron Sport “110 ans Bugatti” pays tribute to France with exterior and interior elements utilizing the French Tricolor — the three colors of blue, white and red found in the French flag. On the exterior, the mirror caps, underside of the deployable rear spoiler and “110 ans Bugatti” logos all feature the blue, white and red, while many interior elements also incorporate the French Tricolor.
Bugatti Chiron 110 ANS
Underneath the matte Steel Blue and Steel Blue Carbon engine cover of the Bugatti Chiron Sport “110 ans Bugatti” lurks the awesome 8.0-liter W16 engine with quad turbochargers producing 1500 horsepower and 1180 lb-ft of torque, with all that power delivered through a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. According to Bugatti performance figures, the Chiron Sport “110 ans Bugatti” will accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 2.4 seconds, reach 124 mph in 6.1 seconds, and 186 mph in 13.1 seconds. Maximum speed is 261 mph. The production run of this Bugatti Chiron Sport “110 ans Bugatti” will be limited to a mere 20 cars.
When it comes to the ultimate extreme sports car on the planet, most auto aficionados will think of the Bugatti Chiron. With enormous power and a top speed north of 260 mph, this car resides at a different level than practically any other. However, Bugatti felt it could make a special version that would not only be more exclusive but also offer better handling and performance. Thus the Bugatti Divo, which made its world debut last summer in Pebble Beach. Design changes that differentiate Divo from Chiron are primarily functional — all with the goal of improving agility and performance.
The newly-designed wider front spoiler on the Divo provides higher downforce as well as more airflow, which improves overall cooling. The roof of the Divo has been shaped to direct air into the engine to help manage operating temperatures. Bugatti engineers have also adjusted the steering and suspension for more direct response and sportier driving. While power and acceleration figures remain the same as the Chiron, the Divo is able to lap the Nardo handling circuit a full 8 seconds faster than the Chiron.
Bugatti La Voiture Noire
Bugatti created a handcrafted, one-off hyper sports car, La Voiture Noire, and unveiled it to attending media on opening day of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show press preview. Produced for a Bugatti enthusiast, La Voiture Noire is a stunning, sleek grand touring coupe with sculpted bodywork in black carbon fiber — a modern sports car that pays tribute to the legendary Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic developed by Ettore Bugatti’s son, Jean.
Bugatti La Voiture Noire
Under the hood of the Bugatti La Voiture Noire resides the same engine that powers the Bugatti Chiron Sport: an 8.0-liter W16 with quad turbochargers producing 1500 horsepower and 1180 lb-ft of torque. “For Bugatti, ‘La Voiture Noire’ is more than just a reminiscence of the Atlantic,” said Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann. “We are paying tribute to a long tradition, to France and to the creative work of Jean Bugatti. At the same time, we are transferring extraordinary technology, aesthetics and extreme luxury to a new age.” According to Bugatti, a car collector purchased La Voiture Noire for 11 million Euros — approximately 12.4 million dollars — making it the world’s most expensive new car.
Hennessey Venom F5
The Hennessey name has long been associated with making cars — and trucks — go faster. Throughout its history, the American tuner has upped the performance on an array of vehicles ranging from sports cars to SUVs. Now Hennessey Motor Sports is building its own vehicle from the ground up called the Venom F5 – successor to the 270-mph Venom GT. The F5 features a new chassis and a carbon fiber body shaped to have the least possible drag. With active aero components, the F5’s coefficient of drag is a mere 0.33 — a very slippery car. Although aerodynamics is important, so is weight savings. The lightweight chassis and carbon fiber body help the F5 tip the scales at 2,950 lbs.
Hennessey Venom F5
With the goal of making this one of the fastest cars in the world, the F5 will be powered by a newly developed 7.6-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that generates an astronomical 1600 horsepower and 1300 lb-ft of torque. Some outrageous Venom stats: The F5 is expected to reach 186 mph (300 km/h) in less than 10 seconds. Hennessey also claims this new hypercar will sprint to 249 mph (400 km/h) and back to a standstill in under 30 seconds. Most importantly, Hennessey hopes the F5 will reach the ultimate goal of exceeding 300 mph. Only 24 Venom F5s will be built, half of which will be sold in America. The price is currently set at $1.6 million and first deliveries are expected later in 2019.
Hispano Suiza Carmen
One hundred and fifteen years ago, Damián Mateu and Marc Birkigt founded a car company in Barcelona called Hispano-Suiza. Until the mid-1940s the company turned out more than 12,000 luxury automobiles. After what would be considered a rather lengthy hiatus, the company is back with an all-new model that debuted at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Named for Carmen Mateu — the granddaughter of the company’s founder and mother of the current president — the Carmen is a fully-electric luxury hypercar. Styling is heavily influenced by early Hispano-Suiza models, particularly the 1938 Hispano-Suiza H6C Dubonnet Xenia, of which only one was ever produced.
Hispano Suiza Carmen
While the Carmen may look to the past for style, the powertrain is definitely gazing into the future. Working with QEV Technologies, Hispano Suiza has outfitted the Carmen with two electric motors — one on each rear wheel — that combine to generate just over 1000 horsepower. Power is controlled via a sophisticated torque-vectoring system, allowing the Carmen to rocket to 62 mph in less than 3 seconds. The 80-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack should provide range of around 250 miles. Only 19 Carmens will be built — at a price set at €1.5 million. Deliveries are expected to start in June 2020.
This Swedish supercar company chose the 2019 Geneva Motor Show to introduce the successor the powerful Agera RS. The all-new Jesko — named for the founder’s father — is a car suited for both street and track. The Jesko’s carbon-fiber monocoque chassis is slightly longer and taller than the Agera, which provides a roomier cabin. Styling is clearly Koenigsegg; however, the massive rear spoiler is what instantly draws the eye. At high speed the Jesko generates more than 2,200 pounds of downforce for excellent grip and handling.
Powering the Jesko is a redesigned 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 1280 horses on standard gasoline, and when fueled by E85 biofuel, the output rating jumps to an incredible 1600 horsepower. This energy gets directed through an all-new 9-speed “Light Speed Transmission” that was designed in-house and allows for practically instant gear changes from any gear to any gear. Koenigsegg also announced that there will be a sibling to the Jesko — the Jesko 300. With less downforce and more streamlined aerodynamics, the Jesko 300 is named for the goal of breaking the elusive 300-mph mark. Only 125 Jeskos will be sold, and at the time of the reveal more than 80 had been reserved.
Introduced a few years ago at the Geneva Motor Show, the Regera is considered the flagship of the Koenigsegg lineup, combining a high level of luxury with the extreme performance expected from this Swedish car company. Inside the sleek sports car, lucky occupants will find memory-foam power seats, a 9-inch display screen, Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple CarPlay and ambient lighting. The roof is removable and can be stowed under the front hood. Although passengers will enjoy the comfortable interior, this car is really all about extreme performance.
Powering this supercar is a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine teamed with two electric motors via a unique direct-drive system. With more than 700 horsepower from the electric motors alone, combined output is reported to exceed 1500 horsepower with 1475 lb-ft of torque. Weighing in at 3,500 pounds, the Regera will reach 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and — even more impressive — almost 250 mph in less than 20 seconds. According to the carmaker, the direct-drive transmission delivers extreme performance while offering an impressively smooth driving experience. It is also possible to drive the Regera in complete silence in EV mode.
Horsepower: 1035-plus (estimate)
Many would argue that the McLaren F1 is one of the most significant sports cars ever built, breaking a 10-year-old record in 1998 to become the world’s fastest production car by clocking a maximum speed of 240.14 mph. The British carmaker subsequently created some thrilling sports cars, but nothing could really be considered a proper successor to that iconic F1 until now: enter the McLaren Speedtail. Referred to as a “Hyper-GT,” the Speedtail will be the fastest production McLaren ever, with an expected top speed of 250 mph. The Speedtail is constructed around a carbon-fiber McLaren Monocage and makes extensive use of lightweight materials throughout. This includes a body made entirely from carbon fiber, aluminum active suspension and carbon-ceramic brakes — all contributing to a low vehicle weight of 3,153 pounds.
Full details of the Speedtail’s powertrain have not been released, although its gas-electric hybrid system will generate at least 1035 horsepower. McLaren expects the Speedtail to be capable of reaching 186 mph in 12.8 seconds. In homage to the iconic F1, the new Speedtail possesses some striking similarities. Only 106 F1s were built, so McLaren will be limiting the production of the Speedtail to the same 106 models — all of which have been reserved. Most noticeable is the seating — when it debuted the F1 was pioneering in many ways, but it stood out for having the driver sitting in the center of the cockpit, flanked by two passenger seats set farther back. This same seat configuration has been carried over to the new Speedtail. The McLaren Speedtail will have a starting price of £1.75 million (US$2.25 million). Deliveries of this new extreme-performance supercar are expected to start in early 2020.
The Pininfarina name has adorned some of the most beautiful cars ever built, but rather than being the design house for another car company, this time Pininfarina is building its own car. Named for Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, who founded the Carrozzeria Pininfarina coachbuilding company in 1930, the new Battista is an all-electric hyper GT car with a stunning carbon fiber body and carbon fiber monocoque chassis. Although the design is completely Pininfarina, the fully-electric powertrain comes from the Croatian car company Rimac.
The Battista gets four electric motors — one at each wheel — for a combined output of 1900 horsepower and almost 1700 lb-ft of torque. This results in astounding acceleration — 62 mph is achieved in 1.9 seconds. With a 120 kWh Lithium-Ion battery pack, the Battista can travel about 280 miles on a single charge. Deliveries of the Pininfarina Battista will start in 2020 with only 150 expected to be made available. When it arrives, the Pininfarina Battista will be the most powerful street-legal car ever designed and built in Italy.
Rimac C Two
One of the most extreme cars of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show — which is a high rung to reach — is the Rimac C Two. The second model from Croatia-based Rimac, the C Two is billed as the most powerful electric hypercar in the world. The C Two is powered by four electric motors — one at each wheel — for a combined output of 1914 horsepower. Almost 1700 lb-ft of torque is generated instantly for acceleration that would leave just about any other car in its dust. The sprint to 60 mph takes 1.85 seconds and it passes 186 mph in 11.8 seconds. Top speed is listed as 256 mph, and Rimac claims the C Two will have a range of 550 km (about 342 miles) with its 120 kWh battery capacity.
Rimac C Two
The C Two was designed and engineered in house by Rimac and features one of the world’s largest single-piece carbon-fiber monocoques. The batteries and powertrain are integrated into the monocoque for greater torsional stiffness. Double-wishbone suspension with electronically-controlled dampers provides a smooth and comfortable ride, while the electric motors at each wheel work together for impressive dynamic control. The C Two is expected to go into production for 2020. Only 150 will be built, but it will be certified for sale globally — including in the U.S.
If exclusivity and extreme performance are required, the Zenvo TSR-S may be the perfect solution. This Danish car company plans to build only five of these high-performance cars annually, so the odds of seeing another (or even one) on the road are rather slim. “Like all our cars, the Zenvo TSR-S is 100 percent Danish-designed and hand-built in an extremely limited number,” said Zenvo Marketing Director Peter van Rooy. “Each car is fully customizable and built to order, tailored to the precise specifications of the discerning client,” van Rooy noted.
This sleek exotic is powered by a twin-supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine that produces 1177 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. The run to 62 mph comes up in 2.8 seconds, and twice that speed in 6.8 seconds. One of the craziest features on the TSR-S is the Zentripetal Wing. This rear spoiler has two rotational axes that allow it to act as an air brake or cornering stabilizer. When the TSR-S corners, the wing rotates relative to the car’s longitudinal axis. This theoretically generates an inward force together with conventional downforce, boosting inner tire grip and cornering stability.