To say it simply, hypercars – an intensively developing segment - can be considered the evolution of supercars. The term was actually coined with a different meaning by the American Amory Lovins, who established the famous R.M.I. (Rocky Mountain Institute), which built a highly efficient and spacious car resembling a SUV in 1990. He named it ‘hypercar'. Consumption was unexpectedly low without renouncing power and speed.
But the term gradually acquired a broader meaning, designating high-powered cars featuring the lines of endurance competition vehicles. As an evolution, hypercars are by far superior to supercars in every way: firstly in terms of price, and then for rarity, outstanding performance, easy drivability and design. Hypercars are marvellously light and easy to drive, however paradoxical this might seem. Their design is studied to reduce weight to a minimum and boost performance by exploiting the tremendous horsepower.
Only for the chosen elite
Considering these characteristics, it comes as no surprise that hypercars are often handmade with costly precious materials, and later sold in an extremely limited edition. We could mention Pagani, for instance, who produce a maximum number of 100 cars for each model, but unique bespoke models are not a rarity.
This manufacturing segment's future seems closely linked to electrically-powered engines. We find such an enlightening example in Pininfarina Battista, which is completing tests for the series. Its technical specifications certify 1,900 HP and 2,300 Nm of torque produced by four permanent magnet motors, one per wheel, powered by a liquid-cooled 120 kWh-sized lithium ion battery.
The stunning performance boasts 0-100 km/h covered in less than 2 seconds – far exceeding the speed of an F1 single-seater – and an impressive transition from 0 to 300 km/h in less than 12 seconds.
The race is on to leave the public speechless. From one car show to another, the hypercars of small car makers climbing the market ladder are stealing the scene. Just to mention a few: Aspark Owl with 2,000 HP, Rimac C-Two, whose final silhouette will be displayed at the next Geneva show, the typically Italian Frangivento Asfanè, and many others.
New manufacturers of handmade cars are elbowing their way into this niche with innovative ideas, endowing their vehicles with a unique “soul” that places them apart from others as desirable objects. A soul that can be detected in a detail, or under the bonnet or, again, on the logo.
Pagani, for instance, invented active aerodynamics, which made its début with Huayra. With Speedtail, McLaren revisits an idea that made its début on the British car maker's F1 model by proposing a three-seater with driver sitting at the centre and slightly forward, flanked by the two passengers. Seats are lined with precious Poltrona Frau leather to ensure high comfort speed (over 400 km/h with Speedtail).