• 10 Supercars That Were (Sadly) One-Hit Wonders

These supercars had potential before completely disappearing from the market

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The automotive landscape is changing according to emerging technologies. Long gone are the days when large auto manufacturers had the best innovations as individuals and small groups are producing models that test the limits of engineering. The number of supercars broaching the market has never been higher, and some of them have achieved moderate success. Unfortunately, others may have seen the light of day but did not do so well. It is probably because the supercar segment is saturated with options from the likes of McLaren and Lamborghini. These brands have many years of experience, resources, and better engagement with their markets.

Saleen S7

2001 Saleen S7
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Saleen S7

During the first years of the 21st century, the Saleen S7 embodied everything a supercar was meant to be, from styling to power. It looked interestingly like the McLaren F1, considering the similar appearance of the front end and headlights. The engine was a 7.0-liter V-8 from Ford, and you could choose between a naturally aspirated and twin-turbo version. The former meant an output of 550 horsepower, while the twin-turbo increased it to 750 horsepower. With these figures, the Saleen S7 could accelerate to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds. It also had a six-speed manual transmission, implying the Saleen S7 was designed to give the ultimate driving experience. However, it extracted every bit of concentration from the driver. The steering was so sensitive it apparently made the Porsche Cayman feel sluggish. By the time production of the S7 ended, only a few of them had been built. Steve Saleen himself has been relatively quiet about production numbers, though there was a limited LeMans edition done in 2018 following rumors of a revamp. The Saleen has since quietly gone out into the night, and there are no prospects of a comeback as the company’s backers have accused Saleen’s business partner of fraud and embezzlement.

2001 Saleen S7
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Saleen S7 specifications
Engine 7.0-litre V-8
Power 550 HP / 750 HP
0 to 60 mph 2.7 seconds
Transmission six-speed manual
Top Speed 248 mph

Read our full review on the Saleen S7

Gillet Vertigo.5 Spirit

10 Supercars That Were (Sadly) One-Hit Wonders Exterior
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The Vertigo was developed in Belgium by a former racing driver, Tony Gillet, with unique retro styling. The engine is a 4.2-liter Maserati V-8 that produced 420 horsepower, and the acceleration time is 3.2 seconds to 60 mph. Its quick acceleration and apparent speed were from the carbo Nomex Monocoque shell, which significantly reduced the weight. The Vertigo also featured personalization, so each customer had the chance to order the amenities according to what they desired. So far, this is the only iteration that was made. In 2014, the automaker participated in the production of the Zagato Mostro Maserati using the same monocoque chassis. News of the Vertigo has since been quiet since then.

10 Supercars That Were (Sadly) One-Hit Wonders Exterior
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Gillet Vertigo.5 Spirit specifications
Engine 4.2-litre Maserati V-8
Power 420 HP
0 to 60 mph 3.2 seconds
Transmission 6-speed Sequential
Top Speed 186 mph

Read our full review on the Gillet Vertigo.5 Spirit

Gumpert Apollo

2006 - 2012 Gumpert Apollo Exterior
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The Gumpert was made by Apollo Automobili, a German sports car manufacturer, from 2005 to 2012. It was named after Roland Gumpert, a former engineer for Audi motorsport during the 80s. Using his experience during the Quattro golden era, Gumpert came up with the no-frills supercar with a 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine derived from the old version of the Audi RS6. That was linked to a 7-speed sequential manual and produced 641 horsepower for the base version. The acceleration to 60 mph was 3.1 seconds, and it had a top speed of 223.9 miles per hour. Gumpert also indicated that the aerodynamic design for the Apollo was optimized to such a level that it could drive upside down in a tunnel at 190 miles per hour. Thankfully, no one has stepped forward to verify this. As a street-legal car, it had minimum accouterments to keep the weight low, only including air conditioning, infotainment, and a backup camera. Unfortunately, the manufacturer over-leveraged its profitability on the potential sales of the supercar in China, but it did not catch on. The company declared insolvency in 2013, resulting in the end of the Gumpert.

10 Supercars That Were (Sadly) One-Hit Wonders High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Gumpert Apollo specifications
Engine 4.2-litre twin-turbo V-8
Power 641 HP
0 to 60 mph 3.1 seconds
Transmission 7-speed sequential manual
Top Speed 224 mph

Read our full review on the Gumpert Apollo

Veritas RS III

2010 Veritas RS III High Resolution Exterior
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The Veritas was developed by Vermot AG in Grafschaft-Germany. Its concept was first illustrated in 2001, and the automaker declared it would then produce the first car for the road. The supercar was inspired by Germany’s first Formula 1 car, and the design shows a few similarities like the convertible setting and far back driving position. The engine was a 5.0-liter V-10 that produced 507 horsepower. Considering the lightweight structure, the RS III accelerated to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, and the top speed was 216 mph. A few models were exhibited at trade shows, but that is the extent of its success as only 30 have allegedly been sold. After the announcement for the start of production from 2008, there was hardly any other news. The company then went dormant by 2014.

10 Supercars That Were (Sadly) One-Hit Wonders High Resolution Exterior
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Veritas RS III specifications
Engine 5.0-litre V-10
Power 507 HP
0 to 60 mph 3.2 seconds
Transmission 7 speed SMG
Top Speed 216 mph

Read our full review on the Veritas RS III

Ascari A10

2006 Ascari A10
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The A10 is another supercar built by a small British company. It was announced in 2001, but it took four years to get it into production and not for very long. The Ascari styling features large intakes on the side and a wide-body structure reminiscent of the current supercars. Like the Veritas, it had a BMW M5 engine which was the 4.9-liter V-8. It was tuned to produce 500 horsepower, which is a hundred more than the output in the M5. It accelerated to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and the top speed was 215 miles per hour. Sources vary on the number of cars that Ascari built, but the consensus is they were less than a hundred.

10 Supercars That Were (Sadly) One-Hit Wonders
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Ascari A10 specifications
Engine 4.9-litre V-8
Power 500 HP
0 to 60 mph 2.8 seconds
Transmission 6-speed sequential manual
Top Speed 215 mph

Read our full review on the Ascari A10

Isdera Imperator 108i

10 Supercars That Were (Sadly) One-Hit Wonders Exterior
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The Imperator is one of the rarest supercars and was based on a Mercedes Benz concept in 1978. The styling of the Imperator is unique, featuring gullwing doors and a narrowed front fascia look. Despite the quirkiness, it had an overall look similar to the Lamborghinis and Ferraris of the 80s. The Imperator 108i had different eight-cylinder engine options from Mercedes. The first was a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that produced 235 horsepower. That was soon replaced by a 6.0-liter V-8 which was rated up to 420 horsepower. The acceleration to 60 mph was 5.0 seconds, similar to the newly released AMG Hammer. Despite being in production for an estimated ten years, the Imperator was built in few volumes, and only 30 units are said to have been produced.

10 Supercars That Were (Sadly) One-Hit Wonders Exterior
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Isdera Imperator 108i specifications
Engine 6.0-litre V-8
Power 420 HP
0 to 60 mph 5.0 seconds
Transmission five-speed manual
Top Speed 176 mph

Read our full review on the Isdera Imperator 108i

Lykan Hyper-Sport

2013 W Motors Lykan Hypersport Exterior
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The Lykan hyper sport was a Lebanese hyper-car produced by W Motors. It was meant for limited production as only seven units were produced between 2013 and 2017. The Lyken gained significant fame through video games and its appearance as a skyscraper jumping hyper-car in the Fast and Furious seven movie. The engine is a 3.7-liter twin-turbo flat-six producing 780 horsepower. The acceleration from 0 to 60 mph was 2.8 seconds, and it had a top speed of 240 miles per hour. Aside from the impressive power, it featured a lot of opulence with bespoke carbon fiber and leather interior. Precious metals like platinum, silver, and diamonds were also used for the cabin and to decorate the front LED optics.

2013 W Motors Lykan Hypersport Exterior
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Lykan Hyper-Sport specifications
Engine 3.7-litre twin-turbo flat-six
Power 780 HP
0 to 60 mph 2.8 seconds
Transmission 6-speed sequential manual
Top Speed 240 mph

Read our full review on the Lykan Hyper-Sport

Nicholas Waithaka
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