As anyone who’s watched an episode of the TV show or turned a few pages of the magazine will tell you, the folks over at TopGear have a penchant for absurdity. From converting a Reliant Robin into a space shuttle, to carting around half-rotten cow carcasses, to driving a homemade miniature car through a library, these loons eschew common sense like it’s a skin disease. Which is why the hybrid hypercars from Ferrari, Porsche, and McLaren suit them perfectly.
Let me explain. These three machines represent the very finest of the automotive world, with extremes of every conceivable sense practically dripping from their carbon-composite body panels. They are hugely powerful, immensely quick, technologically advanced beyond comprehension, and breathtakingly good looking.
They are also completely unattainable, and utterly unusable. At around a million dollars per example, the vast majority of these cars will not see much road use, nor will they have every tenth wrung out of them on a track. These vehicles may be masterpieces of engineering and design. They may be heralds of petrol-powered potential. But they are also, in a word, absurd.
Which is exactly why everyone likes them so much.
At a minute and a half, this video showcases these ridiculously incredible speed machines howling their engines, sliding around, and generally being awesome. Sound good? Thought so.
Click past the jump to read about these hybrid hypercars.
It’s quite the audacious statement for an automaker to name a car after itself, but Ferrari is not known to be the kind of organization that will shy away from doing something daring.
Therefore, the Ferrari squared sports the absolute best that Maranello can offer. 963 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque are wrangled from a 6.3-liter, V-12, gasoline engine and two electric motors, which sends thrust to the rear wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. The batteries are charged via an energy reclamation system called HY-KERS, something Ferrari originally designed for use in its Formula 1 cars. The aerodynamics were also inspired by that top echelon of motorsport, with a drag coefficient of nearly 0.3 spread out amongst the downforce-generating wings and spoilers. The sprint to 60 is demolished in three seconds flat, while top speed is rated at 217 mph.
Stuttgart interjects with its own variety of perfectly balanced absurdity in the form of the 918 Spyder. Using a multiplicity of composites for just about every component on the vehicle, including the carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic monocoque, the 918 trims the fat to an obsessive degree. And while a 3,700-pound curb weight might not sound that impressive, it starts to make sense when you consider a 4.6-liter V-8, two electric motors, and all-wheel-drive to make the thing go.
Horsepower totaling 887 and 940 total pound-feet of torque give the 918 a 0-to-60 time of under three seconds and a top speed of 211 mph. For anyone left wanting more, there’s the Weissach package, which shaves off an additional 77 pounds from the curb weight and another two tenths from that 0-to-60.
Back in the 90s, McLaren made another absurd car called the F1. It came with all the right features, like big power, low weight, and high tech. This vehicle was a prophecy of sorts, because 15 years later, the British carmaker released the even crazier P1.
Everything on the P1 is configurable and changeable. It automatically adjusts its suspension, aerodynamics, and drivetrain to deliver the best possible performance, given the conditions. Mounted in the middle is a twin-turbo, 3.8-liter, V-8 flamethrower with an electric motor playing backup. A seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission keeps the revs a-coming, while the carbon-ceramic brakes mounted in the front are big enough to stop a planet. Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires offer unending grip. The final result of all this technology is a 2.6 0-to-60 and 217 mph top speed.