TopSpeed’s Best of 2011: Supercar of the Year
Going through all of the glorious supercars of 2011 was no easy task, especially since it felt like every random country of the world was developing their own supercar. Each vehicle we came across deserved to have their time to shine on the list for best supercar of 2011, but as time went on, it was clear which ones stood out above all of the rest.
A couple of the supercars on the list shouldn’t surprise anyone, especially since they were created by one of the top supercar makers in the world. Then there are the relative newbies to the group that have received enough recognition to warrant praise from the average car enthusiast, but the final vehicle would probably not be recognized by many and its home country may actually cause ridicule to ensue. The end result, however, was enough to give it a spot on our list.
Hit the jump to check out which of the supercar bad boys made it to the top of our list for Supercar of the Year.
The almighty "BullGod" came charging out of the Lamborghini factory this year and there is no better place for it then on the supercar of the year list. Unless, of course, you count our garage being a better place.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the new Aventador LP700-4 follows the same design language as with the latest Reventon and Sesto Elemento concept. The model was designed at the Centro Stile Lamborghini in Sant’Agata Bolognese and takes its inspiration from modern aeronautics and from the world’s fastest and most agile aircraft. The sleek and speed-ready exterior is matched up with a new 6.5-liter V12 engine with an AWD layout that produces 700 HP at 8,250 rpm and 509 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm. It is the first all-new Lamborghini developed engine since the Countach. This engine will be able to get from 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds while blasting off a top speed of 217 mph. With a total weight of 1,575 kilograms (3,472 lb) it will deliver a power to weight ratio of 2.25 Kg/hp.
Ahhh, the American supercar. We’re so proud of the SSC Tuatara that there was no way we could possibly leave it off of this list. Scheduled to take on Bugatti once again in the war for the title of “World’s Fastest Production car,” SSC went to work to produce this powerful and beautifully designed work of art.
Speaking of design, the Tuatara was penned by none other than Italian American designer Jason Castriota, who has designed cars for the very best in the industry: Ferrari, Pininfarina, Rolls Royce, and Bertone to name but a few. What he ended up with was a car with a classic but pivotal shape and a stunning contrast of power and beauty with a very low drag co-efficient.
The proposed record breaker is powered by a quad-cam, twin-turbo V8 displacing 6.8 liters. The engine, like all the other mechanical parts, are all developed in-house by SSC themselves and is joined by a four-valves-per-cylinder overhead cam (OHC) setup as opposed to push rods and new SSC spec turbochargers. The new setup is good for a colossal 1350HP and will rev to 9000RPM! Zero to 62mph will arrive in around 2.8 seconds and SSC claims a top speed of, wait for it, 275mph!
Because it’s RWD rather than 4WD like our friend the Veyron, it’s lighter...much lighter. The Aero II weighs 1200kgs, a full 638kgs lighter than the comparatively pudgy Bugatti – and it produces more power. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the power to weight ratio is over 1000HP per tonne, putting it in the league of the Caparo T1.
Our supercar of the year list could not be complete without including this special edition rockstar. The Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale is described as the "the most extreme Gallardo ever" and with good reason. It was inspired by the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo and is placed on the top of the Gallardo line-up in all of its exclusive "Rosso Mars" paint glory. The color itself symbolizes Italy’s traditional racing red and draws from the car’s connection with ultimate race track performance, but its power also comes into play for its title to be fully appreciated.
The amborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale is powered by a V10 engine that delivers a total of 570 HP and a peak torque 398 lbs-ft at 6500 rpm. The engine will be combined with an all-wheel-drive system and a robotized six-speed transmission controlled by steering wheel paddles. With a total weight of 2954 lbs, the new special edition will make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in just 3.4 seconds and to 124 mph in 10.4 seconds, headed up to a top speed of 198 mph.
The McLaren MP4-12C has been a long time coming, with years of design and production difficulties stalling the eventual debut for far too long. It finally did come out, though, with a few more last minute revisions before it rolled out the door.
The most important factor for this vehicle is the M838T engine that was designed specifically for the 12C and has several unique features. It is a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 weighing only 439 lbs. The engine produces 592hp @7,000rpm and 443 lb-ft. of torque between 3,000 and 7,000rpm. With the use of the company’s carbon-fiber structure and other lightweight components, such as an optional exhaust made from Inconel, the car achieves a stellar power-to-weight ratio of 455bhp/tonne. It’s a simple racing fact that low weight and high power are key ingredients to speed. The 12C will reach 60mph in 3.3 seconds and an even faster 3.1 seconds with the optional high-performance tire option. As this car will undoubtedly be compared to the McLaren F1 of the past, the new team made sure the top speed of the 12C would be formidable topping out at 205mph.
The McLaren MP4-12C recently proved its power when it reported a Nurburgring lap time of 7:28 at the hands of Horst von Saurma, Editor-in-Chief of Sport Auto. This put the MP4-12C one notch above the Ferrari 458 Italia (7:38), but falling short of the Porsche GT2 RS and Lexus LF-A Nurburgring Package.
There’s always that one vehicle that catches people by surprise and although many would have thought that the McLaren fit that bill on this list, it’s the Zenvo ST1 50S that greedily takes the title. For starters, this is a Danish supercar whose base model wouldn’t have been picked out of a lineup, but Zenvo decided this was the year to change all that by creating three special edition ST1 models for the North American market, called the ’ST1 50S’. Despite the ultra limited number of this model, Zenvo made sure they were worth every penny prospective customers would have to shell out for the chance to own one of the three hypercars.
The Zenvo ST1 50S carries the same aggressive design language as a standard ST1, albeit with a number of aesthetic improvements to warrant its special edition designation. Among the new goodies that came with the Danish supercar include a special color scheme for each of the three available models that includes Intense Red, Crystal White, and Mediterranean Blue. Other new items that come with the limited edition supercar are a set of magnesium wheels and monogrammed seats. Then there’s a complimentary Aspen Zenvo watch that was thrown in for good measure. The watch alone retailed for $49,000 before Zenvo decided to throw it in as their gift with purchase.
As far as power is concerned, the standard Zenvo ST1 is powered by a 7.0-liter supercharged V8 engine that produces 1,104 horsepower and 1,050 lb/ft of torque. For the special edition ST1 50S, that number goes up to 1,250 horsepower and 1,106 lb/ft of torque, representing an improvement of 146 horsepower and 56 lb/ft of torque from the standard model. The ST1 50S is also mated with a seven-speed transmission and can hit a 0-60 mph time of under three seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 233 mph.