Supercars should be the pinnacle of what the automotive industry can offer. They have the coolest looks, the best performances, and the latest high tech, and they're fantastic to drive. Supercars are usually incredibly expensive as well. Therefore, this is what you, as a customer would expect.
If I spend that much money, I'm buying a dream car. Those are huge expectations. Automakers feel great pressure. So, things don't always end as expected. Sometimes, carmakers don't create a supercar that meets customers' quality expectations. Other times, the car they make is really good, but it gets overshadowed by the models that come after. Therefore, they're not desirable options for the buyers. There are also those that are simply too ugly, and for supercars looks matter.
This especially became a problem during the early 2000s. Those supercars weren't tech-heavy and didn't have electronic control units behind everything like supercars in recent years. They also don't have the raw power of the supercars from the '90s. Some of those problems, carmakers created for themselves. They didn't anticipate well the development of new technologies or the popularity of electric cars. When you're in the supercar-making business, your cars must be unique and must stand out. So, some of those cars just got stuck in the middle, trapped between the more extravagant models of the past and the overall better models of the future.
24 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (2003-2007)
When Mercedes-Benz teamed up with McLaren, every car enthusiast was exited. Sadly, they appeared to combine the worst of both worlds in the McLaren SLR. The original version was too heavy, too wide, and misformed. There were some special versions later, but at the end, Mercedes and McLaren parted ways. The results of their independent efforts are the fantastic McLaren MP4-12C and the very good Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. However, let's talk about this car.
The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is a front-engine, rear-wheel drive with an automatic transmission.
In front of the driver is a SOHC 8-cylinder engine that produces 557 horsepower with 580 lb-ft of torque. The SLR can speed up from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and to 100 mph in 7.5 seconds, and it can complete a quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds. The McLaren SLR's top speed is 126 mph (203 km/h).
23 Lotus Exige (2004-2006)
The Lotus Exige looks like a Tasmanian devil and is a great track-day racer. Under the hood of the Exige is a 1.8-liter VVTi engine from Toyota Celica. This model, without a supercharger, can power up to 190 mph and boost up to 8,500 rpm. However, the Exige is much lighter than the Celica. Therefore, it can speed up from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and to 100 mph in 10 seconds. Its handling is outstanding on the racetrack, but you'll have a problem with three-point turns and the parking in real life. The interior is original and attractive but not comfortable, and visibility is bad. Therefore, the Exige is a perfect car for a track day but not for everyday use. Lotus is making different versions of the Exige to this day. They're lighter and quicker every year. What's important is that they're better everyday cars.
22 Covini C6W (2004)
The Covini C6W project was first brought to light in 1974. After three decades, the joint venture between Covini Engineering and PMI SpA finally produced the Covini C6W in 2004. This is a bizarre and exotic supercar. The six wheels are something that everyone notices first. The front ones are 15”, 205/45-15 tires, and the back ones are 20”, 345/25-20 tires. They all have Brembo brake discs on them.
The Covini C6W is powered by Audi's 4.2-liter V8 engine. It's capable of producing 434 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.
The Covini is actually a rear-wheel drive with a six-speed manual gearbox. Aside from being weird, there's nothing special about the Covini C6W. You can see that from its performance numbers. In addition, the Covini C6W is riddled with technical problems.
21 Ferrari California (2008–2014)
The Ferrari California is an entry-level Ferrari. It's a cheap convertible that's basically aimed at rich women. Of course, this makes it very controversial. Some think it’s a beautiful little car, and some consider it a travesty. Famous Ken Okuyama from Pininfarina signs the design of the California. The biggest complaint is about the design of the backside. It's beady-eyed and robust. In a way, it betrays all the racing heritage and smooth-flowing lines from the past Ferraris. The California has an F136 4.3-liter V8 engine that delivers 453 horsepower and 358 lb-ft of torque. This car can speed up from zero to 60 mph in just under 4 seconds and has a top speed of 310 km/h (193 mph). Since this year, a great-looking Portofino has replaced the California, so we can say that Ferrari considered it a one off-model as well.
20 Lotus Europa S (2006-2010)
This car pays homage to Lotus's first ever mid-engined car from 1966. The Europa tries to be sporty like the Elise and the Exige but with more practicality. The Europa has the same bonded aluminum chassis like the Elise and the Exige. However, it's a longer and much heavier car with good boot space. Inside, this is still a Lotus, not very comfortable or practical. Everything is made to give a racing feel. The faster you go, the cabin fizzes with more energy.
The Europa has a turbocharged 2.0-liter GM Ecotec engine. It produces only 197 horsepower and 201 lb-ft of torque.
The Europa will reach 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and 100 mph in 13.8 seconds, and its top speed is 143 mph (230 km/h). The Europa isn't as powerful and doesn't look as good as the Elise and the Exige. Therefore, there's no real need for the Europa to exist.
19 Lamborghini Murcielago (2001–2006)
The Murcielago is the first Lamborghini made by Audi. It presents a preview of Lamborghini's car for the new millennium. Murcielago is much more reliable and technically better than the Diablo or the Countach.
Under the hood is the mighty 6.5-liter V12 engine. This engine can make 572 horsepower with 487 lb-ft of torque. Murcielago accelerates from zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds, and its top speed is around 200 mph.
The Murcielago is a four-wheel drive with incredibly light steering. So, handling is easy and tight. What's the problem, you ask? Well, at the beginning of the 2000s, every big company had a supercar for the new millennium—the Ferrari Enzo, the Porsche Carrera GT, the Bugatti Veyron... They were all better than the Murcielago. In addition, after the first-generation Murcielago, Lamborghini made a more powerful LP640 version and an Aventador model. The Aventador is not just better in everything but has also been the platform for every future Lamborghini so far.
18 Gumpert Apollo (2005)
The Gumpert Apollo is the first car of German automaker Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH from Altenburg. The man behind the car is former Audi engineer Roland Gumpert. The Gumpert Apollo was developed in cooperation with Audi.
The Apollo had Audi’s twin-turbocharged 4.2-litre 90-degree V8 engine.
The transmission was handled by a six-speed sequential gearbox. The Gumpert Apollo has 641 horsepower and a top speed of 225 mph. The Apollo is very muscular and robust-looking. It's not as refined as some well-known supercars. The reason why Gumpert doesn't want you to know about or buy this model is the existence of two upgraded versions. A few years after the original Apollo, models Apollo S (with 690 bhp) and Apollo R (with 789 bhp) came. Today, the company is called "Apollo Automobil," and Roland Gumpert is no longer in the company.
17 Qvale Mangusta (2000-2002)
There's a reason why the name and the looks of this car are familiar. Famous Argentinian racer Alejandro de Tomaso made the 310 Mangusta Coupe between 1966 and 1972. His business partner, Kjell Qvale, created the Qvale Mangusta alone with his son in 2000. It was inspired by the original Mangusta and developed on the Ford SVT Mustang Cobra chassis. The Qvale Mangusta is not just a re-bodied Mustang. Officially, only the powertrain, the fuel system, and the steering column are left from the Mustang. Famous car designer Marcello Gandini is responsible for the Mangusta's design. Under the hood is a 4.6-liter DOHC V-8 engine. It can develop 320 horsepower and 314 pound-feet of torque. This is suspiciously similar to Cobra’s numbers. Mangusta also drives like a Mustang—powerful but bad at cornering. The build quality is bad, too, and the whole car feels cheap. The asking price of $84,200 was also excessively high. You can buy a used Ferrari for that sum.
16 Caparo T1 (2007)
Caparo Vehicle Technologies made the Caparo T1 in 2007. It's obvious that the Caparo was inspired by the Formula One design. The T1’s body and chassis are made from carbon fiber. The engine is made from parts used in Infiniti’s Indycar. It's a 3.5-liter V8 that can produce 575 horsepower. Caparo weighs only 550 kg, so it has a power-to-weight ratio of over 1,000 bhp per ton.
Unofficially, the T1 can go from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and to 100 mph in 5 seconds.
The Caparo T1 delivers amazing performance. Sadly, it's not road-legal in many countries. It doesn't offer the versatility and the comfort that other supercars offer. In addition, apparently, T1 had many technical problems. Both TV presenters Jason Plato (legendary driver/Top Speed) and Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear/Grand Tour) had a crash due to technical problems during testing.
15 Mitsuoka Orochi (2001)
The Mitsuoka Orochi is a Japanese supercar. The first thing you notice is the design. It's wild, extravagant, and fashionable. Most distinctive is the grille that looks like a crazy smile. With a completely swooping bodywork and old Ferrari-inspired vertical windows, everything is attention-grabbing. It's hard to argue taste, but that's not the Orochi's problem. The problems start when you open the doors. You can barely squeeze inside. The build quality is good, but the interior is spartan, and comfort is an afterthought. Everything is sacrificed for performance, or so you think. Under the hood is a 3.3-liter V6 engine from Lexus. It can create only 231 horsepower and 327 Nm of torque. The Mitsuoka speeds up from zero to 60 mph slowly in around 7 seconds. Although its mid-engined layout and outrageous styling scream supercar, the Mitsuoka Orochi is far from it.
14 Ford GT (2004–2006)
On this list, we have the first generation of the new Ford GT. It was made to honor the Ford GT 40 model from the sixties. It was an incredibly successful car, especially in racing, as it famous for beating Ferrari at Le Mans four consecutive times from 1966 to 1969. Ford presented GT for the new millennium in 2004. GT has all the unique design features. It's just more modern-looking, bigger, wider, and taller than its predecessor. Under the hood is Ford's modular 5.4-liter four-valve V8 engine.
With twin superchargers, it delivers 550 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque.
For its time, the Ford GT was pretty fast, going from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and completing a quarter of a mile in 11.2 seconds. Sadly, it was too unreliable and robust to drive. It didn't achieve the expected racing success as well. In 2016, Ford presented the second generation of the GT, and it was much better.
13 Shelby Series 1 (1998- 2005)
The Shelby Series 1 is the last car made by Carroll Shelby. It's also the first he designed, and it was engineered from scratch. He had always re-engineered cars for other automakers. Now, however, the Series 1 is completely his, and only Shelby America produces it. The Shelby Series 1 has a honeycomb aluminum chassis and a carbon-fiber body. Under the hood is an Oldsmobile 4.0-liter V8 from IndyCar.
It delivers 320 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 290 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm.
The Series 1 will go from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, with a top speed of 170 mph (273.5 km/h). The Shelby Series 1 has a timeless and gorgeous shape. Its interior also looks great and is filled with gadgets. All this will cost you a huge sum of $181,824. However, the biggest problem is that the Series 1 is full of bugs and technical issues. The famous Car and Driver magazine tested this car twice and recorded around 10 problems.
12 Eliica (2004)
The Eliica is a Japanese electric prototype supercar designed by a team from Keio University from Tokyo. "Eliica" is short for "Electric Lithium-Ion Car." The Eliica is the more refined version of the KAZ limousine from 2003. The Eliica has a front seat for the driver and three passenger seats in the back. The first thing you notice is the eight wheels; they, if nothing, give the Eliica a great traction and grip. It's also interesting that its doors open upward like gull wings. The Eliica runs on a lithium-ion battery, plus, each wheel has a 60 kW (80 hp) electric motor. Together, they produce a force of 480 kW or 640 horsepower. The Eliica can speed up from zero to 60 mph in around 4 seconds. The Eliica reached 370 km/h (230 mph) on the Nardò racing track. Two more versions were made in 2005. Sadly, despite being ahead of its time, the Eliica didn't meet much success.
11 Aston Martin First-generation V12 Vanquish (2001-2005)
The Aston Martin Vanquish is the first-generation V12 designed by Ian Callum. It looks as stylish and as high class as you would expect from Aston Martin. The Vanquish is also incredibly comfortable and luxurious, especially for a supercar. The engine is a mighty 48-valve 60° V 12. It delivers 460 horsepower (343 kW) and 400 lb-ft of torque. This power was controlled by a six-speed Electrohydraulic manual transmission.
The Vanquish can speed up from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds with a top speed of 306 km/h (190 mph).
The Aston Martin Vanquish became famous for appearing in James Bond's 2002 movie Die Another Day. The Vanquish was replaced by the Aston Martin DBS V12 in 2007. The second-generation Vanquish was introduced in 2012. They overshadowed this otherwise great car. The third generation of the Vanquish is expected to debut in 2019.
10 Ferrari Enzo (2002-2004)
The first Ferrari F car of the new millennium is named after its founder, Enzo. It was designed by Pininfarina’s Ken Okuyama. The design of the Enzo was inspired by F1, with its pointy nose and V-shaped front lid. The interior was inspired by Le Mans prototype racecars and is very modern and luxurious. So, Enzo has nothing in common with its predecessors, the F40 and the F50. Ferrari's road cars always followed their F1 engine design, but not this time. Enzo has a mid-mounted 6.0-liter V-12 engine. This engine can produce 651 horsepower and 485 pound-feet of torque. The Enzo only needs 3.14 seconds to reach 60 mph and 6.6 seconds to reach 100 mph—impressive numbers for 2002. Ferrari based the FXX in 2007 and the FXX Evoluzione in 2009 on Enzo. They are modern with more impressive performances than the Enzo. For Ferrari today, the Enzo doesn't seem like a fitting tribute anymore.
9 TVR Sagaris (2006)
TVR made this car with a racing track in mind. The name "Sagaris" comes from a lightweight battle ax used by ancient Scythians. It's hard to say what TVR meant by that name. The Sagaris does look very aggressive and dramatic. TVR's body has great aerodynamic features as well as low drag and downforce. The Sagaris has a straight-six 4-liter engine.
This engine is capable of delivering 406 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 349 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm.
The TVR Sagaris can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. This car had a good racing performance. In the British GT Cup, the Sagaris set the record lap at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch. Sadly, like many TVRs, this car had a problem with reliability. Jeremy Clarkson also mentioned in his review the poor build quality of the Sagaris.
8 Spyker C12 LaTurbie (2005)
In the twenties of the last century, many privateers entered hill-climb competitions in Spykers. In March 1922, Hugo Baron van Pallandt won Mont de La Turbie near Monte Carlo. It was a record run by Dutch Baron. To commemorate this victory, Spyker made the C12 LaTurbie. It was the first Spyker to run a V12 engine. It has the special Audi 6.0-liter dry sump aluminum engine.
This engine is capable of delivering 500 horsepower and torque of 600 NM. The C12 LaTurbie can speed up from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 325 km/h or 202 mph.
This model has an F1-inspired paddle-shift gearbox. The Spyker C12 LaTurbie is a good car. However, at the time, Spyker had similar cars like the Double12 and the S models. In addition, it's overshadowed by the Laviolette, the Aileron, and the Preliator.
7 Bristol Fighter (2004-2006)
Small British company Bristol Cars made this authentic car in limited numbers. It looks more like a sports car, but it's classified as a supercar. Former Brabham F1 engineer Max Boxstrom designed the Bristol Fighter. It has an aluminum and carbon composite body with the emphasis on aerodynamics. Under the hood is a Dodge Viper-based Chrysler 8-liter V10 engine. It was modified to deliver 525 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and torque of 515 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm. Four-speed automatic and six-speed manual gearboxes are options. The Bristol Fighter can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds. The Bristol's top speed is 210 mph (340 km/h). Despite gullwing doors, inside it's comfortable but not remarkable in any way. The Bristol Fighter isn't an exciting car, and a sports version came in 2006. Bristol Cars made only 13 Fighters in total, and they had to close down in 2011.
6 Ferrari 430 (2004-2009)
Ferrari made the 430 model to be a successor to the 360 Modena. At the time, the 430 looked very modern and slick. A decade later, this is still a beautiful car. However, it's not the one you want to buy. Let's do the specs first. Under the hood is the 4.3-liter V8 engine that delivers 490 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 343 lb-ft of torque at 5,250 rpm. The Ferrari 430 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds with a top speed of 196 mph (315 km/h). Every review of the time praised the driving feel and the handling of the Ferrari 430. Jeremy Clarkson screamed, ''the best car ever!'' in his review. Sadly, this car didn't age well. The Ferrari 458 was its successor, and it was slightly better in every way. Then, the 488 came and it was again better than the 458. Therefore, the 430 is simply not desirable to today's customers due to its successors.
5 Saleen S7 (2000-2007)
Steve Saleen made the original concept, and Saleen Automotive Inc. handbuilt the Saleen S7. The body of the S7 is made entirely from carbon fiber. Spoilers, scoops, split-channel airflow—everything is made for better aerodynamics. For the time, it was luxurious, with many features like an LCD monitor and a rear-view camera. The Saleen S7 has Ford's 351 Windsor small-block rear 7.0-liter mid-engine.
It's capable of producing 550 horsepower at 6,400 rpm. The S7 can speed up from zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, to 100 mph in 7.1 seconds, and to a quarter mile in 11.35 seconds.
The Saleen S7's top speed is 220 mph. It's interesting that the first few production S7's had electrical systems. The Twin Turbo version was presented in 2005. It was more powerful and better made. Also, it achieved much better racing results than the original, surprisingly winning the LMGT1 class in the 2010 Le Mans.
4 Panoz Esperante (2000-2007)
Panoz, LLC is an American automaker well known to the racing fans. This is the reason why the Esperante had many GT versions. There have been the Esperante GT, the GTLM, the GTS, the JDR, the Brabham, the Spyder, and the Spyder GT. It's also the reason why this base Esperante was overshadowed and not the one Panoz wants you to remember. Every Panoz car has a familiar, specific look that hasn't changed much since 1989. Its body is made of lightweight SPF aluminum and its chassis, from extruded aluminum. Esperante has Ford's hand-assembled DOHC 32-valve aluminum V8 engine. This engine can deliver 305 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 320 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. Esperante can speed up from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and to a quarter of a mile in 13.4 seconds. The Panoz Esperante's top speed is 150.4 mph (242 km/h) with automatic and 155.4 mph (250 km/h) with a manual gearbox.
3 TVR Cerbera 4.5 (2000)
TVR made the first Cerbera in 1994. The Cerbera was TVR's first road car to feature the Speed Eight engine. It has eight cylinders arranged in a 75-degree V shape. It shares many features with the V8 engine from the F1 and the F3000. The Cerbera has interesting seating arrangements with the front seat sliding forward further than normal. So, the Cerbera can be described as a 3+1 car.
Under the hood is TVR's Speed Eight V8 engine that delivers 420 horsepower and 380 ft-lbs of torque.
The TVR Cerbera can speed up from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, to 100 mph in 8.9 seconds, and to 150 mph in 17.9 seconds. It's interesting that the Cerbera has a Hydratrak speed-sensitive differential. Despite it being incredibly fast, reliability issues and the fantastic TVR T400R Tuscan took its glory.
2 Mosler MT900 (2001-2005)
The Mosler MT900 is made by Mosler Automotive and based on the Consulier GTP. It was designed by Rod Trenne, who also worked on the Corvette C5. The Mosler MT900 name stands for "Mosler, Trenne," and its weight is 900 kilograms. The MT900 has a completely carbon-fiber chassis. Mosler's look resembles a Le Mans prototype and also the McLaren F1. The engine is an LS1 V8, and it's set in the back. A ZF transaxle from Porsche is used so the engine could be mounted upside down. This allows the engine to be in front of the rear axle. This engine can produce 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. The original MT900 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and to a quarter mile in 12 seconds. Like many cars on our list, the MT900 was overshadowed by its successors.
1 Ferrari FXX (2005-2007)
The FXX is a fantastic supercar based on the Ferrari Enzo. The FXX shares many components from the Enzo, but its development is much more advanced. One of the best features of the FXX is its comprehensive data monitoring and telemetry. It allows the driver to track and improve performance and Ferrari's technicians to get valuable data. The FXX's engine is a longitudinal, rear-mid-mounted 6.3-liter naturally aspirated aluminum V12.
It delivers 789 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and torque of 506 lb-ft at 5,750 rpm.
Its top speed is 345 kph (214 mph). This is a brilliant car—one of the best ever made. So, what's the problem? Well, customers have to pay around $2.5 million but are only allowed to drive this car on a racetrack. They also have to announce it in advance to Ferrari so they could approve the use and organize a private run. Moreover, the car is kept in Ferrari's garage.
Sources: caranddriver.com; supercars.net; carrrs.com