4:33 PM EDT, March 30, 2011
What’s the most expensive car in the world? I had reason to think about this while writing about the Porsche 918 Spyder, which is a plug-in hybrid with 16 miles of all-electric range. But it’s also a fire-breathing supercar that can reach 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and top 199 mph. The bottom line? A mere $845,000. Wow, that’s a lotta loot.
But it’s not the most expensive car you can buy right now. I thought the top spot was held by the 1,001-horsepower Bugatti Veyron 16.4, which I seemed to recall costs a million dollars. It turns out the price is actually way more than that — the bottom line is well over $2 million if you opt for the Grand Sport version. Which, of course, you’re going to do because who’d want to pay that much for a car knowing there was a more exclusive version out there?
And it turns out there are really, really expensive cars on the market that are so exclusive I’ve never even heard of them. Here are a few:
The Pagani Zonda Cinque Coupe. This Italian supercar is a mere $1.738 million, and built in an edition of only five. Exclusiveness outweighs the fact that it’s kind of ugly. The prettier Zonda F Roadster is a mere $1.44 million. But you’ll want the Cinque, because its 678-horsepower V12 takes it to 217 mph, and because you’re not going to see another one in the WalMart parking lot. They made only one of the Absolute variant, and shipped it to Hong Kong. I couldn’t find a fuel economy rating, but it isn’t going to compete with a Prius.
Koenigsegg CCXR. This oddly named entity offers a stunning 806 horsepower from a twin-supercharged V8. You pay for engines like that, in this case $1.2 million. The car delivers just 11 mpg, but it can run on E85 ethanol!
Maybach Landaulet. This is one of the few cars here built for parades, not the race track — though it’s fast, too. A proud descendant of the Mercedes 600 Pullman, which was mostly bought by African dictators, the Maybach Landaulet allows its potentate owner to enjoy al fresco waving to his subjects, and for just $1.38 million. The Maybach, a Daimler product, gets 10 mph in town, and an amazingly good 16 on the highway. If you don’t need the parade roof (or if the population is restive), go for the enclosed Maybach 62 Zeppelin, which is less than half the price and still plenty exclusive. It comes with champagne flutes.
Spyker C8 Aerilon Spyder. This is the supercar company that bought Saab. I interviewed CEO Victor Muller and found him refreshingly candid. The mid-engined C8, with a 40-valve V8, tops out at 187 mph. Since that’s well short of 200 mph, the price is a mere $219,190. Muller is making Saabs now, but Spyker survives to bedazzle other kazillionaires. Expect just 13 mpg.
The millionaire playboy market can’t be huge, but there’s a lot of competition. In addition to the above, there are such cars as the Leblanc Mirabeau ($861,798), the Lamborghini Reventon ($1.45 million) and the SSC Ultimate Aero ($740,000). If you have an open shirt, medallions and millions of dollars burning a hole in your pocket, there are plenty of people willing to take your unearned money.