2014 will be remembered as the year the supercar went high-tech; the year in which hybrid technology, once the butt of numerous jokes, came of age and found itself powering some of the most desirable, prestigious and expensive new cars money could buy. T
his was, in other words, a watershed year, and the cars it produced will set a trend for supercars and hypercars for years to come.
But which of this year’s supercars are our favourites? Well, you’re about to find out – so grab a cuppa and 5 minutes and see whether you agree with these top 10 picks!
10. The Nissan GT-R. “But the Nissan GT-R’s been around since the time of Isambard Kingdom Brunel,” I hear you cry. Well, yes and no, because while this 2014 version might be pretty similar on the surface to its predecessor, under the skin it’s a very different animal, with a host of changes have dropped the 0-62mph time to a stonking 2.9 seconds.
9. The Ferrari California T. While the California was never loved by the purists, it’s become one of Ferrari’s most successful models – and this heavy revamp, complete with the addition of a turbocharged engine, has turned it into a true supercar. Indeed, if it weren’t for the glut of utterly excellent new models that are just that smidge more exciting to drive, it’d rank far higher here.
8. At number 8, it’s another Italian. Well, what supercar roundup would be complete without them? This time, it’s a Lamborghini – the Huracan, to be precise, which with 602bhp and four-wheel drive has proven itself an adept successor to the Gallardo.
7. From Germany this year came the replacement for the loud, proud Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG – the new Mercedes-AMG GT. And we were pleased to find out that it’s louder and prouder than its predecessor, not to mention a good deal more precise to drive, too.
6. In 6th place, the remarkable McLaren 650S. The looks, an amalgam of 12C tail and P1-esque nose, are a perfect metaphor for the 650S’s place in the McLaren range – part-way between one and t’other, to be precise.
5. And in 5th, easily the most potent supercar to have been launched this year is the Koenigsegg One:1. There’s no hybrid trickery here; just a gurt big supercharged V8, and with a faintly ridiculous 1,341bhp and 1,011lb ft of torque, it can hurl you to 249mph from a standstill in just 20 seconds – and then stop again in just 10. Big, but not all that clever, then – but who cares when it’s this obscenely quick?
4. One of this year’s most talked about supercars is in 4th place – the BMW i8. OK, so it’s a little outgunned in this company, but it can still hit 62mph in 4.4 seconds, which is quick enough for most people – and that it can achieve more than 130mpg through a combination of a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo and an electric motor is nothing short of incredible.
3. In 3rd place, the first of the true hybrid supercars. The Porsche 918 Spyder is an enthralling, exciting hypercar that, were it not for Ferrari and McLaren, would have moved the game on tenfold. Powered by a 4.6-litre V8 engine and not one, but two electric motors, it’s capable of a total of 881bhp – good for 0-60mph in just 2.5 seconds.
2. In 2nd, it’s that Ferrari with the funny name. Yes, the LaFerrari is a deeply impressive bit of kit that proves that even a company like Ferrari can be environmentally friendly. Well, sort of. What’s certain is that it loses none of its essential Ferrari-ness thanks to the addition of the electric powertrain – with which, incidentally, it’s capable of producting 950bhp.
1. But our top supercar of 2014 – does it come as any great surprise? – is the McLaren P1. With a driving experience that’s as visceral as it is accessible, it looks like a UFO and garners about as much attention on the High Street as if one had landed. It is, in our estimation, the top of the class of 2014.