The most expensive cars in the world are so much more than transportation. These rolling art pieces encapsulate the priorities of the one percent, and in that universe, flamboyance and swagger take precedence over practicality and efficiency. Lifestyle criticisms aside, these are truly mind-boggling machines, and we’d like to count down our favorites for you here.
For the sake of clarity, we’re categorizing recently made, road-legal production vehicles only — limited runs notwithstanding — and we’re leaving out classic cars sold at auction. We’re also limiting the list to one entrant per nameplate, so don’t expect 10 different iterations of the same Bugatti Veyron.
So whether your name is Buffet, Gates, Stark, or McDuck, these rides are for you — the most exorbitant people-carriers on the planet. They say money can’t buy happiness, but after viewing this list, you just might beg to differ.
The 10 most expensive cars in the world
Koenigsegg makes its first appearance on our list with the CCXR Trevita, and it does so as the most expensive street-legal production car in the world. Why so much coin? With no exaggeration, the car is literally coated in diamonds … and diamonds aren’t cheap.
For the Trevita, the Swedish manufacturer developed a new exterior finish called the Koenigsegg Proprietary Diamond Weave, which involves coating carbon fibers with a diamond dust-impregnated resin. We can’t even fathom how much the touch up paint costs.
Underneath the lustrous finish lies a 4.8-liter, dual-supercharged V8 with a total output of 1,004 horsepower and 797 pound-feet of torque, which means it should have little to no trouble overtaking semis on the freeway. The car’s specifications — in both performance and price — are nearly comical at this point, and just three were ever made.
Poison. That’s the name Lamborghini chose for the modified Aventador you see above — translated from Italian of course — built to celebrate the automaker’s 50th birthday. We can’t speak for the company’s motivations, but the name is fitting for a vehicle that looks so positively deadly, so undeniably venomous.
The car is absolutely stunning from every angle, and to this day, we’re not convinced it isn’t an alien spacecraft surveying our planet for eventual takeover. It just doesn’t seem real. The only thing more remarkable than the look is the price — a whopping $4.5 million.
The Veneno is fast, and that should come as no surprise. Its 6.5-liter V12 spins all the way up to 8,400 rpm to deliver 740 hp and 507 lb-ft, surging the car to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds.
You may recall the Lykan Hypersport from its starring role in the blockbuster Furious 7, where the Lebanese supercar crashed through not one, not two, but three skyscrapers in Dubai. In a franchise filled with high-end exotics and one-off custom creations, the fact that the Hypersport got so much focus is a testament to its magnetism.
Let’s start with the styling, which includes jewel-encrusted headlights, scissor doors, and an interior ripped straight from science fiction. It looks like a pissed off armored car from the future, and its performance is right on par with its image. The Hypersport boasts a 3.7-liter, twin-turbo flat-six that yields 770 hp and 708 lb-ft.
It’s not just Dominic Toretto who benefits from this level of performance though, as the Abu Dhabi police force has drafted the Hypersport into patrol duty. Although it’s mainly used for marketing and public relations purposes, the high-flying stunner assures that the authorities can keep up with any baddie that tries to get cute on the freeway. Pedal to the floor, 0 to 62 mph is accomplished in just 2.8 seconds, and top speed is a downright scary 240 mph.
This list wouldn’t be complete without some version of the mighty Bugatti Veyron. We’re shining our spotlight on the the Mansory Vivere edition here, because not only is it one of the fastest cars in the world, it’s one of the most expensive.
Augmented by German witch doctors Mansory, the 1,200-hp Veyron starts out as a Grand Sport Vitesse Roadster, only to be adorned with a gorgeous carbon fiber body, a new spoiler package, upgraded LED lights, a rebuffed cabin, and a redesigned front grill. Further classifying the Veyron as a work of art, maps of historic race events like the Targa Florio are laser etched into the exterior and interior. Oh, and it can do 254 mph.
With an asking price of $3 million, the Ferrari Sergio isn’t the most expensive car on our list. It is, however, one of the most highly-coveted vehicles in the world, as only six were ever made.
Crafted by legendary Italian design house Pininfarina, the Sergio is essentially a Ferrari 458 Spider with a completely new body and interior. That means a 4.5-liter V8 sends a whopping 562 hp to the rear wheels, but because the Sergio is lighter than the 458, it’s quicker and handles better as well. The new body doesn’t just save weight though, it’s chock-full of interesting details like aerodynamic headrests that are built directly into the roll cage.
With so few examples built, the Sergio’s purchase process wasn’t as simple as strolling up to a Ferrari dealership. No, each owner was chosen by automaker itself, making it one of the rare invite-only vehicles in automotive history.
With an AMG-sourced V12 and the fastest road-legal Top Gear lap ever, the Pagani Huayra is a beast through and through — it’s named after the Incan God of Winds, after all. That wasn’t quite enough for Pagani though, because at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, Pagani debuted the Huayra BC, a lighter, hotter version that takes no prisoners.
Right off the bat, you can tell the BC is playing a different game from the standard Huayra. It’s fitted with an enormous active rear spoiler that generates 1,102 lbs of downforce at 155 mph, as well as a wider rear track, new side skirts, and a bevy of sexy aero goodies. Despite the additions, the BC is a true featherweight, tipping the scales at a paltry 2,654 lbs thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials. The whole deal will cost you a cool $2.6 million (or it would have, if all 20 units hadn’t been sold already), but you clearly get a lot for your money. With 789 turbocharged ponies on tap, the BC may actually live up to its godly name.
$2.5 million – Ferrari F60 America
To celebrate Ferrari’s 60-year tenure in North America, the Italian brand built 10 examples of this stunning bombshell. Based on the F12 Berlinetta, the F60 is undeniably patriotic as it wears a Stars and Stripes color scheme, American flag seat inserts, and classic racing livery all around. Better yet, you can experience the glory with the top down, as the F60 equips a lightweight fabric top that can be operated at speeds up to 75 mph.
The supercar is mechanically identical to the F12, but the Berlinetta isn’t exactly a Fiat Panda to begin with. Its 6.2-liter V12 churns out 740 glorious hp, enough to propel the car to 60 mph in only 3.1 seconds. The ultra-rare flag-waver hearkens back to Ferrari’s bespoke past, as the company built several region-specific sports cars in the 1950s and 1960s.
How do you follow up a classic? You make something even better.
With a starting price of $2.5 million and a gorgeous new body, the divine Chiron outdoes its predecessor in every conceivable way. While the Bugatti Veyron redefined what an automobile could do, the Chiron laughs at those who said the Veyron was the last of its kind, pushing the boundaries of performance even further into the stratosphere.
The supercar’s monstrous specs are made possible by its reworked quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16, which now produces 1,500 hp and a monstrous 1,180 lb-ft. 60 mph is dealt with in a rather quick 2.5 seconds on the way to the Chiron’s top speed, which is limited to 261 mph. It’s still not the fastest car in the world — the title belongs the Hennessey Venom GT — but cars like these aren’t just about speed; they’re about making statements. We think you’ll agree this Bugatti makes a very strong statement indeed.
You can buy a lot with $2 million — a really nice house, about 80 Mazda MX-5’s, or the Swedish “megacar” shown above. A logical thinker could probably think of a better way to spend your life savings, but megacars don’t give a damn about logic. Because they’re mega. And after reading what the car is capable of, $2 million might actually be a steal.
The limited-edition One:1 is based on the Agera R, and it earned its poetic moniker by employing a 1:1 kilogram-to-horsepower ratio. The figure on each side of the colon? 1,340. That’s right, this car has 1,340 hp, and can theoretically top 273 mph because of it. Simply put, this is one of the fastest automobiles ever made, and with its F1-style honeycomb core, carbon fiber intake manifold, and ventilated ceramic brakes, it’s one of the most advanced as well.
Just six examples of the speedy Swede were built, and each one was sold quite quickly. Keep an eye out on Craigslist though, you never know.
When we think of hybrid hypercars, we generally fantasize about the “holy trinity” — aka the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder, and Ferrari LaFerrari. Somehow, Koenigsegg always gets left out, despite the fact that the Swedish automaker makes a vehicle that outshines its electrified competition in many ways.
Powered by a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 and a 4.5-kWh battery pack, the $2 million Regera produces an outstanding 1,500 hp in total, a stat made all the more impressive when you consider the car’s low weight of 3,240 lbs. 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds is impressive to be sure, but the Regera’s 0 to 186 mph sprint is even more mind-blowing — the feat is accomplished in only 10.9 seconds. By Koenigsegg’s internal estimates, the car will be able to reach its top speed of 248 mph in just 20 seconds or so, which is a triumph over physics as much as it is a bragging right.
Why just an estimate? Apparently, the brand can’t find a road long enough.
By far the most expensive car on our list, the Exelero makes its appearance under Honorable Mentions due to its one-off status. The Maybach was also built way back in 2004, but that actually makes its sticker price more impressive.
Adjusted for inflation, the Exelero would cost around $10.1 million in the U.S. today, which is close to the GDP of a small island nation. Money and Maybach are about as closely related as peanut butter and jelly, but the two-door further justifies its cost with a 700-hp, twin-turbo V12 and about 6,000 lbs of luxurious amenities.
$2.7 million – LaFerrari FXX K
The Ferrari LaFerrari is a vehicle held back by one thing — the law. Emissions standards and safety equipment add considerable bulk to a near-perfect machine, so for the track-only FXX K, the car bows only to physics.
The “standard” car’s output of 950 hp was boosted to a downright silly 1,035 hp in FXX K guise, and its various body modifications have increased downforce by up to 50 percent. Even the tires are space-age, as the slick Pirellis feature embedded sensors to keep tabs on longitudinal, lateral, and radial acceleration, as well as temperature and pressure. Until Ferrari invents some sort of road-going hyperdrive, this is about as good as a performance car gets.
The Sesto Elemento embraces minimalism like few other cars on the planet — its chassis, body, drive shaft, and suspension components are all crafted from carbon fiber, meaning this 570-hp demon weighs less than a Honda Fit. As you might expect, the upshot is incredible.
0 to 60 mph comes in a motorbike-rivaling 2.5 seconds, and the car will sniff 200 mph if you have enough road. With that type of acceleration, you won’t notice the lack of infotainment, massaging seats, or hand-stitched upholstery, because this car is meant for one thing — speed. It does have air conditioning and a stereo, though.
Why an honorable mention? Like the FXX K, the Elemento is confined to the track only.
Ferruccio Lamborghini, the man who founded one of Italy’s most iconic car brands, would have turned 100 years old in 2016. To celebrate, Lamborghini created the Centenario, a $1.9 million magnum opus that is equally at home on the racetrack as it is on a bedroom wall poster.
Longer, larger, yet lighter than the Aventador supercar, the carbon fiber Centenario features an exterior that is both beautiful and functional. The aerodynamic bumper fins, hood vents, wheel blades, and powerful rear haunches are all sculpted to keep the limited-edition vehicle glued to the ground, and Lambo says the Centenario is twice as aerodynamically efficient as the Aventador.
And then there’s the power. Simply put, the Centenario equips the most extreme engine Lamborghini has ever built, as the 6.5-liter V12 pumps out a whopping 770 hp at 8,600 rpm. Given its low weight of 3,351 pounds, the Raging Bull demolishes 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds, and it’ll scream its way to 220 mph given enough space.
This 950-hp hypercar is so prestigious that its name literally translates to “The Ferrari” in Italian. The automaker’s first mild hybrid, LaFerrari equips a 6.3-liter V12 alongside an electric motor and trick Kinetic Energy Recovery System, which results in a shade less than 1,000 ponies and 664 pavement-crushing torques.
Few cars on the road are more striking, and even fewer accelerate faster. With a dry weight of less than 2,800 lbs, this dragon-like performance car accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds, and it’ll prance to 124 mph in under 7. Flat out, it’ll top 217 mph.
The only thing quicker than the car itself is how fast it sold, as all 499 units were snatched up faster than you can say “bank loan.” Ferrari also produced a hardcore, FXX K version specifically for the track, which we’ll delve into later.
1.4 million sure is a popular number in the supercar world, because that’s what it took to get your hands on this limited-edition Aston. We say “took” because all 77 units have been spoken for, so if you were hoping to channel your inner Bond with this car, your luck has unfortunately run out.
Arguably the most classically handsome car on this list, the One-77 is built around a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, with a handcrafted aluminum body giving it its sophisticated, aggressive look.
Under the vented hood lurks a naturally aspirated V12 that displaces 7.3 liters, which is a lot. It produces 750 hp and 553 lb-ft, which is also a lot. Those numbers make the One-77 the fastest Aston Martin ever made, as this spy chaser will top 220 mph in the right conditions. From a stop, it’ll do 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
Assembled in Zealand, Denmark, the Zenvo ST1 is less of a car and more of an uncaged animal. It creates an absolutely obscene amount of power by combining a 6.8-liter V8 with both a supercharger and a turbocharger. Just how much is obscene exactly? How about 1,104 hp and 1,054 lb-ft, all channeled to the car’s rear wheels.Unfortunately for the Danish outfit, the mostly hand-built ST1 has been surrounded with controversy since its debut. During Top Gear’s 21st season, the program tested the supercar around its famous track, only to be met with constant breakdowns, slower than expected lap times, and a good old-fashioned engine fire.
Zenvo disputed Top Gear’s claims, stating the show only published the vehicle’s sluggish laps and that the fire was caused by hours of extreme driving. Nevertheless, the vehicle’s murderous looks and monstrous grunt are nothing to shake a stick at. We certainly wouldn’t kick it out of the garage.
McLaren has its roots in racing, originating as a dominant Formula One team before expanding into mass-production. Those racing roots poke through in their cars, marvels of carbon and steel that showcase British engineering at its best. McLaren’s design philosophy is embodied in the P1, a lightweight speedster that can easily break speed limits and the bank. The first thing one might notice about the P1 is just how slight it is. The svelte body is designed to be aerodynamic, with the ornamental trappings of typical cars removed for the sake of speed. Titanium and carbon fiber are used throughout to keep the P1 lightweight, part of McLaren’s singular desire for performance.
The P1 looks impressive, but how does it drive? Quite fast, it turns out. The P1 can go from 0 to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds. It has both a twin-turbo V8 engine and an electric motor, which can be used in conjunction. Front and rear wings adjust automatically to changes in speed and downforce, reducing drag to keep the P1 gliding. A rocket on wheels, the McLaren P1 is a dream for anyone who wants to feel the power of a Formula One car in a street-legal package. It’s a shame that it’s completely sold out.
It used to be that owning a particular make or model car was a sufficient display of wealth. Today, however, it seems like every Youtube rap sensation or Saudi Prince can afford a Maybach. Rare models just don’t seem rare any more. Enter the bespoke car. Luxury manufacturers have begun to emphasize customization, creating unique takes on high-end models that are as much pieces of art as they are automobiles. Case in point: the Rolls-Royce Phantom Serenity, a unique version of the well-known Phantom coupe with a tranquil pearl paint job and an interior that draws on Japanese artwork.
While the outside of the car is the very portrait of austerity, the interior is a temple to opulence, with silk upholstery inspired by the textiles of imperial China. Blossoms drawn in classic Japanese style adorn the walls of the Serenity, emphasizing the zen aesthetic. The technical aspects of the Phantom are well-documented; it handles well and can go from 0 to 60 mph in under 6.0 seconds. What makes the Serenity unique is its singular aesthetic, a commitment to luxury that makes it seem more like a royal litter than a car. Rolls-Royce is banking on the Serenity as a harbinger of things to come in the luxury car market, of a future where the wealthy commission bespoke cars just as the princes of Italy funded renaissance paintings. Those who want this rare beast may be out of luck; so far, only one exists.
It’s important to note that a car doesn’t have to be expensive to be good, but it doesn’t exactly hurt either. These dream wheels, titans of pavement and pocketbook, are some of the most jaw-dropping vehicles to ever grace the asphalt, and it will take something truly special to top them.
Until that happens, we simply look on, and wonder.