Michael ByersCar and Driver
Cryptozoology is the study of animals that do not exist. Bigfoot, Nessie, Mothman—creatures just a little bigger and weirder than anything else on Earth. Some people claim that they do exist; it’s just that no one has any evidence beyond a fuzzy old video camera clip and a few photos or casts of footprints that probably belong to a bear.
Cryptohypercarology is something we made up, a study of the kind of mythical automotive creations most of us will never see except in shaky amateur videos. Are they super? Hyper? Over? Are they even street legal? Will they ever be more than a one-off on the concept car turf at Pebble Beach? We want to believe. Here’s a guide to spotting some real monsters.
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Like all rare creatures, hypercars have native territories. Some you would expect, like Italy and the countries around Silverstone Circuit. Others are more surprising. Croatia? Denmark? If you want to see swarms in person, they tend to migrate to places like Monaco and Dubai. There will also be many YouTube videos proving their existence.
Aston Martin bills the Valkyrie as a street-legal Formula 1 car, but we have a hard time remembering the era of 6.5-liter V-12s. What is F1-esque is the Cosworth-designed engine, the push-button hybrid boost function and Red Bull Racing’s involvement in development. With only 150 coupes and 85 spiders, you probably won’t see them
on public roads – especially with that low front splitter, which can take seal coat off a road.
ORIGIN: United Kingdom PRICE: $3.0 million POWER OUTPUT: 1140 hp
60 MPH ESTIMATE: 2.5 sec TOP SPEED CLAIM: 250 mph
Billed as the first human-AI designed and 3-D printed hypercar, the 21C is a seed pod from an alien world. Driver and passenger sit single-file in front of a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-8 with a flat-plane crank that revs it to 11 (thousand rpm). Two electric motors drive the front wheels, and the speed of miles per minute is less than two seconds. With only 80 examples to be produced, look for Czingers as they hatch behind a horrified newsreader and the invasion begins. Remember, Czinger, we are friends.
ORIGIN: United States PRICE: $2.0 million POWER OUTPUT: 1250 or 1350 hp 60 MPH CLAIM: 1.9 sec TOP SPEED CLAIM: 253 mph
The Venom F5 looks like something you’d carjack in Grand Theft Auto. Hennessey claims the roadster variant is the fastest, most powerful convertible in the world, and unlike many of the creatures on this list, it’s without electric motor assist. Power comes from a twin-turbo 6.6-liter V-8 with an 8500-rpm redline. Given the 311 mph goal, if you happen to see one of the 54 Venoms, it will be a blur.
ORIGIN: United States PRICE: $2.1 million+ POWER OUTPUT: 1817 hp 60 MPH CLAIM: 2.6 sec TOP SPEED CLAIM: 311+ mph
The Jesko’s V-8 is not your typical five-o. With two turbos and 1280 horsepower (1600 when burning E85), it’s more like five-OMG. Using Koenigsegg’s proprietary nine-speed light-speed transmission, the Jesko is capable of 300 mph. The 125 production versions should reach customers soon, and we hope to encounter one g’s on Mulholland Highway. With three to its name, it has a few left.
ORIGIN: Sweden PRICE: $3.0 million POWER OUTPUT: 1280 hp 60 MPH ESTIMATE: 2.5 sec TOP SPEED CLAIM: 300 mph
Remember the Lotus Elise? A cute little sports car with just 190 horsepower that weighed less than 2000 pounds? It’s not that. The Evija is an electric beast that weighs almost twice as much and puts out more than 10 times the power. Add lights? Try madness. Those air tunnels should have afterburners, not taillights. With only 130 for production (its internal code is Type 130), you have a better chance of seeing a snow leopard playing Keepy Uppy with a coelacanth.
ORIGIN: United Kingdom PRICE: $2.3 million POWER OUTPUT: 1973 hp 60 MPH ESTIMATE: 2.5 sec TOP SPEED CLAIM: 200+ mph
Do you remember 2017? Of course not; Everyone’s oldest memory is buying bulk sweatpants in 2020. Mercedes started the AMG One when we were wearing real clothes. You can identify the rare bird by the hybrid 1.6-liter V-6 pulled from the championship-winning Mercedes-AMG F1 car. Lewis Hamilton has ordered two, and other owners include David Coulthard and Nico Rosberg. Where to see one of the 275 examples? At the F1 drivers’ planned retirement community.
ORIGIN: Germany PRICE: $2.7 million POWER OUTPUT: 1049 hp 60 MPH CLAIM: 2.9 sec TOP SPEED CLAIM: 219 mph
With an electric motor (sold from Rimac) at each wheel producing a combined 1877 horsepower, the fun-to-pronounce Pininfarina Battista has almost the equivalent of a Ferrari F40 at every corner. This is one of the most elegant machines on this list. We expect to see the 150 examples traversing low-emission zones in high-rent neighborhoods or outside the Monte Carlo casino as the owner throws away a VIP-sized fortune at the baccarat table.
ORIGIN: Italy PRICE: $2.2 million POWER OUTPUT: 1877 hp 60 MPH CLAIM: 1.8 sec TOP SPEED CLAIM: 217 mph
At the age of 34, Mate Rimac rose to the top of the list of hypercar builders and took control of Bugatti. His four-car EV could break every state’s speed limit by the time you finish reading this sentence. Its claimed top speed is higher than an AH-64 Apache’s. Where do we ever expect to see one of the 150 Neveras slated for production? Hopefully, on unlimited stretches of freeway as the passenger maps a route to the nearest DC fast charger.
ORIGIN: Croatia PRICE: $2.0 million POWER OUTPUT: 1813 hp 60 MPH CLAIM: 1.9 sec TOP SPEED CLAIM: 258 mph
Think you’ve spotted a Zenvo? The TSR-S has a signature mating dance, part peacock spider and part high-wire balancing. We’re getting used to active aero, but when the Zenvo takes a turn, the wing doesn’t just change its angle of attack, it tilts dramatically from side to side, like a wobbly playground. Out of 10 planned TSR series cars, eight are sold, but there is still time to claim the last two. Maybe you’ll get lucky and snag a breeding pair.
ORIGIN: Denmark PRICE: $1.7 million POWER OUTPUT: 1177 hp 60 MPH CLAIM: 2.8 sec TOP SPEED CLAIM: 202 mph
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