We compiled 10 of the most outrageous cars to hit the production line. From Hollywood classics to millionaire toys, see if your car made the list.
Sure we could have made it easy on ourselves and gone straight for Marcello Gandini’s concept cars. Or Nuccio Bertone’s, for instance. But production cars aren’t too crazy if we’re being honest - think Toyota Corolla or Ford Fiesta. They’re typically pretty mundane and boring. A few, however, do manage to forget that people have to fit inside or that excessive horsepower isn’t excessive to some. For those of you out there who happen to live on Mars and want a car to show off your otherworldly status, this list is for you.
Elegant, stately, and refined. These are not adjectives typically used in combination with "outrageous," but the Mercedes-Benz S-Class also features a cabin fragrance system (no more pine tree air fresheners, this thing has a smell dispenser!), heated, vented, and powered front AND rear seats, and the car can practically drive itself via all manner of electronic wizardry like Collision Prevention Assist Plus and crosswind assist (which automatically adjusts steering angles to compensate for crosswinds). Oh and the 621hp biturbo V12 in the S65 AMG will get you to 100kph in just over 4 seconds. That’s not outrageous?
The DMC-12 is famous (and infamous) for a few things. For one, instead of featuring a steel chassis and fiberglass exterior (like many other cars), it reversed the formula utilizing a gorgeous Giugiaro-designed stainless steel body and fiberglass-reinforced plastic monocoque chassis. Additionally, it was only the third production car that ever featured gullwing doors. Lastly, and this one goes without saying, the car is best known as Doc Brown's modified time machine in Back to the Future.
Sadly, the car’s advanced styling did nothing more than pretend. Why the infamy? Costs crept upward throughout its production run and the company’s CEO, John DeLorean, was conned into trying to sell drugs to raise money for the company by the U.S. government. All charges were eventually dismissed, but the company shriveled into insolvency.
8. 1991 Honda NSX
Do you remember the Ferrari F355 that debuted in 1994? This is its predecessor. No not directly, but the NSX debuted about mid-way through the Ferrari 348’s lifecycle and blew it away. It was outrageous because it showed the world that a supercar could be reliable, drivable, and every bit as engaging and quick, as something from Maranello. The icing was that World Champion Ayrton Senna helped to develop it.
7. Ariel Atom
The only thing you need is a pair of seats, an engine, transmission and four tires. Fortunately, that’s all you get from an Ariel Atom. It’s basically as close as you can get to a motorcycle without lopping off two wheels. It is designed to handle and accelerate and everything that slows it down is considered a luxury, hence frivolous. So you don’t get air conditioning or heat, or even the most basic of stereos. Indeed, even body panels are considered a luxury and banished to far fancier vehicles such as the Tata Nano.
Its name is a vulgar expression in the Piedmontese dialect and it only gets more ridiculous from there. To this day there is nothing quite as striking as a Lamborghini. This is the car that started it all.
5. Ferrari F40
It’s been called the “greatest supercar the world had ever seen” by the boys at Top Gear, all we know is that it was a giant middle finger to Porsche. It was initially intended to compete against the Porsche 959 in Group B, but wasn’t built in time. Ferrari didn’t care and built about 1300 anyway to show Porsche who the boss still was. How? It was the first production car able to hit 200mph. Take that, Ferdinand.
People like big, round numbers and this car upped the supercar battle by bringing almost 1000hp to the war when introduced. Its acceleration is simultaneously smooth and shocking, and it feels endless. The last Veyrons produced made over 1200hp. Is that enough? Maybe, maybe not. But it sure is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
3. 2017 Ford GT
No, it’s not out yet, but soon enough the new Ford GT will be available and just look at it! This will be the car to have next year and it’s even a standout on this list as it’s the only American. It recalls the Le Mans-winning racer of the 1960s but doesn’t rely on retro cues. Rather than the traditional look of the last GT, it has a tapering top view that tucks between wide rear fenders, a short front and aggressive rear that speaks to the crazy powerplant behind the driver. It’s amazing that in this day such a wild design is even possible.
2. 1992 Hummer H1
Want a war machine you can drive on the street? Here you go. This thing has seen service all over the world (for better or worse) and if you’re worried about it’s armor level, don’t be, military versions weren’t up-armored for years either. What is most amazing about the H1, besides the inclines it can climb and the depth of water it can ford, is the fact that it is a street-legal vehicle. This SUV is as wide as Greenland and harder to maneuver. And if you buy one, everyone will think you’re planning an invasion. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
1. 2016 SCG 003
Back in the day you could go to any car builder and basically buy a racecar to take to drive to the track, potentially win, and then drive back home. Those days are gone. But there is one company that still believes in a street-driven racecar — Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. And this is the SCG 003. It isn’t cheap, with a starting price around $2.6 million, but it will race at Le Mans this year and is also street legal. And unlike Ferrari, McLaren, or Porsche’s hypercars, the street-legal 003 uses a pure V12 drivetrain, no silly hybrid nonsense to complicate matters.
Written by Yoav Gilad for Highsnobiety.com