One of the defining features of the luxury sector – especially when it comes to motoring – is its tireless need to constantly outdo itself. Faster, sleeker, stronger and more beautiful are all the order of the day, and this drive towards perfection has led the industry to new and fascinating heights.
As supercars have become more and more ubiquitous, with the supercar industry in countries like Australia booming, the richest and most elite members of society have created a niche for an even more exclusive, more impressive class of car. This need has led to the coining of the term ‘hypercar’ – referring to the top 1% of supercars in regards to speed, performance and price – and a brand new flush of energy for the world’s leading car designers and manufacturers, all of whom are rushing to produce the quintessential hypercar.
What is a hypercar?
But what is the difference between a supercar and a hypercar? What sets these two classes of vehicle apart? There are no strict criteria, but once you begin to look at examples, the separation between the categories becomes ever more obvious. Take the Ferrari 458 – it’s a beautiful car, with a roaring engine and the sort of acceleration that can make a grown man weep… and yet it completely pales in comparison to the engineering marvel that is the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, with its phenomenal 1200 horsepower and state-of-the-art computer technology.
Supercars have their status judged primarily on their performance… and by performance, we really mean speed. Hypercars, on the other hand, need to excel in performance, design, and technology, and they also need a price tag to match, which probably sits well north of a million dollars. Hypercars become the yardstick against which all other cars are measured, and they need to blaze a trail for the automotive industry to follow – just look at contemporary examples like the Porsche 918 or the McLaren P1; both of these cars essentially sit in a class of their own, and lead the rest of the world when it comes to next generation technology, supreme performative abilities, and a beauty in their design which is simply unrivalled.
What’s next for hypercars?
As supercars become more technologically advanced, the criteria for hypercar status has had to become exponentially more stringent. While a decade ago, it might not have taken quite so much to gain the title of hypercar, today, it’s quite a different story. Hypercars seemingly have to represent a whole new generation with every release, due to the fact that futuristic technology becomes dated extremely quickly in the 21st century. It wasn’t that long ago that 185mph was the gold standard top speed for supercars… today, this speed can be achieved with a mid-range family car!
Because what we think of as mind-blowing today may well become ordinary tomorrow, hypercar producers need to consistently push the boat out in regards to their excellence… luckily for us, it’s a highly competitive and wonderfully imaginary industry. The sky’s the limit!