The most expensive cars in the world

August 30, 2019

The most expensive cars in the world are about so much more than transportation. These rolling works of art 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.

Further reading

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For the sake of clarity, we’re categorizing recent production vehicles only 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 multiple iterations of the same Bugatti Veyron. And, note that these aren’t necessarily the fastest cars in the world, though many of them are damn fast.

So whether your name is Zuckerberg, Gates, Bezos, or McDuck, these rides are for you.

At a glance

Bugatti La Voiture Noire$19 million
Rolls-Royce Sweptail$13 million
 Mercedes-Benz Maybach Exelero$8 million
 Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita$4.8 million
 Lamborghini Veneno$4.5 million
 W Motors Lykan Hypersport$3.4 million
 Limited Edition Bugatti Veyron by Mansory Vivere $3.4 million
Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio$3 million
 Bugatti Chiron$2.9 million
Laferrari FXX K$2.7 million
Aston Martin Valkyrie$2.6 million
 Pagani Huayra BC$2.6 million
 Mercedes-AMG One$2.5 million
 Ferrari F60 America$2.6 million
 Aston Martin Vulcan$2.3 million
Milan Red$2.3 million
McLaren Speedtail$2.2 million

Bugatti La Voiture Noire

Bugatti La Voiture Noire

Ronan Glon/Digital Trends

Leave it to Bugatti to dethrone Rolls-Royce. The one-of-a-kind La Voiture Noire unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show stands proud as the most expensive new car ever built. The French automaker hasn’t revealed how much it charged for the one-off, Chiron-based model, though rumors point to a price tag in the vicinity of $19 million. We don’t even know who bought it. Some say it belongs to former Volkswagen Group boss Ferdinand Piëch; others believe soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo added it to his collection.

While the identity of its owner remains a mystery, its specifications are well-known. The La Voiture Noire — a name which means “the black car” in French — is powered by the same quad-turbocharged, 8.0-liter W16 engine found in the mighty Chiron. It channels a monstrous 1,500 horsepower to the four wheels.

$13 million — Rolls-Royce Sweptail

Rolls-Royce Sweptail

Rolls-Royce will build you anything if you have a thick enough wallet to pay for it. Take the Sweptail, for example. It’s a one-off coupe that a customer commissioned from the ground up. Its design draws inspiration from the brand’s classic models while borrowing styling cues from the world of super-yachts. Nearly every part of this car is unique, and the project took four years from start to finish, which explains why it cost approximately $13 million.

$8 million — Mercedes-Benz Maybach Exelero

Maybach Exelero

most expensive cars

By far the most expensive car on our list, the Maybach 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 United States 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 luxurious amenities.

$4.8 million — Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita

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.

$4.5 million — Lamborghini Veneno

most expensive cars

most expensive cars

Poison. That’s the name Lamborghini chose for the modified Aventador Roadster 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, clearly putting it on our list of the most expensive cars. 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.

$3.4 million —W Motors Lykan Hypersport

most expensive cars

most expensive cars

You may recall the Lykan Hypersport from its starring role in the blockbuster  Furious 7, in which the Lebanese supercar crashed through not one but threeskyscrapers 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: 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 who 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.

$3.4 million — Limited Edition Bugatti Veyron by Mansory Vivere

most expensive cars

most expensive cars

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 revamped cabin, and a redesigned front grille. 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.

$3 million — Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio

most expensive cars

Pininfarina Sergio

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. The new body doesn’t just save weight — 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 the automaker itself, making it one of the rare invite-only vehicles in automotive history.

$2.9 million — Bugatti Chiron

Bugatti Chiron

Ronan Glon/Digital Trends

Bugatti Chiron

Ronan Glon/Digital Trends

Ronan Glon/Digital Trends

How do you follow up a classic? You make something even better.

With a starting price of $2.9 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. Sixty 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— that title belongs the Hennessey Venom F5— 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.

$2.7 million — LaFerrari FXX K

most expensive cars

Ferrari 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.

$2.6 million (estimated) — Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Aston Martin hasn’t revealed the price for its Valkyrie, which won’t even arrive until 2019. But multiple reports put the price at about $2.6 million and — from what we’ve heard so far — the Valkyrie will be well worth it.

The Valkyrie is the product of a partnership between Aston Martin and the Red Bull Racing Formula One team. The partners hope to achieve a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio, and they are equipping the Valkyrie with a lightweight carbon fiber chassis and 6.5-liter V12 hybrid powertrain to make that happen. The Valkyrie will also produce unprecedented levels of downforce on the track.

Aston plans to build both road-going and track-only versions of the Valkyrie. The track version will be able to keep up with a Le Mans LMP1 race car on the track, Aston boasts. Only 150 Valkyries will be built, including 25 track versions and a handful of prototypes.

$2.6 million — Pagani Huayra BC

most expensive cars

most expensive cars

With an AMG-sourced V12 and the second 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, however. 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 pounds 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 pounds 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 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 — Mercedes-AMG One

how the mighty project one will influence mercedes amgs other cars amg interview

Mercedes-AMG Project One

When Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division turned 50, its engineers created one hell of a birthday present. The AMG One (formerly known as the Project One) is a supercar with the heart of a Formula One race car. It’s built using components sourced from the company’s championship-winning cars, starting with a 1.6-liter turbocharged V6. It sits behind the driver and revs up to 11,000 rpm. The six-cylinder is assisted by four electric motors: two that power the front wheels, one that helps the V6 drive the rear wheels, and another one that spools up the turbocharger. The result is a combined output of over 1,000 horsepower.

Aerodynamics dictated its low-slung shape. The interior is pretty barren, which you’d expect from this kind of machine. There are two heavily bolstered seats installed close together, a pair of 10-inch screens, and a Formula One-style steering wheel with buttons for things like the driving modes and the suspension settings.

Mercedes-AMG expects to deliver the first examples of the AMG One in late 2019. Production is limited to 275 examples and, unsurprisingly, every single example has already been spoken for.

$2.5 million — Ferrari F60 America

most expensive cars

most expensive cars

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 features 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 harks back to Ferrari’s bespoke past, as the company built several region-specific sports cars in the 1950s and 1960s.

$2.3 million — Aston Martin Vulcan

Aston Martin Vulcan

Aston Martin Vulcan

Purpose-built track cars seem to be all the rage these days, and Aston Martin recently jumped on the bandwagon in a big way. The Vulcan isn’t legal on the road — hence its honorable mention status — but if you happened to snag one of the 24 examples made, you’re very lucky indeed.

The Vulcan may look like a spaceship, but it’s actually a tribute to old-school analog feel. Instead of a high-tech hybrid system, it relies on the pure grunt of a naturally aspirated 7.0-liter V12. That massive engine produces over 800 hp, an output it sends to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox.

The car itself is built around a carbon-fiber monocoque, ensuring those 800 horses don’t have much to push around. In fact, Aston claims the Vulcan has a better power-to-weight ratio than some of its race cars. And if that isn’t hardcore enough, Aston required owners to train in a Vantage GT4 racer and a One-77 before stepping into their Vulcans. Now that’s serious performance.

$2.3 million — Milan Red

milan red hypercar 01

milan red hypercar 03

New companies pop up all of the time promising supercars, and offering spectacular statistics to stoke the hype. Milan Automotive (which, despite the name, is based in Austria, not Italy) is one of those companies.

Named after the Red Kite, a species of bird of prey, the Milan Red is a supercar boasting a $2.3 million price tag and a limited production run of just 99 cars. That small group of customers will get a 6.2-liter quad-turbocharged V8 producing a claimed 1,307 hp and 1,303 lb-ft of torque, plus exterior styling that’s sure to turn heads.

Milan claims the Red will do 0 to 62 mph in 2.47 seconds, and reach a top speed of 249 mph. As with all new boutique automakers, it’s unclear whether Milan actually be able to meet those performance targets, or get its supercar into production at all. But it would be cool to see this new company pull it off.

$2.2 million — McLaren Speedtail

mclaren bp23 hyper gt announced speedtail leak 4

mclaren bp23 hyper gt announced speedtail leak 2

The Speedtail was built as a tribute to the  McLaren F1, the British firm’s first road car. The F1 once held the title of world's fastest production car,  and featured a radical design that included a gold-lined engine bay and one of the first uses of carbon fiber in a road car. That makes the legendary vehicle a tough act to follow, but the Speedtail looks like it will be more than up to the job.

The dramatically-styled body incorporates a three-abreast seating arrangement — just like the F1. The driver sits in the middle, with a passenger on either side. A hybrid powertrain generates a claimed 1,035 hp, and McLaren boasts of a 250-mph top speed. But unlike the other extreme McLaren of the moment — the Senna — the Speedtail isn’t a stripped down track machine. McLaren calls the Speedtail a “hyper GT,” claiming it will offer a modicum of comfort on long trips.

Speedtail production will be limited to just 106 units — matching the production run of the McLaren F1 — priced at $2.2 million each. The entire production has already sold out, with deliveries set to begin in 2020. Due to strict regulations, the roughly 30 examples destined for the U.S. will have to imported under the “Show and Display” rule, which limits the mileage they can be driven annually.

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