Super cars for the Super rich

19 December 2019

THERE is good news and bad news concerning supercars for the super rich due to arrive here next year.

Taking just two of the best of British as an example, the good news for Lotus lovers is that the £1.7 million Evija is now available to order, whereas the slightly more expensive McLaren Speedtail at £1.75 million is already sold out.

However, anyone desperate to have a brand new British automotive icon can seek compensation in the forthcoming all-new 2020 Rolls-Royce Ghost.

Departing from its current BMW-based underpinnings and to be powered by a 6.6-litre V12 engine generating more than 560bhp, the company boasts that it will take luxury to unheard of levels, even by the extraordinary standards of Rolls-Royce.

It would appear that the UK’s precarious position over Brexit for three years has done little to dampen the spirits of those in the business of creating and selling the most expensive automotive products to UK and overseas buyers.

After being in apparent hibernation throughout the Brexit process, legendary British car company Lotus has actually been investing massively in its amazing new all-electric hypercar, which it has chosen to release next year.

Refundable deposits of a quarter of a million pounds are being taken now to guarantee a personal production slot for the new 200mph Evija.

Capable of travelling up to 250 miles on battery power alone, the Evija is an indication that electric cars really could be the future and are certainly not boring.

The remarkable output is just shy of a whopping 2000bhp, which endows the carbon fibre car with a top speed in excess of 200mph.

There is an electric motor on each wheel, which makes it four wheel drive and with pulling power of 1700Nm it can blast off to 60mph in under three seconds.

The Evija is so far ahead of its time that it can be fully charged in just 20 minutes by the new generation of 800kW chargers that are not even available yet.

Another British-built newcomer preparing to share the spoils of next year’s apparently undiminished spending power of the superrich is the forthcoming McLaren Speedtail.

Unfortunately no amount of money can now secure this hypercar as 2020’s entire production of just 106 cars was snapped up with deposits even before the official reveal on October 26.

An iconic British brand planning to hitch a ride on the upmarket SUV gravy train is Aston Martin, whose 180mph DBX will swing into production early next summer.

The order book is set to open towards the end of this year, with prices likely to start at about £150,000.

Although to be built in Wales, it will be powered by a twin turbo 540bhp engine courtesy of German rival Mercedes-Benz, just like its Vantage and DB11 stablemates.

Aston aficionados with even deeper pockets may feel inclined to shell out a cool £6 million for the company’s ultimate brace of supercars.

The colour-matched duo comprise next year’s DBS GT Zagato paired with the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation.

Rarity is guaranteed for this so-called DBZ Centenary Collection with just 19 pairs on offer.

For those prepared to settle for a less expensive British hybrid, and perhaps wanting to buy a luxury mansion with the change, the new battery-powered Bentley Bentayga SUV costs a mere £133,000 plus tax.

That’s less than half the price of next year’s new versions of the rival Rolls-Royce Cullinan, with the Bentley’s engine being just half the size of the Roller’s at 3.0V6, albeit with the added advantage of an electric motor.

Despite being of similar size and aerodynamics to a garden shed, the blown Bentley can reach 60mph in just five seconds and boasts a top speed nudging 160mph.

It could even be billed as a money saver, with an official economy figure of 80mpg and the ability to travel in emissions-free all-electric mode that skirts around city congestion charges.

Bentley’s vision of the future clearly embraces the forthcoming generation of electric hypercars with its EXP 100 GT concept looking as far ahead as 2035.

The company believes that this is how futuristic supercars will look, with even the current technology able to endow the aluminium-bodied vehicle with a 0-60mph acceleration time of just two and a half seconds, a top speed nudging 190mph and a driving range of 435miles.

This is based on the use of its solid-state batteries driving four electric motors, with 80 per cent of recharging possible in just 15 minutes.

Despite being marketed as a British brand, Bentley is actually owned by the same Volkswagen parent company as Audi whose German 2020 electric supercar will be the £100,000 Audi e-tron GT.

Two electric motors will generate 580bhp of power for all four wheels, creating an impressive 0-60mph acceleration time of about three and a half seconds.

Also new from Audi next year will be the similarly priced RS7, using the Bentayga’s power plant, but boosted by the addition of a 140bhp electric motor in the case of the high-performance hybrid version.

The e-tron GT and RS7 are not dissimilar to the forthcoming all-electric Porsche Taycan saloon, which is expected to cost from £115,000.

There will also be a £140,000 Turbo S version with an impressive 0-60mph acceleration time of 2.8 seconds and a potential driving range between battery charges of 250 miles.

Among its main new rivals next year will be the Tesla Roadster, costing about £150,000 and possibly with an ultimate range of 100 miles more than that of the Porsche at 350 miles.

Billed as the world’s quickest car, it is claiming a 0-60mph acceleration time of a neck-wrenching 1.9 seconds and a top speed of 250mph thanks to a claimed pulling power figure of an unheard-of 10,000Nm of wheel torque.

Away from all of these futuristic hybrid and pure electric newcomers is the comparatively conventional Ferrari F8 Triturbo.

That’s right, not a mere Turbo or even a Bi-Turbo but a Tri-turbo!

Expected to cost about £220,000 when it arrives here early next year, it has a 710bhp 3.9-litre V8 mid-engine layout sending power to the rear wheels courtesy of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Acceleration to 60mph is 2.9 seconds with the sort of 210mph top speed that would impress even Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.