If you listen very, very closely, you’ll be able to hear the throaty V12 roar of some of the world’s best supercars — even as they fly beneath your radar.
While the established giants of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche pander to shareholders and mass appeal manufacturing, the new wave of sensational supercars are being build in garages and small-batch factories around the world. Without restrictions, they are pushing boundaries and shifting expectations — and firing up racers unlike any we’ve ever seen…
Spyker Cars are stylish and tenacious
Spyker Cars just won’t give up. Despite being founded just 20 years ago, the Dutch marque has almost folded twice. An initial threat of bankruptcy was reverted in 2011, with closure once more narrowly avoided in 2015. But, from a company whose latin motto “Nulla tench in via est via”, literally translates as “For the tenacious, no road is impassable”, we’d expect nothing less.
And it’s a good thing, too — because we’d miss the European manufacturer’s cars should they crash out of production. Earlier models, such as the Silverstris V8, may have been a little lacking in the beauty department, but the brand has found its feet of late.
The latest launch, the Spyker C8 Preliator, is a masterclass is supercar sophistication. With shades of Aston Martin painted over the passion of Ferrari, this highly-designed sleek sportster is crafted from bespoke materials and incorporates aviation-inspired elements — a core part of the brand’s DNA.
Vencer blend together retro and modern
There must be something in the Dutch waters, because the equally impressive Vencer also hail from Holland. The marque’s Sarthe supercar was originally unveiled in 2013 by Prince Albert II of Monaco, and the first was sold at a Vencer dealership in China.
Powered by a supercharged 6.3 litre V8, the Sarthe has a top speed of 210 mph, borrows its look from the ‘80s race cars that competed in the 24 Hour of Le Mans — and takes its name from the circuit on which the iconic French endurance race is contested.
Few small brand supercars pay such attention to design as Vencer. Purposefully minimalist, the durable carbon fibre construction pulls off a tricky blend of retro and modern, and the automatic rear spoiler gracefully punctuates that beautifully boxy back end.
W Motors are pushing tech to its limits
A little further afield, W Motors are revving up in the Middle East. An Arab-Lebanese supercar brand, this Dubai-based was founded in 2012 — and immediately set out an uber-wealthy stall with jewel-encrusted keys and diamond-lined headlights. In fact, their first car, the Lykan Hypersport, took centre stage in the seventh Fast & Furious film.
But they’ve been busy since then, and the Fenyr Supersport is the latest limited run car to go into production. Built from a blend of carbon fibre and a graphene composite, it is lean, mean and benefits from a custom-made RUF engine developed specifically for the marque.
And it’s as fierce as the mythical Norse wolf for which it is named. Advanced aerodynamic systems keep it hunkered down to the road, the space-age triptych active spoiler affords it stealth-jet looks and with a mid-rear mounted twin-turbo engine, you’re looking at a top speed of over 400 kph. Yes, you read that correctly…
Piëch Automotive are leading the electric charge
Named for the legendary car executive Ferdinand Piëch — he of the Porsche 911, Audi Quattro and Bugatti Veyron — Piëch Automotive is a new breed of supercar company. And, after silently tearing onto the scene at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, their Mark Zero electric sportster looks set to change the supercar sector forever.
Refined, elegant and functional, the Mark Zero is another car with shades of Aston Martin about its sleek, traditional design. But the German-Swiss marque is about more than copying classic supercars. Rather than starting and ending with the Mark Zero, this car’s modular vehicle platform was developed to be a versatile base for many body types and drive variants to come.
So, while this supercar is Piëch’s only current car, you can expect to see two more models in the coming years; a four-seater sportster and dynamic SUV. And all of that engineered to stringent German mechanical standards. It’s a recipe for success.
Ultima are bringing racing to the roads
A little closer to home — on the leafy backroads of Hinckley, Leicestershire, to be precise — UItima are flying the Union Flag for small-brand British supercars. And they’re doing a patriotically commendable job.
They may not go in for ground-up engineering, but the British marque have worked wonders with Chevrolet engines and Porsche transaxles, mating these disparate parts together to create a truly unique brand of supercar.
Most recent in the range is the Ultima RS, the brand’s new flagship and yet another supercar inspired by the styling of retro Le Mans racers. Commandingly aggressive, this muscular machine has a staggering 1,200 horsepower, custom-made wheels and is the closest you’ll ever get to a road-legal racer.
Want to see how bigger brands bring their cars to life? We took a spin along Bentley’s people-powered production line…