Forget the BMW M6 or the 911 Turbo: when it comes to expensive cars, those are just scrap metal.We tracked down the most expensive street-legal cars made in the past 20 years, considering only production runs of at least 20 per year.
For these sleek and sexy cars, expect to at least $600,000. You’re paying for a car that can reach over 200 mph — well faster than any speed limit — while handling smoothly and performing like a race car.
Production years: 2005 - 2009
Top speed: 248 mph
0-60 mph: 3.2 seconds
Base horse power: 750
Based in Michigan and California, Saleen was originally a parts manufacturer that focused on customising mass produced cars like Mustang and Corvette.
The Twin Turbo's 427 cubic inch V8 has no mufflers, giving the car a unique exhaust rumble dampened only by its twin-turbos and four catalytic converters.
This deadens only the harshest of the sound.
In 2006, Saleen offered the car with a competition package and upped the horsepower to 1000, pushing the car to a reported 250 mph and giving it a Veyron-like 0-60 time of 2.6 seconds.
Production years: 2006-present
Top speed: 257.7 mph
0-60 mph: 2.8 seconds
Base horse power: 1287
The Shelby Super Car is America's top contender in the rarefied field of exotic car production, and produces more emissions-legal horsepower than any other car in the world.
With a top speed of 275 mph, look for the Ultimate Aero II to reclaim the distinction in late 2011.
Shelby Supercars was begun by Jerod Shelby, who brought the world Lamborghini replicas built on Pontiac Fiero frames.
The upstart Aero takes on the foreign exotics with a 388 cubic inch, Chevrolet V8 engine, designed to run mid-level 91 octane fuel available from any gas station.
Top speed: 205 mph
0-60 mph: 3.8 seconds
Base horse power: 605
Because of the overlap in their production dates, the Porsche Carrera GT is often held up against the Ferrari Enzo in regard to performance.
An abstract difference between the two, aside from price, is the left side ignition in the Porsche.
It's a holdover from the early days of Le Mans, when drivers were required to run to their cars and start them before beginning the race.
Powered by a 5.7 liter, 10 cylinder engine, and cooled by a radiator five-times the size of a 911's the Carerra GT has a six-speed manual transmission and a rear spoiler that deploys at 70 mph.
Production years: 1994-present
Top speed: 250 mph
0-62 mph: 3.2 seconds
Base horse power: 806
When Christian von Koenigsegg started his car company at 22, he told the world he intended to produce the fastest car in existence.
In 1994, the title was held by the $831,000 McLaren F1, and though it took 11 years, Koenigsegg beat the F1 with a 241 mph car in 2005.
He held the title for only a year before being bumped by the Veyron.
A 288 cubic inch, 4.7 liter, V8 engine powers the CCX and is designed to run on 91 octane fuel.
Unlike many of its competitors, the car's targa top can be stored under the front trunk, making weather and temperature changes less of an issue for topless driving.
Production years: 2003-2010
Top speed: 220 mph
0-60 mph: 2.8 seconds
Base horse power: 617
Named after the Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing and sporting a 5.4 liter supercharged V8 engine, the Mercedes SLR is constructed of an all carbon frame and has a high level of safety built into its design.
The SLR uses a five-speed automatic transmission instead of the more complex seven-speed Mercedes drive-train and took criticism for not being available with a manual gearing package.
One of the greatest achievements noted on the 2009 cabriolet was the rag top, which would stay attached to the car at 200 miles per hour.
Production years: 1999-2011
Top speed: 214 mph
0-60 mph: 3.6 seconds
Base horse power: 602
The Pagani was originally named the Fangio F1, after Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio, perhaps the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time.
But, with his death in 1995, at the age of 84, Pagani named the car after the Argentinian air current, the Zonda Wind.
There are five Pagani Zonda models made at the Modena, Italy facility.
The F is not street legal in the U.S. -- look for the Huayra coming out this year to be fully EPA/DOT compliant and named after the Abdean wind god Aymara Huayra Tata
The Pagani maintains an on board database that monitors the downward force on each wheel at all times. This information can be used to optimise the vehicle to unique road conditions.
Production years: 2002-2004
Top speed: 221 mph
0-60 mph: 3.1 seconds
Base horse power: 660
The Enzo's first production run of 349 cars were sold by invitation only to former F40 and F50 buyers -- but, there could have been up to 100 additional cars produced.
The Enzo's V12 engine was a completely new design at Ferrari, based upon the 8 cylinder Maserati Quattroporte engine.
With a redline of 8200 RPM and a top speed of well over 200 mph, Ferrari also introduced 'active aerodynamics.'
When the wind sheer on the car hits 1,709 lbs, the rear spoiler automatically rises to hold the car to the road.
Accidents are expensive, a rear carbon fibre quarter panel will run $60,000, but the value of the remaining Enzos goes up each time one is wrecked
Production years: 2008-2009
Top speed: 211 mph
0-60 mph: 3.4 seconds
Base horse power: 650
The Reventon is really a Murcielago LP640 with about $1.2 million in cosmetic and mechanical modifications.
It sold new from the factory at about $1.4 million.
Functioning air intakes, a glass laminate hood and carbon composite body only begin the list of technologies at the Reventon's disposal.
Lamborghini even designed a new LED light that would enable the cars taillights to function in the extreme heat of the 6.6 liter, V12 engine's exhaust.
All Lamborghini's are named after bulls that have gored their matadors -- the bull Reventon gored Felix Guzman to death in 1943.
Production years: 2010-present
Top speed: 258 mph
0-62 mph: 2.5 seconds
Base horse power: 1200
A 489 inch, bi-turbocharged engine with an automatic transmission shifting at under 150 milliseconds.
The car can be driven in semi-auto or fully automatic mode, but a replacement transmission runs $120k.
From a speed of 250 mph, the Veyron's brakes will bring it to a dead stop in 10 seconds.
Guiness awarded the Super Sport Veyron the title of Fastest Production Car with a speed of 267.86 mph, clocked at the VW proving grounds in Germany on June 26, 2010.
A set of four, tires on the Super Sport cost $42,000 and last about 10,000 miles.
Configure a standard Veyron at Bugatti's website.
Production years: 1992-1998
Top speed: 231 mph
0-60: 3.1 seconds
Base horse power: 627
No superchargers, no turbochargers, just a naturally aspirated BMW, M-crafted, V12 engine that has no reliability issues or lagging response.
McLaren was the first car to use a complete carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque chassis.
Even the audio system was commissioned for its light weight.
The F1 was in production from 1991-1998 and though only about 100 cars were made, McLaren maintains eight authorised service centres throughout the world.
It is not uncommon for McLaren to fly technicians into the service centres for specialised work.
The McLaren originally sold for $970,000 and their price is only expected to increase.
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