9) 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Engine: 6.2 Litre M159 V8, 571 hp
Country of Origin: Germany
The development of the SLS was handed to Mercedes’ in house tuning arm AMG who developed the M159 V8 as their first engine from the ground up. This 6.2 Liter naturally aspirated unit makes 571 hp @ 6,800 rpm and would find a home in almost every line of Mercedes’ AMG models of the time. For the SLS this powerful engine is mated to the AMG Speedshift 7-speed DCT gearbox. This dual clutch setup is capable of completing shifts in 100 milliseconds without interruption of power to the wheels.
The SLS embodies the ideals put forth by the 300SL and is a hark back to the Gullwings of the past, while still maintaining a modern approach. The cars shape is dominated by the large bonnet that is just less than two meters in length. Short front and rear overhangs give a nod to the extended wheelbase and front-mid-engine placement. When looking at the front of the vehicle it is hard to miss the prominent three-pointed star amid the wide radiator inlet. This part of the design is not only reminiscent of the past, but evokes the looks of aircraft.
2013 saw the introduction of the SLS AMG GT model. The new GT version kept the same 6.2 Liter, V8 engine, but with the output increased to 591 hp. This version took the 0-62 mph sprint in 3.7 seconds to a top speed of 198 mph.
10) 2012 Pagani Huayra
Engine: 6.0 Litre M158 Bi-turbo V12, 730 hp
Country of Origin: Italy
The Huayra is named so after the Quechuan ‘God of Wind’ Huayra-tata. It was the successor so Pagani’s long-lived Zonda. Almost like Mad Max 2 following the success original, the Huayra would have to contend with a lineage so renowned that it would last for decades after the model went out of production. After all, the Zonda was the car that put Pagani on the map as a supercar manufacturer, seeing countless reincarnations throughout its lifetime from the F to the Cinque. The Huayra’s design was completely new, made from carbon-fibre and aluminium, the dry weight stands at just 1350 kg.
Powering this masterpiece is a new engine that was developed exclusively for Pagani by Mercedes-Benz AMG, which in itself is a reworked version of the bi-turbo M275 V12 found in previous generation SL65 Black Series. Utilising two smaller twin-scroll tubros, the Huayra’s M158 is good for a colossal 730 hp, propelling the car from 0-62 mph in 3.3 seconds and all the way to a top speed of 230 mph. In 2016 the Huayra BC was introduced, in a small but significant evolution the power rose to 749 hp, the 0-62 mph sprint takes a mere 2.8 seconds and the car tips the scales at just 1218 kg. Although the power increase was small, the aerodynamics were vastly improved and the body was made almost entirely from carbon-fibre, accounting for the 132 kg weight saving.
11) 2016 Tesla Model X
Engine: Dual Electric Motor, 259 hp Front & 503 hp Rear
Country of Origin: USA
The Model X is another brain child of serial innovator Elon Musk. The Model X was built totally in-house using the existing Model S platform. However, unlike the sedan, this SUV can sit up to seven passengers and carry an attic’s worth of stuff, all while pulling a 0-62mph sprint in 3.2 seconds and continuing to a top speed of 155 mph. The performance is achieved through AWD and the near maximum torque delivered from virtually zero rpm from the all-electric drivetrain. Top this off with a 250-mile range and you have enough to get even the most mundane of men throwing down their money hand over fist for the soccer mom speciale.
The Model X has been called the “safest SUV ever”, holding a record for the first SUV to have a 5-star safety rating in every category. This is thanks to the packaging offered by the all-electric drivetrain – no engine up front to enter the cabin in a front-end crash and a lower propensity for rollover thanks to the floor-mounted battery pack’s low center of mass. There are also several autonomous features, such as automatic braking and side-collision avoidance. The gullwing doors on the Model X are purely functional, offering greater third-row seat access, even in a tight parking space. There are even sensors that adjust the door opening arc when parked under a low ceiling.
Excellent article! Some stuff there that was new to me. A gull wing Bugatti? Fantastic! I notice you didn’t mention the Mercedes C III.