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Supercar History

Here are the most significant sports and supercars over the 60 year plus history of the performance car.
Click on any car name/photo for a review of your chosen car.

1950s     1960s     1970s     1980s     1990s     2000s     2010s    


Mercedes 300SL
Sometimes considered the world's first supercar, the 300 SL is a prized collectors item

Jaguar E-Type
Legendary British sportscar passed the 150mph mark (with a little help)

Aston Martin DB5
Forever associated with James Bond, the DB5 is the definitive classic car

Ford GT40
Legendary road racer is many peoples pick for the world's first supercar

Ferrari 365 GTB/4
(1968)   Highly sought after Daytona challenged Lamborghini's Muira as world's fastest car

BMW 2002 Turbo
Europe's first motorsport inspired turbocharged road car has become a classic

Lamborghini Countach LP400
The astounding original Countach was in most people's eyes the purest

Panther 6
Extraordinary six wheeled Panther boasted 600bhp and a claimed 200mph

Audi Sport Quattro
Limited edition 4-wheel drive Quattro was derived from legendary 80s rally car

Ferrari 288 GTO
Return of fabled GTO badge signalled perhaps the birth of the Hypercar

Ford Sierra Cosworth
(1986)   'Cossie' latterly gained a bad boy reputation but was a truly significant sports car

Ruf CTR 'Yellowbird'
Nurburgring legend based on Porsche's 964 Turbo

Jaguar XJ220
Tremendous 217mph hypercar was unfairly blighted by financial scandal

Ford Escort Cosworth
Succeeded the fabled Sierra Cosworth bringing performance to the masses

Subaru Impreza Turbo
Original rally inspired Scooby road car gained a worldwide cult following

Lotus Elise
Lotus got back to their lightweight roots with the hugely popular Elise

400bhp E39 M5 was one of the world fastest and greatest saloon cars

Pagani Zonda C12S
Newcomer Pagani made an instant impact with exquisite Zonda

Ferrari Enzo
Race style Enzo put function over form but has proved to be hugely collectable

Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Not satisfied with just the Carrera GT, Porsche also invented the Super SUV!

Maserati MC12
Hugely desirable modern classic is powered by V12 from the Ferrari Enzo

Bugatti Veyron
Perhaps the greatest supercar of all time made 250mph and over 1000bhp seem civilised

Venturi Fetish
The world's first electric sports car cost an eye watering 370k in the UK

Lamborghini Reventon
2M Reventon started a trend for limited edition super expensive specials

Bugatti Veyron Supersport
A magnificent achievement, and still (officially) the world's fastest car at 268mph

Hennessey Venom GT
America's answer to the Veyron was timed at an unofficial 270mph

Pagani Huayra
Gorgeous bespoke hypercar could well be the most desirable of the current crop

McLaren P1
The first of the 'holy trinity' of hybrid hypercars was also arguably the best

Ferrari LaFerrari
Hotly anticipated hyper Ferrari has 950bhp hybrid V12 in coupe or aperta body

Tesla Model S P100D
An Electric saloon that out accelerates just about everything

Koenigsegg Regera
1500hp & 2000Nm torque means no gearbox required for the Regera

McLaren P1 LM
Lanzante developed road legal P1 GTR shatters the Nurburgring lap record

Porsche 911 R
Old school manual is universally praised as the ultimate drivers 911

Ford GT Mk2
Ecoboost second generation Ford GT is a technological aerodynamic masterpiece


The term 'supercar' was first used in the 1920s, but it wasn't until the mid 1950s that high performance sports cars began to appear.


Supercars as we know them arrived in the mid 1960s with the motorsport derived Ford GT, born out of Ferrari's refusal to become part of Ford.

But perhaps the first genuine supercar was Lamborghini's mid-engined Miura, designed from the outset as a road car.


The fuel crisis of the early 1970s almost killed off the supercar before it had really began.

Thankfully we were treated instead to the birth of the definitive supercar of a generation, the Lamborghini Countach.

The 70s also saw the first mass market turbo road cars, notably the BMW 2002 and classic Porsche 911 Turbo.


The Financial boom of the 1980s saw supercar values soar, leading in turn to the birth of the low volume, super exclusive hypercar market.

Starting with Ferrari's Group B inspired 288 GTO, the decade was rounded off with the legendary rivalry between Porsche's technology led 959 and Ferrari's F40 road racer, the first 200mph road car.

This is also when the Nurburgring first came to our attention, thanks to the legendary exploits of the RUF CTR 'Yellowbird'.


The 90s began with a very significant car, the Honda NSX. This showed for the first time that supercars could be civilised, easy to drive and reliable.

Hypercar development continued through the decade with notable cars from Jaguar, the re-emergance of the Bugatti name and probably the world's first super saloon the 175mph Lotus Carlton.

However, there is one car that outclasses them all, setting new levels of exclusivity and performance (240mph in 1994), remaining many peoples pick as the greatest supercar of all time, McLaren's legendary F1.


The 2000s saw two differing approaches to performance. Track focused companies such as Ariel, Radical and Ultima taking the light weight route, while the likes of Ferrari and Porsche, joined by newcomers Pagani and Koenigsegg, went for all out power.

They were all trumped in 2005, with the arrival of the awesome Bugatti Veyron. Blowing away even the F1's figures from just a decade ago, the 1000bhp Veyron was the first car to break 250mph and hit 0-60mph in just 2.5 sec.

This decade also saw the shape of things to come, with the introduction of the world's first electric sports car, the Venturi Fetish, closely followed by Tesla's Roadster.

This is also when we see the emergence of the now ubiquitous super SUV, headed by Porsche's Cayenne. Thought of as a bold move at the time, even Bentley, Maserati and Lamborghini are now in on the act.


We are now in a 'golden era' for supercars. Never before have their been so many high performance models from so many manufacturers.

The 2010s have seen the birth of a new breed of supercar with hybrid or fully electric engines.

The so called 'Holy Trinity' of the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari hybrid hypercars set new levels of performance with relatively green credentials.

There are still plenty of 'old-school' supercars around though, with the likes of the Koenigesgg One:1, Henessey Venom GT and Bugatti's 1500hp Chiron vying for title of the world's fastest car.

However, the future of performance cars is without doubt electricity. Rimac and Tesla have shown us that the instant torque of a 4WD electric motor is more than a match for even the most powerful internal combustion engines.

Aerodynamics and lightweight construction also play a big part, with Ford's 2017 GT, Porsche's 911 GT2 RS and Lamborghini's Huracan Performante all utilising state of the art aero to achieve previously unimaginable track times.

But even before the end of the decade, Mercedes and Aston Martin have again moved the goalposts with the introduction of their F1 inspired race cars for the road. Huge power levels and race car dynamics promise to put all that came before them in the shade.


Here's to 50 years of the supercar. Long may it continue!


Chevrolet Corvette C1
Legendary first gen Vette was nearly cancelled but still going 65 years on

Ferrari 250 GTO
The definitive classic Ferrari commands prices in excess of 30m at auction

AC Cobra 427
Classic formula of huge engine in lightweight body

Lamborghini Miura
One of the most beautiful designs ever seen set the trend for mid engined supercars

Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS
Highly prized RS was a pure lightweight road racer unspoilt by technology

Lancia Stratos
Rally spawned Stratos was a visual delight but an impractical road car

Porsche 911 Turbo
Classic 911 Turbo was the quickest car of it's day, if you could catch the tail

Originally built for motorsport, the M1 is still BMW's only mid engined road car

BMW M3 E30
The iconic motorsport derived E30 M3 remains the enthusiasts choice

Porsche 959
Legendary Group B road car pitched technology against raw power

Ferrari F40
Race raw legend was the first 200mph road car and remains the definitive supercar for a generation

Lotus Carlton
Beefed up Vauxhall Carlton caused uproar in the 1990s with its 176mph top speed

Bugatti EB110
Briefly the worlds fastest car signalled the return of the Bugatti marque

Honda NSX
Senna developed NSX changed our perceptions of what supercars are

McLaren F1
Purest supercar of them all set amazing new performance benchmarks

Nissan Skyline GTR
Humdrum family saloon became cult hero twin-turbo monster

Caterham R500
Classic R500 track weapon shattered many acceleration world records

Mercedes SL55 AMG
(2002)   Superb supercharged roadster had the power, the looks and a folding electric roof

Koenigsegg CC8S
Swedish newcomers Koenigsegg claimed CC8 as the world's fastest car

Porsche Carrera GT
Sublime Carrera GT was considered by most as the greatest supercar of it's day

Ford GT
Modern rebirth of the awesome original now boasted 550bhp V8

Radical SR8
Nurburgring record holder stretched road legal to the limit

Ultima GTR 720
Record breaking road racer outsprinted a Veyron for a tenth of the cost

Audi R8
Highly successful R8 was a match for the long time class leading Porsche 911

Lexus LF-A
A truly great performance car initially considered an expensive folly

Ferrari 458 Italia
The remarkable 458 Italia is simply one of the greatest supercars of all time

Rimac Concept One (2013)
Croatia delivered the world's first electric hypercar with mind bending acceleration

Porsche 918 Spyder
Technological hybrid masterpiece held Ring lap record and hit 0-60mph in just 2.2 sec

Koenigsegg One:1
With 1 Megawatt of power, this is almost certainly the world's fastest car

BMW i8 (2014)
Fantastic hybrid supercar points the way forward for high performance cars

Bugatti Chiron
1500hp Chiron is limited to 261mph, expect somewhere over 280mph deristricted!

Lamborghini Huracan Performante
Advanced aerodynamics broke the Ring lap record

Aston Martin Valkyrie
Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing bring us the next generation of hybrid hypercar

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