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Friday 2nd June

Top Gear’s Top 9: most extreme track-only hypercars

Snapping up Adrian Newey’s Red Bull RB17 hypercar? These should also be on the shopping list

Top Gear Porsche 935 track hypercar
  1. Ferrari FXX K Evo

    Ferrari FXX K Evo

    Ferrari’s ‘XX’ programme really kicked off the whole ‘here’s a supercar you can’t race, can’t drive to the shops, and you’ll have to pay huge money to get one’ game. The FXX was an Enzo turned up to eleventy stupid, then we got the 599 XX, which was a sort of cross between a front-engined V12 and a Batmobile. 

    The FXX K (that’s K for KERS, because of the hybrid boost element) looked like it’d reached the zenith of Ferrari lunacy by stripping a LaFerrari of all road-going sensibility and turning power up to 1,036bhp. It generated 540kg of downforce at 124mph, and topped out at almost twice that. 

    Enough? Nope. The ‘Evo’ version of the FXX K has an aero pack meaning 23 per cent more downforce, while the car is 90kg lighter than the FXX K. It is the Ferrari to be seen in at a private track day.

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  2. Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

    Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

    Aston Martin, like Ferrari, has produced front- and mid-engined track-only hypercars. There was the Vulcan, which was part One-77, part heat-seeking missile, and then there’s this: the track-only version of the Valkyrie, which is supposed to be an F1 car for the road. 

    The AMR Pro has a much more extreme aero package than the road-worthy Valkyrie, and also ditches the standard car’s hybrid system. It’s only driven by a Cosworth V12, good for 1,000bhp and 11,000rpm. Only 40 will be built, complete with carbon fibre suspension and full carbon brakes. Aston Martin says it can post comparable lap times to recent LMP1 racing cars. But we want to see it go for the big prize at Le Mans…

  3. McLaren Senna GTR

    McLaren Senna GTR

    The McLaren F1 GTR was the racing version of the 241mph three-seater. Woking then revived the initials for a track-only version of the P1 hybrid supercar. And it brought them back for an even faster, more furious evolution of the circuit-focussed Senna. Got it? Good. 

    Weirdly, the Senna GTR is actually better looking than the road car. It doesn’t need to make allowances for crash legislation or being parkable, so McLaren went fully crackers with it. The whole car is 225mm longer than the street-ready Senna, thanks to a longer splitter and bigger diffuser, while in between them you’ll find slick tyres. Peak downforce is up from 800kg to a whole tonne. Only 75 were built. To go faster in a track-ready McLaren, you’ll require Lando and Danny Ric’s weekend wheels.

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  4. Pagani Huayra R

    Pagani Huayra R

    Pagani’s Zonda follow-up, the Huayra, had all of its predecessor’s jewel-like design and supercar madness, but the twin-turbo V12 engine never quite tingled your ears like the old naturally aspirated V12 did. Pagani’s response?

    Lob a new 6.0-litre V12 from German racing car makers HAW AG into the back, completely free of turbos. It generates 850bhp, shrieks like an old F1 car and lives in bodywork that’ll apparently generate 1,000kg of downforce at 199mph. We volunteer to measure that. Only 30 will be built, at €2.6 million each. Plus tax. Plus ear defenders.

  5. Brabham BT62

    Brabham BT62

    Unlike most of the carbon-tubbed hyper-exotica on this list, the Brabham is old school. Its chassis is a steel spaceframe. The engine is a raucous naturally aspirated V8 good for 700bhp.

    Apparently it generates a colossal 1,200kg of downforce at just 125mph, meaning it could drive on the ceiling when one of the world’s more creative billionaires finally get around to building an upside-down test track we can verify that on.

  6. GMA T50S Niki Lauda

    GMA T50S Niki Lauda

    It says plenty about Gordon Murray’s attitude to building cars that the track-only version of his T50 fancar actually generated so much downforce at first, GMA had to peg it back a bit so the car was driveable by mere mortals.

    The car can actually create 1,900kg of negative lift thanks to its derestricted fan output and huge wing/splitter combo, but Gordon insisted this was knocked down to 1,500kg because “it was essential to me that the T50S Niki Lauda is easy to live with and enjoy.” All 25 get a Cosworth V12 even more rabid than the road car’s, wringing out 725 quite glorious-sounding horsepower.

  7. Lamborghini Essenza SCV12

    Lamborghini Essenza SCV12

    Turns out you’re spoilt for choice right now if you’re after a track-only wedge of speed powered by a V12 that sounds like a violin shop being hit by a tornado. Here’s Lamborghini’s answer to the Huayra R and T50S: the Essenza SCV12.

    The 6.5-litre madman in the middle here kicks out 819bhp, which is sent to a six-speed sequential gearbox that’s a stressed member of the chassis – literally integral to the strength of the whole car. There are 12 stages of anti-lock braking and traction control to choose from, and despite the huge rear wing, it’ll haul itself to over 210mph flat out. Plenty.

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  8. Porsche 935

    Porsche 935

    A slight change of pace, this: the 935 is almost the sensible track-only hypercar. Mostly because though it hasn’t got any headlights and the wheels are dressed up in aero covers, you can tell it’s based distantly on a 911. A 991 GT2 RS, to be exact.

    That means a bi-turbo flat six under the huge rear wing good for over 700bhp, a road-related twin-clutch gearbox with a wooden lever, but also proper motorsport goodies like a fuel cell and slick tyres.

    Only 77 were made at a cool £750,000 a pop. We wonder if lessons learned here are going to be poured into the next 911 GT3 RS…

  9. Bugatti Bolide

    Bugatti Bolide

    Last but by no means least is Bugatti’s idea of a lightweight track only hypercar. ‘Bolide’ translates as ‘the racing car’, and though this isn’t actually eligible for competition, it’ll certainly win the race to be in a billionaire’s underground car storage bunker. 

    In essence, you’ve got the quad-turbo W16 engine from the speed record-hungry Chiron, clothed in a size zero carbon suit. Despite an engine that weighs more than a Caterham, the whole car is apparently just 1,240kg – about the same as a Toyota GR86 – and is capable of lapping the Nordschleife in under five and a half minutes. Well, why wouldn’t you? 

    At 198mph, 1,800 kgs of force is being sat on the rear wing and 800kgs at the front. The suspension is rated to take 3.5 tonnes of force – or nearly two Chirons. It’s a number-lover’s dream, this thing. And 40 will be sold to Bugatti’s most obsessive collectors, at €4 million each. As track day flexes go, it’s up there.

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