The past, present, and (electric) future of supercars

Koenigsegg Gemera Swedish

The future is here—and it’s electric. Well, maybe.

The Koenigsegg Gemera, which made its worldwide public debut last March, is a €1.5 million ($1.8 million) supercar with all of the fixings: a carbon fiber body, stunning dihedral doors, massive air vents, and a 0 to 60 mph spring time of less than 2 seconds.

But there’s a radical difference once you pop the hood. Instead of the midmounted twin-turbocharged V-8 engine of the speed-record-breaking sister, the Koenigsegg Agera, the 1,700-hp Gemera has a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-three engine—and three electric motors.

The Swedish manufacturer isn’t the only elite auto brand looking to electric power for its future .

Pininfarina unveiled its 1,900-hp all-electric Battista in 2019, the same year Lotus revealed its 1,973-hp electric Evija. Ferrari is currently making its 986-hp SF90 Stradale hybrid. McLaren recently unveiled a $225,000  Artura hybrid that uses an electric motor to get to 205 mph.

In the past two years, dozens of high-performance vehicles have sprung into existence, a veritable cascade of releasescompared with the scattered few of previous decades.

From Bugatti to Pininfarina, Aston Martin to McLaren, Lamborghini to Ferrari, supercars are big business. And they’re making more than ever.

And now that 1,000-plus horsepower and top speeds of 200 mph have become commonplace, automakers are relying on electric motors to push beyond the outer limits of the combustion engine. —Hannah Elliot

The Cream of the Crop

Much like the sartorial wonders sent down the runway at haute couture fashion shows, supercars help automakers display what they’re capable of creating when time and money are no object.

“It’s an automaker’s ability to stretch every aspect of design and performance, to not be bound by the constraints of mass economies of scale,” says Jonathan Klinger, Hagerty’s vice president for car culture.

As such, supercars occupy the realm of fantasy rather than anything as practical in real life as, say, power seating or useable trunks. They’re a potent cocktail of innovation, power, and sex appeal.

Here is a closer look at some of the best new supercars that have recently debuted.

Cut The Glare

With all this driving, you’re going to need something to block the sun. Might we present for your consideration the sunglasses favored by perhaps the most famous driver ever, Steve McQueen? He wore his favorite pair—tortoise-framed 714s customized with blue-tinted lenses—in Bullitt, The Getaway, and The Thomas Crown Affair. 

Introduced in the 1960s as a more compact version of Persol’s original 649 model, the 714 was the first pair of sunglasses to fold conveniently inward, ensuring safe storage in places as small as a breast pocket. The unique pilot shape, keyhole bridge, swordlike accents on the edges, and acetate frames are all present in a limited edition dubbed the Persol 714SM ($790), but it’s the warm Havana brown color and alluring 24-karat-gold-plated lenses that really steal the show.

Vintage Supercars From the Pursuits Archive

Electric cars may be the future of the market, but the past holds plenty of exciting jewels of its own.

And if you read just one thing…

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The complicated, costly, world-crossing process of fixing a wrecked supercar

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