The 7 Craziest Cars of Need for Speed

By Michael Lockhart

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After 20 long years of high-octane gameplay, this weekend marks the release of the hotly anticipated film adaptation of legendary EA game series Need for Speed. While we’ve seen the Fast & Furious franchise reach new heights after switching genres from street racing to heists and even pseudo-detective work over the years, Need for Speed has always been focused purely on the cars.

We’ve been a little nervous about whether the film could deliver the badass vehicles that have graced the video games. But we’re blown away by the impressive supercars and modified muscle cars that are making their bow on the big screen. So we are proud to present Need for Speed’s seven craziest cars, one of the most absurd collections ever seen in one place, with the possible exception of Pebble Beach—at which the majority debuted anyway.

It’s important to note here that while we’re all for million-dollar-plus vehicles running amok through the streets, the cars you see represented on the big screen are sadly not the real thing. Each of these cars has the power to handle any race challenge, but slapping a filming rig on a Bugatti just isn’t kosher. Instead, the filmmakers put a Lambo’s worth of dollars into Ford and Saleen’s performance divisions to create high-speed mockups for filming at top speeds, a few nifty stunts and some pretty explosive airborne sequences.

And here they are:

Released last year as the successor to the legendary F1, the P1 picks up where its sibling left off, adding increased power and fuel-saving technology in the form of a hybrid 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 paired with an electric motor. Capping off at an incredible 903 horsepower between its two engines, the P1 can hit zero to 60 in less than three seconds. At a starter price of $1.15 million, it’s a steal compared to some of the others on this list.

We first got a glimpse of this Lamborghini special edition at its global unveiling at Pebble Beach in 2012. The true offspring of the Dark Knight’s tumbler Batmobile, the Sesto, is the star attraction of any joyride. Light and capable due to its carbon fiber shell and permanent all-wheel drive, the Sesto’s V10 engine puts out 570 horses of power, allowing it to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in just 2.5 seconds. Now, if we could just stop staring at its new sibling, the gorgeous Huracán.

Bugatti has recently won back its title of fastest production car in the world, thanks to the Grand Sport Vitesse. Bugatti’s original golden child was the supremely equipped Super Sport, and this vehicle makes an appearance in Need For Speed in dashing orange and black livery. With a skin made of pure carbon fiber for aerodynamics and stability, the SS’s 16-cylinder engine produces an awe-inspiring (and record-holding) 1,200 horsepower. Enjoy its top speed of 285 mph—limited solely to protect the tires—if you can afford its $2.4 million price tag.

One of the fastest production vehicles ever built on American soil, the S7 supercar from ex-racer and auto tuner extraordinaire Steve Saleen made waves upon its release in 2002. At 550 horsepower, the S7’s 7.0-liter mid-engine V8 was an anomaly at the time, making it the only U.S.-built car to put out over 500 horses. With a top speed of around 223 mph and a sprint from zero to 60 in just 3.3 seconds, the S7 was ridiculously priced at a slick $400,000. Its time has passed for now, but we hope the guys at Saleen are hard at work on a worthy successor.

The Swedes have established their coolness as the home of DIY furniture and Spotify, but supercar brand Koenigsegg easily takes them to the next level. The Agera R’s massive bi-turbo DOHC eight-cylinder engine helps get them there with a Bugatti record-stealing 1140 horsepower and a zero-to-60 spring of just 2.8 seconds. Its unique features include being the only hypercar on the market that can switch to roadster form and stow its hardtop under the hood, as well as its doors that corkscrew open, known as “dihedral synchro-helix.” All yours for $2.5 million.

Most of the cars on this list have shown up in the movies, with the exception of the exquisite GTA Spano, an enthusiast’s dream produced by a small Spanish manufacturer called Spania GTA. As small as it is, the Spano is more than capable of taking on the revered nameplates that are splashed throughout the film. Powered by a turbocharged 8.3-liter V10, the Spano is in the P1’s league with 925 horsepower and a top speed of 230 mph. Put to the time test, the carbon fiber Spano can go from zero to 60 in just 2.9 seconds. Not too shabby, especially considering it starts at just $725,000.

No American-filmed race movie would be complete with a little injection of Detroit muscle. In this case, both the existing 2014 Ford Mustang GT and its soon-to-be released successor (as seen above) make their presence known in Need for Speed. Lead actor Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) is behind the wheel of the GT Pony for this adrenaline trip, but not before Saleen modified the hell out of it with a custom wide-body kit, unique lighting and 22-inch alloy wheels. The Mustang, which has appeared in nearly 3,000 films since its debut, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, so outfitting the “Hero’s Car” with an unbelievable 900-horsepower 5.8-liter supercharged V8 is sure to be a first. We’re confident it won’t be its last.

Which of these are you most pumped to see on the big screen?


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