Jump to content
kobayashiGT

Supercar vs Hypercar — What’s the Difference?

Recommended Posts

Supercar vs Hypercar — What’s the Difference?

https://gearpatrol.com/2020/01/19/supercar-vs-hypercar/

Supercar-Versus-Hypercar-gear-patrol-lea

It’s obvious to most anyone that a Corvette or Lamborghini are different than a Corolla. There are many terms thrown around to describe outrageous performance cars. But in the upper echelons of performance, things get muddy; often, we use terms like “supercar” and “hypercar” interchangeably while in practice they are two different types of cars.

Supercar

Hundreds of horsepower, million-dollar price tags, lap times that make most race cars blush — these are supercars. They’re the top range of today’s performance cars, and the specs they boast outshine the best of yesteryear’s race cars. The term “supercar” is a catch-all first used in the London newspaper The Times back in 1920 to help describe the incredible 6.7-liter Ensign 6. Today, the term is used to describe cars with the best performance, technology and design that the automotive industry has to offer.

Supercars can be best defined with their most common characteristics: performance, technology, design and price. They don’t need to hold elevated status in all four characteristics to qualify, and most often performance is then used as the ultimate yardstick. Case in point, the Corvette C7 ZO6. It puts up amazing numbers and lap times and has a compelling design, but only costs $80,000, significantly lower than its competitors. Despite the low price, it’s still a supercar. The McLaren 650S has design language handed down from the P1 and sub-three-second 0-60 times but offers nothing in the way of unique or boundary-pushing technology. Also a supercar. Then you have a simplistic car like the Ariel Atom V8. There’s little to speak of in terms of design since it’s basically a cage on wheels. It also costs a fraction of the cost of any other claimed supercar, yet it can outrun most of them around a track. The Ariel Atom’s race-car level of performance makes up for the simplistic design, basic tech and relatively low price. Supercar. But, to get to hypercar status, a car has to meet all the characteristics of a supercar, and push the boundaries of performance, technology and design.

 

Hypercar

Then there is the term “hypercar,” coined to qualify the top one percent of supercars. All hypercars are supercars, but not all supercars are hypercars, and while the qualifiers that allow a car to be elevated out of supercar territory and into the hypercar pantheon aren’t obvious, it’s clear with a few examples. The Ferrari 458 is a fantastic supercar, but it does not match the technological marvel of the 1,500 horsepower Bugatti Chiron hypercar.

The McLaren P1, Ferrari La Ferrari, Porsche 918: all near 1,000 horsepower, with first-class new-age technology, million-dollar price tags, stunning design and performance rivaled only by each other. Almost every aspect of each car is an advancement in automotive technology and puts them high atop the motoring totem pole. Hypercars are the stick against which all cars are meant to be measured, and not a single compromise can be made.

 

Blurring the Lines

With supercars becoming exponentially more advanced and better performing, qualifications for hypercar status have become more stringent. They represent the forefront of engineering and the most extreme design, but with each new generation, the outgoing tech and styling become dated. And at the same time, the critics become callous towards what we call “extreme.” Top speeds of 185 mph used to belong to only the most exotic metal. Now, cars like the BMW M5, a family sedan, can top that. It’s what causes a car like the Lamborghini Murcielago, once an undisputed hypercar, to slide down the ladder every time a new, more batshit-crazy version of the Aventador is unveiled.

Simpler performance tech pioneered by hypercars, such as movable aerodynamics, is already appearing on supercars like the Ferrari 488 GTB. Eventually, it will be the norm in the supercar world to see hybrid powertrains like the ones in La Ferrari and the P1 — though at the moment that technology is too complex and expensive to put in the higher production numbers of less exclusive supercars. The fact that the tech trickles down to supercars is also what demands hypercars to stay at the forefront. What we think of as extraordinary today is destined to become commonplace tomorrow.

 

↡ Advertisement
  • Praise 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many, many nits to pick with that article.

For one thing, the Corvette Z06 is not regarded as a supercar by most US car enthusiasts, merely as a bang for the buck sports car.

Even a top of the line edition like the ZR1 will be a highly debatable case, although far fewer people would be inclined to challenge this one.

Cars like the Nissan GTR are not often regarded as "true" supercars by many. Part of the reason is the low price and perceived lack of exclusivity (same reasoning as the Corvette).

However, the Lexus LFA is an undisputed supercar. It's got everything - performance, looks, price and exclusivity (limited production).

The Honda/Acura NSX is tricky - lots of people regarded the older one as a supercar because it was a Ferrari 348 beater, but the newer hybrid one seems underwhelming.

Often, what gets called a sports car, a super-sports car (not to be confused with supercar), a supercar and a hypercar is subjective, and based on the opinion of the (often self-appointed) cognoscenti of the automotive world.

To qualify as a supercar (hypercars are a proper subset of this), a car must be:

- a sports car (2 seater) or at best a very sporty (read: 2 seater) GT

- have power (the levels are somewhat arbitrary, but should be no less than 500hp in a modern car), price, exclusivity and "prestige"

- (ideally) not a souped-up version of a more boring car

A hypercar would be all of the above, but dialed up to eleven. It's also something that's pretty much decided by common understanding.

One very important thing to note is that supercars don't stop being supercars because of age. They're measured against the competition that existed during their production and they retain the title forever. So a McLaren F1 would still be a supercar (the term hypercar wasn't in vogue then) even though it can be spanked by many cars today. It's sort of like how we call Black Sabbath a metal band still even though the standard for heaviness has drastically altered.

Some examples of cars and what I would classify them as:

Ferrari LaFerrari: Hypercar

Ferrari F40, F50: supercars (they would easily have been hypercars if the term had been bandied about then).

Ferrari 430, 458, 488: all supercars (despite the differences in age and power - remember, the title is retained forever).

Lamborghini Huracan: supercar

Lamborghini Aventador: supercar (I dispute the hypercar title of this one).

McLaren F1: supercar (the term hypercar wasn't in vogue back then, else it would surely be a hypercar)

McLaren (ultimate series): P1, Senna, Speedtail (all hypercars)

McLaren (super series): including 12C, 650S, 720S (all supercars)

McLaren (sports series): 540C, 570S, 600LT (highly debatable. I would classify the 540S as a super-sports car, but the higher spec ones as supercars. It's highly subjective).

Porsche 918: hypercar

Porsche 911 GT2 RS : supercar

Porsche 911 turbo/turbo S: super-sports car (I dispute the title of supercar for these, although some would claim these as supercars)

Almost any other modern 911 or non-SUV Porsche: sports cars

Bugatti (any model): hypercar

Koenigsegg (any model): hypercar

Pagani (any model): hypercar (some would argue they're just beautiful and highly desirable supercars, but their price and exclusivity pushes them into hypercar category in my view).

Mercedes AMG GT-R: super-GT/super-sports car (some would classify it as a supercar, but I disagree since  it's an apex model of the GT/GTS range).

Nissan GTR: super-GT/super-sports car

Lexus LFA: supercar

Honda NSX: sports car, but arguably a supercar, as mentioned above

BMW i8: sports car (maybe a super-sports car, but it barely qualifies)

BMW M5: fast sedan ("super sedan" if you will). Not a sports car so not under consideration.

Audi R8: supercar (many would dispute the original 4.2L V8 version, but I would argue that that car was very competitive in its day, so qualifies)

Mazda Miata: sports car

Lotus (pretty much any model): sports car

Ariel Atom, Noble, etc.: sports car (they're track day specials or limited production cars that don't rise to the level of supercars)

One important thing: an "exotic" is not necessarily a supercar, but a supercar is necessarily an exotic. For example, the Noble or Ariel Atom is certainly very exotic in Singapore, but I wouldn't consider them supercars.

Anyway, it's all pretty subjective. Your mileage may vary.

Edited by Turboflat4
  • Praise 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i will read this page in ernest after i strike that hong bao toto draw...  😎

  • Haha! 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Super cars is about how fast you can go from 0-180km/h whereas hyper cars is about how much faster you can go after that 180km/h.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, SuPerBoRed said:

i will read this page in ernest after i strike that hong bao toto draw...  😎

May the force be with you. hahaha. 

↡ Advertisement
  • Praise 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Turboflat4 said:

For one thing, the Corvette Z06 is not regarded as a supercar by most US car enthusiasts, merely as a bang for the buck sports car.

Lamborghini Aventador: supercar (I dispute the hypercar title of this one).

BMW i8: sports car (maybe a super-sports car, but it barely qualifies) 

In almost every aspect, I think you've got it spot on. The Z06 is not a supercar, but a value for money sports car.

Aventador is not a hypercar, but the Veneno would be, imho.

And the i8, I think is at best, solidly in the sports car range.

The difference between supercars and hypercars is quite subjective, and I think exclusivity means more than mere performance.

But so much discussion also doesn't do me any good, I can't even afford the key fob for a lambo.

  • Praise 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Hydrocarbon said:

In almost every aspect, I think you've got it spot on. The Z06 is not a supercar, but a value for money sports car.

Aventador is not a hypercar, but the Veneno would be, imho.

And the i8, I think is at best, solidly in the sports car range.

The difference between supercars and hypercars is quite subjective, and I think exclusivity means more than mere performance.

But so much discussion also doesn't do me any good, I can't even afford the key fob for a lambo.

You're absolutely right - the Veneno is a hypercar.

When it (finally!) comes out, the Mercedes-AMG One will be one as well.

Edited by Turboflat4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Turboflat4 said:

Many, many nits to pick with that article.

For one thing, the Corvette Z06 is not regarded as a supercar by most US car enthusiasts, merely as a bang for the buck sports car.

Even a top of the line edition like the ZR1 will be a highly debatable case, although far fewer people would be inclined to challenge this one.

Cars like the Nissan GTR are not often regarded as "true" supercars by many. Part of the reason is the low price and perceived lack of exclusivity (same reasoning as the Corvette).

However, the Lexus LFA is an undisputed supercar. It's got everything - performance, looks, price and exclusivity (limited production).

The Honda/Acura NSX is tricky - lots of people regarded the older one as a supercar because it was a Ferrari 348 beater, but the newer hybrid one seems underwhelming.

Often, what gets called a sports car, a super-sports car (not to be confused with supercar), a supercar and a hypercar is subjective, and based on the opinion of the (often self-appointed) cognoscenti of the automotive world.

To qualify as a supercar (hypercars are a proper subset of this), a car must be:

- a sports car (2 seater) or at best a very sporty (read: 2 seater) GT

- have power (the levels are somewhat arbitrary, but should be no less than 500hp in a modern car), price, exclusivity and "prestige"

- (ideally) not a souped-up version of a more boring car

A hypercar would be all of the above, but dialed up to eleven. It's also something that's pretty much decided by common understanding.

One very important thing to note is that supercars don't stop being supercars because of age. They're measured against the competition that existed during their production and they retain the title forever. So a McLaren F1 would still be a supercar (the term hypercar wasn't in vogue then) even though it can be spanked by many cars today. It's sort of like how we call Black Sabbath a metal band still even though the standard for heaviness has drastically altered.

Some examples of cars and what I would classify them as:

Ferrari LaFerrari: Hypercar

Ferrari F40, F50: supercars (they would easily have been hypercars if the term had been bandied about then).

Ferrari 430, 458, 488: all supercars (despite the differences in age and power - remember, the title is retained forever).

Lamborghini Huracan: supercar

Lamborghini Aventador: supercar (I dispute the hypercar title of this one).

McLaren F1: supercar (the term hypercar wasn't in vogue back then, else it would surely be a hypercar)

McLaren (ultimate series): P1, Senna, Speedtail (all hypercars)

McLaren (super series): including 12C, 650S, 720S (all supercars)

McLaren (sports series): 540C, 570S, 600LT (highly debatable. I would classify the 540S as a super-sports car, but the higher spec ones as supercars. It's highly subjective).

Porsche 918: hypercar

Porsche 911 GT2 RS : supercar

Porsche 911 turbo/turbo S: super-sports car (I dispute the title of supercar for these, although some would claim these as supercars)

Almost any other modern 911 or non-SUV Porsche: sports cars

Bugatti (any model): hypercar

Koenigsegg (any model): hypercar

Pagani (any model): hypercar (some would argue they're just beautiful and highly desirable supercars, but their price and exclusivity pushes them into hypercar category in my view).

Mercedes AMG GT-R: super-GT/super-sports car (some would classify it as a supercar, but I disagree since  it's an apex model of the GT/GTS range).

Nissan GTR: super-GT/super-sports car

Lexus LFA: supercar

Honda NSX: sports car, but arguably a supercar, as mentioned above

BMW i8: sports car (maybe a super-sports car, but it barely qualifies)

BMW M5: fast sedan ("super sedan" if you will). Not a sports car so not under consideration.

Audi R8: supercar (many would dispute the original 4.2L V8 version, but I would argue that that car was very competitive in its day, so qualifies)

Mazda Miata: sports car

Lotus (pretty much any model): sports car

Ariel Atom, Noble, etc.: sports car (they're track day specials or limited production cars that don't rise to the level of supercars)

One important thing: an "exotic" is not necessarily a supercar, but a supercar is necessarily an exotic. For example, the Noble or Ariel Atom is certainly very exotic in Singapore, but I wouldn't consider them supercars.

Anyway, it's all pretty subjective. Your mileage may vary.

Thank you for including Lexus. One day will race with your felali in JB. 

 

If you use after market add on turbo boost eg sweet potato the night before then all bets are off

  • Praise 1
  • Haha! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Turboflat4 said:

Many, many nits to pick with that article.

 

 koenigsegg all hyper level?

Edited by Beregond

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Beregond said:

 koenigsegg all hyper level?

Yeah, I'd say so. In every "generation", they've been top tier. Of course, they also have low production, price etc. going for them. 

I'm not even mentioning the really limited makes like Rimac (hypercar) and Spyker (sports to super-sports car, depending on the model and spec). 

Edited by Turboflat4
  • Praise 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If an Audi R8 (4.2) is a supercar, so is a Lotus Evora Sport 410!

Lotus (pretty much any model): sports car

The first Lotus Evija, hypercar is already built. At 2000 hp, it will be the fastest production car ever. 

How about Ariel Atom V8, BAC Mono, KTM X-Bow, Caterham Supersport R, Drakan Spyder? Yes, they may not have the high priced tag, exclusivity and prestige, but some supercars pale in performance against these machines. Trying beat these machines in a tight street circuit like Singapore or Monaco.

Neither sports car nor supercar, think track performance car title would suit them.

 

 

  • Praise 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, kobayashiGT said:

Mclaren Senna leh?

Kathy_main_v2.jpg

It's in my post. Hypercar. 

It's a judgement call because its power figure is rather underwhelming for a hypercar. But it's light and track focused, and it's part of the Ultimate series so, that's the way I went. 

If someone wants to call it "just" a supercar, I wouldn't argue very hard. Lol. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, kobayashiGT said:

Mclaren Senna leh?

Kathy_main_v2.jpg

Mclaren Senna is a hypercar, no doubt about it. So is a Koenigsegg Jesko.

 

  • Praise 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Turboflat4 said:

It's in my post. Hypercar. 

It's a judgement call because its power figure is rather underwhelming for a hypercar. But it's light and track focused, and it's part of the Ultimate series so, that's the way I went. 

If someone wants to call it "just" a supercar, I wouldn't argue very hard. Lol. 

For track focus, Mclaren has built a Mclaren Senna GTR, not road legal.

  • Praise 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Tommisan said:

If an Audi R8 (4.2) is a supercar, so is a Lotus Evora Sport 410!

Lotus (pretty much any model): sports car

The first Lotus Evija, hypercar is already built. At 2000 hp, it will be the fastest production car ever. 

How about Ariel Atom V8, BAC Mono, KTM X-Bow, Caterham Supersport R, Drakan Spyder? Yes, they may not have the high priced tag, exclusivity and prestige, but some supercars pale in performance against these machines. Trying beat these machines in a tight street circuit like Singapore or Monaco.

Neither sports car nor supercar, think track performance car title would suit them.

 

 

One of my criteria is that the car shouldn't be a higher spec version of a lower end sports car. That's why I wouldn't include the Evora variants. The power figure of these cars is also not highly impressive in modern terms (I know Lotus is about power:weight, but supercars and hypercars are also about bragging rights - bigger is better). 

Forgot about the Evija, you're right, definitely a hypercar. I stand corrected. 

I've mentioned some track day specials in my post.

 

  • Praise 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Tommisan said:

For track focus, Mclaren has built a Mclaren Senna GTR, not road legal.

True but we're talking road-legal here. Otherwise we'd have to bring in the FXX and the AM Vulcan etc.

  • Praise 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Turboflat4 said:

True but we're talking road-legal here. Otherwise we'd have to bring in the FXX and the AM Vulcan etc.

Yeah, stick with road legal cars. One of my all time fave track cars is the Mclaren F1 GTR. 

↡ Advertisement
  • Praise 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×