With the recent reveal of the Pagani Huayra Roadster, we’re reminded of exactly what decadence for decadence's sake is. It’s a jewel of a car: Utterly pointless and without a track, top speed or 0-62 record to its name. Is chopping the roof off your bleeding-edge finely honed halo car the ultimate in manufacturer “because I can” statements? It’s a rare occurrence, but it has happened at least five times in recent years.
FEB 17th 2017
5 times the world's most beautiful hypercars went topless
Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
The last of these top-level machines to loose its roof was in fact fairly recent. Ferrari’s LaFerrari, in its use of a carbon-tub chassis, can afford to loose otherwise structurally essential elements like a fixed roof. This is what has allowed many hypercars to go topless without a sweat in recent years. Enter the even more exclusive LaFerrari Aperta, topping the ladder of Ferrari exclusivity and retaining the hardtop’s sensational performance post-op’.
Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster
This thing is about as exclusive as it gets. Exclusive in the sense that its coupe counterpart outnumbers it four to one, and that’s not exactly a Corsa “Limited Edition”! Like the Huayra, the changes made go beyond just chopping the roof off, with a new spoiler, badge-in-grille face and a new clamshell design to accommodate new buttresses. It also enjoys an AMG V12 engine that those who have had a poke about in the hindquarters of a Pagani Zonda will find familiar. Given the racing car’s singularity of purpose, the Roadster seems quite far from what must have originally been intended for the GTR. From Le Mans to the bowels of a super-mansion somewhere in the Emirates. We miss the days when the greatest GT-racers shared blood with the most exclusive and extreme road cars.
Ford GT X1
This is certainly the curveball of the list. Little is heard of the GT X1 these days or of the very few examples that were produced, but this is a bona-fide supercar alfresco hack job! Back in ‘05/’06, Ford was rather pleased with how things were going with their newly-released GT supercar. But with production nearing 4,000 units, could this monstrous tribute to the legendary GT40, brandishing then-hypercar performance numbers, be considered exclusive? There’s a trend emerging here. If you’re going to build a more rarefied version of your crown jewel, you lop the roof off. Some SEMA show ambition and a Ford/Genaddi Design Group collaboration later, and behold, the 700bhp GT X1! With around 50 produced and sold, this thing is rarer than the prancing horse featured above...
Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport
We had to mention this really. Following four years of singing about the engineering achievement that the Veyron was, Bugatti popped the top, creating the gorgeous Grand Sport. New LED lights afforded it a fresher face, and the carbon tub of the Veyron, like in the LaFerrari and Huayra, retained the rigidity that would otherwise be lost in a normal car when going topless. We reckon the open air look adds a lot to the ultimate GT persona the Veyron seems to have.
Noble M600 Speedster
Ah the resilient old M600. A few years back when the coupe debuted, its performance was considered titanic. By rights, a full 650bhp is still pretty wholesome, but the arrival of the social media generation hypercar trio redefined performance. So here follows another reason why you might take the clippers to your supercar: Keeping things fresh! The M600 isn’t so much a delicate work of art, like the others, as it is a brutal tool for self-inflicting terror and sensory shock, so popping the roof off seems as much a move to get you closer to that whooshing turbocharged V8 as it was to spike interest in the ageing beast. We reckon it’s really rather pretty, too.
Yes, we hear your exclamations. “Carrera GT! 918! F50! MC12! Most Koenigseggs!” These are all wonderful machines indeed, but, unlike everything in this list, as well as the Huayra, they came like that out of the box! Zonda Roadster? Yes, technically that does belong, but as you might have worked out this list is a direct response to the release of that other convertible Pagani, so we thought we’d look a bit deeper.
So the (literal) million dollar (probably more) question: which one are you driving down to your yacht in the Riviera?
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