The most expensive car in the world is more than just a means of transport. It is a statement of status and a symbol of wealth. Car collectors are willing to spend astronomical amounts of money on these cars because, to them, they are works of art.
The list of most expensive cars globally is filled with limited-edition models and exclusive invite-only vehicles. It is not surprising that the majority of these cars will spend more time in showrooms globally than they will on the road.
Would you risk crashing a $19 million car? Of course not. To put that figure into perspective, an average luxury home price in the USA is slightly under $2 million.
Another reason for this is how good these cars look. They are a joy to behold and invite many admiring looks anytime they are shown publicly. This list contains the very best unicorns of the motoring world.
Some cars in this list are not accessible to most people because of their price tags. However, there are instances where the price is immaterial, you can only buy them if the manufacturer invites you to.
Most expensive car in the world of all time - Top 10
The costliest cars in the world are so pricey because of the brand, edition's deviation from the standard design, build quality, and, most commonly, the reason for their release.
10. Pagani Huayra BC – $2.8 million
Pagani has made a name for itself by manufacturing some of the world's fastest, most expensive, and luxurious supercars. Owner, Horacio Pagani, works closely with design and engineering teams to build machines that are not just modes of transport.
Pagani cars are statements. The Pagani Huarya BC is based on the original design of the less expensive Huarya.
The Huarya BC was designed and built as a tribute to Italian car collector and Ferrari enthusiast, Benny Caiola. It features an extended wheelbase, wider chassis track, and more carbon fiber in the roll cage than its predecessor.
Powered by an AMG 6.0-liter V-12 bi-turbo engine, the car is propelled by 790 bhp, and 811ft/lb of torque channeled through a 7-speed proprietary transmission.
Weighing just over 1200kg, and with such a beast under the hood, it gets from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds. It is not only expensive but also super-fast.
Pagani went a step ahead and spruced up the interior with more carbon fiber detailing across the dashboard. The cockpit is set up similar to a standard Huarya, with the only difference being the dials and car seats.
The BC is meant for a limited market with a very limited-edition release. Following in the footsteps of predecessors, there are only 60 Huarya BC in existence. The first batch of 20 attracted so much attention, and demand led to a release of 40 more units in 2019.
9. Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio – $3 million
Italian companies have a long history going back centuries. These old companies have shared ancestry and long-standing relationships of collaboration. They hold a sense of national pride and rich heritage. One such relationship is highlighted in the creation of the Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio.
It was designed and built in honor of the deceased son of the Italian design house, Pininfarina. Borrowing heavily from the Ferrari 458 Spider, the Pininfarina is a sight to behold. It has no roof, no windows, and no windshield.
The entire body and roll cage are made of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is the sturdiest and lightest material used in car manufacturing.
The exclusivity of the materials is part of the reason for the huge price tag. The drive train features a 4.5-liter F136F V-8 engine generating 562 hp without a turbo.
Power is transferred to the road via the rear wheels. Uncharacteristic design means the car will spend most of its time in showrooms and expensive storage.
This is one of the rarest cars on this list; there are only 6 Pininfarina's in existence. Each was sold on an invitation to a select group of owners chosen by Ferrari. Limited edition releases have the instant effect of making each car a rare collector's item.
8. Aston Martin Valkyrie – $3.2 million
The new Aston Martin president, Andy Palmer, joined the company at a time when it was grasping at straws for relevance. To have some more ground outside of the highly successful DB line up, he agreed to this project, the creation of a new performance hypercar.
In production, code-named Nebula, teams maintained high secrecy and worked in multidisciplinary teams to create the perfect hybrid supercar.
The Valkyrie features a Ricardo transmission system that channels 1100 bhp through the car. This hybrid system is made by RIMAC, a popular electric car maker.
The car was designed in collaboration with engineers from Red Bull Racing. Looking at the interior highlights the racing heritage, with three screens in the cockpit and a racing steering wheel.
There are racing seats in the cockpit as well. There is a large number of design choices in the car aimed at increasing aerodynamic efficiency for the fastest speeds. The handling is amazing, given the design background.
7. Limited edition Bugatti Veyron by Mansory Vivere– $3.4 million
Bugatti made history by becoming the first car manufacturer to have a car that can reach 400 kph on a two-way stretch and claim the world record for the fastest car. In the years since the luxury carmaker has consistently made the world's most expensive and fastest cars.
Bugatti is one of the most expensive car brands. They are made with the most valuable interiors. Also, every Bugatti comes with the best in class 8.0-liter W16 engine pumping more than 1200 bhp to the wheels. The turbocharged power train can go from zero to 60 in 3 seconds.
Every new Bugatti is made on order, and new owners receive one of the best delivery experiences in the world. Mansory, the most popular custom car manufacturer, works directly with other manufacturers to produce high-end cars.
Their products vary from armored vehicles to extreme custom mods of the most luxurious cars. The Bugatti Veyron, the world's fastest car for two years before being toppled by the Bugatti Chiron, has a Mansory Vivere Version.
Bugatti's engineering is unquestionable given that the only changes made from the original model are on the interior, the lights, and the paint. The body has some significant upgrades with more use of carbon fiber, optimizing the power to weight ratio.
The car is so fast they had to cap the top speed post-production for it to be roadworthy. The top speed is 407 kph.
6. Lykan Hypersport – $3.4 million
Fans of the Fast and Furious movie franchise got a glimpse of this exclusive Arab supercar in action in Dubai in cinema. W Motors from Lebanon make Lykan. Despite having a little-known brand, the quality of the car, and the materials used on it, put it on this list.
The LED headlight and strips have diamond detailing. Suddenly $3.4 million does not seem so outrageous. The car is like a piece of jewelry on wheels. The body is made of aluminum and carbon fiber for added durability and weight distribution.
To give you your money's worth, they feature a 3.8 liter flat-six twin-turbo engine mounted at the back. This puts 780 bhp and 708 ft/lb of torque at your feet.
You can launch from zero to 60 in 2.8 seconds. That is faster than the fastest Tesla at 2.9 seconds using an electric motor with instant torque transfer.
The Lykan Hypersport is a collector's item limited edition car made for the flashy and super-rich people. Anyone with a large bank account can get one. It is hard not to feel like you are in a video game in the highly decked-out cockpit.
5. McLaren P1 LM – $3.6 million
McLaren needs no introduction. In 2018 and 2019, the McLaren P1 has been their flagship car. This was replaced by the McLaren Siena towards the end of 2019.
P1 had a GTR version that did not feature a hybrid engine most other P1s had. Lanzante, a British car company specializing in customizations and upgrades, bought a few of these.
Lanzante made a road-legal version of the track-only P1 GTR for sale to select clients in Europe and Asia. Unsurprisingly, this is in contention one of the world's most expensive car.
The engine bay is gold plated to shelter the 3.8 liters twin-turbo V-8, generating a whooping 1000 bhp.
McLarens are inherently expensive to give the brand and the cars they make. These modified versions of the P1 GTR is so rare and so costly that only five have ever been made so far.
4. Lamborghini Veneno Roadster – $4.5 million
Lamborghini has a stranglehold grasp on the supercar market. They are fast, reliable, and incredibly thrilling to drive.
Uniquely designed for performance and aesthetic quality, Veneno Roadster is no different. Going from naught to 60 in 2.9 seconds, this car gives the crème of electric vehicles a reason to look over their shoulders.
Veneno, which translates to poison in Spanish, was made in the first batch of only three cars. Resell value was through the roof. One of the first three was resold for $11 million, more than double the original price. Six more have since been made and sold.
Unlike other Lambos, Venenos feature a monocoque chassis with a 6.5-liter V12 engine rallying up to 740 bhp and 507 ft/lb of torque. This is behind that insane acceleration.
Inspired by the Aventador, it features huge rear diffusers and smoothly finished interior. There is limited use of carbon fiber with a more commonplace steering and cockpit.
As is standard with most Lambos, it has falcon-wing doors and a large rear spoiler. You will not see a supercar quite as striking as this.
3. Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita – $4.8 million
Like Pagani and many other manufacturers, Koenigsegg has been chasing the record for the fastest car for a while. In this pursuit, we have been gifted with the most amazing vehicle designs we have ever seen. Koenigsegg Regera, Agera and Agera R are examples of just how far Koenigsegg has pushed vehicle design.
One of their best cars is this CCXR Trevita with a diamond dust coated carbon fiber body. Carbon fiber is black and shiny. To mold it, you impregnate carbon fiber with resin and vacuum out any air while setting in a mold.
When molding is removed, the resin has set and hardened into a desired shape. This has equal strength to standard aluminum.
The Trevita production process uses a resin that is infused with diamond dust giving the carbon fiber a shiny white finish. This process is so difficult that Koenigsegg only made two out of the three planned CCXR Trevitas.
Under the hood is a 4.8-liter V8 engine creating 1004 bhp and 797 ft/lb of torque supercharged for max output. The CCXR Trevita is one of the rarest in the list and, for a time, was the most expensive car in the world.
2. Sweptail by Rolls Royce – $13 million
Powered by a 6.75-liter V12 engine, Rolls Royce Sweptail has an output of 453 bhp passing through the 8-speed transmission. Thomas Russini designed it for Rolls Royce at the request of an undisclosed client. At its release, it was the most expensive car in the world.
Despite being toppled as the most expensive car, Sweptail remains the most exclusive car in the world. Rolls Royce said there will only ever be one car in existence.
There is only one person that can own it. It is not street legal and is meant as a showpiece.
The two-seater bears a lot of resemblance to the more common Wraith with the change being the all-glass sweeping roof to the back.
1. Bugatti La Voiture Noire – $19 million
Wondering who owns the most expensive car in the world? The owner of the VW group, Ferdinand Piech, is the sole owner of the only Bugatti La Voiture Noire.
Designed by Salome Etienne, it is based on a Veyron, Chiron, and the classic Type 57SC Atlantic. Its name translates to the black car. So, what is the most expensive car in the world? Bugatti La Voiture Noire.
Under its hood is an 8-liter W16 engine that creates 1,500 bhp that can propel the car up to 450 kph; the engine is, however, limited to a roadworthy level. The La Voiture Noire is all black with the entire body and chassis made with carbon fiber. The power to weight ratio is unmatched.
As far as exclusive cars go, we crown the La Voiture Noire king, with the Sweptail as an equal monarch.
What is the most expensive car in the world made for? Shear visual pleasure, collector's pride, status symbol, and as we have seen, honoring distinguished relations. These are like art collectibles for enthusiasts, and because they are generational, cars hold a lot of sentimental value.
The most expensive car in the world is a title that will continuously and consistently change hands. As we see more new cars in the market, expect this list to change year in year out.