Despite all the fantasizing and lustful poster purchasing, very few gearheads will ever get the chance to actually drive their favorite supercars. The sad fact is that these marvels of design and engineering are simply to rare and valuable for the average person to see more than occasionally or even get a chance to sit in.
Supercars have taken giant leaps forward in the 21st century, as each company sets out to one-up the entire industry. Some supercars these days are even more powerful than actual race cars that would be illegal to drive on the street. Because of their highly specific mechanical componentry, supercars have earned mythical status—and the emergent category of hypercar is now starting to grow, as well.
But it's not just massive engines and stunning exteriors that make supercars super. Keep scrolling for 15 weird features that come on only the rarest supercars.
15 Bugatti Hydraulic Oil Intercooler
The Bugatti Veyron is all kinds of crazy, being perhaps the most technologically complicated supercar in the world (along with its Chiron successor). One of the most absurd features of the Veyron is an air-to-oil intercooler that cools the hydraulic fluid that moves the car's active aerodynamic bits and pieces.
14 Carbon Fiber Everything
Supercars are all about huge power figures and low curb weights. Well, as low as possible, anyways, given that they Veyron clocks in at over 4,000 pounds. But companies like McLaren have remained more focused on keeping cars trim and nimble, using carbon fiber for just about every little detail. Of course, carbon fiber looks awesome and futuristic, as well, so using it for the car key is a nifty trick.
13 Ridiculous Windshield Wipers
Supercars are works of art that represent the pinnacle of design and engineering for their time. The Ferrari Enzo had to be pretty amazing to earn a nameplate that celebrated the iconic company's iconic founder. Everything about the Enzo is spectacular, right down to the unique, single windshield wiper—though in the picture above, that's as hidden as it gets.
12 Four Turbos
Turbochargers are increasingly popular in modern automotive engineering because they allow for greater power and efficiency simultaneously. The only downside is an increase in the powerplant's complexity, which has led to cars that simply are not as reliable reaching the market these days. And few cars are more complex than Bugattis, the Veyron and Chiron having four turbos connected to their W16 engines.
11 Titanium Crankshafts
Weight savings become increasingly difficult in the real of high-end supercars because of the massive power figures that many of these cars produce. Few materials combine durability, strength, and low weight as well as titanium, and there are many supercars that use the rare and difficult to manipulate material for their engine components, including the crankshaft.
10 Matching Luggage
The fact that many supercars come with matching luggage is equal parts hilarious and sad. The luxury factor has to be a consideration but, on the other hand, there's also the truth that these cars are typically tiny, mid-engined monsters that don't usually have the space to hold even one ubiquitous rolling black suitcase.
9 Front-Lift Suspension
Ricers and stance bros might lower their cars for looks, but rarely do their modifications actually result in legitimate performance enhancement. Supercars, on the other hand, are much closer to real race cars and their low ride height directly correlates to aerodynamic efficiency and handling. Unfortunately, being so low isn't particularly conducive to city life, so many supercars come with front-lift suspension to prevent curb scrapes.
8 Options Plaques
When most people go to a dealer to buy a car, they eventually settle on the car with the most options they can afford. The car was built at the factory with a specific options package, and many cars with the same options layout were built, as well. But for supercar buyers, the list of options can be so tailored that the cars often come with a plaque to specify all the details.
7 Top Speed Key
Most normal cars on the road these days can eventually get to 100 miles per hour after a long enough period of straight-line acceleration—though the experience would certainly be harrowing given that their handling isn't set up for that kind of speed. But supercars are designed to go above and beyond average driving, so some even come with a special top-speed key that allows for all-out performance.
6 12 Radiators
Most cars have a radiator or two just behind the front bumper cover that features fins to cool the coolant flowing through them. With turbochargers becoming more prevalent, intercoolers come into the mix. But in the ongoing saga of the Bugatti Veyron's absurd complexity, the car comes with 12 separate radiators to keep it running at the right temp.
5 Gold Heat Shields
Given that supercars are typically designed and built to stay as light as possible, it seems counterintuitive that the McLaren F1 has a gold-wrapped engine bay. But the reasoning for using one of the world's most valuable metals is not just because it looks great and is about as opulent as humanly possible. Gold is also used by NASA because it is such a great heat shield.
4 Central Driver's Seat
Not many drivers will ever see a McLaren F1 on the streets themselves, but on those rare opportunities—if they can get past the stunning exterior and focus on the interior—it's pretty odd to see the driver sitting dead-center in the car. Right-hand or left-hand drive becomes awkward enough in other countries, but middle-hand drive is the strangest of all for anyone but race car drivers.
3 Speed Limit Warning
One of the greatest compliments that a supercar can receive is when drivers say that it handles so well that 100 miles per hour feels like 50 miles per hour. Or that 150 miles per hour feels like 60 miles per hour. Supercars these days inspire so much confidence during driving that they can actually be dangerous, so cars like the McLaren 570S come with an automatic speed warning system.
2 Stretchable Metal
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spy plane is famous for its sleek design and jet black color. But when it's at top speed, even in the thin air of the upper atmosphere, resulted in temperatures so extreme that the skin had to be manufactured out of corrugated titanium alloy so that it could stretch. Similarly, some supercars have been purposefully built with stretchable metals.
1 Titanium Bolts
The Pagani Huayra is one of the most stunningly beautiful and potent cars ever made. The price tag, however, is equally stunning. Part of the high cost is entirely justified by the Huayra's bolts, which are made of titanium and cost $80 each. With 1,400 titanium bolts used in the car, the bolts alone run up to $112,000 and each one has the Pagani logo etched into the head.
Sources: Dupont Registry, Wikipedia, and Car and Driver.