America is the land of opportunity … except when it comes to getting your hands on some of the world’s most coveted automobiles. True, if you’ve got deep enough pockets, you can have a Ferrari 488 GTB, Aston Martin DB11, Porsche GT3 or even a Bugatti Veyron in your garage. But window sticker price isn't the only thing getting in your way — import restrictions, limited runs and surprising customer indifference are the reasons you’ll likely never own any of the five beauts below.
Search for 1,224 horsepower Concept_One on the interwebs, and you’ll find clips of the fully electric rig laying utter dragstrip waste to the greats: the Ferrari LaFerrari, the Porsche 918 and even the legendary Bugatti Veyron.
The car’s four-motor electric powertrain separately powers each wheel, and there are four separate gearboxes working in unison to achieve maximum performance. The motors are mated with sensors that allow them to adapt up to 100 times per second for a peerless driving experience. The Concept_One’s speed is otherworldly, nailing 62 mph from a standstill in 2.5 seconds. A mere eight cars are slated for production, and don’t expect a single one to arrive on our shores.
When you think “plug-in hybrid,” does a dumpy-looking hatchback immediately come to mind? Well the Swedish-built Regera aims to change popular opinion with its 1,500+ hp extracted from a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and three electric motors. There’s also (shockingly) no true gearbox, only a single-speed Koenigsegg Direct Drive Transmission that saves weight and reduces lost power by 50% over conventional transmissions.
The Regera has even more bragging rights, including what they claim is the most power-dense battery pack ever created for a street-legal vehicle. The 620-volt, 9.27 kWh battery pack only occupies 2.4 cubic feet of space and weighs just 254 pounds. It also has the most opulent interior of any of its Koenigsegg predecessors (even the radical One: 1), with acres of rich leather and deep-weave carbon fiber. Only 80 of these hypercars will be built, making the Regera one of the rarest hybrids on earth.
Audi RS6 Avant
Americans opt for less-than-thrilling crossovers instead of something as magnificent as the mad 605-horsepower RS6 Avant. Yes, this is a station wagon that’s anything but humble. Its mellifluous 4.0-liter twin turbocharged V8 engine drives all four wheels and will easily launch this German grocery hauler to 62 mph from a standstill in 3.7 seconds, making it as fast as supercars that cost 2-3 times more.
The use of genuine carbon fiber, brushed aluminum, buttery-soft leather and Alcantara suede mean the interior is both sumptuous and sporty. The mere fact that owners can both utterly humiliate pricey sports cars with it and then take the kids to soccer practice means its superior on more than one plane.
If you want to remain obscure in your luxury car choice while still having the ability to outperform most Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, Aston Martins and McLarens, the British exotic carmaker known as Noble must be considered. It’s not for sale here — nor is it easy to come by in its country of origin.
The M600 is a dedicated performance machine that will essentially outrun and outgun anything, thanks to its 4.4-liter twin turbo V8 (good for a whopping 671 horses), 2,755-lb. fighting weight and super strong steel and aluminum spaceframe. While the leather and carbon fiber interior is far from sparse, and the exterior might not be as ravishing as a Lamborghini Aventador, the M600 is clearly a vehicle that was created to thrill at the highest levels of performance.
Hummers, Jeeps, Ford Raptors: amateurs. They all must bow to the off-road potentate known simply as the Unimog. Created as a range of off-road, multi-purpose vehicles, the Unimog comes in many forms that span emergency rescue vehicles, troop transportation, heavy haulers and even 6x6 long-range expedition trucks. Some are even outfitted for competitions like the Paris-Dakar endurance race because of their extreme durability, reliable diesel powertrains and ridiculous levels of axle articulation.
You’d think that the Unimog would be a hot seller here in the States, since heavy-duty and pickup truck sales are doing so well and our culture seems ripe for such a monstrous vehicle. But Unimog ownership in America is reserved for enthusiasts who have gone to great lengths to get them imported ... since no formal network exists to bring them in. Too bad, since they’re easily some of the most capable vehicles to ever roam the earth.