When we say “supercar”, we usually mean a mid-engine two-seater that boasts high performance, exotic look and min price of at least 6 digits. However, many people still think that a car can hardly belong to the supercar class if it’s not built in Europe. If you are among these peeps, prepare for the shocking truth – there is actually an array of full-fledged supercars manufactured on the other side of the Atlantic.
The Euro’s probably have the US beat on the sexy factor, because let’s be honest – the European design school is second to none. But, America’s got some superpower to offer, too. Maybe I will surprise someone, but there are at least 10 supercars that America can field against Ferrari, Bugatti and Lamborghini. Some of them are not produced anymore, some have yet to be produced, but every car on this list is badged as “proudly built in the USA”. So here they are, the past, present and future of the American supercars.
Shelby SSC Tuatara
Instead of giving the SSC Ultimate Aero more power to outrun Bugatti again, Shelby Supercars led by Jerod Shelby decided to make an all-new supercar to reclaim the title of the world’s fastest car. Meet the SSC Tuatara, which is named after the unique New Zealand lizard that has the fastest evolving DNA on the planet. Details on the Tuatara are still top secret but what is known is that the car will be powered by a 7.0-liter DOHC V8 twin-turbo cranking out around 1,350-hp. The car is expected to have a top speed of 442 km/h (275 mph).
2,000-hp ‘Lamborghini’ SF22
Alleluia! Potentially one of the most powerful supercars on Earth will be built right here in America by a Pennsylvania-based company called 215 Racing and its sub-company Mostro Di Potenza. The folks at 215 Racing got the exclusive rights to build the Lamborghini Indomable Concept. When produced, the model will be renamed the SF22, which stands for Street Fighter and the design influence provided by a F22 fighter jet. Only 50 units of SF22 will be made and each will be powered by a 9.4L twin-turbo V8 making 2,000-hp and 2,000 lb-ft of torque. That’s right, no typo here! Mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission, the SF22 will go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds with a top speed of 265 mph.
The SF22 will be produced in the Philadelphia, PA area, at a rate of 2 per month. 215 is currently accepting orders for delivery in mid-2012. Prices start at $950,000. Well, let’s hope this project will not become another vaporware.
Saleen S5S Raptor
When Saleen, Inc introduced its S5S Raptor at the 2008 New York Auto Show everybody saluted the S7’s successor, which looked like a real Ferrari F-430 killer. Sadly, but development of the supercar has stopped as a result of the 2008 recession and the future of the project is still uncertain. The Raptor (btw, how many models dubbed Raptor can you count?) was originally intended to be equipped with a 5.0-liter supercharged Saleen engine capable to yield 650-hp. The price tag was planned to be set around $185,000 – roughly $400,000 less than the Raptor’s predecessor Saleen S7. Hopefully, the idea of building the S5S Raptor sit firm in Steven Saleen’s mind, and he will get enough funding to bring it to life in the near future.
The Falcon is the latest addition to the homegrown supercar line-up. Introduced at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show in a concept form, it is expected to enter production in the near future in a limited run of just 15 cars per year. The car will be built by the Michigan-based company Mach7 Motorsports, also known as Viper tuner. The Falcon is going to be priced at $200,000, a way more affordable alternative to its American brothers, the SSC Ultimate Aero and the Saleem 7. The car is built on a Hydro-formed chassis with a Corvette-based LS3 V-8 engine making 500 hp slipped behind the passenger cabin. Depending on the angle, you can see a little Dodge Viper, Ferrari 430, and maybe a touch of the Pontiac GTO in its lines, so who knows, maybe the Mach7 Falcon will become the next Dodge Viper… At least, that’s probably the dream that motivates Motorsports Mach7 founders, Jeff and Carl Lemke.
No surprise if you have never heard about Mosler, but the truth is that while mainstreem supercar makers like Lamborghini were just starting to think about lightweight construction methods, Mosler have been quietly building featherweight monsters crafted from carbon fiber and Kevlar for years. The company currently produces the MT900R racer and the street-legal MT900S, as well as several unique project vehicles. The latest supercar produced by the Florida manufacturer is the is the 550-hp MT900S Photon, which takes power out of a Corvette Z06-derived 7.0-liter V8. As of January, 2011, a single Photon had been built and was sold for use in the United Kingdom. Right, it’s unfair that such a cool American supercar isn’t available in America. So if you know some patriot with some spare $395,000, contact Mosler Automotive.
Mosler’s next supercar, the Raptor, will boast 650HP and will weight 2,500 lbs, which is 500 lbs less than the recently introduced Pagani Huayra.
HTT Plethore LC-750
How many Canadian supercar brands do you know? Hard question, huh? Well, now you know at least one Canadian supercar, the HTT Pletore LC-750. It is developed by the Montreal-based HTT Technologies. Boasting a power range of impressive 750-1,300 hp coming from a 6.2-liter V8 engine, the Plethore is also an awesome looker. At the moment, orders for the production version of the car are being taken with the price tag set at $795,000 CAD.
Based in Pompano Beach, Florida, Rossion Automotive are the creators of another niche American supercar, the Rossion Q1, which is essentially a Noble M400 that has been given a refurbished interior and mildly restyled body. The Rossion Q1 is equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 making solid 450 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Claimed top speed is 189 mph. The car is now sold worldwide with a base price tag of $100,595.
The Past Legend
This car doesn’t need to be introduced. I will hardly make a mistake saying that the Ford GT is a quintessential American supercar, or better say, a Superamerican car.
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 2003–2008 (4,038 produced)
Engine 5.4 L Supercharged Modular V8
Transmission 6-speed manual
Wheelbase 106.7 in
Curb weight 3,485 lb
Original price $149,995
Saleen S7 Twin Turbo
Together with the SSC Ultimate Aero, the Saleen S7 used to be the flagship of the American supercar lineup. Developed jointly by Steve Saleen for the initial concept and direction, Hidden Creek Industries for resources and initial funding, Phil Frank for the body and interior design and development, and Ray Mallock Ltd. for the chassis engineering, the S7 was the only car produced by Saleen not based on an existing chassis. Saleen’s latest model, the 750-hp S7 Twin Turbo, went on sale for $585,296 USD in 2005 and was closed in 2008.
Manufacturer Saleen, Inc.
Engine Ford 427, 7.0 L twin-turbochargedV8
Transmission 6-speed manual
Wheelbase 106.3 in
Curb weight 2,950 lb
Original price $585,296
SSC Ultimate Aero
The SSC Ultimate Aero by Shelby Supercars is the first and the only American supercar to make it to the Guinness Book of World Records record for being the fastest production car in the world. The Bugatti Veyron set this standard back in 2005 by producing a top speed of 253 mph. Then the Ultimate Aero teared that crown off the Veyron by running 257 mph, but then Bugatti reached 267 mph and beat Aero again. Nevertheless, combining american muscle and European styling cues, the SSC Ultimate Aero by far among America’s most iconic cars ever produced.
Manufacturer Shelby SuperCars
Engine 6.34 litre 387.2 cu in V8
Curb weight 2,848 lb