There is a lot of debate among car gurus as to what truly characterizes exotic car models. Some will argue that specific criteria have to be met for a car to be classified as an exotic model. In contrast, others will advocate that not all the criteria have to be met. There is no right or wrong side of the exotic car debate. What can be agreed upon is the fact that there are distinct features that bring these cars to levels above the regular classes.
What Defines an Exotic Car?
Both sides of the exotic car debate can agree on a few factors when determining if a car is exotic. Price, performance, design, quality, size, quantity, and speed are all agreeable factors for exotic branded cars.
Despite the debate, car gurus on both sides of the debate can agree on a few common denominators when having exotic car discussions.
- Exotic cars have prices that are unobtainable by the average population
- These cars are capable of high-performance
- Exotics are uniquely designed and can be spotted instantly when driven on the road
- Construction of exotic cars is done with the highest quality of materials
- The size and shape of these cars put performance first, often found with only two seats or low profile with aerodynamic design
- Limited quantities of the vehicle exist, but this is manufacturer specific and model specific
- Exotic cars are meant to be driven fast and are built to facilitate this speed
McLaren Racing Limited was founded in 1963 by a New Zealand native Bruce McLaren. This British motor racing team is currently based at the McLaren Technology Centre in England. McLaren is best known as a Formula One constructor and its competitive racing history.
McLaren racing models are historically known for using other racing style engines. Some of the first racing models used Ford-Cosworth DFV engines from 1968 to 1982. These were soon replaced with TAG-Porsche and Honda engines from 1983 to 1992. For one year (1993 to 1994) McLaren installed Ford, Lamborghini, and Peugeot engines, but soon made a partnership with Mercedes and used those engines from 1995 to 2014.
In 2015, McLaren returned to using the Honda engines until 2018 when they had a brief relationship with Renault. Despite all of the engine changes over the years, in 2021 models, McLaren is using the Mercedes engines once again.
McLaren and the FISA-FOCA War
McLaren has always had a problematic relationship with the Formula One’s governor, FIA, and its predecessor, FIAS. In the early 1980s, some teams of the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA) got into a dispute with FISA, the governing body at the time, and other manufacturers over control of the racing sport.
The entire political battle came to a head when FOCA boycotted the 1982 San Marino Grand Prix. Even though it is not entirely clear if the issues on both sides of the debate were adequately resolved, it was put into a permanent suspension with the Concorde Agreement.
FISA agreed to an equal distribution of funds, arbitration provisions, and a timetable for changes in technical regulations, among other things. FOCA teams agreed to share travel expenses equally among the world championship point-scoring teams in the season. The original Concorde Agreement went into effect in 1981 and lasted until 1987. Since then, subsequent modifications and agreements have been made extending the agreement.
McLaren 2020 GT
Making a debut for 2020, a more affordable McLaren model, the GT, will enter showrooms. The GT, only available in a single trim level and a coupe-style, the car itself offers more amenities than your average exotic car.
The price of the 2020 McLaren GT starts at $213,195.
McLaren’s GT is equipped with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 engine that generates 612 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. It is available in a seven-speed automatic transmission and is rear-wheel-drive. The GT is clocked to do zero to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, holding true to the McLaren reputation. The advanced features also allow the driver to adjust their driving mode, allowing for custom handling.
The McLaren GT, despite being a fast car, still manages to pull off decent fuel efficiency. The GT gets 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway. This economy puts the GT just behind its rival, the Aston Martin DB11, that has a fuel efficiency of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway.
Safety Features and Driver-Assistance
Most exotic cars are not known for their safety or driver-assistance features. At this time, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not given the McLaren GT a crash-test rating. The vehicle also lacks many of the driver-assistance features found on most new cars like adaptive cruise control, blindspot monitoring, and forward-collision mitigation. The car does come with a standard backup camera.
McLaren’s warranty and maintenance plans are identical to its rival’s plans (Aston Martin and Bentley). These warranties include:
- Limited warranty for three years or unlimited miles
- Powertrain warranty for three years or unlimited miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance program available
Additional McLaren GT Features
The McLaren GT features the dihedral door (also known as butterfly doors), which is almost synonymous with exotic cars. Much like other cars, the coupe only has the capacity for two. Still, it has options to upgrade the interior from Napa leather to cashmere or microfiber. The GT offers 14.3 cubic feet of storage space. There is also an additional front truck that offers 5.3 cubic feet of stowing space. Due to engine placement, there is the threat of the items in the rear cargo area to become overheated. Items stored here should not be heat sensitive.
The infotainment system offered is a 7.0-inch touch screen with standard features such as navigation and satellite radio. Bluetooth is also available through the sound system. The standard speaker system is four-speakers, but an upgrade to a Bowers & Wilkins system is optional.
McLaren 2020 Speedtail
Also, joining McLaren’s 2020 car roster is the Speedtail model. This model is holding the distinction of being the fastest McLaren that has ever been built. Unfortunately, due to the limited quantities to be manufactured, all the models have been accounted for at this time.
The pricing for the McLaren 2020 Speedtail starts at $2,100,000.
The Speedtail comes standard with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 engine and an electric engine that join forces to produce a total of 1035 horsepower and 848 lb-ft of torque. The acceleration speed of the McLaren Speedtail is also phenomenal. In a speed test, the Speedtail went from zero to 186 mph in 12.8 seconds. This makes the Speedtail quicker off the line than the McLaren P1, which did the same speed in 16.5 seconds.
Due to the new release of the 2020 McLaren Speedtail, there have been no fuel ratings released for the model.
Safety Features and Driver-Assistance
The NHTSA and IIHS have not conducted crash test ratings for the McLaren Speedtail. The Speedtail offers no driver-assistance features except for a standard backup camera and is laid out with three seats and no side-mounted airbags. It also lacks traditional exterior mirrors. The lack of features technically makes it illegal for use on United State’s roads. Due to this, it can be imported and driven under the “Show or Display” law, but that restricts the car from being driver more than 2,500 miles in 12 months.
The warranty and maintenance coverages are the same on the Speedtail. There is no complimentary scheduled maintenance coverage and only three years or unlimited miles for powertrain and limited warranty.
Other McLaren Speedtail Features
Like other McLaren models, the Speedtail is equipped with the dihedral doors. You will find the driver’s seat is in the center of the three-person layout of the cockpit. The dashboard and the passenger’s seats are trimmed using Scandanavian leather, but other optimizations are available. Most of the controls for the car are located on a panel that is located above the head of the driver. McLaren has not released the amount of cargo space available for the Speedtail, but it has been clarified that, like the GT, there will be room in the front and the back.
The infotainment system is comprised of two high-definition screens at the front of the vehicle. The driver will use these screens to adjust must settings. The car is void of standard buttons and switches. There was no information released on stereo or navigation.
The Pagani Automobili S.p.A, or the standard reference of Pagani, is an Italian sports car and carbon fiber component manufacturer. The company was founded by Horacio Pagani, an Argentina native, in 1992. The company is located in San Cesario sul Panaro, near Modena, Italy.
Horacio Pagani started as the manager for Lamborghini’s composites department but later founded his own composite research in 1988. At first, the new company Pagani started worked with Lamborghini on many of their projects. In 1991, Pagani established Modena Design due to the increase in demand for design, prototyping, and engineering services he offered. The first Pagani model, the Zonda, in 1999, only had three models released. One in which Pagani kept for his personal collection and two that were sold for $15 million.
The original name of the Pagani prototype car was to named in honor of Pagani’s friend, Juan Miguel Fangio, who was a five-time Formula One champion from Argentina. After Fangio died in 1995, Pagani dropped the name out of respect for his deceased friend.
Pagani only manufactures about 30 cars per year, and each one of those takes about eight to 10 months for the building process. Pagani has spent most of their time upgrading their Zonda and Huayra models instead of creating new lines.
Pagani 2020 Huayra
The 2020 year is the retirement for the Huayra model, and as a send-off, Pagani slimmed down the features and reduced it down to a single all-new trim for the model year.
The price for the 2020 Huayra BC Roadster is $3,400,000. The single trim level of the 2020 model is a convertible that bears the moniker as a tribute to Benny Caiola, a car collector who was Pagani’s first customer. The price tag comes from the expensive materials used in making the car.
A twin-turbo V-12 engine powers the 2020 Huayra, which is housed in the middle of the car, generating 791 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque. The Huayra also offers a seven-speed single-clutch automatic transmission and is a rear-wheel-drive model. At this time, there has been no release of the top speed or the speed test ratings.
The Pagani 2020 Huayra BC Roadster has not been rated for fuel economy at present due to the new release.
Safety Features and Driver-Assistance
The 2020 Pagani Huayra hasn’t received an overall crash rating from the NHTSA or the IIHS, but the safety feature included with the model is a standard backup camera.
There was also no warranty information available from Pagani for the 2020 Huayra model at this time.
Other Pagani Huayra Features
The 2020 Huayra can seat up to two passengers in its artisanal cabin area. Leather and wood accents can be found throughout the car’s interior as well as the four-point harness style seatbelts for speeding through hard turns. The roof is removable and comes with a glass insert. The Huayra comes with a standard nine-channel sound system but does not offer the luxuries of satellite radio or other apps.
Shipping Your Exotic Car
In most cases, you won’t want to drive your exotic car for long distances, no matter how fun it might be. Most exotic cars cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, and that is an investment that you don’t want to ruin. If you need to ship your exotic car across the country, you can trust the professionals at A-1 Auto Transport to get your exotic ride where it needs to go. A-1 Auto Transport has enclosed car transport trailers that offer a luxury transport experience for your exotic car, including white-glove services. So when you need to ship your exotic car, call A-1 Auto Transport and get your free customized quote today!
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.