Is the internal combustion engine dead? Is it time already to write an obituary for one of the greatest inventions of all time that played a vital role in the general progress of humanity? The rapid pace at which the automotive industry is transitioning towards electric cars might have you believe the internal combustion engine or ICE might become obsolete within the next decade. Over the last six months alone, numerous automobile manufacturers have announced their aggressive timelines to replace their fossil fuel-powered cars with EVs. Even a traditional brand like Jaguar that is steeped in a history of creating some of the most iconic internal combustion engine cars announced that it would go all-electric by 2025. On the other hand, the Volkswagen Group that also has brands like Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini, and Bentley under its umbrella, has announced its shift in focus and investment towards the development of electric vehicles. And if the recent developments are any indicator, the German auto giant is also quietly working with Croatian EV maker Rimac on transforming Bugatti into an electric hypercar manufacturer.
The shift towards electric cars is happening sooner than any of us anticipated, and the internal combustion engine is on its last leg; however, we still have a few years before we are forced to say our final goodbye, and we must cherish the little time we have before fossil-fuel-burning automobiles find a permanent place in the history book. And, to the delight of automobile enthusiasts, the last of the ICE cars are some of the best made – especially the high-performance machines. Here’s a look at 9 upcoming ICE supercars worth waiting for instead of jumping on to the EV bandwagon.
2022 Porsche 911 GT3 RS – Q4 2021 – $200,0000 (est.)
Porsche’s first attempt at making a battery-electric car has been a resounding success. The Porsche Taycan is truly an engineering masterpiece showcased that Porsche EVs will be anything but boring. However, the iconic 911 simply cannot be replaced by anything else, no matter how compelling, as the central product for the German brand any time soon. Porsche has confirmed that it will keep building new 911 models till the regulations allow and there’s a market for them. The new 992-generation 911 looks identical to the previous generation to the untrained eye, or even the one before. However, Porsche has yet again pushed the boundaries of automobile engineering and refined the tried and tested formula to the degree previously thought impossible.
The latest 992-generation 911 is stunning and a worthy flagbearer for ICE cars in the battle of existence against EVs. The recently revealed GT3 model with a massive wing at the back looks like a race car that lost its way only to land upon public roads. But, Porsche will soon launch the more hardcore version, the GT3 RS, which has been spotted testing in Germany. Porsche doesn’t believe in hiding its yet-to-be-launched cars under camouflage wraps except for using a test mule finished in black. What this means is we already know how it looks, and the massive rear wing, along with its curvaceous haunches, will surely get all motorheads drooling. But the highlight still has to be the sublime naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six engine that is expected to churn out more than 520 horsepower. Will it be able to set new lap records for Porsche is something to be seen.
Aston Martin Valkyrie Roadster – Q2 2022 – $3.5 million (est.)
British automaker Aston Martin is synonymous with beautifully designed cars with enough horsepower to send your heartbeat racing. Over the years, the fabled brand has created several track-focused hardcore cars, including the famous Aston Martin Vulcan. However, the British manufacturer never added anything to the product line-up worthy of the hypercar tag. But that’s about to change with the launch of Aston Martin Valkyrie, which has been in development for the last five years. Named after the Norse mythological figure, the Aston Martin Valkyrie is a hardcore, track-oriented hybrid hypercar that collaborates between the British automaker and Red Bull Racing. With an over-the-top design that makes the hypercar look like Le Mans prototype race car adapted for road use, the Valkyrie is credited for ushering in an era of ultra-focused, high-performance supercars.
After multiple delays, Aston Martins wants to add the Valkyrie to its lineup for the 2022 model year; the British automaker plans to introduce a roadster variant next year. The open-top variant will come with a removable roof, which might alter several aerodynamic elements of the hypercar. Like the regular Valkyrie, the Roadster will be powered by the same Cosworth-built 6.5-litre V12 and assisted by a Rimac-sourced KERS system for a combined power of 1176 hp.
Aston Martin says the hybrid hypercar will be almost entirely constructed out of carbon fiber and claims it will be the fastest street-legal car in the world.
Mercedes-AMG One – Q4 2021 – $2.75 million
To fierce rivalry between Mercedes and Red Bull Racing is not limited to Formula 1 alone. To compete against the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the German automaker had revealed the Mercedes-AMG One hypercar back in 2017. Currently, Mercedes-Benz is putting the final finishing touches on the ultra-exclusive vehicle before the customer deliveries commence sometime later this year. Like its British rival, the Mercedes-AMG One features an over-the-top design more suited for the race track than public roads. The F1-inspired hypercar is nothing like we have seen before. It even has a massive shark fin at the back, along with an air scoop on the roof.
Some even believe that it is perhaps as close as a modern road car can get to a Formula 1 car, and there’s a good reason for it. In addition to all the mad aerodynamic features, the AMG One hypercar features a hybrid powertrain closely related to the one used in Lewis Hamilton’s championship-winning F1 car. It comprises a 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 that redlines at 11,000 RPM and a turbo-mounted electric motor. There are three more electric motors, with one mounted to the engine and a further two at the front axle to form an all-wheel-drive system. The combined output of the hybrid powertrain is more than 1000hp. Former AMG boss Tobias Moers even suggested the One could break the longstanding Nürburgring lap time of 6:11.13 set in 1983.
Ferrari 296 GTB – Q1 2022 – $350,000
Ferrari’s current CEO, John Elkann, recently confirmed that the company’s fully electric supercar would arrive in 2025. But the legendary Italian marque plans to keep making cars with internal combustion engines till it can, and hybridization is an important strategy to achieve that. After introducing the SF90 Stradale hybrid supercar in 2019, Ferrari has added another hybrid model to its growing line-up – the Ferrari 296 GTB. In fact, the newest Ferrari was unveiled on the same day as compiling this list. The Ferrari 296 GTB is the first V6-powered road car to feather the iconic Prancing Horse badge. The only other road-going Ferrari to get a V6 was the Dino that was sold under the eponymous sub-brand.
Squeezed by the ever-tightening emissions regulations, Ferrari had to downsize and add electric assistance to create the new plug-in super-sports car, signaling a new chapter for the Italian marque. The 296 GTB features a brand new 2992cc twin-turbo V6 augmented by a single electric motor sandwiched between the engine and the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The combined output of the hybrid powertrain is claimed to be 819 horsepower, which is super-impressive. It can also operate in full EV mode for a maximum range of 16 miles. However, the design of 296 GTB is also worth mentioning. The sleek supercar looks like a futuristic rendition of the iconic Dino, which is definitely one of the most beautiful cars ever made.
Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z06 – Q2 2022 – $85,000 (est.)
A new era in American motoring began with the Corvette C8 in 2019 – although it might not last too long. After many years of empty promises, the legendary Chevrolet Corvette ditched the front-engine layout and finally plonked the V8 engine in the middle, making it perfectly balanced. Many doubted the move and claimed it would alienate the core ‘Vette buyers. However, Chevrolet has proven the nay-sayers wrong, and the mid-engine Corvette has been a runaway success. In fact, the American automaker is finding it incredibly difficult to meet the demand. But the more hardcore motorheads are awaiting the arrival of the Z06 variant, which was expected to premiere this July for the 2022 model year. However, the performance-oriented trim level might have been pushed back to the 2023 model year.
Heavily camouflaged test mules of the Corvette Z06 have been spotted many times over the last year, including being tested alongside a Ferrari 458 and a Porsche GT2 RS. Although it won’t look very different from the regular ‘Vette, the Z06 will sport a rear wing and bigger wheels for more traction. But the highlight will be its engine. There are rumors that the Z06 will use a naturally aspirated flat-plane-crank V8 engine rather than the base model’s cross-plane-crank 6.2-liter V8. Hopefully, the hardcore C8 derivatives will arrive soon.
Toyota GR Super Sport Hypercar – Q2 2022 – more than $2 million (est.)
Toyota’s fast-growing Gazoo Racing line-up of performance cars will soon be crowned with a hypercar derived from the company’s Le Mans 24 Hours-winning endurance prototypes. Toyota has a history of over-engineering its performance cars with the original Supra and the famous Lexus LFA as the best examples, making the prospect of a Toyota hypercar even more exciting. The Japanese manufacturer revealed the GR Super Sport Concept back in 2018 at the Tokyo motor show. A prototype was demonstrated at last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, revealing the hypercar’s overall design that doesn’t look much different from the GR010 Hybrid Le Mans race car. It looks like the Aston Martin Valkyrie and the Mercedes-AMG One have a worthy adversary in the Toyota GR Super Sport Hypercar, which together can form the new holy-trinity of hypercars.
Toyota hasn’t confirmed the final specifications of the hypercar, but its powertrain and mechanicals are expected to be based on the LMP1-class TS050 Hybrid. It is made up of a 2.4-liter direct-injection twin-turbo V6, fitted to a ‘Toyota Racing System’ hybrid. Toyota is yet to reveal details on the hybrid system, but rumors suggest the powertrain will have more than 1000 horsepower on tap. Toyota hasn’t even said how many GR Super Sports it will build, but we don’t expect the number to be in three digits.
Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 007S – N/A – $2.3 million
Beyond the new holy-trinity of hypercars, there’ll be another road-legal machine derived out of hardcore race car. American racing team Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus will compete in the 2021 World Endurance Championship with its SCG 007 prototype and recently announced that it is developing a road-legal version of the race car. In a Facebook post, the company revealed some details of the hypercar that will carry the ‘S’ suffix to its name, which denotes it as the ‘street’ version. Glickenhaus claims that the hypercar will have a power output of 1400hp and weigh just 2,800 pounds; although, the exact details of the powertrain haven’t been revealed. The race car features a bespoke 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 developed by France’s Pipo Moteurs.
The company also claims that the road-legal hypercar will be capable of a sub-6-minute lap time around the iconic Nürburgring. But the hypercar would come with basic amenities such as an air conditioner, which Glickenhaus claims will also work in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Ferrari hypercar – Q1 2023 – $2 million (est.)
An all-new flagship Ferrari hypercar looks to be on the horizon and hit the road as early as 2023, and it could be the LaFerrari successor we all have been eagerly waiting for. The Italian marque recently confirmed that it would enter the 2023 World Endurance Championship with an entry in the new Le Mans Hypercar class. And in all probability, the road-going flagship hypercar will be derived out of the endurance racer. A heavily camouflaged test mule of the still-to-be-named hypercar has been spotted on the streets of Maranello in Italy, completing the first stages of its development.
Interestingly, the next-generation halo car was stopped LaFerrari’s bodywork. What that suggests is Ferrari hasn’t yet finalized on the styling of the hypercar and is currently testing the running gear hidden underneath the adapted bodywork. Ferrari has not revealed any technical specifications for the hypercar, but it might feature a hybrid powertrain derived from the 6.5-liter V12 in the 812 GTS with hybrid technology from the SF90. However, the Italian manufacturer might also be forced to use a smaller ICE engine and end up going with its tried and tested V8.
Lamborghini Aventador replacement – Q2 2022 – $500,000 (est.)
The Lamborghini Aventador was introduced back in 2011 as a replacement for the Murcielago, and plenty of different versions of the V12-supercar were released over the decade to prolong its product cycle. Some people predicted that Lamborghini’s era of V12-powered supercars would end with the Aventador, and its replacement might come with a downsized engine. However, the Italian performance car manufacturer is all set to reveal the Aventador’s successor next year.
But the company’s chief boss Stephan Winkelmann recently confirmed that Lamborghini’s iconic V12 symphony is here to stay, at least for a little while longer. Although the specific details of the successor’s powertrain have been kept a secret, it might feature a version of the hybrid powertrain from the 808bhp Sián FKP 37 hypercar. The limited-production hybrid hypercar is powered by the same naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 from the regular Aventador assisted by a 48-volt e-motor. The power for the electric motor is stored in a supercapacitor unit instead of conventional lithium-ion batteries. We have no information on the styling yet, but the Sián FKP 37 also gave us a glimpse into the Italian brand’s evolving design DNA.