I was standing in the middle of Hyde Park when a cacophony of engine revs echoed off the buildings lining Park Lane. Through the trees, I spied a flash of gold, and started walking towards the exit onto Hyde Park Place. As the gold dot passed the Marble Arch, I realized the thunderous noise and snazzy paint belonged to a McLaren 720S before I caught a glimpse of a gold Lamborghini Aventador following close behind. I broke into a run, hoping to reach the duo before they sped off, only to discover as I burst onto the street, gasping for air, that there were not two, but five gold exotics traveling as a group. Joining the supercars were a pair of Rolls-Royce Ghosts sporting red and green stripes and a chunky Mercedes G63 AMG. My jaw dropped as the light turned green and the quintet roared away. I panicked, since I hadn’t managed to change my camera settings while sprinting through the park, and only managed a few blurry shots. While none of the cars in the pack are exceptionally rare, seeing all five traveling in a color-coordinated group was a moment I’ll never forget.

Modern TVRs were never sold in the United States, so I had hoped to find one of these rowdy British sports cars while living in England. Not only did I see one, but it was an extra special TVR: the Sagaris R/T, a one-off prototype of TVR’s wildest model. The Sagaris was an absolute beast: weighing just 2,376 lbs, the TVR-built inline-six sent 406 bhp and 349 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, and there was no ABS, front airbags, traction control, or stability control to save an inexperienced driver. The styling was equally untamed, with two massive hood vents, headlights and taillights that seemed to melt off the bodywork, a uniquely clear rear wing, and exhausts bursting perpendicularly out of the rear bumper. The special R/T prototype was equipped with a roll cage and was one of two examples produced with real fender vents. The red and yellow paint job and deranged design helped the Sagaris R/T stand out on a block that also had a McLaren 720S and two McLaren 570Ses parked nearby.

I was pleasantly surprised when this vibrant yellow Lamborghini Aventador SV pulled out from a side street near Green Park, but my surprise turned to elated shock when it was immediately followed by two immaculate classic Ferraris: a 328 GTS, and the poster child of the 1980s, the Testarossa. They crawled slowly down the street in a pack, the Aventador showing off its creases, angles, and towering rear wing, the Testarossa flaunting the iconic side strakes and grated taillight treatment, and the 328 looking more subdued with its smooth, elegant bodywork. The cars drew tons of attention from passer-by, who scrambled to grab their phones and snap a shot of the Italian trio creeping up to the stoplight. The owners then showed off the incredible engines sitting in the middle of each of their cars—the SV’s 740 hp V12 grumbled away, followed by the 328’s 3.2 liter, 270 hp V8, and lastly the incredible wail of the Testarossa 385 hp flat-12.

If the zombie apocalypse actually happens, I know exactly what vehicle I’d need to save myself from the hordes of brain-hungry undead: the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6. Possibly the most ridiculous Mercedes ever, the 6×6 was a three-axle, six-wheeled monster based on the boxy, iconic G-Class 463-series built from 1990 until 2018. The colossal pickup truck used the same 5.5 liter twin-turbocharged V8 from the standard four-wheeled G63, but added two more wheels, one more axle, and extra-wide wheel arches. Despite weighing over 8,000 lbs, the V8’s 540 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque sent to all six wheels helped the 6×6 sprint to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. However, the 6×6 I spotted next to Hyde Park was no “normal” 6×6. Instead, it was a special edition tuned by Brabus, which boosted output to 700 hp and 708 lb-ft of torque thanks to new turbos, dropping the 0-62 mph time to an alleged 4.4 seconds. Brabus also added plenty of carbon fiber doodads such as a carbon fiber hood with a scoop. Just over a hundred G63 6x6s were built, with very few gaining the bonkers Brabus treatment.

The DB5 is undoubtedly the most recognizable Aston Martin, thanks to a starring role in Goldfinger, leading it to become the quintessential James Bond car. While DB5s from Bond films fetch millions of dollars at auctions, even non-cinematic DB5 are valued at a not-insignificant $820,000, according to Hagerty. Seeing a pristine 1963 DB5 parked on a quiet side street was an absolute joy, and I spent an embarrassing amount of time standing there in awe, drinking in the classy curves and dignified chrome grille. The DB5 was no slouch back in its day: its 4 liter straight-six cranked out 282 bhp and 288 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to reach 60 mph in 8 seconds and a top speed of over 140 mph, impressive stats for 1963. Only 1,059 DB5s were made over a three year span, so spotting one street parked, and in excellent condition, was a lucky find.

Electric supercars are all the rage at the moment, with the Pininfarina Battista and the Lotus Evija arriving to fight the rejuvenated Tesla Roadster. But back in 2013, hybrid supercars were just bursting onto the scene, and the sports car kings—Ferrari, McLaren, and Porsche—each debuted their own electrified exotic. Dubbed the Holy Trinity, the LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918 were technological marvels. While I had ogled them from afar at car shows and museums, seeing this menacing black LaFerrari on the streets of Knightsbridge added a whole new perspective. Next to commuter cars and delivery vans, the LaFerrari looks impossibly low, and the chiseled bodywork’s vents provide ample downforce without ruining the car’s sultry shape with a bulky rear wing. The $1.4 million LaFerrari packed a 789 hp V12 and a 161 hp electric motor, and 60 mph came in a scant 2.4 seconds when it was tested by Road & Track. Top speed was over 217 mph and reaching 124 mph took less than 7 seconds, not that its owner could ever test such a statistic on the congested streets of London. Only 499 were made, and while I couldn’t see it tear up a track, the LaFerrari’s limited speeds did nothing to diminish its godly presence.

2 thoughts on “The Dozen Best Cars I Saw In London: Part 2

  1. I have four thoughts:
    1. Whoever painted red and green stripes on two Rolls Royce Ghosts will not get into Heaven.
    2. Where in London can the owner of the Mercedes G63 Brabus edition get to use his 700 hp?
    3. Are there adequate charging stations for the EV superstars?
    4. Pittsburgh must be a real comedown in terms of automotive viewing..

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    1. There’s not much room in London to use all 700 hp, but that really applies to all of these supercars. In London there actually are a fair number of charging stations on public roads, so it would probably work, but only parts of the US have adequate charging infrastructures. And yeah, Pittsburgh definitely isn’t as exciting, but I’ve still seen some cool stuff in the first few weeks, including a couple of McLarens and Lamborghinis.

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