It takes real greatness to have a supercar bearing your name.
Supercar companies launch special editions of some of their most popular models on a fairly regular basis. There’s always more money to be made. Collectors love nothing more than to get their hands on yet another low-build supercar. The upgrades typically include unique paint colors, interior trims, commemorative plaques (a must), and sometimes but not always engine and performance upgrades. Collectors and fans alike also want special edition supercars to have cool names, and what better way to do that is by naming them after a famous racing driver or auto industry legend.
Some of the most famous supercar and hypercar companies have bestowed the honor of naming one of their special editions after someone important and special. Who are they? What are the cars? You’ll just have to continue reading to find out.
Horatio Pagani built his company from scratch. He emigrated from Argentina to Italy as a young man, found employment with Lamborghini, and later became a carbon fiber pioneer. All of this happened before he opened the doors of Pagani Automobili in 1992. But there was one person who personally inspired Pagani over the years and his name was Benny Caiola. He was one of the few people who saw the potential of Pagani’s big dreams from the beginning. He was also Horacio Pagani’s first customer.
Just 20 examples of the Pagani Huayra BC were built, all of which came powered by an upgraded AMG-built V12 twin-turbo engine with over 750 hp. The suspension, brakes, wheels and tires, and aerodynamics were all upgraded from the so-called “standard” Huayra. In fact, the Huayra BC does not share a single body panel with the Huayra coupe with one exception: the roof. The price: $1.4 million (at least).
If you haven’t heard of Alex Zanardi that’s alright because we’ll update you. Zanardi won two CART FedEx Championships in Honda-powered race cars. He is also a former Formula 1 driver and the winner of the Paralympic Games. His legs were amputated as a result of a crash in 2001. The year prior, however, Acura figured its game-changing NSX supercar could use a special edition and Zanardi very much earned the recognition. The Acura NSX Alex Zanardi Edition was limited to 50 examples at a then price of $84,745 each.
The NSX Zanardi Edition was lighter and had more aggressive suspension tuning compared to the regular NSX. Motor Trend claimed it was the best-handling NSX it had ever tested. There’s no reason not to believe them.
Of course the Bugatti Veyron was going to appear on this list. It’s only one of the greatest and most relevant hypercars of all time. Although it’s now out of production, it still remains and forever will be an icon. Owned by the VW Group, the company reportedly lost around $6.24 million on every Veyron it sold. Needless to say, it tried to limit those losses with various special editions that didn’t cost much more to build but could be sold for a pretty penny more. One of them was the 2013 Veyron Ettore Bugatti.
Based on the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, it was named after the company’s founder, Ettore Bugatti and was one of six special versions of the hypercar as part of the “Legends of Bugatti” series. Its body is partially made of hand-polished aluminum and blue carbon fiber. Designers were inspired by the 1932 Bugatti Type 41 Royale, which featured a “dancing elephant” statuette by Rembrandt Bugatti (the founder’s brother and a sculptor) on the radiator cap. The Veyron Ettore Bugatti pays tribute to this with an elephant-decorated panel between the seats.
The name says it all. Although we all call it the Ferrari Enzo, the Italian automaker prefers to call its V12-powered early 2000s hypercar the Enzo Ferrari. Powered by an F1-derived 6.0-liter naturally aspirated V12 with 651 hp and 485 lb-ft of torque, the Enzo can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.14 seconds, to 100 mph in 6.6 seconds, and ultimately tops out at 221 mph. Only 493 examples were produced priced at $670,000 a pop. Today, however, that figure has swelled to up to $3 million. Was it the most beautiful Ferrari ever built? Well, that’s subjective but the Enzo is one of the most relevant Ferraris of all time.
Okay, we had to include this one on our list even though it’s a concept because, well, just look at it. The 2013 Pininfarina Sergio was a concept car designed by the famed Italian design house Pininfarina, responsible for styling many of the most stunning and vital Ferraris of all time. Needless to say, Pininfarina didn’t disappoint when it decided to build something of its own. Based on the Ferrari 458 Spider, the Sergio concept was a coachbuilt project to honor Pininfarina’s founder, former chairman, and designer, Sergio Pininfarina. He died in 2012. To properly honor the man, Pininfarina’s designers took styling cues from the 1965 Ferrari Dino prototype, one of Sergio Pininfarina’s first Ferrari projects.
Pininfarina ended up building six production examples, all of which were sold to hand-picked customers. Compared to the concept shown here, the production versions gained windshields and a removable hard top, among other things needed to make them road legal. Each one is said to have cost $3 million.
Towards the end of the Lamborghini Gallardo’s long production life, the Italian supercar company wanted to honor its beloved test driver, Valentino Balboni, upon his retirement after a 40-year career. The Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni edition was the result. Limited to only 250 examples, the Balboni edition was rear-wheel-drive, a contrast to the all-wheel-drive Gallardo lineup. Making it RWD reduced curb weight by 66 pounds. Its naturally aspirated V10 engine produced 542 hp, which helped propel the supercar from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and to a top speed of 199 mph. It could also be equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.
You can identify a Balboni edition by a strip running down the center of the car and a badge below the side window featuring Balboni’s signature and the car’s production number.
Yes, another concept and this is one that should have been built. Back in 2014 at the Geneva Motor Show, Maserati revealed its Alfieri concept, a gorgeous 2+2 grand tourer named after – you guessed it – Alfieri Maserati. He, and his five Maserati brothers, started the now famous car company that bears their family name. It was also fitting to reveal this concept to commemorate Maserati’s 100th anniversary (it was founded in 1914).
The Alfieri concept, powered by a naturally aspirated 4.7-liter V8, looked to be close to production ready and was even confirmed for production in 2016, but it has since been delayed until 2020, at the earliest. Originally, a series of powerful V6 engines were slated to be under its sculpted hood, but the latest we’ve heard is that an all-electric powertrain is being planned. Keep your fingers crossed.
Before McLaren became McLaren Automotive, it teamed up with Mercedes-Benz to build the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren from 2003 until 2010. A total of 2,157 examples were built, but 75 of those were a little different. The SLR McLaren Stirling Moss edition was revealed in 2009 and featured speedster styling. Lacking a roof and windscreen, it was inspired by the Mercedes 300 SLR race car Sir Stirling Moss drove to victory at the 1955 Mille Miglia. With co-driver Denis Jenkinson, Moss set an event record with an average speed of 97.96 mph over 990 dangerous miles.
Under its insanely long hood lies a supercharged 5.4-liter AMG V8 rated at 640 hp. Zero to 62 mph happens in less than 3.5 seconds and top speed is clocked at 220 mph. Thanks to its carbon fiber construction and unique speedster styling, the SLR Stirling Moss was around 440 pounds lighter than the standard SLR coupe. Only existing SLR owners were given the privilege to buy one at a price of $1 million each.