It’s amazing how some automakers continue to push the boundaries of legality.
Take the Bugatti Chiron, for example, the successor to the wild Veyron. With 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, it’s surprising to hear it can actually be legally driven on the streets. But the Bugatti Chiron doesn’t even crack our top 10 list of cars we’re surprised are street legal. Whether for insane performance, crazy looks or just because they seem really unsafe, here are the cars we can’t believe are street legal.
10. Mitsubishi i-MiEV
It might seem like we’re just making fun of Mitsubishi by including the i-MiEV on the list, but we’re really surprised the car is approved for road use. The Japanese automaker wanted to be one of the first with an electric car on the road, and while the i-MiEV was one of the first, it’s also one of the worst. It offers a paltry 66 horsepower, although there is 145 pound-feet of torque. And with an EPA-estimated range of just 62 miles, it’s little surprise Mitsubishi has finally decided to kill off the i-MiEV. The car also only receives a four-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in an age where anything less than five stars seems unacceptable.
9. Mercedes-Benz SLR Stirling Moss
The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren was wild enough on its own, but the special Stirling Moss version is near insane and it looks too crazy to be legal. Limited to just 75 units, there’s no roof or windshield on the SLR Stirling Moss, which has a supercharged V8 engine with 640 hp. To make it even more special, the Stirling Moss edition was only available to current SLR owners.
8. Koenigsegg Agera RS
There’s a good reason automotive enthusiasts are infatuated with Koenigsegg supercars. They’re absolutely stunning machines with ridiculous performance to match. For years, only the CCX was legally allowed to be sold in the U.S., but that all changed with the Agera RS. Powered by a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, the Koenigsegg Agera RS has 1,160 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque, just one of the reasons why we’re surprised it’s street legal. To show the work that was necessary to allow the Agera RS on U.S. roadways, the Swedish automaker even documented the first unit, called Build 128, on its website.
7. Ariel Atom
The Ariel Atom is more go-kart than car, but surprisingly, these things can be legally driven on the road depending on what state you live in. In some states, the Ariel Atom can be registered as a kit car in order to comply with regulations. The company even has a North American division that specializes in delivering Ariel Atoms and Nomads to your doorstep if you’re looking for something that’s really fun to drive on the road.
6. Morgan 3 Wheeler
You might not even know that Morgan 3 Wheelers are sold in North America, but they are. Honestly. A company by the name of Isis Imports Ltd. is the longest-standing Morgan car dealership in the U.S., and offers both new and pre-owned Morgan vehicles for sale. You wouldn’t be crazy to assume that the Morgan 3 Wheeler is some sort of classic design and there would be little reason to believe they’re street legal. There’s even an all-electric version in the works.
5. Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
It’s probably one of the most unnecessary cars ever created, but we can’t help but love it. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon features a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine pushing out 840 hp and 770 lb-ft of torque, and while those numbers seem pedestrian compared to other supercars, the Demon is wrapped in a Challenger body. Dodge says in ideal conditions, the Challenger SRT Demon dips below the 10-second mark down the quarter mile, and since it doesn’t come from the factory with a roll cage, it’s technically banned from NHRA tracks, but it’s totally legal to drive on regular roads and can even pop a wheelie if you try hard enough.
4. Aston Martin Valkyrie
The Aston Martin Valkyrie is a bit of a stretch since it’s not even available yet. In fact, we haven’t even seen the final production version. But knowing what we know and seeing what we’ve seen, it’s a surprise the British automaker is aiming to make it street legal. The interior looks like it’s straight from a Le Mans prototype race car and Aston Martin promises to deliver more than 1,000 hp from its 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V12 engine paired with some form of electrification. To top it all off, the automaker is also working on a track-only, not street legal version that will be even more hardcore.
3. Porsche 911 GT1 Straßenversion (Strassenversion)
When it comes to certain classes of racing, automakers must create street-legal versions of their race cars for homologation purposes. The Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion (which translates into “Street Version” in English) is just that, a road-going car based on the Porsche 911 GT1. Limited to approximately 25 units, the street-legal GT1 has a top speed of 194 mph and a zero-to-60 time of 3.6 seconds. But just look at it — it’s clear Porsche did as little as possible to convert its race car into a street-legal car.
2. Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Like the Porsche 911 GT1, Mercedes had to create road-going versions of its CLK GTR race car for homologation purposes. But the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR looks even crazier than the Porsche 911 GT1 with its extremely wide fenders and aggressive aerodynamic elements. A total of 25 units were built, and the German automaker did its best to basically make them legal race cars for the streets, with driver comfort and refinements kept at a minimum. At the time, the CLK GTR was the most expensive production car ever built setting a Guinness World Record with a price of $1,547,620.
1. Radical RXC
As crazy as the Porsche 911 GT1 and the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR are, the Radical RXC is really something else. The British automaker is known for creating some of the fastest machines to ever lap the Nurburgring, which means it knows a thing or two about making race cars. Radical claims its RXC is a practical, everyday car despite looking like it belongs on the track. Standard on the RXC is a 3.7-liter V6 engine with 380 hp, but it’s also available with a 454-hp EcoBoost twin-turbo V6. There’s even a 500-hp V8 option for those wanting more power. Power output might not sound impressive compared to 1,000-hp supercars, but the Radical RXC weighs under 2,000 lbs. Along with its bare-bones interior and aggressive styling, we’re really shocked the Radical RXC is totally street legal.