The 12 Best One-Off Cars of the 21st Century

Apr 18, 2022

Category: Rides

As much as we thoroughly appreciate official concept cars meant to showcase future tech and customs from elite independent builders, our favorite genre of car would almost certainly be factory-backed one-offs. Whether commissioned by a client or built for a special project or event, we love the idea of auto manufacturers making a crazy one-off car just for the fun of it. These unique one-of-one builds offer a number of distinct benefits and advantages over other customs or limited build series, with one-off cars receiving the full resources and support of a major manufacturer without the constraints or limitations that are placed on mass-produced production models.

Since the turn of the millennium, an enormous number of incredibly noteworthy one-of-one builds have been unveiled, typically from the bespoke arms of some of the world’s most elite and exclusive automakers. And while there’s no shortage of stellar options to choose from, there are, in fact, a small handful of projects that stand above the rest. And it’s this shortlist of idiosyncratic vehicles that we’ll be counting down today in this guide to the best one-off cars of the 21st century.

Photo: Wikipedia

Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa

Created to celebrate the Turin-based marque’s 100th anniversary, the Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa is a sleek one-off supercar that was penned by renowned Italian design house Zagato and based on the Gillet Vertigo.5 platform. Unveiled at the prestigious Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza in 2010, the one-of-one model was commissioned by German car collector Martin Kapp and featured a lightweight carbon fiber tub paired with a tubular carbon fiber subframe. Boasting a curb weight of less than 1,875lbs, the race-spec TZ3 packs a 420-hp 4.2-liter V8 — an engine that was originally developed for Maserati’s 3200 GT. 

Year Unveiled: 2010
Engine: 4.2L V8

Photo: Aston Martin

Aston Martin Victor

Quite possibly our favorite Aston Martin model of all time — just behind the legendary DB5 — the Victor is a one-off supercar that’s inspired by the British firm’s ‘70s and ‘80s-era muscle cars and was built by the company’s Q By Aston Martin custom division. Named after Aston Martin’s former boss, Victor Gauntlett, and loosely based on the 2011 One-77 supercar, the Victor has been outfitted with a full carbon fiber monocoque chassis and matching carbon GT-style bodywork that merges modern supercar design language with old-school muscle cars. Under the surface, the Victor boasts a Cosworth-tuned naturally-aspirated 7.3L V12 that’s mated to a six-speed Graziano gearbox and is good for 836hp and 605.5ft-lbs of torque. 

Year Unveiled: 2020
Engine: 7.3L V12

Photo: Audi

Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron

Resulting from Ken Block’s newly-inked partnership with Audi, the S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron is a fully-electric one-of-one machine built for Hoonigan’s forthcoming “Elektrikhana” video. This battery-powered Gymkhana car was designed as a modern interpretation of the Four Rings brand’s late ‘80s-era S1 Pikes Peak racer, with an ultra-flared and ultra-pronounced widebody aero kit shrouding a lightweight carbon fiber chassis and a potent EV powertrain. The vehicle is kicked along by a pair of electric motors that send power to an advanced AWD system — a setup that was developed by the same team behind Audi’s RS e-tron GT1, which can achieve a 0-60mph time of just 2.88 seconds. 

Year Unveiled: 2021
Engine: Unspecified Electric Powertrain

Photo: BMW

BMW X7 Pick-Up

Created by a group of BMW Group vocational trainees in conjunction with the Concept Vehicle Construction and Model Technology divisions at BMW’s Munich plant, the plainly-named X7 Pickup is a lifestyle adventure rig based on BMW’s full-size flagship Sport Activity Vehicle. Nearly 4” longer than the stock luxury SUV, the X7 Pickup has been bestowed with a wood-lined pickup bed measuring 78.8” in length (or 55” with the tailgate closed) — a large enough area to accommodate a BMW F 850 GS and the mid-sized adventure motorcycle’s 62.72″ wheelbase. Despite the added length, the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers for the one-off BMW’s roof, rear doors, and tailgate allow it to shave nearly 450lbs off of its curb weight compared to the stocker. 

Year Unveiled: 2019
Engine: 3.0L Straight-Six

Photo: Bugatti

Bugatti La Voiture Noire

The most expensive new car in the world upon its release with a price tag of $12,500,000, Bugatti’s La Voiture Noire is a one-of-one hypercar that was built to pay homage to the elite French firm’s Type 57SC Atlantic coupe from the 1930s — more specifically, the all-black specimen driven by Jean Bugatti. Also built to celebrate Bugatti’s 110th anniversary, the eight-figure automobile is powered by Bugatti’s signature W16 engine — in this case, an 8.0-liter unit equipped with four turbochargers that allow the car to put down 1,500hp and 1,180ft-lbs of torque, which translates to a 2.5-second 0-60mph time and a top speed of over 260mph.

Year Unveiled: 2019
Engine: Quad-Turbocharged 8.0L W16

Photo: Ferrari

Ferrari SP38 ‘Deborah’

Supposedly built for Ronnie Kessel, an avid Prancing Horse enthusiast, the owner of a Swiss Ferrari dealer, and the owner of a Ferrari race team, the Ferrari SP38 “Deborah” is a one-off supercar that’s based on the production 488 GTB platform and pays tribute to the mighty F40. The Ferrari’s top-to-bottom redesign included the addition of a tri-louver rear decklid, flared-out intake-equipped rear fenders, and an F40-inspired rear wing, just to name a few. At the heart of this stunning supercar is a 670-hp twin-turbo’d 3.9-liter V8 that enables the 3,250-lb machine to reach 60mph from a standstill in 3 seconds flat, along with a top speed exceeding 200mph. 

Year Unveiled: 2018
Engine: Twin-Turbocharged 3.9L V8

Photo: Ford Performance

Ford F-150 HOONITRUCK

Scratch-built for what’s arguably one of the greatest automotive YouTube videos of all time — Ken Block’s Climbkhana 2 run up China’s Tianmen Mountain, one of the most dangerous roads in the world — the Hoonitruck is a ridiculously high-performance one-off that’s constructed around a 1972 Ford F-150, though aside from the shell, very little of the donor remains in play. The slammed pickup features all custom bodywork with flared fenders, a front splitter, and rear spoiler, as well as a 914-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that’s based on the Ford GT’s Daytona Prototype mill.

Year Unveiled: 2018
Engine: Twin-Turbocharged 3.5L V6

Photo: Lamborghini

Lamborghini SC20

Born out of a joint effort between Lamborghini’s Design Center and the hypercar purveyor’s Squadra Corse motorsport division, the SC20 was a special one-of-one roadster that sports a fully-carbon fiber monocoque frame draped in open-top-style all-carbon fiber bodywork. Powering the SC20 is the same naturally-aspirated 6.5L V12 engine utilized in the brand’s existing Essenza model, though the SC20’s twelve-banger has been massaged to generate 759hp and 531ft-lbs of torque. Surprisingly, this one-off roadster actually boasts street-legal status, too. 

Year Unveiled: 2020
Engine: 6.5L V12

Photo: McLaren

McLaren X-1 Concept

A bespoke one-of-one product from McLaren Automotive’s Special Operations Department, the X-1 Concept is an ultra-unique vehicle that puts a vintage, mid-century-inspired spin on the firm’s high-performance supercars. Making its public debut at the 2012 Quail Gathering, the X-1 was one of the first adopters of McLaren’s monocoque carbon fiber “MonoCell” which affords incredible strength and rigidity while weighing shockingly little. This allows the one-off to make the most of the drivetrain that it borrows from the MP4-12C — a 3.8-liter turbocharged V8 that’s paired with a seven-speed transmission and is good for 592hp and 443ft-lbs of torque.

Year Unveiled: 2012
Engine: Twin-Turbocharged 3.8L V8

Photo: Mercedes Benz | Maybach

Mercedes-Benz x Virgil Abloh Project MAYBACH

Unveiled shortly after Virgil Abloh’s untimely passing, Mercedes-Benz’s Project MAYBACH was a special collaboration between the German automaker and the now-deceased fashion and design legend. This absolute boat of a car aimed to bestow Maybach’s signature brand of ultra-luxurious and opulent interiors with the ruggedness and off-road capabilities of a modern 4×4 — ultimately resulting in one of the most unique projects we’ve ever seen, with the one-off GT car being treated to off-road wheels, an external roll bar with an integrated roof-rack, a full-length skid plate, and a front bull bar that accommodates a quad auxiliary light setup. 

Year Unveiled: 2021
Engine: Unspecified Electric Powertrain

Photo: Porsche

Porsche 911 Vision Safari

A contemporary homage to Porsche’s 911 SC Safari from 1978, the 911 Vision Safari is a modernized take on the rally-ready sports car that’s based on the 991-gen 911. On top of a custom Martini Racing livery, this one-of-one Porsche off-roader has been bestowed with upgraded suspension and a full lift kit, reinforced wheel housings, massive bumpers fore and aft, roof-mounted lights, and a completely gutted, race-spec interior. And, while this was just a one-off project, there are rumors that the Stuttgart firm will soon be releasing a limited edition 911 Safari production model. 

Year Unveiled: 2012
Engine: Twin-Turbocharged 3.8L Flat-Six

Photo: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail

Believed to be owned by none other than J-Hova himself, the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail was a bespoke commission with a nautical-themed design that draws inspiration from J-Class yachts. Spanning a whopping 19’ in length, the Boat Tail’s appearance simply exudes class and elegance, though its most striking feature is hidden in its trunk. Referred to as a “hosting suite,” the trunk features a wooden rear deck with butterfly-style doors that open to reveal a telescoping parasol, dual cocktail tables, two hidden folding stools, and a dual champagne refrigerator. The same teak wood from the trunk is also utilized for the car’s flooring, as well as its dash which packs a pair of his and hers Bovet reversible tourbillon watches. 

Year Unveiled: 2021
Engine: Twin-Turbocharged 6.7L V12

25 Concept Cars We Wish Made It to Production

Want to check out an additional handpicked selection of ultra-unique one-of-one rides? Then be sure to cruise over to our feature article on the concept cars we wish made it to production for more than two-dozen rolling design exercises.

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