Seven wonder of ancient period

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is the first known list of the most remarkable man-made creations of classical antiquity, and was based on guide-books popular among Hellenic sight-seers and only includes works located around the Mediterranean rim.
The number 7 (Seven) was chosen because the Greeks believed it to be the representation of perfection.

In 2001 an initiative was started by the Swiss corporation New 7 Wonders Foundation to choose the New Seven Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments for profit.
Twenty-one finalists were announced January 1, 2006.Egypt was not happy with the fact that the only original wonder would have to compete with the likes of the Statue of Liberty, the Sydney Opera House, and other landmarks; and called the project absurd.
To solve this, Giza was named an honorary Candidate.The results were announced on July 7, 2007 in Benfica's stadium in a big ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal,and according to the results the Seven Greatest Wonders of The World are:

Taj Mahal
Completed c.1648
Great Wall of China
5th century BCE 16th century CE
6th century BCE
Christ the Redeemer
Opened 12 October 1931
Machu Picchu
Chichen Itaza
Roman Colosseum
Completed 80 CE
The Taj Mahal
The most beautiful building in the world. In 1631 the emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz, who died in childbirth. The white marble mausoleum at Agra has become the monument of a man's love for a woman.
Shah Jahan came to power in 1622 when he seized the throne from his father, while murdering his brothers to ensure his claim to rule. He was known as an extravagant and cruel leader. But he redeemed himself by his generosity to his friends and the poor, by his passion in adorning India with some of its most beautiful architecture, and by his devotion to his wife Mumtaz Mahal - "Ornament of the Palace." He had married her when he was 21, when he already had two children by an earlier consort. Mumtaz gave her husband 14 children in eighteen years, and died at the age of 39 during the birth of the final child. Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a monument to her memory and her fertility, but then relapsed into a life of scandalous behavior. This tomb was only one of hundreds of beautiful buildings that Shah Jahan erected, mostly at Agra and in the new Dehli that came into being under his planning.
Passing through a high wall, one comes suddently upon the Taj - raised upon a marble platform, and framed on either side by handsome mosques and stately minarets. In the foreground spacious gardens enclose a pool in whose waters the inverted palace becomes a quivering dream. Every portion of the structure is of white marble, precious metals, or costly stones. The building is a complex figure of twelve sides, four of which are portals. A slender minaret rises at each corner, and the roof is a massive spired dome. The main entrance, once guarded with solid silver gates, is a maze of marble embroidery; inlaid in the wall in jeweled script are qotations from the Koran, one of which invites the "pure in heart" to enter "the gardens of Paradise."

The Great Wall of China
China's Great Wall is the world's longest architectural structure and is widely renowned as one of the seven great wonders of the world. The wall stretches 6,700 kilometers (4,163 miles) from the Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu Province to the Shanhaiguan Pass in Hebei Province. Like a gigantic dragon, this imposing wall meanders across mountains, spans vast plains and trudges through the barren deserts of China's northern interior. This amazing marvel of engineering took over 2,000 years to build. It is acclaimed to be a most magnificent miracle created by the Chinese people demonstrating the tenacity, diligence and wisdom of the Chinese people.
Construction of the Great Wall began early in the Warring States Period (475BC-221BC) when independent small states came into existence. In order to defend their territories, long walls were built along the borders. In 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), toppled the former states and unified China. To protect the country from intrusion of the nomadic Hun ethnic minority in the north, earlier separate walls were joined and extended dramatically. The walls at that time began at Linyao in Gansu Province and ended in Liaoning Province, reaching a total length of over 5,000 kilometers, hence it was known as the 'Ten Thousand Li Great Wall' (Li is a unit of length used by the Chinese and one li is equal to 0.5 kilometer.).
Thereafter, the Great Wall was restored and lengthened time and time again. The later walls were not a long and frail wall but were complete fortifications with more annexes such as: castles, watch towers and beacon towers. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), large-scale extensions generated the 'Great Wall of Ming', the ever longest wall in the history of China. The wall that we see today is primarily the result of a restoration that took place during the Ming Dynasty. However, some sections of the Great Wall fell into ruins.
Petra Jordan
Petra is the treasure of ancient world, hidden behind an almost impenetrable barrier of rugged mountains, boasting incomparable scenes that make it the most majestic and imposing ancient site still-standing nowadays.. It has been said "perhaps there is nothing in the world that resembles it", actually, for sure, there is nothing in the world that resembles it. The rock-carved rose-red city of Petra is full of mysterious charm, it was "designed to strike wonder into all who entered it".
Petra is considered the most famous and gorgeous site in Jordan located about 262 km south of Amman and 133 km north of Aqaba. It is the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in southern Jordan more than 2000 years ago. Admired then for its refined culture, massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels, Petra is now a UNESCO world heritage site and one of The New 7 Wonders of the World that enchants visitors from all corners of the globe.
The approach through a kilometer long, cool, and gloom chasm (or Siq) a long narrow gorge whose steeply rising sides all but obliterate the sun, provides a dramatic contrast with the magic to come. Suddenly the gorge opens into a natural square dominated by Petra's most famous monument, The Treasury (El-Khazneh), whose intricately carved facade glows in the dazzling sun.
Christ the Redeemer
The Statue of Christ the Redeemer history starts in the XVIth Century when the Portuguese named the mountain Pináculo da Tentação (The Pinnacle [peak] of Temptation), alluding to the Biblical Mountain. A century passes and the mountain is re-baptized to Corcovado, a name derived from its form, which resembles a hump or hunchback. The next recordings of christ the redeemer history is in 1924 when Dom Pedro personally led the first official expedition to Corcovado Mountain, resulting in the opening of an accessable way up.
Then in 1859 the Vincentian father Pedro Maria Boss arrived Rio de Janeiro and was struck by the mystorious beauty of the corcovado mountain and suggested the the construction of a religous monument in honour of Princess Isabel, which in 1921 gave way for the idea of a great statue of christ viewable by all in the marvelous city of Rio. From 1859 to 1921, Dom Pedro gave his consent for the building of the Corcovado Railroad line between Cosme Velho and Paineiras, which would be an essential part of undertaking the Redentor.
The ruins of Machu Picchu
The ruins of Machu Picchu, rediscovered in 1911 by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham, are one of the most beautiful and enigmatic ancient sites in the world. While the Inca people certainly used the Andean mountain top (9060 feet elevation), erecting many hundreds of stone structures from the early 1400's, legends and myths indicate that Machu Picchu (meaning 'Old Peak' in the Quechua language) was revered as a sacred place from a far earlier time. Whatever its origins, the Inca turned the site into a small (5 square miles) but extraordinary city. Invisible from below and completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed the population, and watered by natural springs, Machu Picchu seems to have been utilized by the Inca as a secret ceremonial city. Two thousand feet above the rumbling Urubamba river, the cloud shrouded ruins have palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and some 150 houses, all in a remarkable state of preservation. These structures, carved from the gray granite of the mountain top are wonders of both architectural and aesthetic genius. Many of the building blocks weigh 50 tons or more yet are so precisely sculpted and fitted together with such exactitude that the mortarless joints will not permit the insertion of even a thin knife blade. Little is known of the social or religious use of the site during Inca times. The skeletal remains of ten females to one male had led to the casual assumption that the site may have been a sanctuary for the training of priestesses and /or brides for the Inca nobility. However, subsequent osteological examination of the bones revealed an equal number of male bones, thereby indicating that Machu Picchu was not exclusively a temple or dwelling place of women.

The Pyramid at Chichen Itaza
The famous Mayan pyramids of Chichen-Itaza are over 1500 years old and are located only 75 miles from Merida. The name Chichen-Itza is a Mayan word: CHI (mouth) CHEN (well) and ITZA (of the Itza tribe). Some believe people were occasionally thrown into the nearby cenote as sacrifices, and those who survived were believed to be seers.
The site is divided into three sections. The North grouping of structures is distinctly Toltec in style. The central group appears to be from the early period. The southern group is known as "The Old Chichen." All three can be seen comfortably in one day. As the most famous of the Mayan pyramids on the Yucatan peninsula, Chichen Itza has been studied extensively and is the most popular Mayan ruin in Mexico. Much has been written about it.
Among other names, the Mayans called this god Kukulkán. It is sometimes possible to visit the inside passageway of the pyramid, but we would encourage visitors who are claustrophobic to skip that part of the adventure. If you are up to the challenge, inside you will find a narrowly enclosed staircase that leads to a chac mool, an altar where offerings to the gods were placed. Climbing to the top of the pyramid is no longer allowed.
Just beyond El Castillo you will find a large ball court where Mayan men played a game called pok ta pok. Anthropologists believe that the object of the game was to hurl a ball through a ring that was mounted on a wall, seven meters above the ground.
The Roman Colosseum
The Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheater was begun by Vespasian, inaugurated by Titus in 80 A.D. and completed by Domitian. Located on marshy land between the Esquiline and Caelian Hills, it was the first permanent amphitheater to be built in Rome. Its monumental size and grandeur as well as its practical and efficient organization for producing spectacles and controlling the large crowds make it one of the great architectural monuments achieved by the ancient Romans.
The amphitheater is a vast ellipse with tiers of seating for 50,000 spectators around a central elliptical arena. Below the wooden arena floor, there was a complex set of rooms and passageways for wild beasts and other provisions for staging the spectacles. Eighty walls radiate from the arena and support vaults for passageways, stairways and the tiers of seats. At the outer edge circumferential arcades link each level and the stairways between levels.
The three tiers of arcades are faced by three-quarter columns and entablatures, Doric in the first story, Ionic in the second, and Corinthian in the third. Above them is an attic story with Corinthian pilasters and small square window openings in alternate bays. At the top brackets and sockets carry the masts from which the velarium, a canopy for shade, was suspended.
The three tiers of arcades are faced by three-quarter columns and entablatures, Doric in the first story, Ionic in the second, and Corinthian in the third. Above them is an attic story with Corinthian pilasters and small square window openings in alternate bays. At the top brackets and sockets carry the masts from which the velarium, a canopy for shade, was suspended....


The Top 10 BMW-M Cars

BMW has made some cracking cars in recent years.

Here, we’ve chosen 10 of our favourites. The Top 10 BMW-M Cars is still to come, but if your budget is a little less Formula One, you won’t be disappointed with one of these 10...

E30 3-Series (1987-1991)

E30 3-Series (1987-1991) - please click photos to enlargeIn 1987, BMW gently facelifted the E30 3-Series, replacing the chrome bumpers with full-length body-coloured plastic ones, while removing chrome detailing elsewhere, too. And so the yuppie mobile was born. Rarely has so minor a facelift proven so successful; the 3-Series now looked great, just at the right time, and BMW’s upward sales spiral commenced. The company has never looked back, and can thank this car. It can be brought for three-figure sums today, yet flawless mechanical integrity means they’re still decent drives, so long as you watch the back end in the wet...
Click here to list used E30 3-Series’ from £500

E36 3-Series (1991-1998)

E36 3-Series (1991-1998)If the E30 were responsible for BMW’s success, its E36 successor cemented it. Compared to what went before, this was revolutionary, with perfectly proportioned styling that even today still looks fantastic. It used to be the low-slung coupe that looked best, but the chunky four-door saloon is starting to win more fans as the years pass. It was groundbreaking beneath too, debuting BMW’s famous Z-axle rear suspension that cured all the waywardness without diluting the fun. Smaller engines are underpowered but still sweet; buy a £3k straight-six 325i for budget entertainment you never thought possible.
Click here to list used E36 3-Series’ from £1,000

3-Series Compact (1995-1999)

3-Series Compact (1995-1999)It’s easy to get a mid-‘90s BMW hatchback for under £2,000. It looks like the E36 saloon (even though suspension tech is more E30) and has a tidy, if underpowered, engine line-up. Aspects of the interior may, surprisingly, be low-rent and dated, but come on! This, or a Ford Escort. Which would you seriously prefer? The Compact is also a very significant model as it signalled BMW’s intention to become more ‘mainstream’, years before the 1-Series. It wasn’t an unbridled sales success but it nevertheless proved to those within BMW that they could do ‘budget’ cars without losing prestige. 1-Series and, arguably, MINI are the result.

528i (1997-2003)

528i (1997-2003)The best car in the real world? It was when it was launched back in 1997, and for keener drivers, it probably remains so, almost a decade on. Not only was it devoid of flaws, it did nearly everything so incredibly well, particularly for the driver. The handling was pin-sharp, steering beautifully weighted and the six-cylinder engine a purring peach that also returned good economy figures. That you can buy it for £3,000 is nothing short of incredible. Spend £4k and you’ve a car for life that we reckon outpoints the latest one for driver satisfaction.
Click here to list used 528is from £2,700

6-Series (original) (1976-1989)

6-Series (original) (1976-1989)Introduced in 1976 and changed little to the end of production in 1989, the 635CSi is the closest you’ll get to a workable ‘classic’ BMW. It’s a cracking old-school drive, with smooth straight-six power and surprising pace considering the price you pay for a minter – less than £5k. The ultimate is the 286bhp M635CSi (using the famous M1’s engine, for 60mph in 6.4 seconds!), but you’ll be lucky to find one at any price – only 5,800 were built. How good is it? Reviewers at the time rated it more highly than the 850i that effectively replaced it.
Click here to list used 6-Series’ from £1,800

X5 (2000-)

X5 (2000-)The most entertaining off-roader on the road. Yes, on the road. You’ll never see an X5 tackling anything rougher than a muddy field – that’s because, despite appearances, its natural home is a twisting backroad, the more challenging, the better. 3.0-litre diesel engines are preferable to petrol units, while the 4.4-litre V8s are surprisingly cheap and sorely tempting if you can afford the fuel. Maddest? The 4.6iS, which would be called an MX5 if it weren’t for Mazda. It’s astonishing. Five years on, they still fly out of showrooms and set a trend for everyone else to follow. A classic in the making.
Click here to list used X-5s from £14,500

Z3 M Coupe (1998-2003)

Z3 M Coupe (1998-2003)The Z3 M Roadster mated a sloppy chassis to a 3.2-litre M-tuned straight six. The results weren’t pretty. BMW engineers knew this so worked in their spare time to find a solution. Many burnt dinners later, out rolled the M Coupe, with stiffer bodyshell that looked utterly unique. A Z3 estate? It was superbly idiosyncratic, yet far better to drive – more accurate, more stable and less liable to leeriness. As a result, it reeks class today and still costs serious money. But what an investment in a car that fans will pay big money for in years to come.
Click here to list used M-Coupes from £15,000

8-series (1990-1999)

8-series (1990-1999)The start of the ‘90s, and BMW was on a technological roll that saw the launch of the ultra-complex 8-Series. A more luxurious four-seat replacement for the 6-Series, it employed the very latest in gadgetry and one of the sweetest 5.0-litre V12 engines in the world. At the time, testers complained that all the tech made it soulless, but 15 years on, it’s quite an experience. Chances are it will all still work too, which means you can buy quite a remarkable car for little more than £6k. Even better, go for the later, sportier 840i V8, which is more satisfying even though it lacks that astounding V12. Modern BMW suspension theories started with this car.
Click here to list used 8-Series’ from £5,000

7-series (1995-2002)

7-series (1995-2002)Bond, driving a 7-Series, just didn’t look right. But YOU in a 7-Series, from just £2,500? (Yes, really – £2,500, for a 10-year-old one). Now that’s much more like it. You can indulge in 007-levels of goodies too, as all are stocked just as you’d expect a luxury car of the 1990s to be. Various engines, but such is the top-line 750i’s thirst, it often sells for the same as most-popular 728i straight-sixes. We’d be torn between them, but would probably go for the smaller-engine’d car as it’s more nimble and fun to drive. A scruffy old Scenic or some of these – which would the family prefer?
Click here to list used 7-Series’ from £2,500

Mini (2001-)

Mini (2001-)We’re being a bit cheeky, but even by recent standards, there haven’t been many more successful ‘BMWs’. Rumour has it, MG Rover engineers were responsible for a lot of the engineering, but to drive, the feel is very BMW, even if the Chrysler-sourced engines let things down. Just like the original, it’s become a mass-selling style icon that hasn’t become a pastiche, and given the choice between a Cooper S and a 130i to blast on a twisty backroad, we know which we’d take, central instruments, whining supercharged note and all. A brilliant British-built success story.


Gautama Buddha

Gautama Buddha
The Religion of Peaceful, Ethical Self-culture
Buddhism began in Nepal in the sixth century B. C. as a reform movement in Hinduism. H It was the first religion of the world to become international and today (1982) has a membership of 254,867,450. The founder of Buddhism was Siddhartha Gautam, was born on the land of Nepal thats Lumbini the son of a rich ruler of the Kshatriya caste. There are legends of his non-human conception, supernatural birth, and of his future greatness prophesied by a Hindu saint. Gautama married at the age of nineteen and later had a son. He lived a luxurious and sheltered life but while riding outside the royal compound he saw a decrepit old man, a diseased man, a corpse, and an ascetic monk. He became obsessed with the fact that all must face age, sickness, and death and he determined to find an answer to this anxiety and suffering.
Leaving his wife, son, family, and inheritance Gautama clipped his hair and beard, exchanged clothes with a beggar and began his quest. For years he tried to solve the problem of suffering first through philosophy and then by extreme asceticism but found no inner peace.
Finally, around the age of thirty-five he sat down under the shade of a fig or bo tree to meditate; he determined to meditate until he received enlightenment. After seven weeks he received the Great Enlightenment; The Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path. Henceforth he became known as the Buddha (enlightened one). This Middle Way is a psychological-philosophical insight into the cause and cure of suffering and evil.
Gautama Buddha taught a way of life devoid of authority, ritual, speculation, tradition, and the supernatural. He stressed intense self-effort. His last words before he died at the age of eighty were, "Work out your own salvation with diligence." Gautama accepted the law of karma and reincarnation. He saw Nirvana not as a state of extinction or annihilation but as "the highest destiny of the human spirit." It is so totally different that it is "incomprehensible, indescribably, inconceivable, unutterable...bliss."
Buddhism received its greatest impetus from the nepalese emperor, Asoka, who was converted in 297 B. C. and became convinced that Buddhism was a religion for all of the peoples of the world. Accordingly, he sent missionaries throughout the known world. Asoka also called the third council of Buddhism in 247 B. C. for the purpose of determining the true canon of Buddhist scriptures.


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1. Ronaldinho, Barcelona
Total Earning : $29.5 million eqv £16 million eqv €23.5 million
The impish Barcelona play-maker is not enjoying the best of seasons by his own standards. Like many of the stars of the last World Cup, a long club and international season has taken its physical toll. But he has leapfrogged David Beckham to become soccer’s top-earning player thanks to endorsement deals with Nike and the likes of consumer electronics giant Sony

2. David Beckham, Real Madrid
Total Earning : $29.1 million eqv £15.8 million eqv €23.2 million
No one can shift soccer merchandise like Beckham. He did it for Manchester United during his pomp and for Real Madrid over the past four years, where he won over the fans if not the critics. Now coming to America on the back of a potential $250 million marketing and playing deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, he has proved he has the marketing savvy to put him in the elite of sports commercial superstars who outlast their playing days.

3. Ronaldo, AC Milan
Total Earning : $23.4 million eqv £12.7 million eqv €18.6 million
Injury has reduced the buck-toothed Brazilian striker to a super-sized shadow of the player who is one of only two people to be named FIFA’s World Footballer of the Year three times. Offloaded by Real Madrid in a clear-out of its galacticos to AC Milan, Ronaldo seems destined for America, where his playboy lifestyle will sustain marketing appeal that is going nowhere in Europe

4. Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
Total Earning : $17.2 million eqv £9.3 million eqv €13.7 million
The epitome of the sports star who wears his brains in his boots, Rooney’s on-field goal-scoring partnership this season with Cristiano Ronaldo, cemented by Paul Scholes’ Indian summer, has made Manchester United the English Premiership’s unexpected top dogs. The barely 20-something’s commercial challenge is to turn raw soccer talent into polished marketing power.

5. Michael Ballack, Chelsea
Total Earning : $16.8 million eqv £9.1 million eqv €13.4 million
The switch from being Bayern Munich’s superstar to just another highly paid midfielder in Chelsea’s glittering firmament of world-class stars has proved a challenge for the German on the pitch. But not when it comes to his bank account. Chelsea is reported to pay him a base salary of $240,000 (£121,000) a week, which would make him–for now–the top-paid player in the game.

6. Thierry Henry, Arsenal
Total Earning : $15.8 million eqv £8.6 million eqv €12.6 million
One of Europe’s most feared strikers has suffered more than most in 2006-2007 from a punishing 2005-2006 season that culminated in France’s defeat in the World Cup Final. But the Arsenal captain’s elegance and glamour on and off the pitch–he is married to model Nicole Merry–keeps him a marketeers’ favorite–while his Arselal contract of $220,000 (£112,000) a week keeps his bank manager merry, too.

7. Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid
Total Earning : $15.6 million eqv £8.5 million eqv €12.4 million
An inglorious end to a glorious career–that head butt in the 2006 World Cup Final–has not diminished the Frenchman’s cult status at home now that he is retired. Famously shy for a superstar, he always made more from his playing than his pitching abilities. His earnings power is eroding now that his feet no longer do his talking.

8. Fabio Cannavaro, Real Madrid
Total Earning : $14.6 million eqv £7.9 million eqv €11.6 million
Leading Italy to the 2006 World Cup catapulted this Italian defender into the ranks of soccer’s best paid thanks to a move to Real Madrid from scandal- tainted Juventus. In Spain, he is not quite the consistent force he was in Italy, but the 32-year-old is still in fine enough form to strip down to his underwear for Dolce & Gabbana ads.

9. John Terry, Chelsea
Total Earning : $14.3 million eqv £7.7 million eqv €11.4 million
A hard-driving muscular center half for club and country, Chelsea’s iconic captain makes our list thanks to billionaire owner Ramon Abramovich’s largesse and a lucrative endorsement deal with kit maker Umbro, even though he is no clothes-hanger. Terry is likely to move up the earnings league next year as his contract is up for renewal.

10. Steven Gerrard, Liverpool
Total Earning : $14.2 million eqv £7.7 million eqv €11.3 million
Liverpool’s heart and soul, local boy Gerrard provides box-to-box English drive to a midfield of European flair. He’s inspirational on the field, and handsomely paid by Liverpool for being so, but has yet to break through to the highest level of marketing superstardom.


worlds fastest cars

Top 10: world's fastest cars

1. Bugatti EB 16.4 Veyron 253mph+, 0-62mph 2.5 secsOfficially the fastest car in the world. Ever. In a straight line the Bugatti Veyron simply owns the opposition. Electronically limited to 253mph, the Veyron’s top-end superiority is underlined by simply staggering acceleration. Remember the 243mph McLaren F1? Even given a 100mph head start, the Veyron would still beat one to the double ton. More fun stats include emptying the 100-litre fuel tank in 11 minutes at maximum velocity – a situation engineers have described as a ‘safety feature’. Travel that fast for a whole half hour and even the special high-speed tyres would apparently start to melt. With four turbochargers, the 8.0-litre W16 engine makes a minimum 1000bhp, so it’s no surprise to discover the car contains 17 different cooling devices. Four-wheel drive and sophisticated aerodynamics mean the Veyron isn’t just a hyper-performance dragster, either, cornering incredibly for something weighing 1888kg. A super-fast shifting seven-speed DSG gearbox and mega price-tag completes this ultimate high-speed package.

2. Koenigsegg CCX 245mph+, 0-62mph 3.2 secs

Poor Koenigsegg. Having spent the entire century so far trying to capture the McLaren F1’s top speed record, the Swedish supercar maker finally achieves it with the 242mph CCR when Bugatti comes along and rearranges the rulebook. That’s got to hurt. Still, what better way to bury the pain than to develop a new version – the CCX. A bespoke 4.7-litre V8 with twin superchargers sits just behind the passenger compartment, developing 806bhp and 678lb ft of torque – enough to propel the car from 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds despite only having rear wheel drive.
245mph is achievable if you can find, well, a runway long enough, though the low drag shape that allows this does mean the Koenigsegg can be a handful in the corners. Extra bonus points for having carbon-fibre wheels on the options list and doors that are cooler than a penguin’s feet.

3. Bristol Fighter T 225mph+, 0-62mph 3.5 secs

Eccentric is an overused word, but as a description of Bristol, the reclusive British carmaker, it seems perfectly apt. Imagine a sideboard on wheels, add a whacking great American V8 and you’ve got a Blenheim. Bristol got by building variations of these for years (and years) until suddenly it decided a supercar was desperately needed to complete the line-up. Thus, the 200mph Fighter was born, and having gotten hip to the new millennium, Bristol can’t stop improving the specification of the thing. Apparently due to customer demand – no seriously, Bristol customers do attend trackdays – the new Fighter T has an utterly bonkers 1012bhp and immense 1036lb ft of torque.
That’s more power than the Veyron, thanks to a twin-turbocharged version of the 8.0-litre V10 more often found under the bonnet of a Dodge SRT-10. Electronically limited to 225mph, Bristol claims a frankly ludicrous potential maximum of 270mph.

4. Gumpert Apollo 224mph, 0-62mph 3.0 secs

Yikes. Well, you’re not exactly going to miss this, uh, beauty appearing suddenly in the rear-view mirror. And seriously, move over, because although you’ve probably never heard of it, being fourth on this list means there aren’t many cars capable of outrunning a Gumpert Apollo. 224mph is impressive, but it’s the 0-62mph time that really grabs our attention. Three seconds flat is seriously quick – you’ll be needing a Veyron if you want to go faster. Such high levels of poke hint at an exotic under-bonnet experience, but don’t be too disappointed when we tell you the Apollo is powered by a 4.2-litre Audi V8.
5. Pagani Zonda C12 F 214mph, 0-62mph 3.5 secs

The Pagani Zonda has never been about outright top speed. When you’ve got such extravagant design and exquisite detailing, not to mention epic acceleration, sublime handling and a pair of shoes made by the Pope’s cobbler included in the asking price, becoming part of the supercar elite was almost a given. And Pagani’s done it in record time – going from obscurity to revered supercar status in the blink of an eye. Still, it’s nice to know you can back up all that flash with a bit of firepower if you need to, and the introduction of the 214mph Zonda F nicely boosts a range that otherwise barely cracks the magic 200.
7.3-litres of bespoke Mercedes-Benz AMG V12 does the business very nicely, providing upwards of 602bhp (650bhp in Clubsport guise), and 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds. We’ll take ours in bare carbon-fibre, please.

6. Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 211mph, 0-62 3.4 seconds
Lamborghini is synonymous with flamboyance. So when it unveiled this car at the 2006 Geneva motorshow, the world gasped. Who on earth had decided to paint a Murciélago in gloss primer grey? But the LP640 isn’t any ordinary Murciélago , and we rather suspect the utilitarian hue wasn’t just about making the car look harder than a Stealthbomber on a night out. Toning down the paint helps emphasize that this Lamborghini is all about performance, an impression enhanced by the optional transparent engine cover that keeps the LP640’s wailing V12 hard permanently on display. 211mph is six more than the standard version, which doesn’t sound much until you realise it’s taken 61 more horses to achieve, and the going gets pretty tough over 200mph. The total bhp count now stands at 631, helping drop the 0-62mph time by an impressive 0.4 seconds to only 3.4.
7. Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren “722 Edition” 209mph, 0-62mph 3.6 secs

What kind of supercar really needs a special edition? Well pretty much everyone is at it these days so that’s something of a moot point. But if anything does, it’s the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren – which has the unfortunate double problem of the McLaren F1 as a forefather and various AMG Mercedes as siblings. Ceramic brakes and an unrestricted top speed are all very well, but you don’t really expect them to be combined with an automatic gearbox and the interior from an executive saloon.
So, in order to up the interest a bit, only 150 “722 Edition” SLRs will ever be made, featuring a 650bhp version of the 5.5-litre V8, specially tuned suspension, a quicker 0-62mph dash and a top speed of 209mph – that’s a whole 1 mph faster than the ‘ordinary’ car. Hmmm. Tough to pick when an SL65 with the limiter removed will lose you your licence just as comprehensively for about £200,000 less.

8. Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano 205mph+, 0-62mph 3.7 secs

The Ferrari Enzo was such a technical tour de force that it’s easy to imagine the engineers at Maranello scratching their heads over what to do next. No such luck for the competition as it turns out, since in developing a replacement for the 575M Maranello, Ferrari have completely re-written the script for front-engined GT supercars. Other cars on this list may be faster – in some cases very much so – but the 599 GTB Fiorano is just fantastically accomplished to drive.
Technical highlights include Magnetorheological Suspension Control, Formula 1 derived traction and stability control, and the not insignificant achievement of being 40kg lighter than the outgoing 575M despite being considerably larger. Don’t care about the techy stuff? Then simple glory in this 6.0-litre V12’s 8,400rpm redline, soulful interior, and the fact you’re driving a car with a prancing horse on the bonnet. Shame it doesn’t look a little bit prettier, but then the world never has been perfect.

9. Aston Martin Vanquish S 200mph+, 0-62mph 4.8 secs

The original Vanquish could never really be accused of being short of power, but such is the pace of development these days its cheaper DB9 relative was snapping at its heels in the performance department. Costing some £60,000 more than the DB9 that simply wouldn’t do. So the Vanquish S was born, raising power from its front-mounted V12 to 520bhp, a hike of 60bhp. That also pushes the top speed of this British bruiser up beyond the 200mph barrier.
As well as the engine modifications the S has a tweaked chassis to provide a more focussed, rawer driving experience, marking it out from the still available regular Vanquish and the DB9. Still largely hand built, in tiny numbers, the Vanquish S is a perfect British riposte to the thoroughbred Italians here; sophisticated, yet brutally fast, Aston Martin’s flagship is a very desirable and useable 200mph+ machine.

10. Ruf RT 12 -
Rather than stick a single car into the number 10 slot, we thought it’d be more fun to round up the list with several… let’s say ‘unverified’ alternatives. No official showing from Porsche since the demise of the Carerra GT could easily be countered with a number of tuner 911 from specialists so deep into modification they actually count as independent manufacturers in some countries. Ruf and 9ff, for example, will happily sell you a professionally fettled 911 turbo capable of well over 200mph. Similarly, Brabus and others make a business out of making Mercedes go very quickly indeed, and the CLS based Rocket has 730bhp and is supposedly electronically limited to 217mph.

Barabus TKR
America is another notable absentee, but the most likely candidate, Saleen’s S7 Twin Turbo makes no greater claim than 200mph+, even if previous talk had suggested 260mph might be possible. The UK’s very own Ultima also claims 200mph+ for certain versions of the GTR, but specifications are quite individual. What we can say for certain is that Ultima does hold the 0-100mph-0 world record, with its GTR720 performing the feat in 9.4 seconds – half a second faster than even the Veyron can manage. Another UK wild card is the Barabus TKR, which was a surprise showing at this year’s British motorshow, and is theoretically good for 270mph.


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