It’s a pretty unique honor to be named the safety or  pace car  for a race, and automakers have really stepped up to the occasion. These decorated, eye-catching rides pop out onto the track at the beginning of a race, or during a yellow or caution flag, when the course needs to be cleaned up from an incident. Here’s a list of the real badass safety cars out there.
BMW M2 MotoGP Safety Car (Pictured Above)

 

While it’s easy to forget that BMW also makes motorcycles, this MotoGP safety car helps remind us of the brand’s other vehicles. This M2, used for MotoGP duty, sports a number of M performance upgrades over the production M2 like an  exhaust , coilovers and prototype  carbon ceramic brakes .




Mercedes-AMG GT S Formula One Safety Car

The Mercedes-AMG GT S is a borderline exotic car with a three-second zero-to-60-mph time, thanks to its awesome 4.0-liter  twin turbo V8 . It looks great and sounds even better. What else could you ask for in a Formula 1 pace car?




BMW i8 Formula E Safety Car

Formula E is a relatively new series and one way to drum up interest is with cool cars like the  BMW i8  pace car. As a plug-in hybrid, it fits right in with the electrified theme of the racing series, and looks super futuristic, too.




Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pace Car

Another hybrid, the NSX is a high-performance exotic, made right here in the U.S. Driven during the Pikes Peak hill climb by the Honda America’s head of PR, Sage Marie, the NSX  pace car  was fitted with 24 cameras to provide a  cool 360-degree  video of the challenging course.




Batman’s Tumbler NASCAR

The Dark Knight apparently loves himself some racing, as this iteration of the Batmobile showed up at Michigan International Speedway for the “Batman Begins 400” in the  NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series . The Caped Crusader even made the announcement for drivers to start their engines at the beginning of the race.




Dodge Viper Indy 500



The Indy 500 is a historic race, and for Dodge, it was the perfect place to showcase its Corvette fighter. The Viper debuted in 1990 as the  pace car  to the race, driven by legendary racer and designer Caroll Shelby. It returned again in 1996 with the second-generation model, driven by automotive big-wig Bob Lutz.




Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Indy 500



We can’t leave out the Corvette on a list of awesome pace cars. Last year’s Indy 500 was paced by the awesome Z06, a car that uses a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 650-hp and 650 lb-ft of torque.




Lexus RC F V8 Supercars



The Australian V8 Supercars series uses the new Lexus RC-F as its  pace car . The RC-F features unbelievably aggressive styling and a 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 467 horsepower. All that juice is sent to the rear wheels.




Lexus LFA Grand Prix of Long Beach

My personal favorite is this Lexus LFA Pace Car that was used in the 2011 Grand Prix of Long Beach. Possibly one of the most expensive cars to be transformed into a Pace car, the LFA cost more than $300,000 when new. It used a 4.8-liter V10 engine that not only sounded amazing, but put out 552 horsepower, too. It’s a shame Toyota isn’t still using this thing for the Grand Prix of Long Beach.