No defined performance metric in America describes one car or another as a supercar. Whatever you consider a supercar has some pretty astounding performance today. The definition of a supercar starts at 500 horsepower and regularly goes to double or triple that number.
Supercars have four wheels, two doors, and an engine. But why does a Ferrari cost ten times what a Camry does, and what separates them from your average sports car? How did Bugatti convince people to spend over a million bucks on a car? I’m about to tell you why supercars are so expensive. Then you can make up your mind about whether or not they’re worth it.
Why are supercars so expensive?
The modern definition of supercars has changed so much. So how has that affected the car community regarding how we classify and discuss these cars?
When you think of a traditional supercar, you think of a rare, luxurious, fast, expensive, and beautiful car. The more modern supercar is simply a high-speed car and, in general, makes a lot of sacrifices in the name of performance.
Day by day, the price of supercars is increasing. Some factors make supercars so expensive. Let’s see!
1. Amazing performance
Supercars are meticulously engineered to deliver exceptional performance and speed. They feature advanced technology, lightweight materials, aerodynamic designs, and high-performance engines. The research, development, and precision engineering required to achieve such performance levels increases the cost of production.
Creating a car that generates that much power and is reliable is no small task. A lot of supercar manufacturers don’t nail it. Still, supercars are true feats of engineering, and the companies that build them will pay you big money for all that R&D went into making them. But it’s not only R&D into horsepower that would be boring. Plenty of top-of-the-line and groundbreaking technology starts in supercars that eventually end up on your road.
Take the McLaren 720 SE, which sounds more like a skateboard trick than a car. Its four-liter twin-turbo V8 is capable of producing an astonishing 710 horsepower. They better be fast when people pay six figures or even a million bucks for some of these rides.
2. Cutting-edge technology
Supercars incorporate cutting-edge technology and features like advanced infotainment systems, driver assistance systems, and high-end audio systems. These technologies come at a premium cost, adding to the vehicle’s overall price. Whenever a new technology comes out in any industry, it’s usually coupled with a big price tag for the first couple of years until other people start making it.
- The new McLaren costs over 100 grand because it has tons of new technology never seen before.
So McLaren can charge a pretty penny for it. Look at the Rimac concept one, for instance. It is the most influential electric car ever built today. There are new electric cars announced every day. It has 492-kilowatt motors, one for each wheel, and it creates 1088 horsepower electric horses combined. Electric car technology is constantly changing. Since Rimac has redefined what an electric supercar can be, they think they can charge $980,000.
3. Top-quality interior
Supercars are a feast for the eyes. They’re beautiful, exotic, curvy, and gigantic. It’s to impress other people, so you buy a supercar. But the reality is that you will spend most of your time in the driver’s seat.
- Another reason for the price hike is that an incredible amount of work goes into designing the interiors and finding the materials for supercars to give those interiors the most luxurious feel possible.
For example, take what Rolls-Royce goes through to find the leather for their interiors. They go to small markets across Italy to find the perfect leather for their luxury interiors. Rolls-Royce also uses one-sixth the amount of paint that other manufacturers use, which lets the natural feeling of this high-quality leather shine through. That sets supercars apart from your average Toyota and makes a supercar priced out of what 99% of the world’s population can afford.
Supercars use premium materials such as carbon fiber, lightweight metals, and exotic alloys. These materials offer superior strength, reduce weight, and improve the vehicle’s performance. However, these materials are expensive, increasing the overall cost of manufacturing the car.
Beneath all of the leather and fine material, the quality continues to excel, especially when discussing ultra-fast record-setters from brands like Bugatti. You will find engineering underneath all the paint and carbon fiber that you will not find in any other vehicle with supercars like the Bugatti Chiron Supersport 300. Sheeran Gaudy can hit top speeds of over 300 miles per hour and go up to 60 in 2.4 seconds.
The internal structure of a car has to withstand insane tolerances. Modern supercars need the latest and greatest material technology to maintain their power plants’ performance. Carbon fiber is the material of choice for its lightweight and strength. To hit 300 miles per hour, you need a durable chassis light enough to fly.
So the Ferrari utilizes a carbon fiber reinforced polymer in their frames to allow them to hit such insane speeds but also survive when things go wrong, which they do. Carbon fiber does not come cheap. For example, the average Toyota costs about 12,000 bucks, but the current Ferrari manufacturing process estimates upwards of 150,000 per car.
A big part of the Ferrari is expensive because it’s a hand-crafted work of high-performance machinery. Since these rides aren’t built on an assembly line and are ready to order, owners typically have to wait weeks or months to see their beautiful new ride. But there is an upside. There’s the joy of knowing that somebody put their heart and soul into every piece of your ride.
From concept to completion, Supercars typically have love and attention poured into every detail and are usually tested thoroughly by a race car driver before getting your hands on them. Supercar companies have reputations to uphold, and any tiny problem on a car that costs upwards of $500,000 would be a disaster.
Many supercars are produced in limited quantities, adding to their exclusivity and increasing prices. Limited production numbers create higher demand and allow manufacturers to command premium prices. Most supercars are rare today, not because they’re unique and hard to make. That scarcity serves a purpose.
Why are gold and silver more expensive than copper? Those metals are rare and harder to find and thus more valuable. It’s called supply and demand. The scarcity of a commodity can drive up the price of anything, and companies that produce supercars understand this better than anyone.
So when Aston Martin makes the 2020 Valkyrie, they know that if they only make 150 of them, they instantly become collector’s items, enabling them to charge more per car. They can make more of them, but then everyone would have one. Sometimes supercar manufacturers will build rarer versions of their already rare cars and charge even rarer money.
So often, the supercars people aren’t buying them even to drive them. They’re collectors vying for bragging rights to having the unique car in the parking lot or garage. Having the rarest car on the road is a pretty pride-driven endeavor. So the car’s rear, the more people will pay for it.
7. Brake system
If you look at the brakes of Lamborghini, they are only about 15 inches in diameter. Most cars today only have 1213-inch brakes. But on Lamborghinis and Ferraris, you find that these cars have substantial brakes and braking power to stop the speed of these massive monsters.
8. Marketing and brand value
When buying a supercar, a big part of that insane price tag is that shiny badge on the hood. It goes back to people buying supercars because they want to give off an appearance of wealth. You’re not going to get the respect and attention that you want. If you’re driving a hyper-fast Kia Nissan GT-R, you narcissist, anyone, it’s as fast as a Ferrari.
Why doesn’t it cost as much as a Ferrari? Because there’s the same Nissan emblem on it that the guy in the slow lane driving the minivan has. It doesn’t matter how fast or beautiful that car is; people will assume it didn’t cost much.
Companies like Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Bugatti, and Ferrari spend tons of money on marketing to associate their brands with that high luxury, high roller lifestyle. They all go out of their way to maintain that exclusive, luxurious brand image to ensure something special.
9. Customization and Prestige
Supercar manufacturers provide extensive customization options, allowing buyers to tailor their vehicles to their preferences. These bespoke features and finishes require additional resources and skilled craftsmanship, which increases the cost.
Supercar brands with a rich history, heritage, and strong reputation command higher prices. The prestige associated with owning a supercar from a renowned brand contributes to their exclusivity and higher price tags.
10. Limited Service and Maintenance Network
Supercars typically require specialized service and maintenance, and owners may need to rely on authorized dealerships or service centers. The costs associated with skilled technicians, specialized tools, and exclusive parts contribute to the overall ownership expenses of supercars.
Developing a supercar involves substantial research, testing, and engineering to push the boundaries of automotive performance. The costs associated with innovation, safety testing, and refining the vehicle’s design and performance are factored into the final price.
These are the main reasons for the high price of supercars in India and Australia. At the end of the day, the engine and the drive train are factors in what determines a supercar and what makes a supercar so special. Let me know in the comments what your favorite supercar is.
Read more similar topics:
Mason, Paul. Italian Supercars: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati. Rosen Publishing Group.
Wasef, Basem. Speed Read Supercar: The History, Technology, and Design Behind the World’s Most Exciting Cars. Motorbooks.
Codling, Stuart. Lamborghini Supercars 50 Years: From the Groundbreaking Miura to Today’s Hypercars – Foreword by Fabio Lamborghini. Motorbooks.
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