There is no defined performance metric in America or anything that defines one car or another as a supercar. Whatever you consider being a supercar has some pretty astounding performance today. The definition of a supercar starts at 500 horsepower and regularly goes even 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 the supercars is increasing. Some factors make supercars so expensive. Let’s see!
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 make you pay big money for all that R&D that 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.
Cutting edge technology
Supercars are often cutting-edge technological advancements in the automotive industry. 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 that’s never been 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’s got 492-kilowatt motors, one for each wheel, and combined, create a total of 1088 horsepower electric horses. Electric car technology is constantly changing. Since Rimac has redefined what an electric supercar can be, they think they can charge $980,000 for it.
Supercars are a feast for the eyes. They’re beautiful, exotic, curvy, and gigantic. It’s to impress other people, and that’s why 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.
Beneath all of the leather and fine material, the quality continues to excel, especially when you’re talking about the ultra-fast record-setters coming from brands like Bugatti. You will find engineering underneath all the paint and carbon fiber that you will not find in any other vehicle on the planet with supercars out there 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. If you want 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 to produce, but the current Ferrari manufacturing process estimates upwards of 150,000 per car.
A big part of Ferrari is so expensive because it’s a hand-crafted work of high-performance machinery. Since these rides aren’t built on an assembly line and ready to order, owners typically have to wait weeks or even months before they can lay their eyes on their new beautiful 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.
Most supercars made today are extremely rare, 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. Scarcity of a commodity can drive up the price of anything, and companies that produce supercars understand this better than most 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 even 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 rear of the car, the more people are willing to pay for it.
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.
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 outward 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, and people will assume it didn’t cost very 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.
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.